President Valcárcel writes to EU Heads of State and Government urging to support a larger cohesion budget
The President of the Committee of the Regions, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, has sent a letter to the Heads of State and Government to stress the deep concerns of European regional and local representatives about "being deprived of the instruments they need to respond effectively to the challenges they face". President Valcárcel warns that "new cuts in the cohesion policy heading could harm growth prospects and damage the economic recovery".
European regions and cities highlight the need to ensure a budgetary balance between the various headings of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 and calls for a larger budget to be allocated to cohesion policy.
"In view of the forthcoming extraordinary European Council on 22 and 23 November, I would like to remind the leveraging effect of this investment via private and public co-financing at local, regional and national levels" Valcárcel underlined in the letter, before adding that: "In the current economic climate, we believe that forgoing support from a source such as the EU budget, of which 94 % is dedicated to investment and which represents the only stable, multi-annual public resource for supporting growth and jobs, would be a serious mistake".
The representatives of the EU's local and regional authorities undertake to use the funds as effectively as possible and to ensure that European funding secures tangible results on the ground and leads to as much high-quality investment.
Furthermore, President Valcárcel call on the European Council to ensure that decision on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework is consistent with the commitments taken on by Member States in the context of the Compact for Growth and Jobs. In particular as regards "the need to mobilise all levels, instruments and policies to make investments available on the ground".
Lastly, President Valcárcel highlighted that it is vital to reach a good agreement before the end of the current year so that programming and allocation of 2014-2020 EU funding can be started without any delay.
The full text of the letter sent by President Valcárcel
The CoR opinion on the MFF 2014-2020
The 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 violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
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