Sant calls for the Euopean Union to give more weight to socioeconomic and cohesion priorities

Alfred Sant

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April, 2022 at 1:34 pm by The Malta Business Weekly

Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant has expressed his support for a European Parliament Resolution on the start of the implementation of the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy period. In his intervention to the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg he issued a strong call to the European Union not to forget its original priorities, in particular when it comes to achieving socioeconomic convergence and cohesion between member states and regions. On the basis of these goals social and economic inequalities between different regions of the European Union stand to be diminished. The head of the Labour S&D Delegation Sant warned that abandoning such fundamental goals might lead to further divergence and possibly European disintegration.

The EU allocated €392bn for cohesion policy which will be used over a span of seven years between 2021 and 2027. One of the overarching aims of the European Union Cohesion Policy is to consolidate economic, social and territorial cohesion in Europe. This includes the task of correcting imbalances between countries and regions. Besides, one other objective is to deliver on the EU’s political priorities, namely the green and digital transition.

Labour MEP Sant sounded warning that with new arising funding priorities, purportedly in many instances cohesion is being shifted to the backburner. This is evident for instance when it comes to the prioritisation of member states authorities in absorbing European Union funding.

Sant pointed out that the report rightly raises a number of issues relating to the implementation of the current funding programme dedicated to the sector. He strongly agreed that the green and digital transitions need to go hand in hand with the cohesion projects. Furthermore, he stressed that the same should apply when it comes to the prioritisation that EU authorities are giving to funds within the Recovery and Resilience Facility that has been set up to help member states counter the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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