Call from European regions for the creation of a
Transition Regions category of regions within post-2013 cohesion policy September 2012
Mayor Joe ANDERSON OBE on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Laurent BEAUVAIS, President of the Basse-Normandie Regional Council Christian BOURQUIN, President of Languedoc-Roussillon Ugo CAPPELLACCI, President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia Gianni CHIODI, President of Abruzzo Region Vito DE FILIPPO, President of the Basilicata Region Jean-Paul DENANOT, President of Limousin Region Rudy DEMOTTE, Minister-President of Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Claude GEWERC, President of the Picardie Regional Council Drew HENDRY, Councillor of the Highland Council Angelo Michele IORIO, President of Molise Region Will MUMFORD, Councillor of Devon County Council Hans NIESSL, Governor of the Region of Burgenland René SOUCHON, President of the Auvergne Regional Council Ramón Luis VALCÁRCEL SISO, President of the Region of Murcia
Considering that the reduction of social, economic and territorial disparities remains one of the main challenges for the European Union in terms of solidarity and that the achievement of the objectives set by the Europe 2020 strategy should not leave aside any territory, Considering that, whereas it is undeniable that cohesion policy has contributed to the development of both growth and prosperity within the European regions, there are nevertheless still some regions whose GDP per capita remains clearly below the European average without being part of the Less Developed Regions, Considering that there is a real danger of an economic fall or of a drop in the economic growth for these regions if they do not receive adequate support from the Union during the next programming period, Considering that within a European Union composed by nearly 280 regions, the socioeconomic situation of regions needs to be taken into account,
With this declaration, the European Regions:
Strongly welcome the creation of a category of "Transition Regions" as proposed within the post-2013 cohesion policy proposals, provided that this new category does not prevent all regions in the EU from continuing to receive Structural Funds support. Strongly ask the European institutions to set up a simple, fair, transparent, and efficient system for the Transition Regions which includes all European regions whose GDP per capita lies between 75% and 90% of the EU average, regardless of whether the region is in relative growth or decline. Point out that the creation of such a category would be a faithful illustration of the principle of territorial cohesion, as enshrined in the Treaty, leading to a fairer treatment of regions with a similar level of economic development. Point out that the proposed budget for Transition Regions entails neither an increase to the cohesion policy budget overall nor a reduction in aid intensity for individual regions in the Less Developed and More Developed categories. Agree with the principle of thematic concentration on the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy, but insist that greater flexibility be granted to transition regions to reflect their local development circumstances. This flexibility would better reflect these regionsâ€™ economic position as a â€œhalfway houseâ€? between Less Developed and More Developed Regions. It would afford greater support to Transition Regions as they aim to narrow the productivity and competitiveness gap and contribute to delivering EU 2020 priorities.