General Affairs Council (Cohesion Policy): extracts from the press conference
Première transmission: 16/12/2011
Brussels, Belgium - Council
Fin de production: 16/12/2011
On 16 December, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy and Elzbieta Bienkowska, Polish Minister for Regional Development and President in office of the Council, held the final conference of the the General Affairs Council on Cohesion Policy.
The meeting provided a first opportunity for ministers in charge of the EU's cohesion policy to discuss issues related to cohesion policy. Ministers agreed that meeting in this format within the General Affairs Council is both valuable and worth continuing, as it contributes to raising the political visibility of cohesion policy.
The meeting was dedicated to discussion of the EU's cohesion policy for the 2014-20 period. The Council took note of a presidency progress report and held a policy debate on the issues of strategic programming and thematic concentration.
Broad consensus was reached on the status of strategic policy documents, and a common understanding achieved on the level and scope of flexibility with regard to the thematic concentration of interventions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| General view of conference room
||SOUNDBITE (in Polish) Elzbieta Bienkowska, Polish Minister for Regional Development and President in office of the Council, saying that: We have discussed many issues. There have already been a lot of discussions on among the 27. There are still remaining issues which are going to require further detailed discussion under the next Presidency. There was in particular macro economic conditionality, thematic concentration and flexibility. We also discussed flexibility in some length today: how could we reconciliate thematic concentration and focussing cohesion fund resources on same priorities. .
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy We had discussions as to what extend we need thematic concentration. We need thematic concentration that is what extend to industrial components in the budget. The Commission has a clear position on this. For examples on renewable energies, energy saving. We think that we should give a clear signal, so we can make a real contribution to meeting a certain objective of reduction.
||Cutaway of the speakers