R.L. Valcárcel Siso - M. Bresso
On 14 June 2012, the Committee of the Regions' political leadership strongly reaffirmed the CoR's support for the European Parliament's positions on the multiannual financial framework and EU own resources ahead of the European summit on 28 June.
Mercedes Bresso, CoR President, the presidents of the Committee of the Regions' four political groups, Michael Schneider (EPP), Karl-Heinz Lambertz (PES), Bas Verkerk (ALDE) and Uno Silberg (EA), together with Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, CoR first vice-president, reaffirmed today the CoR's full support for the European Parliament resolution on the future multiannual financial framework adopted in Strasbourg on 13 June, ahead of the European summit on 28 June. This support will be formalised with the adoption of a resolution at the Committee's next plenary session in July.
They drew particular attention to the fact that the European Union's budget was an investment budget that was vital for re-launching growth and employment in Europe. This budget, which accounted for only 2% of all European public spending, has a significant leverage effect on investments by local and regional authorities. "Let us not forget that our cities and regions are responsible for over two thirds of all European public investment. Having already been weakened by national austerity policies, they will be unable to continue to re-launch growth and employment or to prepare for the future without strong financial support from EU policies," argued the CoR's political representatives. They added: "We need to create more synergies between sub-national, national and EU budgets, and make efficient use of Structural and Cohesion Funds and other EU funds, taking advantage of the leverage and multiplier effect of these budgets on EU growth and jobs".
Cohesion policy in particular lies at the heart of the concerns of the cities and regions: "Without appropriate funding for the priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy, particularly under cohesion policy, the European Union will be unable to overcome the economic and financial crisis," stressed the CoR's Conference of Presidents.
Lastly, like the European Parliament and the Commission, the Committee of the Regions calls for the institution of own resources for the EU budget. Following on from the opinion on the multiannual financial framework presented by UK Liberal member, Flo Clucas, in December 2011 and the March 2011 opinion by Mercedes Bresso and Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso on the future of the EU budget, Ms Bresso and Mr Valcárcel Siso emphasised that, in the long-term "an increase in existing own resources and/or the creation of new own resources should make it possible to replace national contributions to the EU budget for example, establishing a European Financial Transaction Tax.".
The Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU's decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
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