Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Urban redevelopment as contribution to economic growth

Delivered in Plenary - 15th January 2013

Mr President

The Cozzolino report on urban development as a contribution to EU growth concludes that the EU Cohesion Policy must focus on developing and assisting local initiatives. As an MEP for London, this of course makes sense to me. We must avoid taxpayers’ money being filtered by bureaucratic layers, leaving only residues for those that are targeted.

It is to the local level that citizens feel most attached, and to which intangible assets like historical and cultural ties are closely linked. However, this text I regret is far too prescriptive and will not help growth.

As a UK Conservative, I am a believer in localism; it enables the most efficient spending to be matched with the most democratic consent. Therefore, the ERDF and cohesion policy, which frankly need to be radically reformed and repatriated anyway, ought to bolster a new approach to urban policies. Nevertheless, I do agree it is vital that such a substantial part of European funding is conducted efficiently, but also with full local participation and also it must promote economic growth throughout the European Union.