BP-CreteThe CPMR Political Bureau met on 12 June 2015 in Heraklion (GR) at the invitation of Stavros Arnaoutakis, Regional Governor of Crete and at the presence of Vasco Cordeiro, President of the CPMR and President of the Government of the Azores.

The day started with a discussion on cohesion focusing on how CPMR is structuring its activities for the coming years, with the review of the EU budget at the end of 2016 and the publication of the 7th Cohesion Report in 2017 being the two forthcoming key dates. The CPMR General Secretariat presented the initial results of its internal survey on the place of regions within Cohesion Policy 2014 – 2020. A debate with Members of the Political Bureau ensued, together with Members of the European Parliament Lambert Van Nistelrooij and Maria Spyraki from the Regional Development Committee. Key issues discussed included the territorial dimension of financial instruments within Cohesion Policy, experiences of regions with regards to the preparation of the 2014 – 2020 operational programmes and simplification, with Mr Van Nistelrooij stating that “proportionality and subsidiarity are the way forward to solving the poison of bureaucracy within Cohesion Policy“. Mr Van Nistelrooij also underlined the important role played by the CPMR during the negotiations for the 2014-2020 programming period.

During the session introduced and chaired by Georges Alexakis, Regional Councillor of Crete, and Vice-President of the CPMR in charge of Maritime Affairs, delegates discussed on the CPMR policy priorities for the months to come. These priorities involved the elaboration of CPMR propositions about international maritime governance following the debate opened by the European Commission, and the organisation with DG Mare of the conference “Blue.invest – EU support to maritime regions” on 22 September, in the framework of the activities of the CPMR platform on maritime investments made at regional level through the support of EU funds.

On Accessibility, the CPMR members pointed out that the areas located far from the TEN-T core network and the nine CEF corridors should benefit from the action of a specific European coordinator. Therefore, they called the European Commission to appoint an additional coordinator whose action will be useful in the short term to ensure a balanced implementation of the TEN-T and in the medium turn to help prepare the TEN-T review. This issue was also underlined by Erik Bergkvist, President of the Regional Executive Committee of the Region Västerbotten (SE) at the TEN-T Days of Riga on 22nd of June where he was speaker during the “TEN-T Corridors: Forerunners of Sustainable Mobility” session.

During the work, a Speaker’s Corner was also organised on “The example of Cretan cooperative banks and their contribution to the regional economy”. The discussion was chaired by George Alexakis, and focused on the experience of two different cooperative banks.