EU Ministers to discuss the new Cohesion Policy

26 November 2013, Last updated at, 15:02 EEST
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author: The Council of the European Union

EU Ministers for Cohesion Policy will discuss innovations designed at improving the quality of investments by European Structural and Investment Funds (hereinafter – ESI funds) during an Informal Meeting in Vilnius on November 26.

“The European Commission has submitted proposals to improve the effectiveness of ESI Funds in order to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth across the European Union. The Informal Meeting of Ministers for Cohesion Policy in Vilnius is a great opportunity to exchange experience and discuss the highlights and key challenges of the new programming period. I call for an open discussion on each and every matter of concern,” said Rimantas Šadžius, the Lithuanian Finance Minister, who will chair the upcoming event.

The Informal Ministerial meeting is taking place in the light of the approval of the legislative package for Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 by the European Parliament. This decision will give the green-light for more than EUR 300 billion investments in all EU countries to be implemented from 1 January 2014.

During an Informal Meeting in Vilnius, the Ministers will discuss Cohesion Policy innovations and solutions aimed at improving the effectiveness and quality of the implementation, while at the same time reducing the administrative burden for potential recipients of support. Four specific topics – the thematic concentration of ESI Funds; ex-ante conditionalities to be met by Member States to improve the effectiveness of investments; results orientation; and better investment coordination – are proposed by the Presidency to be the focus of discussions at the Informal Meeting of Ministers.

The Informal Meeting will be attended by the Ministers for Cohesion and other high ranking officials from all EU countries, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, and the Chair of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament Danuta Hübner.

Additional information

Resources for Cohesion Policy are one of the most important parts of the EU multiannual budget. The aim of this policy is to stimulate the social and economic development of EU Member States and regions by concentrating resources on less developed countries, thus contributing to decreasing the differences in development across the EU. Operational principles of the European Structural and Investment funds in 2014–2020 will be governed by the Cohesion Policy legislative framework, which includes general provisions for all five ESI Funds, three separate regulatory documents for the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, and the Cohesion Fund and Regulations for European Territorial Cooperation.

Reform of the cohesion policy for 2014–2020: Focusing on concentration, quality and coordination of European structural and investment funds for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth Issues Paper from the Presidency

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