16/10/2018 The Secretary General discusses EU future budget and EU policies with a delegation from Lower Bavaria
Secretary General Jiri Burianek met a delegation of local politicians and representatives of saving banks from Lower Bavaria. He gave an update on the perspectives of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and a state of progress of the Banking Union. Mr Burianek recalled the engagement of the CoR for a strong cohesion policy in the future MFF and emphasized that everyone profits from cohesion policy and that a reduction of even a smaller part of the EU budget dedicated to cohesion policy would be a great loss, also for Germany, since 70% of the structural funds go back to German economy, in one way or the other. He stressed that Structural Funds can also be used to build European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation which are of great relevance in cross-border regions like Lower Bavaria.
On the Banking Union, the Secretary General informed its audience that it is so far completed, but that the fiscal aspects still need to be discussed, which will be done at the European Council in December. He emphasized that the CoR in its opinion in 2016 stressed that the saving banks shouldn't be charged two times.
Finally, Mr Burianek spoke about the new COSME program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The European Commission put forward in June 2018 two COSME related programs the replace the current COSME programme - one proposal for a new Single Market Program and one proposal for an new InvestEU program. Mr Burianek reiterated the CoR's recommendations on the new COSME programs: the establishment of a predictable and stable post-2020 SME support framework, taking into account the needs of different types of SMEs in different regions; the improvement of synergies between the various EU SME support instruments; a better access to information on the available financial instruments for potential beneficiaries, including also the effective management of intellectual property rights. And last but not least, the CoR stresses the benefits of public-private partnerships between financial intermediaries and regional and local actors in the joint implementation of targeted financing instruments.
The discussion ended with a strong call for cross-regional cooperation which is key for cross border regions as demonstrated with the example of Bavarian Czech Republic and Austria.