Group pushes for new Greener elements
The Cohesion fund for the next programming period 2014 – 2020 was voted on by MEPs today. Although containing weaknesses in places, the outcome was a definite step forward with provisions the group had pushed for throughout the process. After the vote, Greek Green Nikos Chrysogelos, Mep of the Oikolohoi Prasinoi Greece and vice chair of the Committee of Regional Development, who was responsible for the Cohesion Fund in the name of the Green group, commented on the outcome saying: "Despite Member States efforts to weaken our proposals, the outcome of the vote today is good for the Cohesion Fund. The Greens contributed to the making of this regulation and stood up for the Parliament’s mandate in negotiations with the Council. We supported this regulation as it is greener and can contribute to cohesion policy, to reducing inequalities and biodiversity loss. Though there are still certain weaknesses, the balance absolutely sure more positive than in the past, mostly thanks to the thematic priorities, implementation of European environmental law (e.g. waste, water, eco-systems), the consultation with regional authorities and civil society for planning -as capacity building- plus the integration of disabled people's rights in construction planning. An important factor for the Cohesion Policy are the new and greener elements such as the financing of renewable energy sources and energy saving for housing, environmental protection and the adaptation to climate change by using the eco-system based approach, the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, especially Natura areas, the promotion of multi model transport systems; and the refusal to finance nuclear plants with public money. However, we Greens are against macroeconomic conditionality being in the regulation of the Cohesion Fund and are disappointed that regions and the beneficiaries of the programmes can be sanctioned by having their funding cut because governments fail to comply with their budget."