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Juncker plan may bring unintended consequences for regional policy

Jan 23, 2015 | News

(23 January 2015) – In order to encourage financial contributions from the EU member states to the Juncker investment plan, the European Commission has agreed to discount any contributions from their calculations of national deficits. But the regions fear that this leniency will lead to a diversion of EU structural funds.

The 315 billion euro boost to investment that the Juncker plan will bring to investment in the European Union may not receive a warm welcome from everyone, and the French regions, the country’s main recipients of EU structural funds, have already expressed concern at seeing this policy administered.

Corina Cretu, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, responded to the worries of the regional authorities by guaranteeing that Juncker plan funding would complement the Cohesion Policy, without eating away at structural funds.

If the European Commission has guaranteed that these funds will complement each other, they could still find themselves in competition. In an official communication published on 13 January, the European Commission confirmed that the member states’ contributions to the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the money behind the Juncker plan, will be excluded from calculations of budgetary adjustments under the Stability and Growth Pact. This certainly gives the Juncker plan a competitive advantage over the Cohesion Policy when it comes to attracting money from the member states. (EurActiv)

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