Adopted rules for European Fund for Regional Development and Cohesion Fund
2021-27 broadly in line with European Committee of the Regions proposals
A stronger focus on sustainable urban development and, at the same
time, more attention to urban-rural gaps; regional thresholds to
concentrate funds on key priorities instead of thematic concentration
at national level; wider flexibility of EU fiscal rules to allow for
increasing investment for growth; and a better coordination with other
EU policies and investment tools: this is the European Parliament's
position on the rules for the European Fund for Regional Development
(ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund 2021-2027 and it is fully in line with
proposals adopted by the European Committee of the Regions last
The European Committee of the Regions welcomes the vote of the 27 March
European Parliament plenary session on the ERDF and CF regulation.
These funds together represent the most powerful investment tools in
the EU budget. The fruitful dialogue and cooperation between the CoR
rapporteur, Michiel Rijsberman (NL/ALDE), and the EP
rapporteur and REGI vice-president, Andrea Cozzolino,
has led to a strong convergence between EU regions' and cities'
priorities and the final EP position.
Like the CoR, the EP support the concentration of resources on
strategic policy objectives but rejects the Commission proposal to set
national rather than regional thresholds. A centralised allocation
mechanism goes against the place-based approach and the multilevel
governance principle of Cohesion Policy. "
The Parliament support for regional concentration completely shifts
the focus right where it belongs: closest to our citizens,
” commented the CoR rapporteur after the vote.
In line with the CoR, MEPs call for strong complementarities between
the ERDF and the ESF+ in order to carry out integrated initiatives at
local level (Integrated Territorial Investment and Community-led Local
The CoR's call to dedicate 6% of ERDF resources at national level to
sustainable urban development was shared and actually strengthened by
the EP, which requests a minimum threshold of 10%. At the same time,
the EP proposes to dedicate a minimum of 5% of national funding to
local authorities classified by Eurostat as "NUTS III areas" with
difficult access to basic services, in most cases located in peripheral
and rural territories.
Both the Parliament and the CoR suggest including in the areas eligible
for ERDF support those with severe and permanent natural or demographic
disadvantages, such as an ageing population and with an average annual
population decrease. Both institutions asked for the ERDF to be
mobilised to help cities and regions in "localising" the Sustainable
Taking on board a long-standing request of the CoR, the Parliament
calls for Member States to be able to make a duly justified request for
further flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact for the public
expenditure needed to co-finance investments backed by ERDF and CF.
When defining the fiscal adjustment under either the preventive or the
corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact, the Commission will be
required to carefully assess this request in a manner reflecting the
strategic importance of investments co-financed by the ERDF and CF.
The EP position also amends the Commission proposal by introducing new
elements such as the possibility of using ERDF funding to purchase
rolling stock, to fund innovative waste management plants, to invest in
natural disaster resilience and for the stabilisation of hazardous
There are also important amendments concerning the transfer of ERDF or
CF resources to other EU tools. The EP wants the optional transfer of
5% of ERDF or CF resources to the InvestEU instrument, as well as the
transfer of a further 5% of ERDF allocation to EU programmes directly
managed by the Commission, to be agreed with regions and cities and to
respond to specific local needs.
Pierluigi Boda (CoR)
Tel. +32 22822461
Mobile +32 473 851743