CEPLI appreciates expressly the consultation the European Commission has opened with its “Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion” and considers it an important contribution to achieve a transparent and common understanding of central policy goals.
We furthermore encourage the Commission to pursue its intention of promoting all regions in the Union area by the means of EU cohesion policy – also beyond the year 2013.
This promotion must, however, not be understood in the sense of “strengthening the strong ones” and thus supporting one-sidedly only the growth cores.
It remains of vital importance to promote and secure equal standards of living and comparable conditions for work, supply of (public) services and economic development as well as access to public administration.
The access to economic working and development potentials and thus high quality public services are an essential condition for EU citizens not only in view of regional development, but are a basic precondition for their economic sustainability and social stability.
In addition, this is the best way to demonstrate the specific added value of EU policies to the citizens. As a matter of principle, the concept of territorial cohesion should not be understood as a mere remedy for other sectoral policies of the EU.
Defining a central EU policy goal, it stresses horizontal validity regarding sectoral policies, but should, nevertheless, not be misinterpreted as also being able to justify financial influence on the respective policy.