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Viitorul politicii de coeziune după 2020

Opinion Number: CDR 1814/2016
Rapporteur: SCHNEIDER Michael
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 11/05/2017
The opinion should enable the CoR to assume a proactive role in the preparation of the next Cohesion Policy cycle and to express its point of view on the future Cohesion policy beyond 2020, in order to influence the preparatory documents of the European Commission at an early stage.
The own-initiative opinion was adopted by the European Committee of the Regions at its plenary session on 11 May 2017, in order to channel the concerns of European cities and regions into the interinstitutional debate on the future of cohesion policy beyond 2020.
The immediate impact of this early work of the CoR was also due to the very good cooperation with the European Parliament's REGI committee and the EP rapporteur on "Building blocks for a post-2020 EU cohesion policy", Ms Kerstin Westphal (DE/S&D). Consequently, the EP resolution on the matter took a similar position on many key aspects as the CoR, in particular on the importance and the added value of cohesion policy, the validity of the current structure with its three categories of regions, the need to strengthen the partnership principle, the need for greater flexibility without impacting on the strategic orientation and planning certainty of multi-annual programmes for regional and local authorities, the rejection of macro-economic conditionalities, the need for simplification, as well as the need to increase the visibility of cohesion policy, among others.
Based on the early positioning of the CoR it was also possible for it to launch together with the main European territorial associations (AER, AEBR, CALRE, CEMR, CPMR, and EUROCITIES) the #CohesionAlliance during the European Week of Cities and Regions 2017. This strategic alliance has the objective of sending a clear message to institutional decision-makers on the importance of securing a strong cohesion policy for all regions beyond 2020. The aim is in particular to influence the European Commission's proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020 and the subsequent inter-institutional negotiations.
From its launch in October 2017 until the hand-over of the results to Commissioners Oettinger and Cretu on 22 March 2018, more than 350 organisations and more than 4000 individual supporters joined the #CohesionAlliance. The political and communication efforts of the CoR and the #CohesionAlliance partners significantly contributed towards raising the attention of media, including leading national newspapers in a number of Member States, and decision makers on the future of cohesion policy and helped to kick off a public debate and push key players to take and explicit their position on this crucial topic. An intense and coordinated work on social media has prepared, mirrored, amplified and reinforced these efforts. This work of the #CohesionAlliance has without doubt contributed to a much more positive climate with regard to Cohesion policy in the political debate and helped to fend off the detrimental proposals that had been put on the table with the various scenarios in the White Paper on the future of Europe.
With the presentation of the legislative proposals for the new cohesion policy post-2020 by the European Commission on 29 May 2018, the long-standing work of the CoR on the future of cohesion policy beyond 2020, which started with a study and reflection project on the matter back in 2015, reached a first culminating point. Thanks to the continuous political and communication efforts of the CoR promoting the political recommendations of its landmark opinion on "The future of cohesion policy beyond 2020" and its opinions related to the simplification of cohesion policy, the Commission's proposals took on board a number of key concerns of the CoR:
• Cohesion policy will remain available for all regions in Europe, which was one of the main concerns of the CoR;
• the three categories of regions (less developed regions, transition regions, developed regions) will be maintained;
• a reinforced European Social Fund Plus, mostly managed under shared management, will remain part of Cohesion policy and will be governed by the set of rules outlined in the Common Provisions Regulation;
• there are credible steps for simplification, more differentiation and more flexibility;
• the people-to-people and small-scale project funds for cross-border cooperation have been recognised as of added value and with the important role in building up trust between citizens and institutions by overcoming border obstacles and integrating border areas and their citizens;
• the principle of multi-level governance has also been maintained in the Common Provisions Regulation.

