Federal Minister Peter Altmaier and the EU Commissioner Regional Policy Corina Creţu

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier and the EU Commissioner Regional Policy Corina Creţu

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier is welcoming EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu in Berlin today. They will be discussing the future EU cohesion policy, which aims to reduce regional differences in development and locational disadvantages. The European Commission has proposed to focus the cohesion policy for the new 2021-2027 programming period on forward-looking issues, including innovation and research, the reduction of CO2 emissions and infrastructure. This proposal, like the closer link with the country-specific recommendations, is sending out an important signal for a modern investment policy.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “I welcome the fact that the European Commission is focusing on promoting innovation, mitigating climate change and implementing structural reforms. In Germany, the EU structural funds have made an important contribution to the positive economic development especially in the eastern Länder. There are, however, still enormous differences in development between some of the regions. There are many reasons for this – ranging from an ageing workforce to structural change in the industrial sector. It is the task of cohesion policy to address these challenges, taking account of regional needs. The new programming period from 2021 must focus on the regions that are facing special challenges, including integrating refugees and tackling structural change. I welcome the fact that the European Commission’s proposal points in this direction. In the ongoing negotiations, we need to ensure that the funds will be allocated among the regions in a balanced way.”

The European Commission’s proposal on the next 2021-2027 programming period is being discussed intensively in the Council and the European Parliament. According to the proposal, €17.7 billion (in current prices) and €15.7 billion (in 2018 prices) of the EU structural funds are earmarked for Germany. This corresponds to a decline of about 8% in current prices and of 20.7% in 2018 prices compared to the current programming period (2014-2020). This decline is primarily due to the good economic development in German regions in an EU comparison.