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Open Days – indispensable platform for debate on cohesion policy

EC

In his video message to participants of the 10th edition of the Open Days, President Barroso underlined the importance of uniting around a credible future European budget for growth.

In his message, President Barroso underlined the importance of the Open Days as an indispensable platform for debate on cohesion policy in the context of the EU's strategy to overcome the crisis and return to growth.

According to him, the EU needs cohesion policy more than ever in times of budgetary constraints. He reminded of the need to pursue fiscal consolidation, structural reform and targeted investments in parallel and recalled that the Commission has enhanced considerably the flexibility of EU structural funds in the crisis to ensure that necessary investments can continue to flow and reach beneficiaries quickly.

As an example, he highlighted higher Community cofounding rates and the fact that between 2009 and 2012, almost 20 billion euros have been reprogrammed to respond to the most urgent needs. In 2012 alone, €10.4 billion have been reprogrammed to help those most hit by the crisis: young unemployed, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

He concluded with an appeal to all pro-European forces to make a concerted push for a future European budget that gives Europeans what they deserve.

Read speech by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy