The European Parliament's Report on the Sixth Cohesion Report of the European Commission was adopted by an overwhelming majority at the plenary in Strasbourg. The Resolution on ‘Investment for jobs and growth: promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU’ aims to eliminate liquidity problems, reduce administrative burdens and maintain the benefits of cohesion policy: job creation, developing regions and mitigating the effects of the economic crisis.
The Sixth Cohesion Report is a major regional policy document in European policy-making. During the plenary debate, EPP Group MEP Tamás Deutsch, Rapporteur of the Resolution, underlined that cohesion policy is the EU's most important investment policy with a budget of over €350 billion for the 2014-2020 period, a policy which has proven its usefulness and importance by helping cushioning the effects of the crisis and providing a major part of public investment in some Member States.
Deutsch recalled the EPP Group’s priorities: rapid elimination of liquidity problems, emphasising that the €24.8 billion backlog, which had accumulated in cohesion policy by the end of 2014, undermines the policy's credibility and efficiency and has a very detrimental impact on Member States and beneficiaries. "The reduction of administrative burdens on final beneficiaries would be an enormous step towards increasing efficiency and this is especially important for SMEs which play a significant role in creating new jobs."
The Report devotes considerable attention to unemployment, with special regard to youth unemployment. As Tamás Deutsch explained, a multi-fund approach which uses the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund in a coordinated manner is indispensable to job creation.
The EPP Group MEP’s Resolution calls for the preservation of the cohesion policy budget. "Only an adequately financed cohesion policy is able to ensure EU solidarity, the catching-up of least-developed regions, the creation of new jobs and economic development. The adoption of my Report by a huge majority shows that the European Parliament fully supports maintaining the current role and financing of cohesion policy", concluded Deutsch.