The report bears witness to European efforts to make Europe a better place but it also indicates the difficulty of achieving this. The crisis has increased economic and social disparities, worsening the differences between Member States.
Cohesion policy should continue to pursue its original objective, enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, of promoting social, economic and territorial cohesion, placing cooperation and solidarity at the service of harmonious development and creating prosperous communities.
In many cases, cohesion policy will be the main source of investment; it needs to be more ambitious, or even radically reviewed, pending an upturn in growth and employment. Cohesion policy resources are manifestly sufficient to solve the real problems. Alternative forms of convergence financing will thus have to be found to bring cohesion policy to a new stage.
Cohesion policy must continue to strive to promote economic growth and competitiveness, while not forgetting social objectives in support of smart and inclusive growth.