Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Affairs:
“We don’t work for blending for the sake of blending but to maximise the impact of our money, European money, on the ground. And it is true that it is a new thing, so we offer a lot of guidance and platforms and advise to the local authorities to improve the administrative capacity and the knowledge and this imbalance, geographical imbalance comes also from the history of our Europe with the expertise that we have, these policies have 40 years and we leave in the hand of historians to show us where the Eastern and Central Europe would have been using these funds. But now we live in the present we want to maximise what we have. So I think it’s very important what Jyrki gave you the example of Greece. And also we have signed with EIB and also for other countries, this kind of fund of funds.
“We have some examples, because show cases are very important for the member states. I am bigger believer in the exchange of good practices, which are sometimes much more important than money because we have in many cases, money waiting in Brussels and we are waiting for administrative capacity – member states to be able to prove that they could use this money.
“We also have this famous project in the north of France Nord-Pas de Calais in energy efficiency so, we can go on with these examples. So it is true that our regulations are different. We already introduced during the review for multi-annual financial framework some changes to make this blending much more easier, also in Cohesion and simplifying cost option and we are working together for the post 2020 and we will do this regulations. The idea is to make much more simpler. But it is very important to be known that the member states should do the same effort in their own member states because it is what we call here in the “Brussels Bubble” the gold plating. We try to simplify at European level but in some cases member states in some cases add additional requirements which are not European it’s just for controlling, and of course we have to find the balance of how to simplify the life of the beneficiaries but in the same time to be sure that the European taxpayers money are proper use and in the benefit of the economy and of the citizens.”