The Reflection paper on the future of EU finances, presented on 28 June by the European Commission, is a balanced starting point for the discussions on the EU budget after 2020, according to the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula.
We welcome the realistic proposals put forward by Gunther H. Oettinger and Corina Creţu for discussions on the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework. This comes a day after President Juncker's statement on the unique function of cohesion policy for the future of the EU.
As the Commission recalls, this policy is a Treaty obligation and has a proven added value. It also contributes to economic governance and ensures a sustainable growth potential. This is why regional and local political leaders will fight to secure that cohesion policy plays a key role after 2020 in the same proportion as today while keeping its three categories of regions .
More broadly, the EU budget must be more flexible and match all regions and cities' investment priorities, including but not limited to those listed in the reflection paper: social cohesion and economic convergence, public transport, water and digital infrastructure, health, education, harnessing globalisation, tackling unemployment, boosting resource and energy efficiency, innovation and inclusion.
A thorough discussion on the EU's own resources is needed, not only in the context of Brexit, but in particular to finance common policies of added value and to eliminate current duplications and overlapping of funding instruments.
Today we have decided to appoint a rapporteur on the reflection paper (Marek Woźniak, Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region, EPP/PL). His opinion will build on our recent contribution for a strong and flexible cohesion policy , (rapporteur Michael Schneider, State Secretary, Saxony-Anhalt, EPP/DE).
As elected representatives from regions and cities, we are committed to an EU budget founded on solidarity and subsidiarity. An effective use of the budget can help the EU reach out to citizens provided it addresses their needs.
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