Common Declaration of Friends of Cohesion

Following the Friends of Cohesion meeting in Bratislava on Friday, attended by an array of European prime ministers, the countries have issued a common declaration as follows:

The Prime Ministers and Representatives of the „Friends of Cohesion“ (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) met in Bratislava on 5 October 2012 in order to discuss common issues related to the MFF 2014-2020. The Prime Ministers and Representatives welcomed the presence of the President of the European Parliament and the President of the European Commission.

We recall

JOINT DECLARATION of Prime Ministers and Representatives of the Friends of Cohesion adopted on 1 June 2012 in Bucharest;

EUROPEAN COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS of 28-29 June 2012 which stated that “within the future MFF, spending should be mobilized to support growth, employment, competitiveness and convergence, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy” and that “the reformed cohesion policy offers an opportunity to invest out of the crisis as it is a major tool for investment, growth and job creation at EU level and for structural reforms at national level”.

We declare

The European Union is facing an unprecedented crisis and needs to mobilize all available instruments to stabilize the economy, while restoring the conditions for sustainable growth and jobs. The European budget, and the Cohesion policy in particular, should play a strong role in this regard.

The Cohesion Policy remains a key investment tool for our countries. Furthermore, it benefits the entire union by strengthening the internal market and increasing economic convergence as well as channelling investments to areas of potential growth and supporting structural reforms in Member States.

Further decrease of the Cohesion policy funding – on top of the current Commission proposal – would not match the ambitions repeated in successive European Council conclusions nor the Treaty and the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives.

We sign up to better quality of spending and welcome measures already taken in the current course of negotiations. This creates the right framework for an effective use of the Cohesion policy as from 2014. At the same time we have to avoid increasing administrative burden.

We agree

The overall level of resources allocated to the Cohesion policy should be in line with the Commission proposal in order to achieve our common European goals. There is no room for further reduction following the Commission proposal.

The cohesion funding should remain concentrated on less developed regions and Member States, while recognising the need to help regions exiting convergence and phasing out regions to reach a higher level of development.

The current level of co-financing rates should be maintained or even increased in case a Member State is facing severe economic difficulties. In addition, we should respect – and extend to all Common Strategic Framework’s funds – current provisions related to the eligibility of the non-recoverable VAT.  The current pre-financing rates should also be maintained.

The Visegrad Four (c)

As an integral part of the Common Strategic Framework as well as the Europe 2020 Strategy, rural development should remain strong EU policy.

We need to secure that all programmes and instruments are operational from the first day of the new Multiannual Financial Framework being in place. A timely agreement is also important in the light of our ambition of better spending.

Therefore, EU institutions and leaders should use all their efforts to conclude negotiations by the end of 2012 in order to demonstrate their ability to properly address current and future challenges and find solutions to citizen’s benefit.


  1. Its quite simple George – We the undersigned member states, including at least three who’s successive misgovernance have caused the current financial crisis in Europe, request that the EU continue to pour funds into our countries so that we may continue to misuse, waste and in some cases pocket the said funds thereby protecting us from the ecconomic realities of the current situation and allowing us to continue our well feathered lifestyles whilst the peoples of those countries that actually generate the wealth within Europe continue to bear the cost of our previous irresponsible management of funds.

    Tough, belt tightening across the EU, and all available funds should be invested in those countries which have a proven record of using such funds to generate wealth.

    1. Yea DC, I kinda read it that way as well . I really wanted to know if the Editor has some idea of what trash he was actually posting up posing as news, and how any non first language as English person was meant to dissect this gobbledygook from some daft Press Office.

  2. Cloud cuckoo land.
    Bit like the old ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ sketch from the 1980s about Ireland holding out a cap (for EEC funds).
    The new states want the EU western countries to fund their motorways (via grubby consutling agencies etc), when Slovakia has only used about 25-30% of its EU funding from 2008-14.

    1. Yes I remember that ! Talking of Not the Nine O’Clock News this was a great Sketch about Phone Aids for the deaf . Totally non PC these day . Mind you I expect , thousands would still sell in Slowvakia .…1425.20817.0.23074.…0.0…1ac.1.z-5Xy5cRNio

      Great Tomorrows World take off and of Joan Thirkettle , by Pam .

  3. You don`t know either, now do you JB ?

  4. I read this three times . Can anyone explain in understandable English what this actually means to us, as a people ? Perhaps JB can have a go….he posted the article?

    1. it is not for people like you, so just ignore it.

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