COHESIE EN REGIONAAL EN STEDELIJK BELEID - Related Opinions
The EESC appreciates the strong political backing behind the EUSAIR and believes that this is crucial to sustaining effective integration between the Europe 2020 Strategy, European enlargement policy and the regional development strategies.
The EESC maintains that during the different stages of the EUSAIR's implementation, public and private economic stakeholders, the social partners and the various components of organised civil society ought to be ensured adequate guidance through ad hoc training programmes and organisational and technical support.
Moreover, ad hoc indicators should be identified to enable the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the EUSAIR's programmes and measures.
The EESC believes that the Mediterranean Region needs a Macro-Regional Strategy (EU MMRS) to help the regions face challenges that cannot be satisfactorily resolved by single regions or countries through the usual means. Such a strategy would help the regions concerned to address the causes of uncertainty that dominate the Mediterranean region by increasing the value-added of the positive achievements of the initiatives already launched and the Europe 2020 goals. The success of the MMRS will also have a positive effect on the EU as a whole.
It its opinion, the EESC highlights a number of issues, two of which are: 1. During the various hearings that the EESC has held, not only for this opinion on the Outermost regions (ORs), but also for previous opinions, a strong feeling emerged that the derogations and special measures foreseen for ORs in article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union TFEU are being inadequately implemented. The EESC firmly believes that the terms of Article 349 (TFEU) need to be properly implemented in relation to certain European policies, such as competition, public procurement, fisheries and the environment, so as to take account of the ORs' specific geographical and climatic circumstances. The EESC urgently calls on the European Commission to draw up and publish an in-depth analysis of the application of the above-mentioned Article. 2. The EESC has also looked very carefully into the POSEI (Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity).
The EESC has looked very carefully at the proposed Common Strategic Framework (CSF) which is now fully integrated in the draft Common Provisions Regulation and seeks to translate the objectives of the Union's Cohesion Policy into practice through better coordination between the several EU Structural Funds. The EESC has also listened carefully to the various points of view expressed by the representatives of organised civil society during a successful and well-attended hearing.
This own initiative opinion has been drafted in response to the Commission staff working document adopted on 24 April 2012 and which sets out its current thinking of what a European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP) should look like during the forthcoming cohesion policy programming period. The EESC has strongly defended the need for an ECCP; in the meantime the Council has indicated that it wishes to delete all reference to an ECCP upon which the EESC President has written to the Council, Parliament and Commission arguing the need to maintain the Commission's proposals as is.