Juncker discusses Investment Plan with Committee of the Regions
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and representatives of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a debate on the European Investment Plan in Brussels last week.
During the debate, President Juncker and local leaders discussed the key challenges currently facing Europe, agreeing that the absolute priority is to deliver new jobs and sustainable growth. President Juncker emphasised that he regarded the Committe of the Regions as a key partner in delivering the EU Investment Plan, now that an agreement had been reached between the Council and the European Parliament, saying that "regions and cities have now the right and duty to present new projects". CoR President Markku Markkula recalled the joint action plan launched by the CoR with the European Investment Bank to help regions and cities benefit from the new investment tool. He added that simplification, better absorption of EU funds, as well as synergies between cohesion policy and the Juncker Plan were "crucial challenges" in this context. President Juncker stressed that the Investment Plan should be accompanied by concrete progress on budgetary consolidation and structural reforms, announcing that the Commission would also launch new initiatives on the social dimension of the single market and monetary union.
After the debate, the CoR adopted its key priorities for 2015-2020: creating jobs and sustainable growth in cities and regions to provide a better quality of life for citizens; the territorial dimension of EU legislation; a simpler, more connected Europe; stability and cooperation within and outside the European Union; and creating a Europe of the citizens.
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