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Press Release - EU Affairs Ministers agree on two important issues of EU Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020 period
20.11.2012, 10:57 (CET)
The General Affairs Council (GAC), meeting in Brussels today, November 20, agreed on a partial general approach on two important issues of the Cohesion Policy legislative package for the period 2014-2020; the Common Strategic Framework and Financial Management. This is an important achievement for the Cyprus Presidency, as both issues are considered particularly sensitive for Member States. A balanced compromise tabled by the Presidency, however, received broad support in the Council.

In particular, the Common Strategic Framework has been under discussion in the Council for some time now and today’s agreement is a crucial development. The Common Strategic Framework constitutes a novelty in the proposal of the Commission since five EU Funds (European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) ) come under the same umbrella for programming. This new element of post-2013 cohesion policy is expected to improve the effectiveness and coordination of the EU Funds.

The Common Strategic Framework will provide strategic orientation to Member States and regions for the preparation of the programmes for the period 2014-2020. Programming issues for cohesion policy was set, from the outset, as one of the main priorities of the Cyprus Presidency, as Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, who is chairing the meeting, stated.

Today’s agreement follows the partial general approach on seven thematic blocs of the cohesion policy legislation, reached in October's General Affairs Council. With the agreement on these nine blocs in total during the Cyprus Presidency, the work on the main elements of the legislation at the Council level is completed. 

The Presidency now intends to step up the informal trialogues with the European Parliament and the Commission, aiming at a preliminary agreement among the three Institutions on strategic programming. A development, which will provide Member States and regions with certainty for their preparations for the new period. It is noted that the Cyprus Presidency has initiated the informal trialogues with five separate negotiating teams of the two relevant Committees of the European Parliament since last September.

The new cohesion policy rules are closely linked to the MFF negotiations and are only expected to be finally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council once an agreement on the MFF has been reached.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Email: nchristodoulides@mfa.gov.cy
Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Communications Officer
Poly Papavassiliou

Office of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs
Multiannual Financial Framework
Email: ppapavassiliou@cy2012eu.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22400144

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