The Common Strategic Framework (CSF) plays a key role in the context of the proposals made by the European Commission for cohesion policy, rural development and fisheries funds post-2013. It will be the guiding document translating the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth into the key actions of the five ’CSF funds’: the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. In line with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, the CSF aims at making an integrated territorial approach a reality. Regional and local stakeholders will be of mayor importance for the implementation of the CSF funds and for effective coordination between different policies with territorial impact.
"There cannot be smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe without local and regional authorities, and thus all EU funds must be deployed in a coordinated way, within a vision which must not consist in juxtaposing sectoral strategies". According to the President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) Mercedes Bresso, this was the very reason that brought together representatives from the European regions and cities, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council who met to discuss how to make integrated territorial development successful. The occasion was the Forum on the Common Strategic Framework (CSF) 2014-2020 organised by the CoR which involved more than 300 participants from all EU institutions and from local and regional authorities offering an opportunity to exchange views on three main topics: multi-level governance of CSF funds post-2013; the Europe 2020 Strategy and the challenge of an integrated territorial approach; delivering results: ensuring coherent approaches.
The event took place just a few days after the adoption of CoR's crucial opinions of the new regulation on cohesion policy with all involved Commissioners – Johannes Hahn for regional policy, László Andor for employment and social affairs and Dacian Cioloş for agriculture – and relevant MEPs taking part in the debate and responding to the European regions and cities main proposals aimed at improving the effectiveness of the next programming phase.