President of the CoR agrees with the Commission on the importance of intermediate regions

At the celebration of the 9th edition of the Open Days, Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions defended the creation of a provisional intermediate category, which will be "intermediate" regions i.e. with a GDP of between 75% and 90% of the EU average, as it was proposed by the Commission.

Among the Commission's proposals welcomed by the Committee of the Regions, her President, Mercedes Bresso, stressed during the celebration of the Open Days 2011, the importance of introducing a provisional intermediate category, the intermediate regions, i.e. with a GDP of between 75% and 90% of the EU average. These regions should all get the same type of support, whether they are growing wealthier and hence are being phased out of the convergence (objective 2) group, or poorer according to the Commission. The Commission is currently assuming that 64 to 68 regions will come under the convergence objective in 2014-2020 and 51 regions will come under the new intermediate category.

In addition, Committee of the Regions members also broadly welcomed the European Commission's proposals for the five territorial funds regulations during the Open Days 2011 opening session. In particular, CoR President Mercedes Bresso expressed her appreciation for many aspects of the proposal - the Common Strategic Framework, the partnership with local and regional authorities, the territorial dimension, a new category of transition regions, linking the European Social Fund with cohesion policy, a stronger EU territorial cooperation.

However, recently, Ms Bresso firmly opposed to one of the cornerstones of European Commission's reform programme to the cohesion policy, to suspend EU funds for countries flouting the stability and growth pact or other deficit rules. President of the CoR emphasised the damaging knock-on effects that the 'funding suspension' would have on the ground and showed herself irritated because the ignored the strong opposition of the Committee of the Regions, the European Parliament and of the other concerned stakeholders on this point.