The President of the Committee of the Regions, Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel, agrees with the European Council that "the European budget must be a catalyst for growth and jobs across Europe." He also acknowledges the efforts that have been made to reduce proposed cuts to cohesion policy and to focus resources on youth unemployment.
CoR President is pleased that regional policy's share within the budget is to be retained as it is the EU's main tool for sustainable growth, competitiveness and solidarity. He also agrees on the urgency of tackling youth unemployment and stresses the need to fully involve local and regional authorities in shaping and implementing the new initiative.
Furthermore he also draws attention to the positive impact of introducing a new category of transition regions and of securing a stronger link between cohesion policy, the Europe 2020 strategy and budgetary policy. That said, the regions are very concerned about macro-economic conditionality as this could undermine the much-needed continuity of public and private investment leveraged by EU funding. President Valcárcel also notes insufficient progress on EU own-resources and that the budget agreed could led structural deficit.
As for the next steps in the Multi-Annual Financial Framework process, President Valcárcel highlights the need to fully respect the role of the European Parliament: "we will be carefully monitoring the discussion on the budget within the European Parliament, which has been a crucial partner over the past months. A timely agreement on the appropriate funding of each heading will help get the new programming period off to a good start".