Hurdle cleared for ECR MEP’s proposals to improve regional development policy
Today the Regional Development Committee backed ECR member Ruža Tomašić’s plans to improve Technical Assistance for Member States in implementing the EU’s Cohesion Policy, with a overwhelming majority.
The report ensures that local and regional authorities will receive Technical Assistance to strengthen their administration and capability to implement the Cohesion Policy. Ruža Tomašić’s aim is simple; to make sure that the EU’s regional policy is implemented effectively to maximise the development of Member States.
TA at Member State level amounts to around EUR 13.4 billion for the period 2014 -2020 and it has been used in the context of cohesion policy since 1998. However, so far it’s contribution to support institutional strengthening and administrative capacity building for the effective management of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) left much to be desired and in many countries does not reach the local and regional authorities in an effective way.
“In many Member States the use of funds from the Technical Assistance has never been offered to a regional or local government. This means that technical assistance have been used by national level for the training of regional or local authorities, during which the local and regional representatives didn’t have the opportunity to articulate their needs, instead trainings where not targeted for the local needs, or adjusted for the targeted group of participants” – said Ruža Tomašić.
Therefore the new provisions for TA set out in the report have introduced certain innovations, such as establishing sound communication channels between the different levels of governance in order to successfully implement the ESIF or creating a regularly updated and publicly available databases of actions planned and undertaken by the Member States to inform the local and regional actors on time about all the possibilities offered – so that the trainings which are organized by the Member States can really create the needed added value, and to enhance the evaluation of the trainings by participants.