The CoR notes that the EU needs a territorial vision, which goes beyond borders so that it can develop a “global approach”. Within this context, the rapporteur welcomes the European Commission’s first ever single report on the implementation of EU macro-regonal strategies (MRS). Within these strategies, national, regional and local actors come together to work out an overarching strategy and joint programming processes, which can contribute to the EU Treaty objective of economic, social and territorial cohesion and which, crucially, addresses local needs effectively. Macro-regional strategies also help to engage citizens in the European project and can therefore contribute to bridging the gap between EU and local policy-making. The CoR is therefore calling for a closer relationship between MRS and Cohesion policy by supporting the governance of MRS at a technical level and funding the implementation of specific actions and projects via the Cohesion funds. It would also like to see a strengthening the European Territorial Cooperation Programme. In order to strengthen the MRS governance, administrative capacity needs to be improved by ensuring that it is based on increased ownership, better cooperation and coordination between all levels of governance. This would allow give regions and cities more flexibility, trust and financial incentives to implement goals of common European interest, whilst also being adapted to local and regional needs.

Adoption timetable:

  • 1st discussion and adoption in NAT on 20 November 2017
  • Final adoption in Plenary session of 31 January 2018

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