European Liberals and Democrats deplore the vote today in the Parliamentary Committee for Regional Development (REGI), rejecting a budgetary package that would provide member states with more options to finance structural reforms. The ALDE Group regrets the resistance of EPP and S&D to provide more flexibility for member states and believe it is sad that there is not more willingness to support the objective of structural reforms.
Iskra MIHAYLOVA (Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms), Chair of the REGI Committee, said: "Regional and cohesion policy will be strongly impacted by the negotiation on the next financial framework. It is unfortunate that the S & D and the EPP stick to principled positions rather than face the political and budgetary realities ".
Matthijs VAN MILTENBURG (Netherlands, D66), ALDE spokesperson on this issue, added: "The European Commission, I think rightly, wanted to give Member States the possibility to use all or part of the performance reserve of European Structural and Investment Funds to support reforms rather than specific projects. The Commission’s proposal was of a voluntary nature, it would have provided Member States with another tool in their toolbox to make their economy and society fit for the future. Unfortunately, there was no willingness from the remaining groups of this house to provide this tool to the member states, and I can only regret that. Providing budgetary means to states that have reform programs in the framework of the European Semester responds to a political logic that the Democrats and Liberals fully support".