The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) want future regional policy to cover all European Union member states, regions and union. The top priority, they said, should be to better target investments and for the share of co-financing by member states to increase.

“Cohesion policy is the strongest expression of solidarity in the EU,” said Iskra Mihaylova (Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms), President of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). “It is important that we maximise its potential post-2020, strengthening its flexibility, added value, as well as its coherence and consistency with the European Semester process.”

According to ALDE, cross-border regional cooperation can be used to achieve traditional objectives of regional development, when combined with other common policies. This is one reason they are pushing for a doubling of the Interreg programme and hope that cross-border cooperation can also be applied to border areas of the EU.

“In the last period, cohesion policy supported four hundred thousand SMEs and helped almost 9.5 million people to find a new job,” said Matthijs Van Miltenburg (The Netherlands, D66), ALDE spokesperson amid the REGI Committee. “In the future, it will remain the number one investment policy in the EU to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion.  With more focus in our spending and structural reforms, we will boost our competitiveness and economic growth. We make Cohesion Policy great again, for a Europe that delivers!”