“Strategic regional planning is the starting point for the successful development of the countries and regions of the European Union that are currently struggling with unprecedented challenges.” Adam Struzik

Today, the European Committee of the Regions’ COTER Commission adopted with unanimous support the opinion of Adam Struzik (EPP/PL) on Recommendations for the successful design of regional development strategies beyond 2020.

While the EU-level negotiations for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the years 2021-2027 are still ongoing, regions and cities already need to start preparing for the launch of the new programmes. Regional development strategies are an important tool for setting objectives and funding priorities and focusing investment in an integrated and coordinated manner, following a place-based approach.

Struzik’s opinion makes recommendations for effective planning of a post-2020 regional development strategy, drawing on the analysis of the specific strategic circumstances of regions. Future development policies must take into account not only the challenges countries and regions are facing, but also future trends, including environmental, technological, social and economic transformations towards a knowledge-based economy. They should also take advantage of the regions’ experience of cohesion policy to date.

The European Union needs a framework for a long-term and place-based development policy that will replace the Europe 2020 strategy. This framework should allow for the development of national and regional or local strategies contributing to the achievement of the global sustainable development goals (SDGs), Struzik’s draft opinion states.

The rapporteur also stresses the need to take the current statistical divisions and indicators of socio-economic development into account when shaping the future development policies beyond 2020.

Struzik’s opinion is scheduled for adoption at the October 2019 Plenary session of the CoR.

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