Cohesion Policy: An Urban Future II

Ms. Bernadette Vergnaud and Ms. María Irigoyen, Members of the European Parliament put forward the work of the EP’s Regional Development Committee.
In a context of budgetary pressure, the 5th Cohesion report was published in November 2010.  The proposed methodological guidelines would set the post 2013 stage; stressing the importance of governance and aiming to enhance the European added value of a simplified Cohesion Policy.  Nevertheless, this report was focused on concentration, results and compliance; while regional policy is  a tool of redistribution, but also a tool for development and flexible structuring. Conditions that would make cohesion policy a tool of punishment in respect of the Stability Pact (a single macroeconomic conditionality) could impose unfair burdens on local authorities. Same concerning the EU budget recently presented, austerity measures and financial restrictions should not fall upon cohesion policy and local authorities alone.
Corinne Hermant, from the European Commission – DG REGIO, presented the urban dimension of EU policies. Her presentation emphasized the urban governance of policies, in a new context that favours cities’ involvement, as set out in the Lisbon Treaty and the Leipzig Charter, among others. As first-level actors, cities should base their initiatives on an integrated approach to challenges.
The debate focused on the conditionality issue, which was seen as threat against the spirit of cohesion policy. Also, the concept of “rurban” policies was discussed as a key element for more coherent cohesion policy.

*** This session was followed by a Press Conference where the political representatives introduced a motion on Cohesion Policy signed by AIRE 198 and the CAAC document on the Urban Dimension of Macro-Regions.


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