JOINT Statement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020
EU Friends of Cohesion Policy group reiterate growth, job priorities
02. June 2012. | 06:59
The "Friends of Cohesion Policy" group adopted a statement reiterating the priority to find solutions to ensure economic growth and job creation in a meeting here Friday.
WE, PRIME MINISTERS AND REPRESENTATIVES of "Friends of Cohesion" (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain) reunited at the Summit on the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, on June 1, 2012 in Bucharest:
WE DECLARE THE FOLLOWING:
EU efforts should be directed primarily towards measures which contribute significantly to economic growth and employment. This can be done, without reserves, through the Cohesion Policy, which is an important investment instrument available to the European Union to stimulate growth, employment and competitiveness in the regions, in line with Europe 2020 Strategy and the need for fiscal discipline.
We all agree that the Cohesion Policy has consistently shown its value added for the entire Union. According to European Commission estimates, over the last ten years, the Cohesion Policy has been instrumental for creating 2.4 million jobs at EU level.
The Cohesion Policy is important, particularly to reduce bottlenecks and boost the single market potential. Thus, it remains the most important financial instrument of Europe 2020 Strategy.
The Cohesion Policy has a major role in establishing a balance between economic growth and fiscal stability, which is a major challenge for the EU. In this context, it is absolutely necessary to ensure an adequate funding level for this European policy.
We all agree that the cohesion policy needs reform. In this context we welcome the proposals submitted by the Commission.
We strongly believe that the debate on the effectiveness of policies co-financed from the EU budget should be a fundamental part of negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.
The funding level provided for investments under the Cohesion Policy should take into account the priority objective of reducing development gaps among Member States and among regions and it should provide adequate flexibility to ensure a better response to the specific individual needs of Member States and regions. Therefore, there must be ensured the balance between simplification of the implementation mechanism of the Cohesion Policy and effectiveness of expenditure for Cohesion, therefore, flexibility and ease of use are essential.
We believe it is important to improve further on the quality of expenditure. However, "better spending" should not be a reason or a disguise for further reduction of the financial envelope dedicated to Cohesion Policy.
The European Council in June 2012 to consider the objectives set out in this Statement, when assigning the mandate for the Multiannual Financial Framework to the future Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU.