EU must support regions to shape globalisation  
EU must support regions to shape globalisation

Empowering regions to become globalisation-resilient is the key request of an opinion adopted at the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). Rapporteur Micaela Fanelli, mayor of the South Italian town of Riccia, calls for a holistic EU strategy aimed at ensuring a fairer distribution of the benefits of globalisation.

Globalisation has boosted the EU's economic growth, has fostered prosperity and has helped keeping Europe competitive. On the downside, globalisation has increased inequality as it has uneven effects in various regions leading to wealth being unequally distributed. In a world where local problems are global and global issues become local, it is a shared responsibility of all levels of government to make the EU more resilient to the negative effects of globalisation says Micaela Fanelli (IT/PES), mayor of the South Italian town of Riccia.

" While the openness to international trade - accounting for one third of EU's national income - has created huge opportunities for some regions, it poses a mayor threat to others. A renewed and enhanced place-based approach to EU policies is vital to mitigate the increasing inequalities caused by globalisation ", stressed rapporteur Micaela Fanelli .

The rapporteur suggests an EU strategy to harness globalisation based on three main axes: a clear pro-active strategy on improving skills, knowledge, infrastructure and thus regional competitiveness; a mitigation strategy including a profoundly reformed European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGAF), and a participative strategy built on democratic accountability. The recommendations in her opinion touch upon trade policy, social policy, the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), industrial policy, migration and the reform of cohesion policy.

"When negotiating international trade agreements, the EU must aim at more transparency, respect the division of competences and the protection of workers, the environment and the services of public interest. We also need to adopt a strong common policy on asylum and legal migration, build partnerships with third countries also on the level of local and regional authorities and contribute to the implementation of the UN development goals.. Cohesion policy remains an essential tool for empowering the regions which would otherwise be left behind for making them more competitive, sustainable and resilient to globalisation. There are many points where the European Union can minimise the downsides of globalisation, which should not be approached in a fatalistic way. It can indeed be shaped ", said Micaela Fanelli.

The opinion is adopted against the background of the establishment of the #CohesionAlliance , which advocates for adequate resources for cohesion policy in the post 2020 EU budget. The Alliance was launched by the leading territorial associations and the European Committee of the Regions on 9 October.

Contact:
Carmen Schmidle
Tel.: +32 (0)2 282 2366

Mobile: +32 (0)494 735787
carmen.schmidle@cor.europa.eu