Chapter 9: The European Parliament and Cohesion policy
The European Union Cohesion policy 2014_2020 legislative package, for the first time in the history of European integration and due to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, has been adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure, with the Council and the European Parliament as co-legislators on an equal footing. The European Parliament Committee on Regional Development, as a fully fledged co-legislator, embarked on an unprecedented and exceptionally intense pre-legislative preparatory work effort, establishing close working relations with other European institutions, in-house partners, experts and stakeholders. The intention was not only to prepare Committee members for informed negotiations, but also to raise awareness of Cohesion policy within the Parliament and make other institutional partners aware of the priorities of the Parliament. The pre-legislative work contributed to the transparency of the negotiation process, as it strengthened cooperation with all stakeholders. The European Parliament’s way of delivering the new policy framework worked toward improving democratic legitimacy of this process, while at the same time providing a critical mass of knowledge to decision-makers. This process provided sufficient evidence in favour of cooperation between European institutions in the course of the legislative process. When looking back at the results of this work, one cannot deny that much has been achieved. This complex interinstitutional negotiation process was crowned with a strong result: a forward-looking policy, tailored at combining existing key principles and experiences, but also introducing significant changes and, hopefully, improvements.
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