European Union's Cohesion Policy was always related to territorial cohesion and its essence is to maintain at a regional and local level, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said at the debate "Territorial cohesion to bring EU citizens together," at the European Summit for Regions and Cities held at the Parliament Palace.
The European official said that the cohesion policy cannot be considered as a challenge to the territorial approach for, on the contrary, it can help achieving the goals established at local and regional level in the EU member states.
Cretu brought to mind that the European Executive proposed 80 measures to simplify the rules regarding the cohesion policy, in the best interest of its final beneficiaries, the European citizens.
The EC representative also said that, in carrying out the operational programmes based on European funds, it is essential to have good quality projects, which will bring concrete advantages to the European citizens.
In his intervention, Juraj Droba, the President of the Bratislava metropolitan area, estimated that the cohesion policy is one of the most important pillars of the European Union, with a substantial contribution to the elimination of disparities between regions, the modernization of local infrastructure, while helping people to find new jobs.
Droba announced that, in order to get closer to the Slovakian citizens, he decided to be a "free taxi driver" on May 25, when Slovakia will host the elections to the European Parliament.
The President of the British delegation to the European Committee of Regions, Albert Bore, opined that the EU must find an adequate language so that the European citizens will better understand what the cohesion policy represents and which are its benefits it brings to their everyday lives. He also criticizes the fact that in many member states there is a tendency to centralizate fund management related to the EU cohesion policy.