(Source: European Committee of the Regions)
Joint Action Plan signed today enhances cooperation to support regions in the transition towards a more inclusive, sustainable and digital Europe, and promote cohesion as fundamental value and compass for all EU policies
The European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission will intensify their cooperation to ensure that regions across the Union can benefit fully from unprecedented levels of EU investment as they recover from the pandemic. The aim is to support local and regional authorities in effectively using the €500 billion available in EU structural funds and national co-funding and secure their consistency and complementarity with the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The Joint Action Plan was signed today by the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and the Chair of the CoR Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER), Nathalie Sarrabezolles.
“The pandemic has proved we are stronger together and that cohesion is the pillar of our Union. We now share a huge responsibility: turning an unprecedented amount of EU investment s into opportunities for all our citizens. Our capacity to bring together EU, national, regional and local actors will determine our chances to deliver a more cohesive, sustainable and connected Europe. This is why the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission are intensifying their cooperation. Together we want to increase support for those who implement investment on the ground, make sure that structural funds work in synergy with the Recovery and Resilience Facility and other EU funds, and promote cohesion as a fundamental value and a compass for all EU policies,” stated President Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, who will attend the CoR Plenary on Thursday 27 January, underlined that “both during the crisis and now in the midst of recovery, cohesion policy proved to be the backbone of the EU development and solidarity models. Whatever the challenge, from green and just transition to digital revolution, from demographic changes to the vision for rural areas, cohesion policy is there to ensure that all regions benefit fully, and that no region is left behind.”
Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), added: “ Cohesion policy proved itself as an emergency tool during the pandemic and remains the most important investment tool in the European Union. The successful implementation of cohesion policy programmes in our cities and regions is key for a sustainable and socially-fair recovery. The COTER Commission is looking forward to cooperate with DG REGIO to promote the new cohesion policy 2021-2027 as a common EU value and to ensure solidarity across the EU .”
The Joint Action Plan covers five priority areas of collaboration between the CoR and the European Commission (DG REGIO), and sets strategic goals for the current budget period, which runs until 2027. The five priorities are:
Support local and regional authorities managing the EU funds
Promote synergies and avoid overlaps between structural funds and other financing sources such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility
Promote the idea of cohesion as an overall and fundamental value of the European Union
Strengthen the cross-border cooperation
Communicate the cohesion’s added value on the ground
The full text of the Joint Action Plan can be found here.
Commissioner Ferreira will be joined by Lilyana Pavlova , Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, at the CoR plenary this week for a debate on the implementation of cohesion policy and of the EU’s pandemic recovery plan. The debate will take place on Thursday 27 January at 9:00 and will be streamed here .
In 2021-2027 EU funds allocated to Cohesion Policy amount to € 392 billion. With the national co-financing, about half a trillion euro will be available to finance the programmes in the EU regions and countries. More information here.