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'The decision to make it easier for Member States to invest under Cohesion Policy is a sign of solidarity and flexibility'

(21 May 2013)

'The decision to make it easier for Member States to invest under Cohesion Policy is a sign of solidarity and flexibility'

Measures to help crisis-hit countries to use much needed EU funds have been proposed today by the European Commission. The measures would help these Member States to tackle youth unemployment, to support small and medium sized business and to pay for key infrastructure projects.

In the absence of this proposed measure, Cohesion Policy investments for growth could be lost because of a lack of time to spend the money or because of the difficulty of finding national and private co-finance in the current economic climate. The proposal, prompted by requests from EU governments and from the European Council, will now be sent to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for adoption.

Commenting on the proposal, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "We at the European Commission are ready to show solidarity and flexibility to those hit badly by the crisis so they can get back on the path to growth. Cohesion Policy is one of the Union's main tools to do this. The tailor-made measures we have adopted today will help these countries make use of much needed investments: to create sustainable jobs by supporting small and medium sized business and helping them access finance, to help young people into work and to encourage innovation and research. This will be not just for the good of the countries involved but for Europe as a whole. But I should add that while this proposal does offer breathing space it cannot be a substitute for reform and acceleration in using the funds."

Press Release