The battle over the EU’s Cohesion Funds comes to the European Parliament in Strasbourg today with an extraordinary meeting between MEPs and the European Commission amidst a number of member states angry at being allocated less money in real terms post-2020 than they currently enjoy.

Chairing the meeting with Commissioner Corina Crețu is GUE/NGL’s Younous Omarjee (France Insoumise, France) and ahead of the talks, he commented:

“There are aspects in the proposals which are positive – namely the priority given to the environment and the fact that 75 per cent of the Cohesion Funds will be directed at the less developed regions.

“In addition, there will be more solidarity towards member states in the reception of migrants and integrating them into our communities,” he said.

However, Omarjee also expressed concerns over the EU Cohesion Policy:

“A reduced Cohesion Fund is a hammer blow to job creation and sustainable growth across the EU. What is more is that we have concerns regarding co-financing rates. We already have a financial shortfall in many regions, so by reducing the co-financing rates further would undermine EU solidarity even more.”

“Similarly, we need to get rid of all these macroeconomic and financial instruments attached to EU Cohesion Policy. The European Semester, for instance, should not be used as a tool to blackmail member states and their budgetary policies,” he argued.

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