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Octavo informe sobre cohesión económica, social y territorial

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Opinion Number: CDR 729/2022
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 12/10/2022
 
To express the political position of the European Committee of the Regions on the findings of the 8th Cohesion report;
To provide political recommendations with regard to the upcoming reflections on how cohesion policy should be further developed in response to the regional disparities identified in the 8th Cohesion report and the evolving challenges facing the European Union.
On 2 June 2022, the General Affairs Council adopted its conclusions on the 8th cohesion report that had been presented by the European Commission in February 2022. Thanks to the input that the CoR had provided within the framework of a bilateral meeting of the CoR rapporteur on the matter, Ms Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), and the French Minister in charge of territorial development and a respective follow-up letter, as well as the informal feedback provided by the COTER secretariat to the Chair of the Council Working Group on Structural Measures, a call on the European Commission to consider including territorial impact assessments in relevant EU policies in order to operationalise the "so not harm cohesion principle" was added to the final version of the Council conclusions. Moreover, references to the place-based approach and a clarification that the structural and long-term objectives of cohesion policy must not be harmed in cases where cohesion policy reacts to new developments were added as well.
Thanks to the close cooperation of the CoR rapporteur with her counterpart in the European Parliament, the EP resolution of 15 September 2022 on economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU: the 8th Cohesion report included in point 8 a request to involve the European Committee of the Regions in the design of the "do no harm to cohesion" principle, and in point 49 a call on the Commission to consider the possibility that public cohesion policy spending by Member States and regional and local authorities should not be considered national or equivalent structural expenditure as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact, which takes on board point 33 of the CoR opinion.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- welcomes the publication of the 8th Cohesion Report, which sets out both the main developments and the territorial disparities that European regions have experienced over the last decade, as well as its analysis of the positive impact of cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 on investment across the regions of the European Union;

- highlights the effectiveness of cohesion policy in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, notably through the flexibility measures introduced as of April 2020. Considers, however, that it is essential to maintain the focus of cohesion policy on strengthening territorial, economic and social cohesion in Europe;

- calls on the European Commission to define the concept "do no harm to cohesion", which must apply to all European policies in order to reduce the anti-cohesive effect of certain European policies, and to make it a real mechanism for assessing the impact of European policies on cohesion in Europe;

- calls on the Commission to enhance the role of the regions in the management of the Structural and Investment Funds and to strengthen the legislative provisions linked to the partnership, and to start a long-term reflection process involving ESIF managing authorities at regional level in order to simplify management, control and audit rules, leading to a genuine reform with a view to the next cohesion policy legislative package for the post-2027 period;

- notes on the basis of the 8th Cohesion Report that the public investment deficit in the European Union constitutes a hidden debt; therefore reiterates its often-expressed call for a "golden co-financing rule", whereby expenditure by Member States and local and regional authorities on co-financing under the Structural and Investment Funds is not counted as structural, public or similar expenditure as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact, in compliance with the EU co-financing limits that apply to it.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Adoption of the CoR opinion in Plenary

The opinion on the 8th report on economic, social and territorial cohesion *was *adopted unanimously** by the European Committee of the Regions at its 152st Plenary Session on 12 October 2022.

 
12 Oct
 

EP Resolution on Economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU: the 8th Cohesion Report

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU: the 8th Cohesion Report (rapporteur: Constanze Krehl (S&D/DE).

Thanks to the close cooperation of the CoR rapporteur with her counterpart in the European Parliament, the EP resolution included a request to involve the European Committee of the Regions in the design of the "do no harm to cohesion" principle, and a call on the Commission to consider the possibility that public cohesion policy spending by Member States and regional and local authorities should not be considered national or equivalent structural expenditure as defined in the Stability and Growth Pact.

 
15 Sep
 

Adoption of the draft opinion in COTER

The CoR COTER commission unanimously adopted the draft opinion on the 8th report on economic, social and territorial cohesion at its 14th meeting in Prague (Czech Republic).

 
12 Jul
 

Council conclusions on the 8th cohesion report

The General Affairs Council (Cohesion) held an exchange of views on the 8th cohesion report and adopted its conclusions on the matter.

 
02 Jun
 

Exchange of views in COTER

The COTER commission held an exchange of views on the basis of a working document presented by the rapporteur.

 
07 Apr
 

8th Cohesion Forum

On 17 and 18 March, the European Commission organised the 8th Cohesion Forum, which brought together some 2000 participants from the EU institutions, Member States, local and regional authorities, social and economic partners, and others.
The CoR was represented by a delegation including the COTER chair and rapporteur on the 8th Cohesion report, Ms Nathalie Sarrabezolles, as well as the COTER political coordinators/representatives of the respective political groups.

 
17 Mar
 

Presentation of the 8th Cohesion Report in COTER and debate with Director-General Marc Lemaître

Mr Marc Lemaître, Director-General for Regional and Urban Policy at the European Commission presented the 8th Cohesion report to COTER members, followed by a statement by Ms Nathalie Sarrabezolles, COTER chair and rapporteur on the 8th Cohesion report, and a discussion with members.

 
11 Feb
 

Presentation of the 8th Cohesion report

The European Commission presented the 8th Cohesion report

 
09 Feb
 

Appointment of CoR rapporteur

Further to a referral received by the upcoming French Presidency of the Council, the COTER commission appointed Ms Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES) as rapporteur for an opinion on the 8th report on economic, social and territorial cohesion.

 
10 Dec
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