The CPMR works at both an operational and
a political level :
The CPMR is:
- A mine of cooperation projects
As a vast network, the CPMR facilitates the development of cooperation projects between its members. It helps to bring them into being and run them, and directly invests in some of them.
- A focal point for the expression of regional interests
As a political forum, the CPMR helps to articulate the common interests of peripheral and maritime regions at European level. Being the first body to have brought European regions together for discussion and debate, it has acquired an increasingly large audience over the years.
- An active source of proposals
The CPMR has acknowledged expertise and privileged access to information. It provides its member regions and European partners with sharp analysis on topics of concern for their territories.
- The representative voice of the regions
The CPMR lobbies national governments and European institutions to take on board the positions adopted by its members. It works to ensure that the interests of its member regions are taken into account when EU legislation is being prepared.
CPMR helped to maintain the architecture of cohesion policy on the same basis as that proposed by the European Commission in October 2011, with an additional category of "transition regions". This new category was a key issue in CPMR’s lobbying efforts throughout the negotiation phase on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. In terms of figures, despite significant reductions in the seven-year budget, cohesion policy is among the least hit of the budget headings. With 325 billion euros, EU regions will be able to stimulate growth and employment and achieve the objectives of Europe 2020.
By supporting the assertion of an integrated and renewed approach to maritime policy based on Blue Growth, CPMR has contributed to the position expressed by the States in the Limassol Declaration giving EU 2020 a strong maritime dimension. CPMR also campaigned to beef up a European maritime strategy based on a comprehensive vision and with specific institutional and budgetary resources for the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), whilst also maintaining the fisheries budget within the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
CPMR was very active in resisting the pressures of a certain number of Member States to reduce the EU budget for 2014-2020. To this end, CPMR provided the Commission with evidence demonstrating the added value of cohesion policy as an investment policy, as well as the long-term risks associated with making drastic cuts to the budget. CPMR also reacted against pressures to apply macroeconomic conditionality to the structural funds and against the general belief that discussions on the future EU budget have to be linked to efforts to restore order to national public spending.
CPMR greatly contributed to institutionalising the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP). It structured all its actions around the idea of an Erika IV package on maritime safety, and following the Costa Concordia disaster, it focused action on the issue of passenger ships, with a seminar in April 2012 on the island of Giglio (IT).
In view of the upcoming Greek and Italian Presidencies in 2014, CPMR initiated a task force to prepare an action plan in 2013 on the Adriatic-Ionian strategy. The purpose of this task force is to assist the Commission during the launch of the strategy and provide practical contributions towards its implementation.
CPMR decided to make European solidarity the running theme of its work in 2011, since this is the root of the European political project. At a time when some member states were setting solidarity against competitiveness, CPMR highlighted how interdependent European economies were, and solidarity suddenly reappeared as a prerequisite for each Member State to improve its own situation. In this context, the CPMR supported the proposal for the post-2013 financial framework presented in June 2011 by the Commission, since it represented a fresh hope for the regions to make the necessary investments that people and businesses need and to ensure their well-being and development in all the territories.
The CPMR was successful in including Regional Policy for all EU Regions in the 5th Cohesion Report presented at the end of 2010 by the European Commission. The report also launched the idea of Macro-Regions corresponding to the CPMR’s aspirations and natural shape in Geographical Commissions. It also established the “Development Contract” matching the principle of a “Territorial Pact” that the CPMR has been calling for since 2008.
After contributing to the creation of the Intergroup Seas and Coastal areas in 2009, today the CPMR ensures its secretariat and contributes to its proposals. The CPMR is also actively involved in the “Intergroup” 174, which gathers MEPs from specific territories such as islands, mountains and sparsely-populated areas.
The CPMR is currently working with Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner in charge of Maritime affairs and with the Seas and Coastal Areas Intergroup on the creation of a “Maritime Erasmus” called "Vasco da Gama".
During its annual General Assembly in Göteborg, the CPMR will adopt its proposals for the negotiations of the multi-annual financial perspectives 2014-2020. The CPMR will present and develop them throughout the Spanish six month presidency in 2010.
The CPMR is involved in exchanging experiences between regional politicians on the impact of the economic crisis in the territories. This work will conclude in a political seminar to be held in Marseille at the end of 2009 with the expected participation of the new European Commission and the new Parliament.
In October, the Commission adopted the Green Paper on territorial cohesion. This is rewarding for the CPMR after all the years of hard work: the CPMR having already managed to get this concept accepted in the draft Constitutional Treaty within the Convention thanks to the lobbying efforts led by all its Regions together with the support of Michel Barnier, former European Commissioner for Regional Policy. With regard to this, the CPMR was the only organisation of regions to participate in the "Hearing on territorial cohesion" in the European Parliament's Hemicycle on 2 December 2008 and at the Conference on territorial cohesion and the future of cohesion policy organised in Paris during the French presidency. The CPMR was also involved in the work of the European Council during the Portuguese and French presidency.
From now on, the 20 May will be "European Maritime Day". The CPMR made the decision to become involved by mobilising all its regions to celebrate this date in the territories.
The conclusions of the Portuguese presidency included the sea and a maritime policy was finally launched. The "Blue Book on the sea" was approved after a public consultation over several months, in which the CPMR actively participated, following the Green Paper "Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European Vision for the Oceans and Sea". The Motorways of the Sea have also been included within the framework of the MARCO POLO programme. A great success for the CPMR, who had demanded greater involvement in maritime and marine policy areas since the very beginning of the Barroso Commission.
Portuguese Luis Valente Oliveira, former President of the CPMR and President of its Scientific Council was appointed as "European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea" by the European Commission.
Motorways of the Sea are included in the new TEN-T regulation: when the initial proposal prepared by the Commission did not mention the Motorways of the Sea, despite being a TEN-T priority project since 2004, the CPMR successfully addressed the European Parliament's Transport Committee Chairman, Paolo Costa, as well as the Italian Government before the December Council in order for this to be remedied.
On 2 March 2005, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Joe Borg, the Commissioner for fisheries and maritime affairs, officially announced the start of work on a maritime policy for the Union.
This represents a first step towards the development of a European maritime strategy as a means of boosting growth, which the CPMR recommended in 1993.
On 14 July 2004, the European Commission adopted legislative proposals on the reform of cohesion policy. Following on from the Third Report on Cohesion, these proposals for regulations incorporated the recommendations of the CPMR for an ambitious and fair regional policy.
On 29 October 2004, the Heads of State and Government signed the draft Constitutional Treaty in Rome. The CPMR managed to have them include provisions acknowledging the role of the regions in Europe and stressing the notion of territorial cohesion.