Group of High Level Experts calls for a stronger Cohesion Policy post 2027

The Group of High-Level Specialists on the Future of Cohesion Policy has published its final report yesterday. The document emphasizes the key role of Cohesion Policy to redress the EU's structural economic problems. For that, "it must enable all its people to use their full potential, wherever they live", they write.

The report is structured around three key questions to reflect on the future of Cohesion Policy beyond 2027:

  • Why is Cohesion Policy crucial for the future of Europe?
  • What does Cohesion Policy do, and what should it do?
  • How can Cohesion Policy better fulfil its mission of economic, social, and territorial cohesion in the context of the green and digital transition and demographic change?

According to the Group, Cohesion Policy should:

  • be more place-based, with future-oriented investments tailored to the unique strengths, challenges, and needs of each region;
  • promote a holistic approach for social policy by investing more in human capital development and social integration to prevent and reduce inequalities in all territories;
  • use local capabilities and potential to develop future opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth through diversification and collaboration;
  • build better national and regional institutions by putting capacity-building and innovation on par with investment in infrastructure as well as productive capital;
  • deliver more effective and inclusive development strategies by using the principles of strong partnership and shared management, bringing together stakeholders from different levels of government and civil society;
  • connect regions to harness global opportunities and to deliver more sustainable and resilient innovation;
  • become more performance-based, blending this approach with its territorial dimension;
  • be better embedded in the economic governance system;
  • streamline its administrative procedures and adopt more efficient, user-friendly approaches to simplify processes; and
  • remain focused on its original mission of driving sustainable development and boosting competitiveness, while maintaining flexibility to address urgent challenges.

The reflection on the Future of Cohesion Policy will continue at the 9th Cohesion Forum, to be held from 11 to 12 April 2024.

More information:

  • Report of the High-Level Group on the Future of Cohesion Policy: “Forging a sustainable future together: Cohesion for a competitive and inclusive Europe” (download here)
  • Visit the website of the High Level Group of Experts here
  • Watch the presentation of the report here
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