Stockholm Region EU Office - boosting research and innovation and maintaining cohesion funding

Statements | 06-08-2018

Highlighted in Politico Pro Budget, August 6th 2018; POLITICO Pro Budget Briefing: Hungarian highlights — View from Valletta — Stockholm's stance. Sweden is a vocal player in the budget negotiations, with one of the most frugal EU governments when it comes to the bloc’s finances. But within the country, there are diverse views on the position it should take on the MFF. For the Stockholm region, the emphasis should be on boosting research and innovation and maintaining cohesion funding.

STOCKHOLM’S STANDPOINT

Sweden is a vocal player in the budget negotiations, with one of the most frugal EU governments when it comes to the bloc’s finances. But within the country, there are diverse views on the position it should take on the MFF.

For the Stockholm region, the emphasis should be on boosting research and innovation and maintaining cohesion funding.

“We welcome the continued and increased funding for research and innovation as the framework program is a clear example of an area where EU funding brings real added value compared to national and regional initiatives,” the Stockholm Region’s EU office, which represents eight local and regional governments, wrote in a note to POLITICO.

“We are following the Horizon Europe proposal in which we welcome efforts [for the research program] to be further accelerated and more clearly directed towards excellent research and major societal challenges,” it added.

But the region is concerned about proposed changes to cohesion policy.

“We regret the proposed reduction in Cohesion Policy funds in relation to the overall budget. ESF [European Social Fund] and ERDF [European Regional Development Fund] funds have brought decisions on investments closer to citizens, helping cities and regions all over Europe to tackle pressing challenges and seize untapped opportunities on the ground,” the Stockholm office wrote.

“We are following the Cohesion Policy proposals and hope that [the] new European Social Fund Plus can provide a more flexible approach to social cohesion and make it easier for cities to address unexpected needs and challenges.”