Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-160"

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"Mr President, the report which we are debating contains certain moderate political points which, however, are overshadowed by negative technical points. Thus, some of the messages contained in the report, such as the radical reform of the cohesion policy in the middle of the programming period, are not feasible. I would like to also comment on three other negative points: first, constant mention is made of the Union as the most competitive and dynamic economy. Apart from being tiresome, this sort of thing is untrue and paradoxical, given that the report itself does not mention an increase in the budget that would allow the European economy to reach in fact the levels that it likes to advertise. Secondly, there is disagreement about the increase in Community spending on the cohesion policy. The text mentions a 'ceiling' of 1.18% of GDP. This means that Parliament would be more royal than the king, because the European Commission itself, on the basis of the statistics for 2000-2016 programming period, has noted that it will take 1.24% of GDP. More Europe with less money will not work and that is something we need to highlight. Thirdly, there is the technical part that makes provision for certain arrangements that will create numerous problems. Thus the text makes provision for the Union to move away in the future from net financing towards a system of loans on favourable terms. This is clearly a problem, because it will throw the regions of the Union already facing problems into even greater economic problems. Similarly, there is a message regarding concern about the fact that in certain regions the targeting of Community aid is unsuccessful, with the result that no improvement is achieved in the situation of the regions in question, despite long-term financial support, and as a result Community resources are being wasted. It calls for a maximum period of time to be defined during which the regions will be able to receive structural funding, so as to avoid situations in which the regions that have been receiving Community support for many years remain at the same low level of development. In this way, we are promoting a 'you die so I can live' tactic, on the basis of which the regions will enter into competition in order to secure Community funding. This sort of thing is not viable and we certainly cannot support it."@en1

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