European Economic Governance and Cohesion Policy

Cite as: Begg, I., Bachtler, J., Macchiarelli, C., Mendez, C., & Wishlade, F. (2014) European Economic Governance and Cohesion Policy.Report to the European Parliament Committee on Regional Development, Brussels, European Parliament

This study investigates the likely consequences of the many economic governance reforms adopted in the European Union since 2008 and their implications for Cohesion Policy. Its aim is to provide the European Parliament and, specifically, its Regional Development Committee, with insights into the future conduct of Cohesion Policy. The role of the European Parliament will not change markedly as a result of governance changes already introduced or in a limited GEMU scenario. However, economic governance themes are bound to be more prominent, as well as their interactions and repercussions for Cohesion Policy, matters of concern for the REGI Committee in particular. An important issue for the Parliament in the inter-institutional negotiations on Cohesion Policy was macroeconomic conditionality. Contrary to one of its demands, the EP will not have a formal legislative role in the macro-conditionality decision-making process, but will be kept informed of developments through a ‘dialogue’ with the Commission. Nevertheless, the EP does have the right to call the Commission and Member States to account on these issues.

There are four main implications for the European Parliament of a more comprehensive GEMU. First, there should be a stronger EP role in GEMU measures, given the need forgreater accountability and legitimation. Second, there is a need for more scrutiny of theCommission and Member States by EP committees, including the REGI Committee whenprocesses such as the Semester are scrutinised. Third, the EP requires better insights onhow GEMU measures are affecting Member States. Last, there is a need for stronger intercommittee coordination and dialogue within the Parliament.

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