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

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Cohesion policy

Cohesion policy - 12.07.2013

CEMR welcomes vote on the future Cohesion policy, but key concerns remain
CEMR welcomes the vote of the Cohesion legislative package on 10 July 2013 at the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament. 

The regions and local authorities hope that the legislative procedure will be concluded with the plenary vote after the summer break since the Member States are finalising the Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes (aiming at ensuring local government involvement in the process). This vote will ensure that there is no significant gap between the current (2007-2013) and the future programming period (2014-2020).

Concerning today’s vote, CEMR underlines the work done by the rapporteurs Mr van Nistelrooij, Ms Krehl, Mr Olbrycht, Mr Vlasak as well as other leading MEPs could not be stressed enough. CEMR and its members have closely worked with them over the last two years and we are aware of their strong commitment to ensure that the EU Structural Funds do reach regional and local communities.  

More partnership working

The work done by Mr van Nistelrooij and Ms Krehl has been crucial to ensure that the partnership principle will be stronger in the next period. CEMR defends that local and regional authorities must be directly involved in the preparation, delivery and evaluation of the funds. The compromise that MEPs reached with the Council is a great step forward.

However, we must not forget that partnership is an on-going process. In a recent study among CEMR members, we found that only 8 out of 27 Member States prepare the new programmes with a partnership approach that meets the criteria laid out in the regulations approved today.  
Missed opportunities

Despite the great improvements reached today, the current package has limited progress in a number of areas; for instance, the limited integration across EU funds.

Although there is now a Common Provisions Regulation across the EU regional, social, rural, maritime and cohesion funds, too many rules are still different across the funds (eligibility, audit, reporting). This fact weakens the integrated approach. Looking ahead CEMR and its members will be campaigning for the integration of the different funds to be further developed in the future Cohesion policy (2014-2020).
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