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Cohesion Policy makes up the largest chunk of the EU budget. It is of tremendous importance to put the EU on a growth and innovation trajectory and to align national and regional development policies for the knowledge society.

To help the future orientation of cohesion policy towards regional R&D and innovation needs, ERRIN, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, has submitted a response to the Consultation on the European Commission’s Green paper for Territorial Cohesion this week. It highlights key recommendations of the network with regard to building research and innovation into the European Union’s Territorial Agenda.

Here are some key recommendations from the paper:

1. Territorial cohesion involves a proactive regional policy promoting sustainable balanced economic, environmental, social and scientific development. Territorial cohesion is not a one-size fits all approach. Regions should be free to determine their own potential and the strategies required to achieve their objectives.

2. The future success of Europe will be based on competitive regions developing their knowledge economies. All regions must aim to develop their regional potential by investing in research, innovation, skills and entrepreneurship – thus developing a European capacity to engage fully in the global knowledge economy.

3. Territorial cohesion must integrate the European Research Area and its vision 2020, which includes the modernisation of research, education and innovation systems.

4. European funding should be increased to support research, innovation, entrepreneurship and skills development so that all regions can maximize their endogenous capacities and build partnerships with other regions in order to build a stronger European knowledge economy.

5. More European resources should be devoted to a more flexible interregional cooperation with more emphasis on thematic cooperation to share best practice between regions and to support innovative projects with a high European added value.

The full text is available at the ERRIN website. For a direct link to the document click here.

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