The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomes today's announcement by Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner on the preparations for the new cohesion policy period (2007-2013).
The AER appreciates the European Commission's commitment to start the programmes on the ground as soon as possible. It is also important that Member States have been able to prepare their National Strategic Frameworks on time.
The AER is also extremely pleased to see that a focus has been put on renewable energies and energy efficiency, two issues in which the regions are strongly engaged.
At the same time...
The AER hopes that the Regions' needs, experience and expectations are fully taken into account in these Programmes.
The AER asks for a quick start to the programmes: implementation should reflect the lessons learned and the experiences gained by the Regions during the previous programming periods.
The AER will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the cohesion programmes in the Regions, and calls for a strict implementation of the principle of additionality (i.e. the inclusion of a national co-financing in addition to the EU funding), in order to make the most of these programmes.
The Assembly of European Regions-AER (www.a-e-r.org) is the political organisation of Regions in Europe and their spokesperson at European and international level. Its vocation is to defend the Regions' interests in the political process and to develop interregional cooperation. The AER brings together 250 Regions from 32 European Countries and 14 interregional organisations.
AER Contacts: Sergio Nava, Spokesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org - Mobile: +33 678 695235, Tel.: +33 3 88 22 74 36; Francine Huhardeaux, Press Officer, email@example.com - Mobile: +33 678 695203, Tel. +33 3 88 22 74 49