During the Committee of the Regions plenary on 30 May CoR President, Mr Ramon Luis Valcárcel Siso, will be joined by the European Commissioner for regional policy, Johannes Hahn, in reviewing the current state of play of the EU's cohesion package negotiations for the period 2014-2020. The one day event will be an opportunity to consider what can be done to ensure that programmes funded by EU cohesion policy start swiftly and on time. The outcome of a CoR survey will also be presented assessing the progress made in each Member State in shaping operational programmes.
Delivering growth and jobs will dominate the plenary discussions with CoR members also voting on an opinion on the Youth Employment Package (rapporteur Enrico Rossi (IT/PES), President of the Toscana Region).
Main issues to be debated:
Cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs
Investing in the cultural sector has been identified among the political priorities of the CoR, which it views as a driver for economic growth and jobs, whilst also contributing to social wellbeing and social inclusion. As cultural markets are crucially dependent from public expenditure, CoR argues that, as far as possible, public policies should not let them be seen as easy targets for financial cuts. The issue will be debated through the presentation of a drafted opinion by Anton Rombouts (NL/EPP), Mayor of 's-Hertogenbosch, on the European Commission's strategy to boost growth and jobs in cultural and creative sectors.
Phasing-out of EU milk quotas
The EU milk quota system, which came into force in 1984, looked to address the problem of over-production. However following changes in the market, quotas are now expected to be abolished in 2015. René Souchon (FR/PES), President of the Auvergne Region, will present a draft opinion for adoption that reviews the European Commission's second report on the evolution of the market situation and sets conditions to ensure the smooth phasing out of the milk quota system. Mr. Souchon argues that not enough consideration has been given to the territorial and regional impact of the proposals. It questions the Commission's argument for the total abolition of milk quotas and market liberalisation of the milk market and calls for further analysis on its consequences for Europe's regions.
Europe 2020 conference: Fighting poverty and social exclusion (29 May, Brussels)
One day before the plenary session on 29 May, the CoR will also be holding a conference on "Fighting poverty and social exclusion: What role for regions and cities?" The event will be the fourth in a series of seven covering the Europe 2020 Strategy flagship initiatives. Local policy approaches and good practices will be discussed, together with lessons learnt from successful transnational cooperation. Speakers will include CoR President Valcárcel, CoR First Vice-President Mercedes Bresso, Member of the European Parliament and Chairwoman of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Pervenche Berès, as well as President of the Social Platform, Heather Roy.
The Committee of the Regions' 101st Plenary Session will be held on Thursday 30 May from 2:30pm – 9pm in the European Parliament, Brussels. The full session will be web streamed live on: www.cor.europa.eu.
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