But deeply regrets that the budget dedicated to regional policy will no longer suffice to respond to our challenges.
Brussels (B), 21 November 2013
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of the Multi-annual Financial Framework following months of intense negotiations, which shows the undeniable added value of the Parliament’s new competences introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.
We continue to regret the total envelope limited to 960 billion Euros, at a time when Europe needs more than ever to invest in the future. The decrease in the budget earmarked for regional and cohesion policy in particular, leaves behind the bitter taste of missed opportunities.
AER welcomes however the adoption of the legislative package related to Structural Funds: it is now time for the adoption of partnership agreements and the finalisation of operational programmes.
AER recalls that whenever possible, it is essential that the operational programmes are defined at regional level, by and for the regions.
The message of our Assembly’s politicians
“AER encourages European Regions to get closely involved in the preparation of their programmes, and has launched a process of intense monitoring of the implementation of the code of good conduct on partnerships as well as of the principle of multi-level governance in the finalisation and implementation of Structural Funds. For the regions, the work has just begun!” declared Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli, AER President.
“I strongly regret that for the first time in the history of the European construction, the European budget is declining and is not an instrument for growth responding to the crisis and austerity policies; this budgetary framework is however the only one possible if we are to implement all of our European sectoral policies by 2014”, underlined Jean-Claude Gayssot, AER Vice President and Vice President of the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council (F). “If there is one thing to be proud of, it is the efforts made to promote employment and training for young people through the creation of a 6 billion Euros Guarantee, starting from the first year to fight youth unemployment. I also commend the progress achieved by the European Parliament: more flexibility, the introduction of a mid-term revision clause, the progress on its own resources as well as the safeguarding of sufficient budget in order to help those who are most in need”, he concluded.
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