EP and CoR push for early adoption of EGTC regulation
By Isabelle Smets | Friday 30 March 2012
The EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Parliament have pressed the Council of Ministers to speed up work on revision of the regulation on European groupings for territorial cooperation (EGTC - revision of Regulation 1082/206)). The EGTC is a legal instrument created by the EU in 2006 to facilitate cooperation between local and regional authorities in different member states. When presenting its legislative proposals on the Structural Funds 2014-2020, the European Commission also proposed to adapt the EGTC regulation in order to make it easier to create and run these groupings and to clarify certain provisions, nothing very controversial. But the Council has not really started its review of the text, preferring to focus on the other far more sensitive proposals of the cohesion policy package. The CoR and Parliament are concerned and starting to lose patience.
They made this known at a conference they co-sponsored on the future of the EGTC, on 29 March. The two institutions find that revision of the EGTC regulation, which has no budgetary impact, should be separated from the negotiations on the Structural Fund regulation. Michel Delebarre (PES, France), the CoR’s rapporteur, does not want to “take the risk of being held hostage” by the adoption of the entire legislative package on post-2013 cohesion. “We expect the current EU Council Presidency to become a bit more offensive in this regard.” Since 2006, 26 EGTCs have been set up and another 20 or so are in the works and ready to become operational in the coming months. For the CoR, that is another good reason to speed up the revision process.