In AER, we put a strong emphasis on the future of cohesion policy and look for our members to jump in the process!
A bit of background…
In the last years, AER took part to a number of debates and workshops aiming at a necessary re-thinking of the European cohesion policy and its delivery mechanisms, as well as objectives, tools and assessment criteria. In a first meeting with Commissioner Corina Cretu, AER President Hande Özsan Bozatli higlighted the lack of involvement of the regions in the shaping of the future cohesion policy and the absolute necessity to maintain it as a strong mechanism of investments for all regions in Europe.
At the 2016 AER General Assembly in Nordland (NO), the members decided to get the grips with the future of EU regional policy and appointed Mr. Michiel Rijsberman, Regional Minister in the Province of Flevoland (NL) and AER Bureau member, as Rapporteur on the future of cohesion policy. In the next weeks and months, AER took an active role in the initiative for a “Strong renewed regional policy post 2020 for all regions“, signed by more than 300 Presidents of regions.
At the occasion of an AER Breakfast Briefing on 28 September, various paths were explored to align positive thoughts and stand united for the future of cohesion policy, followed by a conference and the handover of the Book of Signatures to Corina Cretu (EU Commissioner for Regional Policy), Iskra Mihaylova (Chair of the European Parliament’s REGI Committee), Peter Javorcik (Permanent Representative for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union) and Markku Markkula (President of the European Committee of the Regions).
The AER Bureau gathered in Vienna on 24 October discussed the consequences of the Brexit for the European project, and dedicated a wide part of their declaration “status quo is not an option for the European regions” to the importance of regional policy to avoid populism and bring the citizens closer to Europe. On 9 November, in the framework of the Committees’ Autumn Plenary in Izmir, members decided to set up a task force on cohesion policy post-2020, chaired by Michiel Rijsberman.
Moving on with concrete proposals
A questionnaire (still possible to answer!) has been set up to get a comprehensive overview of the elements at stake for the AER members, and the first results will be discussed and assessed during the first meeting of the Task Force in the framework of the Committees’ Spring Plenary in London, on 23 March 2017.
Four main areas have been identified for the work of the Task Force:
- Simplification & audit
- Cohabitation with other fund and programmes
- Multi-level governance & gold plating
- Philosophy of the Regional Policy and long term vision
Some of these topics have already been partly addressed and introduced to Commissioner Corina Cretu. You can also find her latest speech on the topic here, which was presented to the head of regional offices in Brussels on 20 february 2017.
— Corina Creţu (@CorinaCretuEU) February 20, 2017
How can you take part?
- It is still possible to take the questionnaire to voice your region’s interests, objectives and ideas
- You can join the Task Force and take an active role in drafting the AER position on the future of cohesion policy
- Bring some innovative ideas with you and join us for the meeting of the Task Force in London (23 March 2017)
- Take part in the Bureau meeting in Lower Austria (AT) and join the discussions for the political declaration (1 June 2017)
For any question, please contact us!