Regions contribute to renewed economic growth in Europe

in Debate, News

From BSSSC Newsletter March 2012

What is happening at the European scene is important for all regions of the Baltic Sea. Decisions taken by ministers in the various council formations oft en have far reaching consequences for regions and their citizens.

The priorities of the Danish EU presidency show a clear link between EU policies and renewed economic growth. When Denmark took over the presidency of the European Union on January 1st 2012 we also took over from Poland the negotiation of a number of very important legislative packages. Within the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework the future of major Union policies, such as cohesion and research & innovation, is being negotiated.

And the regions of Denmark are naturally supporting the objective, that the future EU budget should be dedicated to achieving the ambitious goals outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy – EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade. And that multi-level governance will help to achieve these goals.

From a regional point of view the priorities on the Multi-annual Financial Framework and Europe 2020 objectives are clear. We fully support the objective of renewing the economic growth within the EU. And an important tool for enhancing the European competitiveness is the Cohesion Policy. Th e EU Cohesion Policy must be acknowledged as an intelligent investment.

Cohesion policy aims at ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion across the EU. Its integrated approach has largely proven to be benefi cial to most territories across Europe, taking into account the diff erent parameters that support the development of a region. Even if it is difficult to assess its precise impact, the tremendous contribution that cohesion policy makes to regional development and territorial cohesion in Europe should not be underestimated.

In Denmark the structural funds play a crucial role in assisting entrepreneurs build up businesses within areas as diverse as tourism, the food industry, health innovation and climate and energy. Regional business policy focuses on the sources of growth such as entrepreneurship, education and competence as well as innovation and new technology. Several analyses indicate thatespecially these action areas are the drivers behind growth in the knowledge economy.

A reformed cohesion policy should betargeted growth and employment in the European regions. Th e effort will help to achieve the EU’s Growth Strategy Europe 2020 across the EU. It is important that all regions contribute to the objectives. Therefore regional allocation of Structural Funds to all regions should be maintained.

Cooperation and knowledge transfer across borders will improve European added value and help create renewed economic growth. Th at is why the European Territorial Cooperation programs should be strengthened in order to facilitate the important cooperation between countries and regions – across borders and in the Baltic Sea.

Furthermore the EU’s rural development program and fi sheries program should – more than today – be used for growth and job creation in the remote areas and areas dependent on fi sheries. We need business development which is not only targeted griculture but also ensures the necessary economic development in the periphery.

Finally, another area of regional priority is the EU Horizon 2020 which should be strengthened and designed to further support the overall EU priorities for growth and innovation and through that improve the competitiveness of the EU globally.

Knud Andersen, member of the BSSSC Board

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