The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 25 April 2017 is expected to focus on: modification of the Commons provisions regulation; bringing cohesion policy closer to our citizens; and implementation of EU macro-regional strategies; followed by a working lunch.
Modification of the Commons provisions regulation
The presidency will provide an update on proposed changes to the legislation which governs the common provisions regulation, the overarching EU regulation which governs the European structural and investment funds. These are expected to be in place before our withdrawal from the EU and were proposed by the Commission as part of the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in order to simplify and harmonise existing regulations.
Bringing cohesion policy closer to our citizens
The Council will adopt conclusions which: assess the EU’s cohesion policy in recent years; recognise the need for greater visibility in its implementation; and call for further simplification and flexibility in the period beyond 2020. A discussion between member states on the themes raised during the negotiation of the conclusions is expected.
Implementation of EU macro-regional strategies
The Council will adopt conclusions on ‘EU macro-regional strategies’, the frameworks for co-operation between member states and non-member states in tackling common challenges by better using existing EU initiatives and sources of funding.
Following the meeting there will be a working lunch, at which Ministers will have the opportunity to exchange views on the role of cohesion policy post 2020 with Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. This is expected to be an informal discussion.