Today the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, together with the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, launched an appeal for a cohesion policy that promotes sustainable development and a just transition for all, in the framework of the conference “No People and No Territory Left Behindˮ.
Shortly after the European Commission has published a much awaited and much welcomed reflection paper “Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030ˮ, our appeal includes ambitious proposals for the reform (read the full text here).
The appeal, launched ahead of next week’s vote by the European Parliament on the cohesion policy framework, is part of the call to action for a radically different Europe based on the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality.
The president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Udo Bullmann MEP, said:
“Cohesion policy is of critical importance for the future of Europe. One in three euros spent by the EU is invested in EU regions and cities. It is money well-used as it supports important projects to improve the wellbeing of our citizens that would not see the light of day without such support. But not all is well, and more needs to be done. We see growing inequalities and large parts of available funds benefiting the greedy few, mostly in metropolitan areas.
“The EU cohesion policy was conceived by socialists like François Mitterrand and Felipe González together with the Delors Commission, at a time when decency in the EPP had not been undermined by neo-liberal forces. Cohesion policy is the instrument for solidarity and investment, and only us, Progressives, can reshape and re-adapt it to the new challenges of our time.
“Our earth is threatened by a looming climate disaster. But we cannot ask workers to be the only ones to shoulder the costs of the transition to a new economic model. This must come with a strategy for what we call a just transition that creates social progress for the many, not only the few."
Catiuscia Marini, president of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions and president of the Umbria Region (Italy), said:
“This is a critical moment for the future of Europe. Too many territories and people are marginalised and suffer from persistent inequality. We can either continue to make the same mistakes that led us to this crisis, or decide to empower Europe’s territories in order to build a fair society.
“We are launching this appeal to make the EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 the compass for the implementation of the sustainable development goals in our regions and cities, so that ending poverty, taking climate action, providing affordable and clean energy, and building sustainable communities become a priority.
"The implementation of 65% of the SDGs relies upon cities and regions. Progressive cities and regions strongly support the ‘sustainability first’ scenario for the future EU economic governance, as presented in the paper by the European Commission: towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030.”