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Tackling the energy crisis with cohesion policy funds should not undermine long-term investment  

​​The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro , has reacted to the European Commission's announcement of a new package of measures to fight high energy prices and ensure security of supply.  ​

The CoR president Vasco Alves Cordeiro said: " We all agree on the need to take decisive actions to help people and businesses tackling the energy crises. The European Commission has been proactive and attentive to the importance of this issue. However, it is essential to never forget that the way we address this challenge is as important as the decision to address it itself. And this leads us directly to the importance of a strong and duly funded Cohesion Policy: if we want to be in a better situation after the emergency than we were before, the solution is the structural approach of Cohesion Policy. That is why, as preparations are underway for the 2021-2027 period, we should never forget that Cohesion Policy is a long-term investment policy and its core role is to support regions and cities realise the green and digital transition whilst leaving no one behind. Cohesion policy should not become a money pot to fix Europe's crises."

Emil Boc (/RO/EPP) , Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and Chair of the CoR's COTER commission , said: "We welcome the possibility to address the impact of rising energy costs into a significant number of households and companies across Europe. Notably, in this context, cohesion policy funds could be helpful, taking into account the 2014-2020 resources which are not spent yet. However, the money should be invested efficiently corresponding to the real needs of regions and cities by respecting the place-based approach."

Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP) , Mayor of Warsaw and chair of the ENVE commission and of the Green Deal Going Local working group, said: "The new package of measures announced today by the European Commission is a positive step forward to reinforce EU's energy independence, security and resilience ahead of this winter. In the last months, local and regional authorities, businesses and citizens have seen their energy bills tripled. Local and regional leaders are best placed to accelerate energy efficiency, raise awareness amongst citizens and deliver social protection on the ground. We reiterate our call for direct funds for cities and regions to tackle the energy crisis and avoid a massive social emergency this winter."

During the 20th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities held last week, the partners of the #CohesionAlliance – the EU-wide coalition of 12,000 signatories advocating for a stronger Cohesion Policy - gathered in Brussels to sign a joint declaration reaffirming their commitment to reinforce Cohesion Policy and increase the territorial impact of all EU investments in order to make them fit for Europe's long-term challenges. ​​​

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