- points out that the policy for strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion is one of the most important and comprehensive EU policies, making a significant contribution in terms of solidarity to strengthening the EU as a whole and considerably strengthens the European added value that is tangible for each EU citizen;

- is of the opinion that the basic structure of cohesion policy with its three categories (most developed regions, transition regions and less developed regions) is tried and tested and should therefore be retained;

- calls for cohesion policy to become more flexible in the next funding period, without impacting on the strategic focus and planning certainty of multi-annual programmes for regional and local authorities. It is also important that cohesion policy has adequate funding at its disposal, which means that the percentage share of the budget allocated to cohesion policy in the next MFF should remain the same;

- considers it essential to guarantee the functioning of multi-level governance and the bottom-up approach through shared management and in full compliance with the subsidiarity principle;

- considers that a comprehensive review of the requirements for ESIF management and control systems is urgently needed;

- calls for substantially increasing the visibility of cohesion policy measures through appropriate communication actions, as they are one of the indisputable advantages of EU integration for people at local level.



Adoption of the EP resolution in Plenary

The European Parliament adopted its resolution on Building blocks for a post-2020 EU cohesion policy.

13 Jun

CoR event "Alliance on the Future of Cohesion Policy in the EU"

  • The CoR organised, in association with AER, AEBR, CPMR, CEMR, and Eurocities an event on the Future of Cohesion Policy, which called upon all relevant actors at EU, national, regional and local level to build an alliance for a strong and ambitious cohesion policy after 2020.

18 May

EP REGI: Adoption of the draft report

The EP REGI committee adopted the draft own-initiative report on "Building blocks for a post 2020 EU cohesion policy" during an extraordinary REGI meeting in Strasbourg.

18 May

Adoption of the CoR opinion in Plenary

The CoR opinion on "The Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020" was adopted in Plenary.

11 May

EP REGI: Presentation of the draft own-initiative report

The EP rapporteur presented her draft report on "Building blocks of a future EU cohesion policy" to the REGI committee.

21 Mar

Second discussion and adoption of the draft opinion in COTER

  • The COTER commission, at its external meeting in Warsaw (Poland), adopted the draft opinion on "The Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020".

02 Mar

COTER external meeting and conference on "The Futue of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020"

  • On 2 March 2017, the COTER commission held an external meeting in Warsaw, which was followed by a conference on "The Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020" on the next day.
  • During the meeting, the the COTER commission adopted its draft opinion on the Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020.
  • COTER members also held a joint debate on Cohesion Policy beyond 2020 with Commissioner Creţu and with ministers responsible for regional development from the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia (V4+4). Eight ministers (thereof two Deputy Prime Ministers) participated in the joint debate.
  • On the next day, the COTER commission organised together with the Mazovia Region a conference on the Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020, which took place in the CEZAMAT Centre for Advanced Materials and Technologies in Warsaw. The conference brought together representatives of local and regional authorities, EU institutions, Member States and experts from the academic world and think tanks.In total, around 180 people participated in the event.The keynote speech for the conference was given by Commissioner Creţu.

02 Mar

EP REGI workshop

The European Parliament's REGI committee held a workshop on "Building building blocks of a future cohesion policy -first reflections".

24 Jan

Stakeholder Consultation

The rapporteur met with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion.

23 Nov

Appointment of EP rapporteur

The European Parliament appointed Ms Kerstin Westphal (DE/S&D) as rapporteur for an own-initiative report on "Building blocks for a post-2020 EU cohesion policy".

09 Nov

First discussion of the draft opinion in COTER

  • Presentation of the draft opinion by the rapporteur;
  • Statement by Nicola De Michelis, Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, European Commission;
  • Statement by Olga Zrihen (BE/PES), representing the CoR ECON commission;
  • Statement by Randel Länts (ET/PES), representing the CoR NAT commission;
  • A first discussion of the draft opinion with members followed.

29 Sep

Exchange of views in COTER

The rapporteur presented a working document to the COTER commission. A discussion with members followed.

31 May

CoR Bureau decision

At its meeting of 6 April 2016, the CoR Bureau endorsed the proposal for an own-initiative opinion on "The future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020".

06 Apr

Proposal for an own-initiative opinion

The COTER commision, at its meeting of 2 March 2016, endorsed the proposal to issue an own-initiative opinion on the Future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020, with Mr Michael Schneider (DE/EPP) as rapporteur. The proposal will be forwarded to the Bureau for final decision on 6 April 2016.

02 Mar
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