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European Commission sets out options on Future Cohesion Policy 
The Commission's 5th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion published on 10 November 2010 shows that the EU's cohesion policy has made a significant contribution to growth and prosperity and promoting balanced development across the Union.

Nevertheless, in view of the substantial economic and social developments over recent years, the policy now has to address new challenges. In the wider context of the EU budget review, the report underlines that future cohesion policy investments must be closely aligned to the objectives of Europe 2020.

Presenting the report, EU Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said: "This report shows how cohesion policy has had a major impact on the European economy, reducing economic differences and promoting environmental and social development."

Priorities

  • Future Cohesion policy should be closely aligned to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy
  • Funds concentrated on a limited number of priorities· An increased focus on results through performance evaluation
  • Closer emphasis on achieving the objective of territorial cohesion, through for example greater flexibility, an urban agenda, addressing specific geographical disadvantages, macro-regional strategies
  • Reinforcement of local development approaches
  • Simplification of delivery systems and reduction the administrative burden
  • Need to offer the ESF greater visibility and predictable funding volumes
  • Territorial cooperation would continue

Further reading

The publication of this report marks the launch of a public consultation process which will run until 31 January 2011. All stakeholders are invited to submit their views on the different questions raised in the conclusions of the 5th Cohesion Report on-line:
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/consultation/index_en.htm

The full report can be downloaded here (broadband required): http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/cohesion_report