The finance ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Thursday signed a joint letter regarding the future of the EU cohesion policy in which they call on the European Commission not to reduce Cohesion Fund allocations following the end of the current funding period in 2020.
Representatives of the three neighbouring states said in the letter that they are prepared to further increase their contributions to the EU budget, but the planned reductions in the cohesion policy, the manyfold growth in own contribution and the reduction of allocations for the Baltic states for the 2021-2027 period proposed by the European Commission are too high and not in accordance with the countries’ growth in wealth, the Ministry of Finance said.
“The joint statement is a sign of very good cooperation between the three Baltic states; we agree on very many issues,” said Minister of Finance Toomas Tõniste (Pro Patria). “The cohesion policy is important both for us and the entire EU during the next budget period as well. The aim is to reduce differences in development within Europe, and to achieve this, the policy must take into account the needs and possibilities of the member states.”
The European Parliament and EU member states are the ones to agree on the objectives, conditions and volume of the next seven-year budget plan of the EU on the basis of the bills submitted by the European Commission. The unanimous support of all member states and the approval of the European Parliament are needed for the budget plan to take effect.
The joint statement is addressed to the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.