Cohesion Policy – an essential tool for growth in the crisis
The European Commission has just published a mid-term evaluation of the results of 'Additionality' in EU Cohesion Policy programmes for 2007-13. Additionality is a core principle of the policy aiming to ensure the added value of EU investments to those at national level, and more importantly; ensuring that EU Structural Funds complement but do not replace the equivalent public expenditure of a Member State. The principle ensures that Cohesion Policy has a genuine impact by building on national actions with European investments.
This Report shows the importance of this, particularly in the current economic climate, when national budgets are under scrutiny and resources scarce. The budgetary and fiscal consequences of the crisis have inevitably led to a reduction of public investment in a number of Member States. But in spite of this, Member States try to maintain a significant level of public investment in their convergence regions and indeed, Cohesion Policy match-funding is essential, making up a substantial share of public investment in many Member States. Cohesion Policy thus remains essential for preserving high levels of investment to finance growth-oriented policies throughout Europe.