Aerial photograph of a motorway junction

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State Secretary Matthias Machnig participated in the General Affairs Council on Cohesion in Luxembourg. Discussions focussed on the strategic framework and the priorities for European cohesion and structural policy after 2020.

State Secretary Machnig said: “In the upcoming negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework and the new legislative package for the European Structural and Investment Funds, we must not forget how important cohesion policy is for Europe's competitiveness, employment and cohesion. We want a strong cohesion policy that continues to take due account of all regions while supporting necessary structural reforms in the Member States. Cohesion and structural policy must help to further strengthen our common European values and the rule of law.”

The European Structural and Investment Funds currently account for the second largest EU budget item with 454 billion euros for the 2014-2021 funding period. Of this amount, Germany will receive around 30 billion euros. The European Regional Development Fund, for example, focuses on research and innovation, the competitiveness of SMEs and a low-carbon economy.