In the proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the European Commission called for stronger links between the European Semester and EU funding to boost the effectiveness of actions financed under cohesion policy and produce more sustainable results. Henceforth, the European Semester will focus more on investment needs in each country, which were already flagged up in this year's country reports, in order to guide programming decisions for 2021-2027. However, the consequences of these new and stronger ties have not yet been explored in detail and need further attention.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is therefore organising a public hearing The European Semester and Cohesion policy – Towards a new European strategy post-2020, that will bring together policymakers, academics and organised civil society representatives, with a view to developing policy proposals which will help shape these stronger ties and improve sustainable growth. The results from the hearing will feed into both the ongoing EESC opinion on the same topic and future decisions by EU leaders in this field. With the Europe 2020 Strategy coming to an end, these proposals can contribute to the preparation of a new long-term European strategy, taking on board the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.