Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

Cohesion policy - 14.07.2010

Cohesion policy links Europe 2020 to local and regional level
Cohesion policy is 'the only EU policy to link the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy with the local and regional level", as underlined by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) in its key political messages on cohesion policy and the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The Europe 2020 Strategy aims at overcoming the crisis and stimulating employment, productivity and social cohesion, a feat which cannot be accomplished without the full implication of local and regional authorities. Thus, CEMR urges the EU institutions and member states to 'identify synergies and define the coordination mechanisms" between cohesion policy and the Europe 2020 Strategy, all the more so when considering their shared objective of the sustainable development of the EU.

Cohesion policy needs to be strengthened and adequately financed so that it may fulfil the role accorded to it by the EU Treaty to support the harmonious development of all European regions, and to help achieve the goals set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Europe 2020 stands to learn from cohesion policy, as the sectoral approach of the strategy hinders the constitution of a holistic development policy. CEMR defends that, in order for the strategy to be successful, it must adopt 'an integrated and territorial approach, based on multilevel governance".

It should be noted though that cohesion policy, which encompasses territorial, social and economic cohesion, is not to be considered as an instrument serving the Europe 2020 strategy. It is a policy in its own right and an aim of the EU anchored within the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). Therefore, in order to achieve the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, cohesion instruments such as structural and cohesion funds 'must be complemented with other EU or national funds".
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