A new partnership for cohesion
Foreword by Michel Barnier
The purpose of this report, the result of work undertaken over the past three years, is to set out the European Commission's vision for the future of Europe's policy to reduce disparities and to promote greater economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Its preparation has not just been a technical exercise. On the contrary, it has involved extensive consultations at European, national, regional and local level in an effort to ensure that this new vision responds to needs and to the legitimate expectations of Europe's citizens.
In the course of these consultations, I have been asked many searching questions on the impact - the "added value" - of the interventions of the European Union in this field. For example, has cohesion policy succeeded in reducing the economic, social and territorial inequalities in standards of living and levels of opportunity ?
The report provides a detailed response to such important questions. It confirms that Europe's added value has been significant at many levels, in terms of the rapid reduction of the gaps in incomes between rich and poor, the creation of many new opportunities often in innovative activities and the creation of the networks linking regions, businesses and people across the continent.