Brussels, 29 October 2012
Delivering Europe 2020 requires more involvement of local and regional authorities and more financial investment
A report published by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) has shown that whilst there is widespread awareness and support for Europe 2020 – the EU’s growth strategy - there is an urgent need to commit more financial resources and to better engage local and regional authorities if its ambitious targets are to be met.
The results of the report entitled, “Third CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020”, are based on a number of surveys carried out by the CoR and form part of the institution's efforts to measure the impact of Europe 2020 at a local and regional level. It shows that despite growing levels of consultation with bodies representing local and regional authorities (LRAs), the shaping of Europe 2020 National Reform Programmes are still being decided by national governments. Europe 2020, the report stresses, is therefore failing to benefit from the potential that a coordinated approach between the different levels of governance could bring in delivering its objectives.
In his foreword, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (EPP/ES), President of the CoR and President of the Autonomous Community of Murcia, said that: "Europe 2020 has certainly brought about positive results, including the creation of a "common language" between all levels of government”. However, he points out that: “Joined-up multi-level governance, which is a prerequisite for the success of Europe 2020, is far from being common practice. The National Reform Programmes do not yet bear its hallmark. The EU, in its next Annual Growth Survey and its country-specific recommendations, must therefore strongly urge the different levels of government to work in partnership”.
Michel Delebarre (PES/FR), Political Coordinator of the CoRs’ Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform, and Mayor of Dunkirk, also underlined this perspective when he presented the results of the report on 10 October at the 2012 OPEN DAYS. He also reiterated the need to maintain investment in growth: "Against the backdrop of the almost daily proposals on reforming the EU's economic governance, one should not forget that Europe 2020 remains the EU's overarching policy strategy. So far Europe 2020 was not translated into budget figures. The moment of truth is yet to come with the negotiations on the financial perspectives as of 2014. If they are serious about Europe 2020 and thus about growth, European leaders must provide it with adequate funding".
The report calls for the European Commission’s 2013 Annual Growth Survey, expected to be published in November 2012, to explicitly state that Member States should involve LRAs in the preparation and implementation of National Reform Programmes. It urges more funding to be committed to the delivery of Europe 2020 including sufficient investment in social cohesion policy.
The Third CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020 is now available in all EU languages.
About the Committee of the Regions’ Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform
The CoRs' Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform, a group of over 160 cities and regions from the 27 EU Member States, monitors how Europe 2020 is implemented on the ground, promoting the exchange of good practices. The Platform looks at whether the EU, national, regional and local levels of government work in partnership to achieve the Europe 2020 goals. It also monitors whether these goals are applied in a manner that takes into account territorial differences across the EU. The Platform is mobilised to support the CoR in the preparation of the mid-term review of Europe 2020, due in 2014.
All EU local and regional authorities are invited to provide their input into the next 2013 edition of the CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020 by participating in the CoR surveys assessing Europe 2020 Flagship Initiatives.
The EU Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU's decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law infringes the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
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