The CoR recognises that the EU budget faces high budgetary pressures due to the UK’s decision to leave the EU and due to still high levels of public debt across EU Member States.

The rapporteur firmly believes that the EU’s financial support to European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) initiatives should be significantly increased in the next MFF with the aim to boost economic growth and cohesion, as well as for building a better EU for its citizens. With a view to addressing the cross-border impact of new legislation, the rapporteur proposes systematically considering the territorial impact in their negotiations on legislative proposals. He also supports the proposal to set up a permanent intergroup on ETC at the European Parliament. According to the draft opinion, the CoR expresses regret that thematic concentration objectives and a focus on economic growth and innovation mean that there is not always the flexibility for programme implementation authorities to decide on their investment priorities in accordance with their own regional development strategies. To conclude and drawing on experience of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) tool, the rapporteur requests that the Commission table a legislative proposal for a “European Cross-Border Convention” (ECBC) as bottom-up legal tool aimed at reducing the administrative and financial burden.

Calendar of adoption: first discussion and adoption in the COTER commission on 27 April 2018, final adoption at the plenary session of 4-5 July 2018.

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