Karl-Heinz Lambertz welcomes broad consultation on the Economic Governance
More flexibility in applying the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP)
remains the European Committee of the Regions' (CoR) main
recommendation for the
Economic Governance Framework
review, launched on 5 February by the European Commission. The CoR recommends
excluding EU cohesion policy co-financing from the deficit calculations
to ensure the full mobilisation of national, regional and local public
The European Committee of the Regions welcomes the European
Commission's approach to start the review of the EU's fiscal rules
consulting all stakeholders concerned. The current set of rules has
shown its limits especially in stimulating public investment during the
financial crisis and the recovery phase. Local and regional authorities
are responsible for one third of public expenditure and undertake more
than half of public investment. Their investments have still not fully
recovered and remain about a quarter below the peak of 2009 from 2.1 of
GDP to 1.6% of GDP in 2018, accounting for about EUR 80 billion of
missing public investments in 2018 alone.
A "golden rule" of public accounting and more flexibility of the SGP
rules for all Member States (preventive/corrective arm) and especially
those in greater need for more public investment have been
by the cities and regions represented in the CoR.
"The past few years have shown that respecting current rules came at
the cost of reduced national, local and regional public investment
directly affecting Europe's citizens. Cohesion policy is the most
important investment tool cities and regions have not only to deliver
on green issues, but also to create decent jobs, invest in
infrastructures and human capital, and reduce territorial disparities.
In the SGP we need to differentiate between investment that helps our
cities, regions and economies grow and other expenditure. We need to
introduce a golden rule to protect long-term and growth-enhancing
investments, and exclude co-financing of cohesion policy projects by
member states and local and regional authorities from the deficit
calculations under the SGP", said CoR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz.
The European Committee of the Regions will start a new five-year term
mandate on 12 February, and will actively participate in the
consultation launched by the European Commission.
Tel. +32 2 282 2366