The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) asks to preserve funds for rural development, hospitals, schools, local transport, environment, universities and small businesses in the EU budget 2021-2027 talks. Investment cuts would affect rural regions and funds that make people’s lives better in cities and regions, argues Ulrika Landergren. 

The European Committee of the Regions is deeply concerned about the risks of undermining policies that bring Europe closer to its citizens, and citizens closer to Europe. Regions and cities will not be able to do more for their citizens and the EU with less EU support if the budget for 2021-2027, the first after Brexit, would cut investments. This new multiannual financial framework will be discussed at a Special European Summit on Thursday 20 February 2020.  

Ulrika Landergren, President of the Commission for Natural Resources to the European Committee of the Regions:

“The second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the only one able to reduce territorial inequalities and the concentration of production in the most productive areas (with the disastrous environmental consequences which result from it) generated by the aid of the first pillar of the CAP. Reduce the budget of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for the benefit of the first pillar is therefore going against the objectives of territorial cohesion and those of the green deal ”

Taxpayers’ money should continue to be invested in local communities, as this benefits both the EU budget net payers and net beneficiaries. For the majority of Member States, EU funding for cohesion, agriculture and rural development accounts for around 50% of total public investment. Not only is this EU solidarity in action, but it boosts economic growth, job creation and the single market, benefiting us all.