In particular, the MEPs have set their position on the rules that will govern the management of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund during the period between 2021 and 2027 and that still have to be negotiated and agreed with the Member States .
Thus, the document approved by the European Parliament points out that at least 5% of ERDF resources must be allocated at national level to the integrated territorial development of areas with "natural or demographic disadvantages", including population aging, desertification rural population, demographic decline, demographic pressure or the difficulty of access to basic services.
The MEP of the PP Ramón Valcárcel has celebrated that the 'red lines' of the Eurocámara finally include in this writing. "We have managed not only to recognize the fight against depopulation as a priority at European level, but also to shield budgetary resources so that there is no excuse and have to go, yes or yes, from the saying to the fact," he said.
In the same line, the PSOE MEP Iratxe García has stressed that "the fight against depopulation will finally become a priority for European funds." "It is fundamental for our rural environment that European policy and, in particular, the policy of cohesion become an effective instrument to give hope to all the people who are dying," he remarked.
In addition, the MEPs are in favor of devoting most of the ERDF funds to smart growth and green economy. Thus, the text states that European regions must spend between 30% and 50% of funding projects that bet on "an intelligent and innovative Europe", reported the European Parliament.
Along the same lines, a minimum percentage of 30% should be invested in the fight against climate change and in measures to move towards a circular economy. They also ask that at least 10% of funds at the national level be dedicated to sustainable urban development, compared to 6% raised by the European Commission.
On the other hand, MEPs stressed that airport infrastructure, the management and treatment of waste and investments related to fossil fuels should not benefit from regional funds of the EU.
However, the text contemplates some exceptions in the case of the outermost regions, such as the Canary Islands, and for solutions based on the principles of circular economy and energy efficiency.
With regard to the distribution of these funds, the Parliament defends in the text approved on Wednesday that they should be divided according to the GDP per capita of each region and not at the national level according to the basic national income of the country, as it happens at present.