As I have mentioned on many previous occasions, we need to increase the visibility of Cohesion Policy. At the end of the day, here's a policy whose projects improve Europeans' daily life via the funding of schools, public transport, access to public services, support to small and medium enterprises, and polls show that those same beneficiaries are not aware enough of Cohesion Policy.
I shared my thoughts with the ministers regarding the tangible benefits of the policy and the importance of enhancing the visibility of its results. The Commission cannot be the only one to communicate on this topic; the public and private sectors ought to join forces: national, regional and local authorities, all EU institutions and other stakeholders. We have however made another step toward better visibility and proposed seven joint communication actions including the setting-up of a broad "Cohesion Alliance" that brings together all strands of Europe: cities and regions of course but also the private sector, national governments, NGOs and even individuals.
Obviously, discussions will continue and intensify in the coming months. What we must however understand, is that the way we make progress today on implementation will be the best advocate of the future shape of Cohesion Policy. There is no better argument for the future than a sound present.
My stay in Malta included a cultural tour of the wonderful Rabat Citadella, on the island of Gozo, the second largest of the Maltese archipelago. This historical town has benefitted from two different EU-funded projects aimed to enhance the historical, cultural, social and recreational value: the restoration of the historical outer walls and of the inner parts of the town, resulting in innovative interpretation of all sites within the walled city of Citadella.