The European Economic and Social Committee has expressed strong disagreement with the Commission’s proposal to cut Cohesion policy funds by 10 per cent, saying the EU executive must show sensitivity for the current political environment rather than focus only on the budget.

The Committee also rejected the Commission’s macroeconomic conditionality “for penalising regions and citizens who are not to blame for macroeconomic decisions taken at national or European level”.

Read: Cohesion policy beyond 2020 - Corina Creţu

“The EESC, in no uncertain terms, rejects the European Commission proposal to cut the Cohesion budget by 10 per cent. The Commission cannot engage in just an accounting exercise. It must also be sensitive to the political environment which we are currently experiencing,” Stefano Mallia, EESC rapporteur, told EURACTIV.

Changes in the economic factors like the ones proposed by the Commission constitute a threat to the overall economic European landscape and could eventually harm investments, the EESC opinion said.

“Therefore, incorporating Regional Development and Cohesion policy commitments in a realistic context, in line with the 2020 values, is of utmost importance.”

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