EFRE/JTF in Nordrhein-Westfalen

Tailor-made or one size fits all? – Place-based approach for a successful transition or contributing to common goals everywhere?

A discussion on the future of Cohesion Policy from 2028

On 2 May 2024, a discussion on the opportunities, prospects and direction of EU regional policy from 2028 was held at the Brussels Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Mona Neubaur, Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia invited experts from academia, the European Commission, implementation practice and youth representatives to a panel discussion:

  • Prof. John Bachtler, Professor of European Policy Studies, European Poli- cies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde
  • Peter Berkowitz, Director, European Commission, DG REGIO
  • Stefania Koczar-Sikora, Deputy director, Department of Regional Develop- ment and Transition, Voivodeship Silesia
  • Milad Tabesch, Youth Initiative “Ruhrpott for Europe”

The discussion focussed on questions such as:

  • How has the ERDF contributed to successful structural change? What can we learn from this for the future, also for cohesion in the European Union?
  • What should future EU Cohesion Policy look like in order to effectively support the transition to climate-neutral, competitive regions? Which simplification measures can accelerate this transformation?
  • What are the challenges for a more developed region like North Rhine-Westphalia? Which European regions face similar challenges?

The event brought together the diverse perspectives of some 160 Brussels-based participants, most of whom are stakeholders in European regional policy, such as regional and national representatives, EU institutions, associations and economic and social partners.

The participants agreed that this is not an abstract discussion about the future, but the aim should be to establish a forward-looking cohesion policy today that will enable Europe's regions to shape the future together. In addition to green and digital transition, cohesion policy should also be prepared for unforeseen problems and take into account demographic challenges. To this end, the place- and people-based approach (bottom-up) should be combined with common objectives (top-down), since while the major challenges are common to all, but successful implementation of cohesion policy has to consider local specificities.

Press release from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of NRW

At a glance

Thursday, 2 May 2024
12 pm to 3 pm
Representation of the State of
North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union
Rue Montoyer 47
1000 Brussels, Belgium