As the MFF 2021-2027 negotiations are coming to a crucial point, we, as key European regions, interregional smart specialisation partnerships and other innovation stakeholders, would like to raise your attention to the new instrument proposed by the European Commission to support Interregional Innovation Investments, the so-called Component 5 that was proposed by the European Commission as part of the Cohesion Policy package.
We strongly believe that this instrument, though small in budget, could be the driver of a big ambition for Europe. Indeed, through building innovative value chains and creating strategic innovation partnerships across European regions, it would bring an important EU added value and contribute to the EU ambitions for innovation and industrial modernisation.
However, according to our analysis, the recent Finnish Presidency proposal about the budget dedicated to this instrument puts its existence and effectiveness at risk. Indeed, the proposed split of the budget, with only € 500 million remaining, will keep this instrument from developing the full set of proposed activities, e.g. a strand for supporting investments in interregional innovation projects and a strand dedicated to the development of value chains in less developed regions. These complementary strands are key for ensuring that all EU regions can reap the opportunities of collaboration and develop synergies with other structural Funds and centrally managed programmes.
In our joint statement, see attachment, we further develop our position. We call upon the Council to preserve the proposed ‘Interregional Innovation Investments’ component and its €970 million budget, while also stressing that the European Territorial Cooperation budget should remain a key priority for further promoting cooperation in Europe. The budget discussions should not put innovative proposals at risk which hold important potential to further raise the competitiveness of Europe.
We remain fully committed to promote further interregional collaboration in Europe and stay available for further exchanges on this topic in the future.
- Assembly of European Regions (AER)
- Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR)
- European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN)
- Vanguard Initiative