European regional statistics are an important instrument for targeted policy-making and a useful tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in specific territories – recognises the draft opinion of the European Committee of the Regions adopted yesterday by its’ COTER Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget. The document prepared by the rapporteur Mieczysław STRUK, Marshal of Pomorskie region (Poland), states that territorial typologies stemming from European statistics play an important role in regional policy as they can contribute to evidence-based policy interventions and more integrated territorial approaches that reflect the diversity of EU regions.

The opinion in general welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to amend Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 as regards the territorial typologies (Tercet) and praises the proposal for compliance with both principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

However, it calls for addressing the specific situation of territories with particular geographic, economic, social and demographic features, which should be adequately covered within the framework of European regional statistics.

This would provide them with a chance to support the implementation of public policies targeted at challenges they are facing‘ – stated the rapporteur, who additionally proposed an amendment adding additional territorial typologies related to the territories with specific geographic, economic, social and demographic features, which have already been developed and used.

Struk also believes more flexibility should be given to Member States and regional or local authorities with the possibility to submit complementary new typologies based on evidence and experience in the implementation of public policies. ‘Should there be a justified need identified by Member States or CoR and confirmed by the European Commission, they should be allowed to propose such changes‘ – argued the rapporteur.

The opinion endorsed by majority of COTER commission Members will be subject to final CoR vote at its upcoming plenary session in July.

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