Participants at Sofia conference confirm the role of cohesion policy as a key investment instrument in Europe


Photo: Krum Stoev (EU2018BG)

The importance of cohesion policy as an investment instrument in Europe was reaffirmed at a high-level conference on “EU cohesion policy: post-2020 perspectives for convergence and sustainable regions”, which took place on 8 June 2018 in Sofia.

The cohesion policy of the European Union is a key policy for every Member State, but it is also an important topic for the Bulgarian Presidency because of its direct impact on the future development of the Western Balkans”,

stated the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. He underlined that only integration can ensure stability in the region and that one of the important dimensions of convergence are the improved infrastructure and cooperation for energy and digital connectivity.

The Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger, ministers from the Member States, representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, and members of the European Committee of Regions took part in the conference. The participants agreed that the efforts to increase the competitiveness of the EU and to reduce the disparities in the development of the European regions have to continue and that the cohesion policy should maintain its role as a key investment policy of the Union.

The conference, held as part of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, is the first high-level event that provides a platform to discuss the proposed budgetary and legislative packages for the 2021-2027 programming period.

“Our goal during the next year is to find a balance between the potential budget restrictions and the need to continue to grow and develop”,

stated the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev.

“If we want to have a strong Union, the cohesion policy should find a compromise between the new challenges and the traditional priorities of the EU so that there is a balance in financing reforms and at the same to keep the level of investments which prevent the risk for marginalisation of the poorest regions”,

he added.

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