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General Affairs Council: Cohesion Policy

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 6 December 2018

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

I attended the General Affairs Council (Cohesion) on 30 November 2018. The meeting was held in Brussels and chaired by the Austrian presidency.

The meeting was dedicated to deliberations around the legislative package for post-2020 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 legislative proposals for post-2020, with a view to influencing the Commission’s proposals and commenting on the views from the Austrian presidency.

Member states particularly focused on efforts for simplification, harmonisation, the strategic framework for future cohesion policy, and intervened on the partnership agreement and mid-term review. I intervened to support a link to the European semester, for further simplification and harmonisation, as well as outlining the UK position on the partnership agreement, the mid-term review and the proposals on European territorial co-operation.

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