linkedin gif

+33 1 42 54 60 64
Login & Registration

Home >  EU Funding news >  News

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MEPs are concerned about the conditionality of the payment of regional aid

Employment, Social Affairs, Town planning, Public Management, Agriculture - Fisheries, Local development, Youth, Economy - Finances, SME Policy,Local and Regional authorities,Corporations,Administrations States,Agencies Chambers,SMEs,Non-profit organisations,

News The European Parliament has had the opportunity to discuss the legislative proposals of the European Commission on regional policy last Thursday. It is clear that they strongly support this policy.

Funds for cohesion and regional development are the EU's largest area of spending. On 6 October, national parliamentarians met MEPs in a joint session of Regional Development Committee to discuss the proposed legal framework for cohesion policy post 2013. They welcomed the focus on growth but voiced concerns about rules that would allow the Commission to cut funds if it deemed national budgets unsustainable. Cohesion policy, which accounts for 45% of the EU budget, aims to help the poorest regions, and boost competitiveness and employment in the targeted regions. Five funds make up the cohesion policy- the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. As Europe continues to handle the financial crisis, politicians have focused on promoting growth within the regions. More than 70% of new funds would go to regions with below 75% of EU average income (120 million inhabitants). According to Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for regional policy, spending in "cohesion" regions however in fact benefits Europe as a whole, thanks to the operation of the single market. “One Euro spent in Poland brings 40 cents more in the rest of the EU”, he told the committee. New rules for the next phase of cohesion spending Cohesion policy has suffered from its own success according to Hahn. He said that at present now there are 84 converging regions, in the future there will only be 68. 34 million EU citizens are now better off than a few years ago. He thinks that the current economic crisis made it clear that it is necessary to go further, more conditionality, more restrictions and more specificity are needed. The Commission's proposed new regional policy aims to simplify access to funding, by bringing all five funds under the umbrella of a single regulation and reducing the documentation burden on applicants. It further demands that national and regional authorities set clear, attainable and measurable goals in priority areas linked with the EU's "2020" growth and sustainability strategy. However, crucially, the policy also includes a caveat that allows the Commission to cut funding if it deems national budgetary policies as unsustainable. The last point in particular provoked reactions from MEPs. Regional Committee chair Danuta Hübner criticised conditionality as an indirect punishment of countries and regions that are suffering from the economic crisis. Similar views were expressed by MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, speaking for Parliament's Employment Committee, saying that a double penalty cannot be imposed on countries already in difficulty. However, speaking for the presidency of Council, Elzbieta Bienkowska, Polish Minister of Regional Development, saw conditionality as a positive move, not a form of punishment, but an incentive which encourages greater efficiency in the cohesion policy sphere. Next steps Current regional funding programmes will run until 2013. The new regulatory framework must be in place for the next phase of cohesion programmes beginning in 2014. It is therefore up to both the European Parliament and the Council to examine the Commission's proposals and find agreement on the new texts by then. In Parliament, six different rapporteurs have been appointed to lead its work on different aspects of the legislation.

Source :  European Parliament - Press Release

More information  European Parliament - Press Release




28 June - 20 September 2019, Online consultation
24 September - 26 September 2019, Brussels
26 September, Brussels
15 October - 16 October 2019, Brussels


Welcomeurope, 161 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris | Tél . : +33 1 42 54 60 64 / Fax : +33 1 42 54 70 04

© Welcomeurope 2000-2018

Welcome to This site uses cookie to improve the analysis of the website and the quality of services. By using our site, you agree to use the cookies. More