Main political goals:
to endorse the proposal for a regulation, as a bottom-up legal instrument that can effectively support cross-border cooperation projects and as a suitable complement to the existing mechanisms and to solutions adopted by and between Member States;
to call for further details on ways in which the cross-border Mechanism can be practically applied alongside existing mechanisms;
to call for an evaluation five years after the regulation's entry into force of its geographical and thematic scope;
to ask for clarification of the joint projects that will be eligible and for a definition of infrastructure projects and services of general economic interest;
to request that the CoR plays a role in registering European Cross-border Commitments and Statements, as is already the case for EGTCs, in order to strengthen feedback and the exchange of good practices;
Within the framework of the legislative proposals for Cohesion policy post-2020, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation on the European cross-border mechanism to solve legal and administrative barriers, which had been requested by the CoR for several years.
The European Commission's initiative was thus received with unanimous support by the CoR. The views of the CoR opinion and the EP report on the matter are largely convergent and take a similar position on a number of issues, such as clarification of scope, the inclusion of maritime borders and the need for proper information dissemination. Both institutions also suggested including a specific reference to the fact that not only the national level, but also the regions have legislative powers.
The proposal of the Parliament tried to tackle some of the objections that were being raised by the Member States. The decision on this file has been delayed by the Council, who has asked for further legal analysis.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- appreciates current efforts by the European Commission to progress towards making better use of the potential of border regions, and to help enable growth and sustainable development;
- endorses the proposal for a regulation, as it establishes a clear, complementary legal instrument for all internal and external borders, so that bottlenecks can be tackled throughout the EU using the same procedure;
- thanks the Commission for taking account of the recommendations set out in previous CoR opinions on border obstacles, particularly the opinion on the Communication on Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions;
- welcomes the fact that the Mechanism , as an addition to existing mechanisms, offers a means for border regions to take the initiative;
- recognises the need for restrictions on the areas to which the Commission’s regulation will apply, but is concerned at the limitation of application of the regulation to NUTS level 3 regions, and therefore calls for an evaluation five years after the regulation's entry into force of its geographical and thematic scope;
- asks the Commission for clarification of the joint projects that will be eligible and for a definition of infrastructure projects and services of general economic interest;