One of the core EU objectives is to ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion in European regions, including in less favoured regions such as mountain areas. As the 2021-2027 programming period offers Member States the opportunity to develop new and innovative approaches, Euromontana encourages Managing Authorities to seize this chance now.
Euromontana has always considered it crucial that the design and implementation of the Cohesion Policy should take into account the specificities and needs of mountain territories, in recognition of article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The current COVID-19 outbreak and its socioeconomic consequences mean that it will be crucial to leave no one behind and support mountain people.
“Now more than ever, we need a strong Cohesion Policy with an ambitious budget to support mountain territories” stresses Euromontana President Juanan Gutierrez. “Our regions are currently demonstrating how resilient they can be. Yet, they are strongly affected by the current crisis and it will be crucial to support them in the next programming period to maintain jobs, attractiveness and quality of life.”
Assessment of the implementation of policies during the 2014-2020 programming period shows that if mountain areas are taken into account in the programming, they are not well targeted in the implementation. Now that Managing Authorities in all EU Member States are starting consultations and drafting their Operational Programmes for the upcoming programming period, it is more than ever the time to reaffirm the importance of a place-based approach, taking into account the specific features of mountain territories and their urgent needs.
To support Managing Authorities in better considering the specificities of mountain areas, Euromontana has designed a factsheet providing them with step-by-step guidance. It provides recommendations on designing programmes, implementing useful territorial tools for mountain areas, and assessing their impact on territories and communities.
“European tools exist but are not yet sufficiently known and used. We need to use the place-based solutions that can positively affect our mountain territories” states Marie Clotteau, Director of Euromontana. “Our factsheet aims at providing concrete examples from mountainous areas that can inspire Managing Authorities. We also wanted to stress the importance of simplification to ensure more efficient policy, for instance by creating one-stop shops for European Structural and Investments Funds which would more easily enable beneficiaries to access funding.”
Building on the assessment of the past programming period, Euromontana therefore calls upon Member States to consider mountain territories and develop specific measures and tools. Now is time to work towards effective territorial cohesion, leaving no one behind and ensuring vibrant territories for local communities.6 April 2020