EESC plenary debate with Ms Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, 23 September 2021
Cohesion, Regional and Urban Policy - Related News
Europe's rural and urban territories are not developing evenly. It is critical to foster policies that curb this trend, ensure a fair and sustainable transition to a wellbeing economy in all areas and promote population rebalancing.
The European Union should grasp the opportunity of the new political mandate and financial period to improve its economic policy coordination and governance. The European Semester should become the most important element of economic policy coordination and a multi-level and multi-actor governance approach should be implemented, says the European Economic and Social Committee. It suggests that an EESC competence centre for exchange of information could be established to address implementation concerns in relation to a future EU strategy.
At its plenary session in July, the European Economic and Social Committee presented proposals for the economic agenda of the upcoming legislative period (2019-2024) and recommended that they should form the basis of a new European economic strategy. The Committee's proposals seek to develop more resilient and sustainable EU economic policies within an improved governance framework for the Economic and Monetary Union.
The European Semester should be based on the principles of partnership and multilevel governance modelled on the partnership agreements existing in cohesion policy, as this bottom-up approach will contribute to more clarity, legitimacy and ownership at implementing level. This was one of the main messages of a hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 11 June.
Organised civil society tables proposals for regaining citizens' support for European integration and achieving sustainable economic growth and social progress in the EU
The European Union urgently needs a new, ambitious and clear strategy for its future. Cohesion policy must be an integral part of it. New provisions for cohesion policy post-2020 must provide for sufficient means and guarantee improved policy efficiency and visibility, urges the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in an exploratory opinion on the future of cohesion policy, requested by the Romanian Council Presidency.
The member states of the European Union must strengthen stakeholder involvement in their efforts to reform national economies. Together with a new long-term EU strategy for sustainable development, improved stakeholder involvement could help create a more efficient and inclusive European semester that enjoys the support of society and is prepared to tackle the challenges facing the EU.
At a time of growing social and economic disparities between the regions of the European Union and when Euroscepticism is on the rise, all relevant stakeholders must advocate for an ambitious and future-proof cohesion policy post-2020. The goal must be sustainable and inclusive economic and social growth, competitiveness and employment across the EU.