The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) has welcomed the European Parliament’s draft report on the future of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) regulation, which recognises the need for regions to be at the core of a reinforced Interreg instrument after 2020.

The draft report was presented by European Parliament rapporteur, Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont, during the September 3 meeting of the European Parliament’s regional development committee.

The CPMR supports the report’s proposal to increase the Interreg budget, rather than the 12% reduction proposed by the Commission, and to reintroduce the possibility for maritime cross-border cooperation programmes to continue.

According to a European Parliament press release, also positive is the proposal that third countries, such as Norway and the UK after Brexit, could be eligible to take part in the regulation’s components four, fostering interregional cooperation, and five, enabling interregional innovation.

“We welcome this strong first step taken by the European Parliament, which is in line with the CPMR’s position and conveys the need for an ambitious, well-resourced Interreg based on territorial needs,” said CPMR President, Vasco Cordeiro.