Member States and regions must lose no time in preparing the next generation of EU programmes for growth
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has told Member States and regions there is no time to lose in planning the EU structural funds programmes for 2014-2020. The call to action comes after members of the European Parliament's Regional Development Committee adopted a series of reports that in principle agree a radical reform of Regional Policy.
Key elements of reform confirmed by today's vote:
Focusing investments on key areas for growth and jobs as outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy through a common set of rules which apply to all five European Structural and Investment Funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, Cohesion Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund)
The majority of the budget to be concentrated on few priorities closely linked to the EU 2020 growth strategy. In particular:
Between 50% and 80% of the ERDF budget concentrated on measures to support innovation and R&D, the digital agenda, the competitiveness of SMEs, and the shift towards a low carbon economy.
On low carbon economy a further obligation to allocate at least between 12% and 20% to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Member States and regions to establish clear and measurable targets on the impact of the investments. Progress to be measured and communicated.
Measures to cut red tape and simplify the use of EU funds: more common rules among all funds, more targeted but fewer reporting demands, more use of digital technology (“e-cohesion”).