European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu ruled on Friday at the European Summit of Regions and Cities held at the Palace of Parliament to involve local and regional authorities in European Union decision-making, arguing that the Cohesion Policy also aims to bring 'Europe closer to the citizens''.
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Cretu said that in the current period, marked by the rise of populism in Europe, there seem to be gaps between the governors and the governed. The European Union is not about Brussels, it is about regions and European citizens, she added.
The representative of the EU executive also referred to the principle of subsidiarity, which stipulates that, in areas that do not fall within the exclusive competence of the European Union, the protection of the Member States' decision-making and action capacity and legitimization of the Union's intervention in case the objectives of an action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, but can be better achieved at EU level due to the scale and effects of the action envisaged. She stressed in this regard that it is necessary to ensure that European policies have added value and that impact assessments at EU level will take into account the local assessment.
At the beginning of May last year, the European Commission proposed a moderate reduction in funding for the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy - about 5 percent for each of them - to reflect the new reality of a European Union of 27 Member States.
These policies will be upgraded to ensure that they can continue to produce results, consuming fewer resources, and that they can also support new priorities. For example, the cohesion policy will have an increasingly important role to play in supporting structural reforms and in the long-term integration of migrants.
Overall, the European Commission proposed a long-term budget of 1.135 billion euro in commitment loans (expressed in 2018 prices) for the period 2021-2027, the equivalent of 1.11 percent of the EU27 gross national income. This level of commitments translates into 1.105 billion euro (or 1.08 percent of the gross national product) in payment appropriation (in 2018 prices).