Press Releases Ministers responsible for Cohesion Policy met in Mons

Ministers responsible for Cohesion Policy met in Mons

On Tuesday 6 February, the informal meeting of ministers responsible for cohesion policy was held in Mons. At the meeting, the Ministers agreed on ambitious and coherent guidelines for the future of cohesion policy in Europe post-2027.


The informal meeting of ministers responsible for cohesion policy was chaired by the Minister-President of Wallonia, Elio Di Rupo. The meeting brought together the 27 representatives of the EU Member States, Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and representatives of other European institutions (European Economic and Social Committee, European Committee of the Regions and European Investment Bank). Enrico Letta, who has been tasked by the European Council with drafting a report on the future of the internal market, also took part in the meeting, underlining the fact that cohesion policy and the internal market are inextricably linked.


The stakeholders exchanged views on the future of cohesion policy in Europe as the principal long-term investment policy. At a time of growing inequality and heightened social tensions, cohesion policy – as a genuine policy of investment and solidarity at the European level – is needed more than ever. Indeed, thanks to its regional and structural approach, cohesion policy is a powerful vector and driver of transition within the European Union.


However, this does not mean that cohesion policy should remain as it is today. The various Member States have reaffirmed the need to adapt cohesion policy so that it takes into account the specific realities of each region of the European Union. Successive reforms of cohesion policy and the mobilising of cohesion funds to respond to successive crises have meant that cohesion policy has gradually shifted away from its founding objectives and raison d’être.


With this in mind, the Ministers reflected on the main strategic priorities of cohesion policy, ensuring that they are not disconnected from the specific needs of European businesses and citizens, and taking into account the specific realities of different regions.


Besides the strategic priorities, the Ministers also discussed the key principles that need to guide cohesion policy post-2027 and support its role as a lever for equitable transitions, anchored in the reality of the different regions.


Finally, the Ministers discussed additional simplification measures that need to be introduced to amplify the investments co-financed by the European Union, Member States or Regions, on the ground.


The Belgian presidency intends to draw on the conclusions of this meeting, as well as on the reflections developed in parallel by the European Commission, to draft guidelines for cohesion policy post-2027. The European Ministers responsible for cohesion policy will meet again in Luxembourg on 18 June to adopt the conclusions on the 9th Cohesion Report.


“This meeting reaffirmed the essential role of cohesion policy. For decades, this policy has made it possible to reduce development disparities between European regions! For Belgium, it must remain the main European structural investment policy. It is a policy of solidarity in which no-one is left behind, and is the best response to the needs of Europe’s citizens and businesses! As Jacques Delors, the father of cohesion policy, once said: ‘For the European Union to function, competition that stimulates, solidarity that unites and cooperation that strengthens is needed'” reiterated Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo.

Nicolas Fierens Gevaert, Spokesperson – porte-parole – woordvoerder

TEL: +32 471 44 06 04


Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Rue des Petits Carmes / Karmelietenstraat 15
Brussels 1000 – Belgium

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