Cohesion policy central to long-term EU growth, says chair of Permanent Representatives Committee

28 November 2013, Last updated at, 12:50 EEST
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Cohesion policy lies at the heart of the growth and jobs agenda of the EU and is the main driving force in coping with the consequences of economic and financial crisis, said chair of the Permanent Representatives Committee ambassador Raimundas Karoblis at the meeting of the representatives of the European Parliament and EU National Parliaments on the future of the Cohesion Policy on November 27 in Brussels.

“After more than a year of negotiations, I feel that we can be proud of the outcome of our shared efforts. The future Cohesion Policy will focus on investment in key areas for growth and jobs as outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy. Timely conclusion of negotiations on the Cohesion policy legislative package was one of the main objectives of the first Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council. Of course both the Council and the European Parliament had to show considerable flexibility. It is very important that last week the European Parliament approved the political agreement with the Council. This means that new regulations will enter into force by the end of this year,” said ambassador Karoblis.

The ambassador pointed out that the main feature of the reformed Cohesion policy in 2014–2020 financing period is its direct link to the objectives of the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Member States will have to concentrate support on the greatest added value in relation to the Europe 2020 strategy, such as research and innovation, financing of the small and medium-sized enterprises, energy efficiency, employment and social inclusion.

Ambassador Karoblis said that better coordination of different EU funding sources will open wider opportunities and simpler access for beneficiaries. The financing from the European Structural and Investment Funds will be coordinated and complemented with and National Reform Programmes and other Union policies and financial instruments, such as COSME, Horizon 2020, TEN-T, TEN-E, LIFE, ERASMUS for all.

“To ensure that the EU budget is not used in a wasteful or inefficient way, the Council and the Parliament agreed to establish performance guidelines for each programme to be able to monitor progress towards the objectives and targets set for each priority. Member States are obliged to set ambitious milestones and targets. Their implementation will be evaluated at the end of the programming period,” added ambassador Karoblis.

Fifth interparliamentary committee meeting “The implementation challenges of the future Cohesion Policy: Towards productive investment for growth and cohesion through improved synergies between local, national and EU level to deliver the EU 2020 Strategy” was organized by the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development, chaired by Danuta Hubner.

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