General Affairs Council (Cohesion), 25/06/2019 - Main results
Legislative package for cohesion policy 2021-2027
The Council took stock of the state of play of negotiations on the package on cohesion policy for the 2021-2027 period.
Over recent months mandates for negotiations with the European Parliament have been agreed on the common provisions regulation and the regulations covering the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus and Interreg. This excludes the provisions which are part of the negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework due to their budgetary or horizontal nature.
The Council has streamlined the management of the funds, reducing the administrative burden while increasing flexibility and proportionality for member states. The Council's partial mandates also bring more predictability and ensure stability for the investments.
Beyond the work within the Council's preparatory bodies, the Romanian presidency started inter-institutional negotiations with the European Parliament on the programming and strategic planning provisions of the common provisions regulation.
This has been a busy semester in the Council's work on the next cohesion package and I am very satisfied with what we have achieved. With the Council's position on the common provisions regulation and all the fund-specific regulations agreed, the Romanian presidency has achieved its objectives. In addition, our exchanges with the Parliament will assist in future negotiations and provide useful guidance for further work under the Finnish presidency.
Roxana Mînzatu, Minister for European Funds of Romania
The Council also held a policy debate on future challenges for the programming of cohesion funds for 2021-2027.
The legislative package for cohesion policy strengthens the link with the European Semester. It makes the 2019 country-specific recommendations a key element in the design of the programmes for 2021-2027 and provides for a mid-term review exercise in 2025 based on the 2024 country-specific recommendations.
Ministers discussed how country-specific recommendations could be taken into account at national level and in the regional programming of the funds.
They also exchanged views on sound economic governance and other conditionalities for cohesion funding, taking into account the need to spend the funds in the most effective way, while also maximizing their impact on reducing regional disparities.