Ministers in charge of EU Cohesion Policy discuss how to improve its effectiveness and promote development of all regions

Oct 2, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU advocates basing the analysis on the needs of the regions on a new set of indicators, beyond GDP, taking advantage of ‘big data’ tools.

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Ministers in charge of EU Cohesion Policy

Those responsible for Cohesion Policy in EU Member States and European institutions have discussed the future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2027, that is, once the current Multiannual Financial Framework ends, and have shown their commitment to give greater flexibility to these policies with the aim of making projects and reforms more effective. This is what they have called ‘Cohesion Policy 2.0’.

Those responsible for the Cohesion Policy have held meetings within the framework of the Informal Meeting of Ministers (RIM) held in Murcia, in a meeting chaired by the Secretary of State for Budgets of the Ministry of Finance and Public Function, María José Gualda, and which was also attended by the Secretary of State for Finance, Jesús Gascón.

At the subsequent press conference, the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and the Secretary-General for European Funds of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, Mercedes Caballero, pointed out the need for this greater flexibility as the great challenge for the future.

Both highlighted the important moment in which the Union finds itself, after a period of coexistence between the Cohesion Policy and the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. A coexistence that, according to them, offers the opportunity to draw lessons learned from the management of both instruments and to seek synergies between them.

Within this meeting, the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU has pointed out the importance of the cohesion objective remaining the fundamental pillar of the Union, acting with the ultimate aim of achieving “the harmonious development of the regions”, enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. In this sense, it considers that European cohesion should be the sole objective of Cohesion Policy.

To this end, he considers that the design of policies must follow the objectives agreed by all of us as the EU. But he pointed out that the way to achieve them must be different according to the specific characteristics of each region so that the citizens of each of them are able to understand them.

In this way, as the Secretary General of European Funds, Mercedes Caballero, pointed out at a press conference, “one suit does not fit all” when it comes to designing the Cohesion Policy. Caballero added that all the Member States have agreed on the need to adapt policies to the reality of each region.

In order to stimulate this debate, the Spanish Presidency asked the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee to prepare two reports on their views on this subject, which were presented during the IMN.