The effectiveness and the governance of cohesion policy at the EU level was at the centre of discussions during the last Informal Ministerial meeting under the Cyprus Presidency, which took place in Lefkosia (Nicosia) today, November 6. The meeting, which brought together EU Ministers for Cohesion Policy, was chaired by the Cypriot Deputy Minister for European Affairs, who is also responsible for Cohesion Policy, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis.
The last Informal Ministerial Meeting under the Cyprus Presidency took place today, November 6, dedicated to cohesion policy. The Ministers discussed the improvement of effectiveness and added value of cohesion policy, as well as ways of establishing its better governance. The Commissioner for Regional Policy, Mr. Johannes Hahn and Ms Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament, participated at the meeting. Among the participants were also the President of the Committee of the Regions, Mr. Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, and the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Mr. Staffan Nilsson.
During the morning session, Member States expressed their positions on the basis of a Presidency paper, entitled ‘Improving the Effectiveness and Added Value of Cohesion Policy’, Ambassador Mavroyiannis emphasised that “the paper aimed at initiating discussions and assist us in reaching some common ground how to make better use of the new elements introduced in the EU Cohesion Policy”.
“Let me reiterate the importance that the Presidency attaches to Cohesion Policy, which is one of the most important European investment policies Cohesion Policy, can have very important results for the regions and for European citizens, especially at these difficult times, as it can increase accessibility, provide growth potential, create jobs. It is also a practical manifestation of solidarity,” added the Cypriot Deputy Minister.
Crucial point in the negotiations
The Cyprus Presidency acknowledged that the meeting took place at a very difficult time for citizens throughout the Europe, still suffering from the effects of the economic crisis, and at a crucial point regarding the negotiations for the future Cohesion Policy, both in regulatory and financial terms. The Presidency paper and the discussion of the meeting were based on the need to ensure that the revised rules and the new elements proposed for the programming and implementation of cohesion policy in the next programming period, 2014-2020, will work towards delivering the highest possible added value for cohesion policy expenditure and contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy.
Ways to improve governance of cohesion policy are considered to be a successful recipe for the new programming period. This issue was discussed during lunch, on the basis of a Presidency non-paper.
“We must ensure that further to pursuing the main goal for economic, social and territorial cohesion, a strong focus on the objectives of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy and a strong link to the European semester will be pursued through governance at both national and, most importantly, at EU level,” stressed Ambassador Mavroyiannis.
Presidency Conclusions, prepared on the basis of today’s discussions, will feed into the work on the EU Cohesion Policy's future, and will be presented at the General Affairs Council on November 20.
Substantial progress on the cohesion legislative package
The Cyprus Presidency has substantially progressed work on the cohesion legislative package. Α partial general approach has been achieved on seven negotiating blocks of the cohesion policy legislation so far, at the General Affairs Council of October 2012.
In line with the work done up to now, Ambassador Mavroyiannis reiterated that the Cyprus Presidency will make every effort to progress work even further and additional elements will again be presented in the November General Affairs Council for a partial general approach.
“The Cyprus Presidency has started intensive trilogues with both the Committees for Regional Development and Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament and we aim to do our utmost to reach a common understanding on the issue of programming, so that Member States can start in a timely way preparing for the new programming period,” stated the Cypriot Deputy Minister.
Mobile: +357 99400234
Cyprus EU Presidency Secretariat
Telephone: +357 22400145
Office of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs
Telephone: +357 22400144
Watch the press conference here
Find more related photos here