Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship in Poland, has today called for changes to the European Commission’s propositions for the Multiannual Financial Framework because they discriminate against the Mazovia Region. His statement took place at the EU Committee of the Regions’ Plenary Session as part of a forum for EU matters affecting local and regional authorities.
Referencing the publication of the European Commission’s proposal for the Multi-annual Financial Framework and a set of regulations regarding Cohesion Policy in the next financial perspective of the European Union, the Marshal insisted that attention should be paid to the “unfair and discriminatory approach” towards Mazovia Region and regions Vidurio ir vakarų Lietuvos regionas (the region around Vilnius, the region with Vilnius is Sostinės regionas – Lithuania), Pest (the Budapest region includes the capital – Hungary), Southern (the region including the capital is Eastern and Midland – Ireland) and Southern Scotland (area NUTS 2 with Glasgow is West Central Scotland – Great Britain). The reason behind his concern is that the proposed division of funds used economic data for 2014-2016 and that this did not take account of the new NUTS 2 classification for Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Ireland and Great Britain. As a result, the whole of Mazovia was included amongst the richest regions.
This is problematic because since 1 January 2018 there are two statistical NUTS 2 regions in Mazovia, which has more than 5 million inhabitants: Mazowiecki Regionalny (Mazovia Regional) and Warszawski Stołeczny (Warsaw-Capital), which is made up of Warsaw and 9 surrounding poviats. Disproportion in development between two parts of the region is the largest in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. GDP per capita in the newly created Warszawski Stołeczny region in 2015 accounted for 148% of the EU average, while in Mazowiecki Regionalny less than 60%. Accoording to Marshal Struzik:
Marshal Struzik therefore underlined this decision will deprive regions that are less developed but inappropriately classified as highly developed of the much needed support. “Their potential will not meet the requirements assigned to more developed areas, that is very high own contribution – 60% of the investment or focus on the most ambitious and difficult to realize thematic objectives ” Struzik said.
Due to the above, and in order to achieve the objectives of cohesion policy, the Marshal stressed that it is necessary to recalculate the reference data for 2014-2016 period for all regions, taking into account current statistical divisions at the NUTS 2 level or to introduce derogations for those regions that will submit data enabling the above mentioned recalculation.