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The role of cohesion policy in tackling the socio-economic fallout from coronavirus

06-07-2020

The Committee on Regional Development has tabled a question to the European Commission on the role of cohesion policy in tackling the socio-economic fallout from Covid-19. The Commission is due to respond during a debate at Parliament's July plenary session.

The Committee on Regional Development has tabled a question to the European Commission on the role of cohesion policy in tackling the socio-economic fallout from Covid-19. The Commission is due to respond during a debate at Parliament's July plenary session.

Cross-border regional healthcare cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic

22-06-2020

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

The pandemic has led to a situation where the healthcare systems of European regions have been heavily over burdened, with more patients to treat than they have capacity for. Several healthcare projects between cross-border regions, funded by Interreg programmes, have contributed to the fight against the virus, in particular in regions of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, some of the worst affected EU Member States.

Demography on the European agenda: Strategies for tackling demographic decline

02-06-2020

The EU faces a number of demographic challenges such as ageing, a declining birth rate and depopulation in some of its regions. The EU represents an ever-shrinking proportion of the world population, at just 6.9 % today (down from 13.5 % in 1960), and is projected to fall further to just 4.1 % by the end of this century. This is explained by the low fertility rates as the numbers of children being born has fallen from an EU-28 average of around 2.5 children per woman in 1960, to a little under 1.6 ...

The EU faces a number of demographic challenges such as ageing, a declining birth rate and depopulation in some of its regions. The EU represents an ever-shrinking proportion of the world population, at just 6.9 % today (down from 13.5 % in 1960), and is projected to fall further to just 4.1 % by the end of this century. This is explained by the low fertility rates as the numbers of children being born has fallen from an EU-28 average of around 2.5 children per woman in 1960, to a little under 1.6 today. This is far below the 2.1 births per woman considered necessary to maintain a stable population in the long term. Ageing is also another population trend in the EU. Due to advances in medicine and quality of life, the average life expectancy the EU has increased considerably and now stands at about 81 years on average. Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, regional development, and election results – all are driven by demography. EU Member States have their own strategies and policies in order to counteract demographic decline. The EU also has an auxiliary role when it comes to tackling demographic challenges. Nevertheless, the EU has limited legal powers when it comes to dealing with issues that are related to demography. The coronavirus epidemic also has an impact on demography. Covid-19 has caused many deaths of elderly people. Certain EU regions have been affected more than others from the spread of the coronavirus. Studies suggest that coronavirus has a considerable impact on EU population trends (such as number of deaths per country, reduction of life expectancy and family planning). Both the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions are preparing their own reports and opinions on issues that are related to demography.

Exceptional coronavirus support measures of benefit to EU regions

19-05-2020

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also ...

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the EU's regions in various ways. Although the virus has spread all over Europe, certain western EU regions have recorded relatively higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths. Most of the deaths from the virus have so far been particularly concentrated in certain Italian, Spanish and French regions. Healthcare systems in many EU regions are under tremendous pressure as they tackle the inflated needs caused by the coronavirus. What is more, the pandemic is also having a severe impact on the European economy. As many economic sectors have reduced their activities, the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to be felt in all EU regions. Although it is still too early to make concrete predictions, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic could well further impede the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU by increasing the existing divisions between EU regions. The European Commission has put forward a number of proposals to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on EU territories. The European Parliament has been supportive overall of the Commission's proposals. It triggered urgent procedures in order to approve them swiftly so that EU citizens could benefit quickly from their positive impact. Actions under various EU funds and policy instruments are now geared towards health-related purposes and the reigniting of the economy. In these critical times, cohesion policy could be no exception to the rule and is being drawn on increasingly to provide emergency relief. A number of amendments to the regulation governing the European structural and investment (ESI) funds have been approved by Parliament in order to allow flexible use of the funds in addressing the challenges posed by the crisis. A number of additional regulations and policy instruments meanwhile complement the ESI funds in the fight against the pandemic's negative consequences. Local and regional authorities are at the forefront of the pandemic as they are often responsible for providing much of the emergency response. They can use the newly adopted EU measures to reinforce their coronavirus action and to support their economic sectors.

Specific flexibility measures for ESI funds in response to the coronavirus outbreak

15-04-2020

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

With much of Europe in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), on 2 April, the European Commission announced a further series of measures to help Member States cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Amongst them is a proposal aiming to provide more flexibility in the use of European structural and investment funds (ESI funds). It is expected to be voted under the urgent procedure during the 16-17 April plenary session.

Women in local and regional government: Still a long way from achieving parity

02-03-2020

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance ...

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance is a democratic imperative. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. The representation of women in local and regional assemblies across the EU continues to improve, albeit at a slow rate. However, a number of social, political and institutional obstacles hinder the involvement of women in regional and local government structures. As data show, progress towards equal representation in local and regional government remains slow. Furthermore, progress cannot be taken for granted: in certain EU countries, previous achievements have been reversed. A number of structural and societal barriers continue to hinder women from seeking office and from fulfilling their mandates or accessing leadership positions. In order to boost female representation in local/regional structures, various local and regional strategies have been adopted. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance. Gender equality is one of the founding values of the European Union, as can be seen in Article 2 and in Article 3, paragraph 3, of the Treaty on European Union. Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) also reiterates that one of the EU's missions is the elimination of inequalities and the promotion of equality between women and men in all its actions. The European Parliament has adopted a number of resolutions supporting gender balance measures in political decision-making. Nevertheless, laws determining local and regional participation fall within the remit of the EU Member States. This is an updated and expanded edition of an 'At a glance' note from March 2019, PE 635.549.

