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House of Commons Hansard
Written Statements
18 April 2018
Volume 639

Written Statement

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

General Affairs Council: April 2018

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My right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Lord Henley) has made the following written statement:

I attended the General Affairs Council (Cohesion) on 12 April 2018. The meeting was held in Luxembourg and chaired by the Bulgarian presidency.

The meeting was dedicated to the strategic context and priorities for post-2020 cohesion policy, and included an information session from the Commission on communicating cohesion policy.

A provisional report of the meeting and the conclusions adopted can be found on the Council of the European Union’s website at:

The General Affairs Council discussed the future direction of cohesion policy in the next multiannual financial framework. Ministers and their representatives from member states presented their positions on the strategic context and priorities for post-2020, with a view to influencing the Commission’s proposals. Member states particularly focused on efforts for simplification, harmonisation, the strategic framework for future cohesion policy, and the principle of national co-financing. I intervened to reflect on the lessons learnt from the UK’s experience of implementing cohesion policy and provide some suggestions for a future cohesion policy.

The Commission provided an update on how cohesion policy has been, and could be, better communicated to the public.

The Bulgarian presidency provided an update on non-legislative and legislative items.