Le rôle de la politique de cohésion dans les prochaines séries d’élargissement de l’Union

Le rôle de la politique de cohésion dans les prochaines séries d’élargissement de l’Union

(la version française sera disponible prochainement)

Key points

The EESC:

  • stresses that pre-accession aid policy is an indispensable tool of enlargement policy whose influence can be boosted to promote peace and prosperity across the European continent, particularly in regions where peace and stability have been recently challenged;

  • Notes that to prepare candidate states to fully implement the cohesion policy instruments in the future pre-accession aid policy should be better tailored to the strengths, challenges, and needs of the respective regions, as well as the bordering regions of EU Member States;

  • recommends that pre-accession aid policy in candidate states should invest more systematically in human capital development, education and social integration to prevent and ease social inequalities. Promoting links with CSOs in improving pre-accession aid policy planning are essential;

  • Notes that with the future cohesion policy, the protection of vulnerable groups, which face additional and formidable obstacles to their economic and social development and can face additional challenges in the future accession process should be prioritised;

  • Stresses that stronger partnerships with CSOs in candidate states are not only invaluable for the promotion of enlargement objectives; they are also in line with effective and inclusive development strategies by using the established principles of strong partnership and shared management;

  • stresses that the role of cohesion policy has to go far beyond core investment. It must focus on institution and capacity building, including twinning programmes and support for civil society and social partners;

  • underlines the fact that enlargement waves have also had an impact on the current Member States and their regions, as the new Member States join the single market and affect the international value chain and labour migration in the EU. Additional funds are therefore needed to invest in the regions bordering the candidate countries, as well as in the regions of the current Member States severely affected by changes in the EU and global value chains as a result of enlargement;

  • Considers that the EC should orient its reforms of future cohesion policy, in parallel to the enlargement process, to boost the effectiveness of current policies, based on increased specialisation and diversification, linked to greater flexibility and financial specialisation. No financial assistance can succeed in unleashing economic prosperity without parallel efforts in institution building, governance reform and civil society engagement;

  • stresses the need for urgent action to stem the tide of emigration from the EU candidate countries, which threatens to ruin the potential for economic and social development, through various policy measures, including investment in human capital;

  • considers it essential to improve the situation of young people in the candidate countries. Efforts are needed to improve the skills and employment of young people and to increase both educational and quality employment opportunities for young people, in parallel with housing solutions. Dialogue and participation of young people in youth guarantee initiatives should also be encouraged;

  • recommends increasing efforts to care for the most vulnerable people and vulnerable groups in the candidate countries, incorporating them not only into protection systems but also taking them into account in the decision-making process, as the best way of achieving the first basic principle of the Cohesion Policy of “Leaving no one behind”.