With its White Paper on Cohesion Policy, AER provides accurate and informed responses to questions arising from the conclusions of the European Commission’s 5th report on economic, social and territorial cohesion
AER White Paper on Cohesion Policy is out!
Brussels (B), 7 December 2010.
Although broadly satisfied with the conclusions of the fifth report of the European Commission on economic, social and territorial cohesion, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) deeply regrets the failure to include regions as full partners alongside the European Union and its Member States. In view of the forthcoming reform, AER and the Brussels Capital Region (B) brought together over 250 actors and experts involved in European cohesion policy. The discussions were enriched by the presence of the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn.
If the regions welcome the objective of maintaining competitiveness and innovation open to every region, some of the modalities of implementation proposed are still not satisfactory. “We are concerned about the EC proposals that would seek to penalize regions by depriving them of their structural funds if states do not implement structural reforms unrelated to cohesion policy. “ said Mr. Jean-Claude Gayssot, a member of the AER Bureau and Vice-Chairman of the Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon (F).
True multi-level governance essential
The AER White Paper on cohesion policy in particular highlights the importance of safeguarding the convergence objective. For AER, the convergence objective, the symbol of European solidarity, cannot see its budget reduced. Taking into account the long term, the EU can learn about other memberships and therefore it would be foolish to follow such a policy should be reviewed if new membership.
Thomas Andersson, Chairman of the AER Cohesion Policy and Regional Councillor of Jämtland (S) said that “Only true multi-level governance and effective cohesion policy involving all regions can contribute the best use of territories as assets. We must focus on the potential of each of them, including those who suffer from structural disadvantages, be they geographical, climatic or social. “
The AER White Paper on Cohesion Policy also proposes:
– Streamlining of rules governing the granting and operation of funds.
– The GDP per capita is not the only criterion for measuring the status and needs of a territory. Criteria such as the degree of innovation, the region’s attractiveness and well being of the population can also be taken into account.
– A substantial revision of the preparatory phase of territorial cooperation projects to improve strategic integration within regional policies.
The AER White Paper on Cohesion Policy is available here:
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