Statement by the President of the European Committee of the Regions on the European Commission's proposals for Cohesion Policy 2021-2027  

Commenting on the proposal for Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 presented by the European Commission on 29 May, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), said: " We welcome the European Commission's proposals to strengthen the impact of cohesion policy, particularly in those regions that suffered the most from industrial decline during the crisis. These new rules make it possible to support them with more resources and more tailored strategies.

We also consider that the provisions requiring Member States to involve local and regional partners in preparing and implementing investment programmes are of utmost importance. We know that these provisions were in danger of disappearing, despite their importance, at a time when the desire to recentralise funds is strong and threatens the very essence of European cohesion policy.

In this regard, the rules linking the coordination of macroeconomic policies in the context of the European Semester with the use of structural and investment funds may jeopardise the success of cohesion policy. Until now, country-specific recommendations and national reform programmes have had different priorities to those of cohesion policy, which aims to reduce regional disparities.

EU regions and cities will therefore continue to mobilise and cooperate with the European Parliament, within the framework of the #CohesionAlliance, to ensure that this acceptable starting point proposed today by the European Commission will be improved, in particular by reintegrating rural development into cohesion policy and restoring interregional cooperation. It is about working in the interest of all European citizens, taking into account the specific challenges in the places where they live, while also bringing Europeans closer together, whether they come from the north or the south, the east or the west."

Contact:

Pierluigi Boda
Tel: +32 2 282 2461
Pierluigi.Boda@cor.europa.eu