THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- points out that the existing Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) was created before the start of the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, high energy costs, and high inflation. Two years after its adoption, it is clear that the current framework does not offer a sufficient response to the current crises;
- stresses, in this connection, that new tasks for the European Union also require new resources and welcomes the adoption of the interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources;
- considers, therefore, that strengthening the MFF alone, without at the same time strengthening the investment capacity of local and regional authorities, is not constructive in this context;
- considers that, when new EU legislative proposals are brought forward, the Commission should estimate the cost of implementation for the level responsible, consider whether compensation mechanisms exist at national level and determine the extent to which MFF resources will help to offset those costs; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that adequate resources are available to offset the expenditure in the event of an investment gap, in order to ensure consistent development across the board;
- in order to assess these aspects, calls on the European Commission to carry out a comprehensive territorial impact assessment, which should involve both the Member States and regional hubs, before drafting the rules.