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Cohesion policy should not forget territorial cohesion: MEPs and the Council are called upon to apply EU obligation of Article 174 of the Treaty

The European Commission has released its proposal for the new Cohesion policy on the 1st June 2018. Euromontana calls upon the Council and the European Parliament to strongly modify some of these proposals in order to effectively apply the EU obligation of Article 174 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU and to pay particular attention to rural areas and regions suffering from severe or permanent natural and demographic handicaps, such as mountain areas.

In particular, Euromontana sees a threat in the following measures:

  • The reduction of the budget for Cohesion policy and for territorial cooperation: the proposed decrease by 10% of the Cohesion policy budget, the reduction of the co-funding rates (from 40% to 70% instead of the current 50% to 85%) and decrease in the European Territorial cooperation goal from 2.75% of the budget to 2.5%.
  • The possibility for Member States to shift a part of their budget towards the new programme InvestEU for the provision of budgetary guarantees for investments which have no goal for economic, social nor territorial cohesion.
  • A Common provision for ERDF, ESF+, the Cohesion Fund and 3 additional funds but not EAFRD: synergies between ERDF, ESF and EAFRD were already very difficult to achieve in the current programming period. The absence of common framework including EAFRD is not a positive sign for future synergies and complementarities for rural areas, including mountain areas.
  • An overemphasis on urban areas in the place-based approach, with a new European Urban initiative (for networking and capacity building for urban authorities) and with more earmarking for urban areas (6% instead of 5%) European Urban initiative

More positively, Euromontana welcomes the proposal that all regions should still be covered by Cohesion policy, the proposal for wider use of the simplified costs option, and for a new European Cross-border mechanism (for cross-border regions to harmonise their rules).

Euromontana will soon come back with a more detailed analysis of the legislative proposals.

More information is available:

►     All the legal texts and summary factsheets

►    Questions and Answers of the European Commission on the new legislative proposals

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12 June 2018

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