'Growth and solidarity, two priorities for Regional Policy after 2013' say S&D Euro MPs
The regional development committee in the European Parliament, with the support of S&D Euro MPs, has today set its priorities for the use of structural funds after 2013 – worth more than one third of EU budget.
The S&D spokeswoman and negotiator, German Euro MP Constanze Krehl, said: "I welcome the outcome of the vote. We have a strong mandate to fight for European citizens and regions in our discussions with EU governments and the Commission".
"In these difficult times, we are calling for cohesion policy to be used as a tool for progress to achieve the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and for solidarity. There cannot be growth without investment.
"We need to support policies for fighting climate change, improving resource efficiency, achieving biodiversity objectives as well as backing actions to fight poverty and reduce youth unemployment.
"The Council and the European Commission received a clear message from the European Parliament opposing macroeconomic conditionalities. We are against the suspension of EU funds if a government does not respect its commitments to reduce its fiscal deficit. Regions should not be punished for the mistakes made by member states.
"Among other issues, we gained the support of other political groups for requesting the involvement of all regional partners from the earliest stage possible and in line with the multi-level governance approach. This is a concern we share with our colleagues from the Committee of the Regions in a in joint position paper."