The added value of cohesion policy as the main EU investment tool enshrined in the Treaties has lately been put into question, also due to the pressure that the current challenges are exerting on the EU decision-making process. Cohesion policy is presented as a distribution tool for financial support for less developed regions and the newer Member States, while the tangible results for the citizens, for the economy and for the overall convergence process at the EU level are strongly challenged.
The Romanian Presidency of the Council has requested the EESC to draw up an opinion reflecting its position concerning cohesion policy as well as the recent developments in this policy area in view of a successful cohesion policy in the post-2020 period.
In this context, the EESC is preparing an exploratory opinion on the future of cohesion policy and and on Friday, 22 February 2019 will organise a public hearing on "The future of cohesion policy in the post-2020 period" bringing together officials, experts and civil society representatives to engage in the necessary consensus-building on the way ahead for our cohesion policy, which would also serve as an input to the EU leaders' decisions expected in the coming years. Moreover, conclusions drawn in this opinion could stimulate the informal ministerial debate of the cohesion ministers to be held in April 2019.