EU regional policy at risk

The EU’s poorest regions could be the biggest losers at the budget summit held this week. According to EuroNews, the member states look to agree upon how much to spend on Europe over the next seven years.

What European Commission wants is just over one trillion Euros, whereas EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy has proposed 30 billion euros less than that.

If Van Rompuy’s plans are adopted, development projects in less wealthy parts of Europe could low money, the so-called cohesion funds.

“Better spending must not be understood to mean no money at all. We are in favour of a balanced approach to potential cuts in the budget. Such cuts should be applied in a balanced manner throughout all European policies,” this approach was made by Polish PM Donald Tusk in Brussels last week.

One of the EU’s regional policy goals is to smooth out economic differences between the poorer regions in the east and south, and the rest of Europe through allocating so-called cohesion funds.

Spain once tapped the very funds to help pay for high speed trains. However, now it is likely to lose some 30 percent of that funding, which would be another minus for a country in crisis.

“We want to find an agreement, but it’s not good to strike a bad agreement. So if we can’t find a good agreement, there won’t be one.” The latter statement belongs to Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, Spanish Minister for European Affairs.

“Everyone agrees that savings need to be made, but where to cut? Should every European region lose out or only the richest, as some are demanding,” explains Euronews expert Margherita Sforza, who then adds on: “That will be played out at the EU summit later this week.”