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Nathalie Sarrabezolles is the new chair of the Commission for Cohesion and EU budget  

​​​The Councillor of the French Finistère Departmental Council, Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), was elected new chair of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). During the meeting, members of the COTER adopted an opinion on the gender dimension of cohesion policy drafted by Donatella Porzi (IT/PES), and debated on cohesion as an overall value of the EU within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Members of the COTER commission elected Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), Councillor of the French Finistère Departmental Council, as their new chair. Member of the CoR since April 2016, Ms Sarrabezolles succeeds Isabelle Boudineau (FR/PES), who decided to step down after having chaired the COTER commission for almost three years. Nathalie Sarrabezolles's mandate will end in July 2022.

After the election, Nathalie Sarrabezolles declared: " Cohesion Policy was the first policy to provide help when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. It helped cities and regions in buying face masks and other protective equipment and became essential to respond to the emergency. This was important and we need to build on it. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people who now need the support of cohesion policy programmes, so that this crisis does not deepen the social one. As new COTER Chair I will fight to make sure that the most vulnerable in our societies are not forgotten and that cohesion policy continues to stand for Europe's core value – solidarity ."

During the meeting, members of the COTER adopted an opinion on the gender dimension of structural and cohesion funds 2021-2027, with a focus on the preparation of the operational programmes. The rapporteur Donatella Porzi (IT/PES), Regional Councillor for the Region of Umbria, declared: " The issue of effective gender equality in the European Union's development plans is not just a question of civilisation, nor is it limited to the basic recognition of rights. It is rather a strategic approach, a choice of area and perspective in relation to the idea of economic and social development that we want to have. Women are a resource that our Union cannot neglect, both in the interests of society and in order to respect principles of fairness and justice. Today one of the many steps along this path has been taken and I am very proud of it."

The opinion drafted by Donatella Porzi is scheduled for adoption by the CoR's Plenary during the 1-3 December session.

The COTER commission discussed the pressing need to decarbonise the road transport, the deployment of an alternative fuels infrastructure in all regions (urban, rural, peripheral, islands) while strengthening the CO2 emission performance standards. These topics will be the main focus of an opinion drafted by rapporteur Adrian Teban (RO/EPP), Mayor of Cugir, which will be finalised in the next months. The CoR is working to assess the impact that the proposed phasing out of the internal combustion engine in cars and vans will have on regions with a strong automotive and supply industry. The rapporteur underlined that " this transformation of the economic structure and the need for re- and upskilling in the automotive workforce needs to be addressed in a "Just Transition Framework" for the automotive regions. In this context, the CoR should look into a political initiative to support regions most affected by the changes in the car supply chain."

In addition to that, regional and local leaders debated on the topic "Cohesion as an Overall Value of the EU within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe" with the participation of Rebecca Harms , Member of the CoR High-level group on European democracy and former Member of the European Parliament (2004-2019), and Kai Bohme from Spatial foresight.

To know more about the role of EU regions and cities in the Conference on the Future of Europe, please click here.

Matteo Miglietta
Tel. +32 (0)470 895 382

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