“The proposals made by the European Commission on the financing of enlargement are not up to expectations and confirm our fears for a future multi-track Europe despite Commissioner Fischler’s declarations” Mr Brian Greenslade, Vice-President of the AER, stated today. “Once again, financial concerns have dominated over the real problems faced by the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and European Regional Policy” he underlined.
“Transitional steps will not succeed without true reform of the CAP in the run up to enlargement. This reform must be increasingly based on the principles of environmentally friendly sustainable rural development and meet consumer requirements in terms of quality and security. Without major change and better consideration of the expectations of the citizens, I feel that it will be difficult to construct an enlarged and united Europe close to the citizens. This reform must not, however, act as justification for slowing down the enlargement process and European integration” pointed out Mrs Liese Prokop, President of the AER, after Commissioner Barnier’s press conference in Brussels today (30/01/2001).
As early as May 2001, with reference to the future of structural funds, the AER Regional policy Committee, chaired by Mr Brian Greenslade, recommended, in its document “Cohesion policy in an enlarged Europe?”, that the objectives of cohesion be clarified and the funds benefit from more flexible management, in due respect of the polycentric development of Europe and the new geographical priorities in the fight against inequality post-enlargement.
“We request that the Regions, both in the EU and in accession countries, be included in drawing up a new Regional policy and a new definition of objectives, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and partnership. As I see it, the success of enlargement will depend on the quality of dialogue launched with and between regional authorities. It will also depend on the impetus provided by Europe for the development of the Regions towards real decision-making abilities and the capability to efficiently meet the expectations of all Europeans” concluded Brian Greenslade.
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