The blue economy: Overview and EU policy framework

30-01-2020

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities relating to oceans and seas. It employs over 4 million people in the EU and its landscape is evolving rapidly. Some traditional sectors are in decline while other sectors, both established and emerging, are showing strong potential for growth and innovation. This paper focuses on the EU policy framework and the various EU initiatives and actions linked to the blue economy. It provides an overview of the cross-cutting 'key enablers' and a sector ...

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities relating to oceans and seas. It employs over 4 million people in the EU and its landscape is evolving rapidly. Some traditional sectors are in decline while other sectors, both established and emerging, are showing strong potential for growth and innovation. This paper focuses on the EU policy framework and the various EU initiatives and actions linked to the blue economy. It provides an overview of the cross-cutting 'key enablers' and a sector by sector analysis. The international dimension or the position of the European Parliament is highlighted where relevant.

Metropolitan regions in EU cohesion policy

02-10-2019

Metropolitan regions currently include three fifths of the EU population – a proportion that is expected to increase in the future. These regions constitute important poles of innovation, research and economic growth, while also offering a wide variety of educational, cultural and professional opportunities to their inhabitants. Nevertheless, metropolitan regions face a number of important challenges. As they are composed of urban, sub-urban and even rural areas, they require a multidimensional policy ...

Metropolitan regions currently include three fifths of the EU population – a proportion that is expected to increase in the future. These regions constitute important poles of innovation, research and economic growth, while also offering a wide variety of educational, cultural and professional opportunities to their inhabitants. Nevertheless, metropolitan regions face a number of important challenges. As they are composed of urban, sub-urban and even rural areas, they require a multidimensional policy approach to help them tackle their complex issues. One of the major issues that metropolitan regions usually face is the lack of an efficient, inter-connected transport system. Environmental pollution, a major problem in many such regions, is inextricably linked to transport (exacerbated by the high number of commuters), high energy consumption and waste creation. Metropolitan regions usually constitute poles of population growth and have to cater for the integration of their newly arrived citizens. In certain cases, the increasing demand for accommodation leads to a lack of affordable housing and an escalation of rental and property prices; this problem has worsened in many urban areas of the European Union in recent years. In addition, although metropolitan regions may be hubs of economic growth, they also house big numbers of poor and homeless people. Yet again, a number of de-industrialised EU metropolitan regions are suffering severe economic losses. The EU is addressing the needs of metropolitan regions through a number of funds and tools, most notably the European structural and investment funds. Other EU instruments, such as the Urban Agenda for the EU also provide opportunities for metropolitan regions.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Regional policy

28-06-2019

The principal aim of the EU's regional policy, also known as cohesion policy, is to address the territorial, social and economic imbalances that exist between the different regions of the EU. Regional policy covers all regions and cities of the European Union, helping to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and to improve citizens' quality of life. To achieve these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, €351.8 billion ...

The principal aim of the EU's regional policy, also known as cohesion policy, is to address the territorial, social and economic imbalances that exist between the different regions of the EU. Regional policy covers all regions and cities of the European Union, helping to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and to improve citizens' quality of life. To achieve these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, €351.8 billion – almost one third of the total EU budget – has been set aside for cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period. This financial support is distributed through two main funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). Together with the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), they make up the European structural and investment (ESI) funds, which provide support that can make a real difference to the lives of people in the EU's regions. With the current programming period (2014-2020) drawing to a close, work is now under way on planning the cohesion policy priorities for the next programming period (2021-2027). During its 2014-2019 term the European Parliament was called upon numerous times to adopt new legislative acts, amend older rules and to provide opinions on many topics relating to the EU's regional policy. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Regional Policy is responsible for the Union's regional development and cohesion policy, as set out in the Treaties. In anticipation of its expected withdrawal from the EU, the UK, until now a net contributor to the EU budget, will no longer contribute to the post-2020 EU budget, which means that the EU will have fewer resources to allocate to its policies in the future, including cohesion policy. The European Parliament has, however, strongly advocated maintaining the level of funding for cohesion policy at its current level or even increasing it. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Common Provisions Regulation: New rules for cohesion policy for 2021-2027

22-03-2019

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional ...

For the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposes to update EU cohesion policy with a new set of rules. The proposal for a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) sets out common provisions for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument. Additional specific regulations add certain provisions needed to cater for the particularities of individual funds, in order to take into account their different rationales, target groups and implementation methods. The proposed CPR is of the utmost importance as it will set the main rules that govern the above-mentioned funds for the forthcoming period. While the proposal builds upon the previous sets of rules covering the 2014-2020 period, it nevertheless introduces a number of innovations. It aims, amongst other things, to simplify and improve synergies between the different EU policy tools. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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