Chairperson of Committee of Permanent Representatives: cohesion policy is essential factor in long-term EU growth

02 December 2013, Last updated at, 07:52 EEST
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author: Council © European Union

During the meeting of the European Parliament and the national parliaments on the future of the EU Cohesion Policy held on 27 November in Brussels, Ambassador Raimundas Karoblis, the Chairperson of the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives, said that the Cohesion Policy is the essential part and important factor of the EU growth and job creation agenda for overcoming the aftermath of the economic and financial crisis.

“I believe we can be proud of the results of our common efforts, achieved after more than a year of negotiations. As provided in the Europe 2020 Strategy, in the future the Cohesion Policy will concentrate on investments in areas important for growth and job creation. Negotiations on the Cohesion Policy legislative package, which were completed on time, were one of the major aims of the first Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is without doubt that great flexibility had to be demonstrated both to the Council and the European Parliament. It is rather important that last week the European Parliament confirmed the political agreement with the Council. The new rules will come into effect at the end of this year,” said Ambassador Raimundas Karoblis.

The Ambassador stated that the main focus of the reformed Cohesion Policy for the financial period of 2014-2020 is its direct relation to the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. According to the Europe 2020 Strategy, member states will have to devote most attention to areas that create most value added, e.g., research and innovation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, efficiency of energy consumption, employment and social integration.

According to Ambassador Raimundas Karoblis, the better coordination of EU funding resources will open wider opportunities and simplify access for funding beneficiaries. Financial support of the EU Structural and Investment Funds will be coordinated and supplemented through national reform programmes, as well as other political and financial tools of the EU including COSME, Horizon 2020, TEN-T, TEN-E, LIFE, and ERASMUS.

“Seeking a guarantee that the EU budget is not squandered or used inefficiently, the Council and Parliament agreed to set action guidelines for each programme. This will enable the monitoring of the implementation progress of the measures of every priority. Member states will be asked to set ambitious goals and stages. Implementation will be evaluated at the end of the programme period,” added Mr Karoblis.

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