The European Parliament's regional development committee today adopted its position on the reform of the EU's structural funds for the period beyond 2014. After vote, Green regional affairs spokesperson Elisabeth Schroedter said:
"Today's vote is a missed opportunity for properly reforming and modernising the EU's structural funds.
"Backward-looking MEPs have caved to national lobbying and succeeded in dismantling a relatively positive proposal from the Commission. The EP has voted for a business-as-usual approach to structural funds, instead of supporting the proposals from the Commission to transform the funds into an instrument for supporting innovation and sustainable development in Europe's regions.
"The three main political groups have voted to totally undermine the participative approach to the planning and implementation of the structural funds, and instead pushed for a two-tier approach. Until now, civil society representatives and local and regional entities worked on the same level in the monitoring committee but today's vote would give local and regional entities an enhanced role, undercutting the voice of civil society groups in the monitoring committee. This senseless move would make it more difficult for these groups to access information. We also strongly regret the failure of MEPs to support the strengthening of environmental assessments for big projects."