11 Apr 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 11 APRILBrussels Daily
Commission reports on how the EU Cohesion Policy can help low-income and low-growth regions
In a report published today on EU regions which are lagging behind in terms of growth or wealth, the Commission identifies clear paths to support regional growth strategies, with the help of EU funds.
The report assesses what supports or hinders the competitiveness of these regions and why they have not yet reached the expected levels of growth and income for the EU. More importantly, the report identifies the investment needs of the regions, namely human capital, innovation, quality of institutions, better accessibility, as well as the tools available within the framework of EU Cohesion Policy that could support them in their future. More information here
First Vice-President Timmermans announces Commission plans to revise European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation
In a speech this morning at the annual European Citizens’ Initiative Day, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced the Commission’s plans to revise the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation and further improve the use of this important tool. The First Vice-President said, “I want to make the ECI more accessible and citizen-friendly. I want the ECI to become a popular and living instrument, one that citizens are familiar with… There are obstacles to a more accessible and citizen-friendly ECI which have their origin in provisions of the ECI Regulation itself. We should take a careful look at those too… This process could culminate in a proposal to revise the ECI Regulation this year.” The Commission will make proposals later this year, based on lessons learned in the five years since the Regulation came into force, and drawing on a public consultation to be launched before the summer. European Citizens’ Initiatives were introduced by the Lisbon Treaty as a democratic tool in the hands of citizens. If a registered Initiative receives the signatures of one million citizens from at least seven Member States, the Commission must decide whether or not it will take the requested legislative action, and explain the reasons for that choice. In the first five years, the Commission has registered over 40 Initiatives, which have collected over six million signatures. Three Initiatives have reached the College of Commissioners for discussion after passing the one million signature threshold and two of the three have seen concrete policy actions in response, including in the Commission’s 2017 Work Programme. More information on European Citizens’ Initiatives is available on the dedicated website here.