Logroño – the capital of La Rioja – hosts the meeting of SEDEC commission and a
conference on demographic change
SEDEC commission of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) met in Logroño, Spain, on 25 June, to prepare its position on different programme proposals related to the next EU budget.
During an exchange of views with Nikola Dobroslavic (HR/EPP), CoR rapporteur on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, members welcomed the proposed doubling of budget for Erasmus and the increase of investment in research and innovation, while recalling that strong cohesion policy must keep on supporting regions and cities in their efforts to bridge digital and innovation gaps.
The SEDEC – CoR's commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture – appointed rapporteurs for following opinions that will be adopted at the CoR plenary session on 5-6 December:
- Creative Europe and a new European Agenda for Culture, rapporteur:
Adam Karacsony (HU/EPP), representative of local government of Village Tahitótfalu
- "Horizon Europe": Framework Programme 9 on Research and Innovation, rapporteur:
Christophe Clergeau (FR/PES), Member of the Pays-de-la-Loire Regional Council
- European Solidarity Corps and the new EU Youth Strategy, rapporteur:
Matteo Bianchi (IT/ECR), Mayor of Morazzone
- Erasmus, rapporteur:
Ulrike Hiller (DE/PES), Member of the Senate, Representative of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen to the Federal Government, with Responsibility for European Affairs
- Digital Europe programme, rapporteur:
Markku Markkula (FI/EPP), Chair of Espoo City Board and Vice-President of CoR
José Ignacio Ceniceros (ES/EPP), who had invited members to Logroño as Chair of the SEDEC Commission and President of the Government of La Rioja, said: "During the coming months the SEDEC commission will have its say on many key policies that affect European citizens, including different programmes for education, research, youth, culture and digital sectors. Our rapporteurs look forward to cooperating with Mr Dobroslavic with the aim of securing a strong EU budget that supports cities and regions in their task to improve the citizens' daily lives."
Nikola Dobroslavic (HR/EPP), President of Dubrovnik-Neretva Region, said:
"In the discussions I have had with different representatives of EU regions, the general conclusion is that the European Commission has done a respectable job of designing a new MFF, having the consequences of Brexit in mind. Whist we welcome boosts to future oriented policies such as Erasmus, Horizon Europe, the Digital Europe Programme and Creative Europe, we remain concerned about the serious cuts to Cohesion policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. We need to seek a new balance and ensure these funds continue to support regions across the EU. We would also like to see the multi-level governance and subsidiarity principles properly implemented in the new EU budget architecture."
Members also adopted a draft opinion on mainstreaming sport into EU policies, which has been prepared by
Roberto Pella (IT/EPP), Mayor of Valdengo and Deputy Vice-President of the National Association of Italian Municipalities. It argues that sport should be considered as a priority area for EU investment because it promotes healthy lifestyle, contributes to integration and social inclusion and accounts for an estimated 7.3 million jobs across the EU, especially for youth. The opinion suggests that the EU should develop sport diplomacy to promote European values, introduce guidelines on promoting physical education at school and allocate specific funding in the European Structural and Investment Funds to support the development of local grassroots sport infrastructure, to promote physical activity and to ensure access to sport activities for everyone.
"While we welcome the additional funding allocated to the sport chapter of Erasmus, sport can still be better integrated in different EU policies and programmes. We should also discuss the appropriateness of establishing a separate Sports Programme in the next Multiannual Financial Framework", Mr Pella said.
On Tuesday 26 June the agenda in Logroño will continue with a conference on demographic change, an issue affecting many regions across the EU and which should also, according to President Ceniceros, be better addressed in the next EU budget.