Opinion factsheet

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    Strengthening territorial resilience: empowering regions and cities to face globalisation

    BGCSDADEELENESETFIFRHRHUITLTLVMTNLPLPTROSKSLSV
    : CDR 3202/2017
    : FANELLI, Micaela
    : PES (Party of European Socialists)
    : ECON
    : Adopted
    : 11/10/2017

    To stresse that it is essential to preserve local and regional authorities' capacity to invest as a factor of globalisation resilience. Reiterates therefore that public spending by Member States and local and regional authorities under ESIF and EIB co-financing should not be included in structural expenditure as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).
    To highlight that the Commission and Member States should adopt measures aimed at guaranteeing the involvement of local and regional authorities in trade negotiation processes.
    To stress that the European Pillar of Social Rights can contribute to improving living and working conditions and combating poverty if it translates into concrete legislative follow-up measures and if the role and profile of the social indicators is strengthened within the European Semester.
    The introduction of concrete measures aimed at upgrading the EGAF. These measures could include: complementing the EGAF with a preventive arm; increasing its budget to at least EUR 500 million per annum; integrating it into the MFF; lowering significantly the criteria for triggering the EGAF; ensuring synergies with the European Structural and Investment Funds; ensuring greater flexibility in order to respond to the specific needs of regions and territories.

    Trade and investments agreements should consider local and regional specificities and possible adverse impacts. The CoR therefore called for an increased transparency in trade negotiations, and a consultation of local and regional authorities. It also called for a systematic undertaking of territorial impact assessments. The CoR also stressed that trade and investment are not only about increasing competitiveness and growth but also about developing all regions and strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) should be better coordinated with EU policies, notably cohesion policy, to reduce regional disparities within the EU and not further increase them.

    The CoR continued disseminating and discussing these messages with the Commission in view of the preparation of the Commission’s reflection papers on Harnessing Globalisation. The CoR underlined that appropriate policies to prevent or mitigate asymmetric impacts of trade agreements are crucial to ensure acceptance for an open economy and legitimacy of trade policy. The subsequently adopted Commission’s reflection papers highlighted the territorially-uneven impact of globalisation and the shared responsibility of all levels of government in both providing a democratic upgrade in the handling of globalisation and in ensuring that the benefits of globalisation are distributed fairly across different groups in society. In its reflection paper on Harnessing Globalisation, the Commission recognises that industry in Europe remains an important pillar of the economy but needs to be modernised through investment in new manufacturing technologies and related industrial services and skills, which requires action at EU, member state, regional and local level. Close partnership with empowered regions is essential as the costs of globalisation are often localised whereas its benefits are widely spread.

    In its opinion Strengthening territorial resilience: empowering regions and cities to face globalisation the CoR underscored the need to actively engage the local and regional level in the EU's response to globalisation by further developing the concept of “territorial resilience in a globalised world”. This has to be built around three main axes: a clear pro-active strategy on improving skills, knowledge, infrastructure, and thus regional competitiveness so as to help all EU territories to harness the opportunities of globalisation and anticipate its impact, a mitigation strategy including the EGF and other social policy instruments so as to cope with the pressure of globalisation on certain territories, and a participative strategy built on democratic accountability at European, national, regional and local level so as to better involve citizens in EU policy-making.

    Regarding in particular the question of impact assessments raised by CoR rapporteur Micaela Fanelli (IT/PES), Commissioner Malmström indicated that the Commission recognises the importance of this request, but does not have the resources to undertake territorial impact assessment for all trade agreements. Therefore, the Commission asks regions to communicate to the Commission any concern or evidence they may have with regard to the impact of trade agreements
    THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



    - welcomes the recognition by the Commission of the strong regional dimension in the different policy areas relating to globalisation, of the territorially uneven impact of globalisation and of the shared responsibility of all levels of government to make the European economy more competitive, sustainable and resilient to globalisation;

    - points out, however, that when discussing the uneven effects of globalisation on labour markets, the paper does not properly address the issues of how these effects vary across the EU's regions, how they interact with the crisis and austerity policies;

    - stresses that it is essential to preserve local and regional authorities' capacity to invest as a factor of globalisation resilience. Reiterates therefore that public spending by Member States and local and regional authorities under ESIF and EIB co-financing should not be included in structural expenditure as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP);

    - considers that the Commission and Member States should adopt measures aimed at guaranteeing the involvement of local and regional authorities in trade negotiation processes;

    - stresses that the European Pillar of Social Rights can contribute to improving living and working conditions and combating poverty if it translates into concrete legislative follow-up measures and if the role and profile of the social indicators is strengthened within the European Semester;

    - calls for concrete measures aimed at upgrading the EGAF. These measures could include: complementing the EGAF with a preventive arm; increasing its budget to at least EUR 500 million per annum; integrating it into the MFF; lowering significantly the criteria for triggering the EGAF; ensuring synergies with the European Structural and Investment Funds; ensuring greater flexibility in order to respond to the specific needs of regions and territories.
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Importance

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Medium
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2018
 

Structured Dialogue with Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström

The structured dialogue will give invited associations and ECON members the opportunity to discuss with Commissioner Malmström whether the new architecture of trade agreements is able to meet concerns about legitimacy and fairness, whether the sheer availability of information can trigger a more transparent and participative process allowing regions and cities to engage in EU trade policy-making and whether transparency can play a role in reinvigorating the public consensus supporting trade and globalisation.

By doing so, the structured dialogue can also lead to conclusions relevant to the work of the 'Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and "Doing Less More Efficiently"' established by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 14 November 2017, since one of the objectives of the Task Force is to make recommendations, among others, on how to better involve regional and local authorities in EU policy making and delivery. This is all the more important take into account the fact that the work of the Task Force will contribute to the further evolution of the European Union in the context of the Commission's Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union.

 
24 Apr
 

COR workshop on trade globalisation and EU industry

The workshop looked into how trade and globalisation may affect regions and deepen existing interregional inequalities within the EU. It also discussd what role trade policy along with other EU policies play or could play in helping deal with the challenges of globalisation.

This workshop is linked to the CoR's preparation of an opinion on the Commission's Trade Package as well as CoR opinion on the reflection paper on Harnessing Globalisation (CoR opinion on Strengthening territorial resilience: empowering regions and cities to face globalisation).

During the workshop, the main findings of the study on Interactions between Trade, Investment and Trends in the EU Industry: EU regions in international trade conducted by the European Parliamentary Research Service at the request of the European Committee of the Regions was presented.

The draft findings of the OECD paper "Productivity and jobs in a globalised world: (How) Can all regions benefit?" was also presented. This paper provided ideas on how to complement trade policy with a view to strengthening regional economic resilience and helping all regions to unlock their growth potential.

 
22 Jan
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