Regional policy reform: MEPs set to start talks with member states
date of publication > 19-July-2012
During the June 2012 EUREKA Ministerial Conference in Budapest, ministers and government representatives from EUREKA member countries acknowledged the relevance of steps taken by the Hungarian Chairmanship to explore the regional dimension of EUREKA. In a Ministerial Communiqué
, they expressed their firm belief that specific regional technological challenges can be addressed through EUREKA’s long-established experience of working through its extensive network with local innovation actors. Ministers welcomed cooperation and the finding of common ground with partners such as the Danube Strategy and ERA-Net projects with regional focus.
They also welcomed the identification of good practice in the use of European regional funds for international research, development and innovation cooperation. In particular, the European Commission’s new cohesion policy proposal for 2014-2020 and the efforts of the Hungarian Chairmanship to explore all incremental sources of funding for EUREKA projects. Ministers acknowledged EUREKA as a natural partner for the implementation of innovation components of cohesion policy and agreed that EU Member States should pay particular attention to the major potential of Structural Funds for financing EUREKA’s innovation activities. In the case of EU candidates such as incoming Chairmanship country Turkey, the use of Structural and Horizon 2020 funds should be considered through the instrument for Pre-Accession.
Indeed, in its recently-published Annual Work Programme 2012-2013
, the Turkish EUREKA Chairmanship states its plan to ‘implement the designed policy concerning the regional dimension of innovation’ under Priority 2: Remaining the preferred platform for innovation’.
Meanwhile, regional development committee MEPs
are set to start talks with member states on the EU’s post-2013 cohesion policy as they call for greater involvement of both regional and local authorities in the design of regional programmes. Regional Development Committee Chair Danuta Hübner stated that parliament was ready to make the new cohesion policy ‘a real investment plan for Europe, bringing growth and competitiveness’.