Role of territorial development in cohesion policy
Delivered in Plenary - 15th January 2013
The report on territorial development and cohesion policy focuses on how to improve the funding programmes in the forthcoming 2014–2020 MMF, but it is too prescriptive, and its advocacy for increased funding is frankly not acceptable. Funding needs to be reduced. Nevertheless, I do welcome the stress on subsidiarity and flexibility. Contrary to the Commission’s wishes, the definition of cities and urban areas – and I represent London – must be decided at Member State level, given the differing size and economic and administrative resources in each Member State.
This approach demonstrates a growing rejection of a one-size-fits-all funding model and shows that subsidiarity works, and I welcome that. It also increases democratic and administrative accountability. We need to simplify the process of applying for EU funding in general. The UK is currently undertaking a sub-regional process, where EU funds are placed under a single portal allowing a common platform with a single application, payments, monitoring and evaluation process. This shift from supranational to subregional approach for the application of funding represents a positive change for Structural Funds beyond 2013, and I welcome that aspect of the report.