Adopted on Tuesday, the European Parliament’s report on the basic principles behind post-2020 cohesion policy comes just in time to counter the expressly un-European voices in Brussels that advocate the misuse of structural and investment (cohesion) funds. These voices see them as an opportunity to blackmail Member States into giving up their right to decide whom they wish to let into their own countries. Using cohesion funds to further a political agenda is fundamentally at odds with the purpose of the funds. Here are two concerns that need to be addressed.
On one hand, the EP’s overwhelming majority fortunately still…
Last week the European Parliament elected its new presidency. A seasoned European statesman and conservative, Antonio Tajani, was elected president with 351 votes. The following day, my colleague in the Fidesz MEP delegation, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, was re-elected as Vice-President.
The upcoming two and a half years look like they will be just as turbulent in the European Union as during the last EP presidency’s term, but President Tajani’s election is an encouraging sign. The deep structural problems in the European Union will not simply end overnight, but conservative leaders including the EU’s founding father, Robert Schuman, have rarely disappointed us….
Structural Funds have contributed significantly to job creation, job market reintegration and social inclusion and proved exceptionally useful during the economic crisis. Now, with the Sixth Cohesion Report entitled “Investment for jobs and growth: promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Union,” there is a chance to strengthen and renew cohesion policy.
My report, recently discussed in the Regional Development Committee, contains three strategic issues as well as important questions about the Sixth Cohesion Report.
First of all, we must address the issue of late payments from the former programming period and the delay in the approval and execution of…