Donnerstag, 13.12.2018 12:38 Uhr

About cohesion policy or regional policy of the EU

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 21.08.2018, 08:53 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4812x gelesen

Rome [ENA] Cohesion policy is the policy behind the hundreds of thousands of projects all over Europe that get funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (Cohesion Fund applies to EU Member States which have a GDP lower than 90 % of the EU-27 average – Croatia not taken into account). Economic and social cohesion – as outlined in the 1986 Single European Act

is about ‘reducing disparities between the various regions and the backwardness of the least-favoured regions’. The EU's most recent treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, added another facet to cohesion, referring to ‘economic, social and territorial cohesion’. Cohesion policy is very important: it is the main investment policy of the Union that allows to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities between and within EU regions, improves smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, creates new jobs and fights unemployment. It fosters innovation in urban and rural areas and encourages local and regional authorities to make the transition towards a carbon free economy.

Every 1 Euro invested in cohesion policy has a proven return on investment by 174% and less investment would mean less growth and jobs for citizens. It’s crucial to remember that cohesion policy is advantageous for all Member States. Cohesion funds have to maintain their role as the main investment policy of the European Union with a budget that is proportionate to the ambitious goals of cohesion policy, because it is one of the most important instruments to tackle the main priorities defined in the EU Commission’s draft budget for 2019 - building a stronger and more resilient European economy.

Ensuring a better implementation and hence consolidating cohesion through financing management capacities means solidarity and security within and beyond EU borders. So a proper implementation of the EU budget it’s fundamental. There’s a proposal to increase the budget of the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) by EUR 80 million for 2019-2020, with EUR 40 million for the 2019 draft budget, bringing the overall envelope of the SRSP to EUR 222,8 million, but any increase should be financed through the mobilisation of the special instrument and at no expense to cohesion policy.The proposed 1,1 % rise in the level of payment appropriations, with decreases of 8,9 % and 3,6 % correspondingly for Cohesion fund and European territorial

cooperation, as well as the 2,8 % increase in commitment appropriations under Heading 1b in the 2019 draft budget compared to the previous budget may not be adequate to match the pace of implementation of the programmes under that heading and to prevent the reconstitution of an excess of unpaid claims, which would challenge the credibility of cohesion policy. Therefore, at the moment there’s necessity of a higher level of payment appropriations to fulfil commitments.

Europe 2020 strategy must look for further synergies with ESIF and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related EU programs, such as Horizon, for example to foster innovation and digitalization in rural areas and rural economies. Through its 11 thematic objectives, cohesion policy helps deliver the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s growth strategy to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The cohesion policy funds will be the main investment tool for measures supporting employment, innovation, education, inclusion, and the shift towards a low-carbon economy.

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