Energy efficiency, employment and SMEs are core focus of EU 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy says new Commission report. The European Commission’s 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion published today shows that EU Cohesion Policy is delivering on the growth goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy by creating jobs and reducing disparities across Europe.
Looking ahead to 2014-2020, the report outlines how investments will be focused on key areas like energy efficiency, employment, social inclusion and SMEs to get the most of the investments to the benefit of citizens.
The Report analyses the state of cohesion of the Union and highlights the challenges faced by national, regional and local authorities in overcoming the impact of the financial and economic crisis. In particular it finds that Cohesion Policy has cushioned the dramatic decline of public investment, injecting much needed investment resources in many Member States and creating vital financial stability which serves to attract private investment.
EU Cohesion Policy investments from 2014-2020 will make more than â‚¬38 billion available to support the shift to a more environmentally-friendly economy, through investments for energy efficiency and renewables, while up to â‚¬33 billion will support Europe’s SMEs to become more competitive.
Commenting on the Report, Commissioner for Regional Policy said:
Today’s Report clearly shows that Cohesion Policy has become a modern and flexible tool to target the different challenges Europeans face. It is Europe’s investment arm: responsive in crisis but strategic as far as creating growth and much-needed jobs. Indeed the days of huge subsidies for roads and bridges are becoming a thing of the past as many Member States are closing their infrastructure gap. Investments focusing on innovation and green growth will create good lasting jobs and boost the competitiveness of our regions. But the crisis has left its mark on many regions and cities. Disparities still exist and there is much to be done. These funds must be spent wisely to ensure the best results, especially in the regions and cities where the needs are the most pressing.