The European Commission's 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion shows that EU Cohesion Policy is delivering on the growth goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy by creating jobs and reducing disparities across Europe. Looking ahead to 2014-2020, the report outlines how investments will be focused on key areas like energy efficiency, employment, social inclusion and SMEs to get the most out of the investments to the benefit of citizens.
The report analyses the state of cohesion of the Union and highlights the challenges faced by national, regional and local authorities in overcoming the impact of the financial and economic crisis. In particular it finds that cohesion policy has cushioned the dramatic decline of public investment, injecting much needed investment resources in many Member States and creating vital financial stability which serves to attract private investment.
The aim of the EPP Group public hearing on the 6th Cohesion Report is therefore two-fold: first, to take a closer look at the conclusions of the report; second, to consider its implications for future Cohesion Policy, which now finds itself at an important juncture.
EU Cohesion Policy investments from 2014-2020 will make more than €38 billion available to support the shift to a more environmentally-friendly economy, through investments for energy efficiency and renewables, while up to €33 billion will support Europe's SMEs in becoming more competitive.
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