Strasbourg (F), 17 November 2011
A week ahead of the Informal Meeting of Ministers responsible for EU cohesion policy, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) calls all Member states to take stock of the particularly critical importance of cohesion policy in the current context of economic crisis.
For AER, the proposed legislative package is a first step and a good basis for negotiation. Nevertheless, there are many contentious elements that will require further thinking, in particular macro-economic conditionality and combining thematic focus with territorial priorities. It is now time for all Member states to take their responsibilities.
The AER therefore calls the ministers who will gather next week to:
- Firmly commit to implement partnership and multi-level governance at all policy stages;
- Strongly insist on further simplifying the implementation rules and procedures of structural funds;
- Take decisive steps towards full implementation of an integrated territorial approach to EU policies, beyond Cohesion policy only.
AER encourages all European regions to go to their national governments, share their ground experience and express their concerns, regarding budget in particular. This is to make sure that their knowledge, expertise and will to contribute to this future policy are fully integrated in all decision-making and implementation processes. This way only can cohesion policy fully impact European territorial development and help the EU emerge stronger from the crisis.
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