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An EU era of heightened security: what role for the future Cohesion Policy

Cohesion policy / DISCUSSION PAPER
Alison Hunter

Date: 14/05/2024

This Discussion Paper is an update from the Paper; ‘Addressing Cohesion Policy’s identity crisis in a changing European Union’, published on 15 February 2023. Thus making a further contribution to the debate about the future of EU Cohesion Policy (CP), and connecting it to the EU’s evolving security direction. It proposes that:

·       EUrope’s wider ‘security’ interests (going beyond defence considerations) should become a dominant feature of the EU’s future policy architecture.
·       The entire post-2027 MFF should be positioned at the service of the EU permacrisis.
·       Cohesion Policy must undergo significant reform to adapt to the needs of a changing world and the EU’s role within it.

Furthermore, the Paper analyses weaknesses in the EU’s governance structures and in the EU27’s collective will and capacity to design and deliver the policy and investment framework needed to underpin such a transformation.
The Paper concludes that it is time to rise to the challenge in securing the EU’s long-term and prosperous future. A connected Security and Cohesion direction offers a pathway to achieving this. However, bold and radical decisions will be required regarding the setting out of priorities to guide this direction, and a wholesale effort across member states and institutions in order to deliver.

Read the full paper here.

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