On 26th and 27th June 2017, the European Commission is holding the 7th Cohesion Forum, which will be a milestone in the preparations for the future of cohesion policy post-2020. It comes at a decisive moment, closely following the Commission’s March 2017 White Paper on the future of Europe, which sent an alarming signal for the future of cohesion policy. In scenario 4, ‘Doing less more efficiently’, cohesion policy is indeed mentioned as one of the areas where EU interventions are “perceived as having more limited added value, or as being unable to deliver on promises”.
In the Omnibus regulation, the Commission has already proposed far-reaching changes to the way cohesion policy currently works, including boosting the use of financial instruments and facilitating the combination of ESI Funds with the EFSI. The Greens/EFA group recently helped to secure a clear opposition from the Parliament to the Commission’s intent to co-opt cohesion spending for the Juncker Plan.
The Greens/EFA group intends to keep up the fight to defend a strong, autonomous and targeted cohesion policy. To read all about it, see our policy paper.