At the invitation of European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform Elise Ferreire, EU Minister for Regional Development and Funds Marko Pavic participated in the conference "Engaging Citizens for Good Governance in Cohesion Policy" in Brussels on 6 February.
Minister Pavic emphasized that cohesion policy has been the most important investment tool of the European Union for over thirty years. "Thanks to cohesion policy, hundreds of thousands of projects across Europe have supported job creation, generated economic growth and sustainable development, competitiveness, and improved the quality of life for many of our citizens," the minister said.
ďIt is very important for us to hear our citizens, to hear what civil society has to say about the future of Europe, the future of operational programs and the policies that Governments are implementing. We believe that we can learn from them and turn their solutions into policies, Ēconcluded Minister Pavić.
In his speech, he also referred to the recent meeting of the Friends of Cohesion held in Portugal, at which representatives of 17 Member States expressed the importance of further investing in cohesion policy.
European Commission Vice-President äuica also participated in the conference, who stressed that the Commission wants better cooperation with citizens in the decision-making and policy process, and therefore welcomed the holding of a Conference on the involvement of citizens in the process of good governance of cohesion policy.
Speaking about the conference on the future of Europe, which will kick off on Europe Day, May 9, she said that the Commission was thus seeking to raise the dialogue with citizens to a new level, listening to what citizens want and implementing it in policymaking. In the process, the Vice-President said, cooperation with national, regional authorities and civil society, which is linked to thousands of citizens, is important, emphasizing that European democracy means cooperation and courage.
The Vice-President assessed that cohesion policy was an important instrument in dealing with demographic challenges, and announced that she was visiting many EU-funded projects during the Conference on the Future of Europe "because European funds have a direct impact on people".
During his working visit to Brussels, Minister Pavić also held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elis Ferreira, Director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG Regio) Vittoria Alliata di Villafranco and Deputy Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Andriana Sukov.