I am delighted to share the Fourth Report on Economic and Social Cohesion with you. The European Commission adopted this important report on 30 May 2007.
The Report provides an update on the progress made towards achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion, and on the manner in which Member States' and Community's policies have contributed to it.
It also gives a first assessment of the preparation for 2007-2013, based on the programming documents submitted to the Commission by Member States by end of April 2007.
Finally, it looks at the new challenges which will add up to the context for regional development in the next 20-30 years - such as demography, climate change, social exclusion or energy - and submits for a debate a series of questions on their combined impact on the policy.
The long-term purpose of this report is to launch the reflection on the future of Europe's policy to promote greater economic, social and territorial cohesion and to foster regional development and competitiveness.
On the occasion of the 4th Cohesion Forum on 27 and 28 September 2007 in Brussels I look forward to share this vision with as many of you as possible.
I wish you an insightful reading and look forward to interesting and fruitful discussions with you.
Commissioner for Regional Policy