NAMRB position on the EU budget post 2020
In the period May-June 2018 the European Commission (EC) announced the proposals for the budget of the Union as regards regional development and cohesion and the Common agricultural policy in the framework of the Multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027.
At various events and forums of the Committee of Regions and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions the mayors and representatives of NAMRB discussed, formulated and came forward with positions of the European local and regional authorities on MFF proposals. This issue was also at the top of the agenda of our permanent committees on the management of EU funds and on agriculture, forestry, rural and mountain areas, as well as in the forums within the 10th National meeting of EU program experts from Bulgarian municipalities.
In pursue to the NAMRB’s Activities program for 2019, which calls for active involvement in the preparation of the strategic documents for the coming programming period and with a view to the importance of EU support for municipalities, NAMRB promptly drafted its position on the MFF. The position was unanimously adopted by the NAMRB Managing board.
The crucial messages of our position are:
- Support for the proposals of EC on MFF as regards: access to Cohesion policy support for all regions; safeguarding the partnership principle; the established policy objectives; the reduction in the number of programs and of the administrative burdens; the enhanced flexibility in programming and absorption; the more favourable framework for integrated territorial development and local territorial initiatives through approaches such as ITI, CLLD, Leader, and other territorial instruments, as well as the earmarked allocation for them at the national level.
- We insist:
- European support not to be dependent on the rule of law, macroeconomic and “enabling conditions”. Compliance with them does not depend on beneficiaries;
- The financing of additional priorities, as well as the reforms in member-states, not to be at the expense of the Cohesion and Common agricultural policies;
- The budget of the CAP’s second pillar, the funding from the Cohesion fund and for the cross border cooperation to be increased, at least to their present levels;
- The present rules to be retained as regards: the common framework for all investment funds, i.e. the incorporation of the EAFRD into the Common provision regulation; the periods to absorb annual allocations, i.e. the retention of the n+3 rule; the amount of pre-financing; the share of European co-financing of projects. It must remain at 85% for the less developed and remote regions, as well as for the Cohesion fund and territorial cooperation, 70% for the transition regions and 50% for the more developed regions;
- The proposed unified allocation of 2.5% for the technical assistance under ERDF and the Cohesion fund to be doubled;
- Financial instruments shall not replace grants. They have to be utilized not only for new types of investments, but also for financially viable investments for which the available market finance mechanisms are not adequate;
- Additional simplification of program structure and implementation rules is needed.
Municipalities and NAMRB commit to: Popularize and disseminate persistently the good results and added value of Cohesion and CAP; Work for, negotiate and defend as favourable as possible conditions for Bulgarian local authorities access to European funding in the period 2021 – 2027; Contribute in constructive and responsible manner to the improvement of rules for the next MFF; Defend during the MFF debates, on the basis of experience and expertise gained and through the representatives at European and national level, the closer to its citizens Europe, the Europe of municipalities and regions.
Full text of NAMRB’s position here