Sofia Elanidou

Politics 20-02-2019

Greece and North Macedonia agree to end roaming charges

Athens and Skopje have signed an agreement to gradually decrease roaming charges and remove them completely by 2021.
Global Europe 19-02-2019

Greek MEPs demand action on overpopulated migrant centres

Overpopulation of migrant reception centres on the island of Samos has reached the point of no return, with the local community and local authorities left overwhelmed and demanding assistance from the Greek government.
Agrifood 18-02-2019

Low returns and rural areas’ restrictions keep young Greek farmers away

Low profitability and poor infrastructure quality make farming in Greece unattractive to young people, who are needed more than ever before to take the agricultural sector a step forward, stakeholders have told EURACTIV Greece.
Economy & Jobs 29-01-2019

Juncker Plan’s results may be overstated, auditors say

The amount of investment mobilised by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) may have been overestimated, a new report by the European Court of Auditors has warned. It added that it may have also favoured larger member states.
Economy & Jobs 16-01-2019

Study: Cohesion’s impact on local audiences still remains limited

Social outcomes in Cohesion policy remain relatively obscure for the general public compared to economic developments, a recent project study has found. In addition to that, the process of reaching local audiences remains a challenge for policymakers and organisations across the European regions.
Economy & Jobs 11-01-2019

Auditors’ anti-fraud policy recommendations are old news, Oettinger says

There is nothing new in the anti-fraud policy recommendations that the European Court of Auditors tabled on Thursday (10 January), the EU Commissioner for Budget Günther H. Oettinger has said.
Economy & Jobs 07-12-2018

Regions remain puzzled on future Cohesion and Brexit implications

There is no room for double standards in the future Cohesion policy but there is a need for cooperation between funds and programmes, key partners and civil society, the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy told a Committee of the Regions (CoR) plenary session in Brussels on Wednesday (December 5).
Economy & Jobs 28-11-2018

Urban and rural disparities still a thorn in Europe’s regional development

Continuous depopulation of the EU's rural regions and interregional disparities remain a serious threat for the economic and demographic base of the EU regions in the future, stakeholders highlighted during a conference on territorial divergencies in the EU held in Brussels on Tuesday (27 November).
Economy & Jobs 19-10-2018

Regions call for inclusive budget after 2020, maritime co-operations at stake

Europe's regions are in urgent need of concrete measures to boost their local economy and their European dimension, stakeholders highlighted during the General Assembly of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in Madeira, Portugal on Thursday (October 18).
Economy & Jobs 12-10-2018

Cohesion Policy must work on a people-based approach, stakeholders say

Cohesion Policy is one the most important but still insufficiently known tools for EU integration, stakeholders highlighted during a EURACTIV forum in Brussels on Wednesday (10 October), where they called for a better communication to counter Euroscepticism.
Economy & Jobs 12-10-2018

EU citizens need a Europe that’s closer to them, says former US ambassador

EU citizens want more Europe, but they want a Europe that works, a former US ambassador to the EU told the closing ceremony of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018 in Brussels on Thursday (October 11). Europe’s comparative...
Economy & Jobs 10-10-2018

Portugal dominates RegioStars Awards with innovation, culture projects

Portugal was the big winner of the RegioStars awards 2018 in Brussels, a project promoting regional innovation, cohesion and culture in the EU, with two awards for its innovation in sustainable industrial technologies and the promotion of cultural heritage.
Economy & Jobs 05-10-2018

Better regional cooperation for higher EU absorption rate: the Bulgaria-Romania case

When it comes to European structural funds, one of the main concerns is the capacity of the member states to attract them. Cooperation between public authorities has proven to be a driving factor.
Economy & Jobs 04-10-2018

EU cross-border cooperation: working on both sides of the river

Ahead of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the debate on Cohesion policy continues to spark tension inside the Brussels bubble as well as among stakeholders and networks of regions and cities across Europe.
Economy & Jobs 14-09-2018

Cohesion funds absorption should not become an end in itself, EU Auditors say

Delays in the formulation of legal frameworks and spending plans create severe obstacles to an effective use of Cohesion funding, shifting the focus on quick use of money rather than on performance and results, a new Court of Auditors report published Thursday (13 September) underlined.
Economy & Jobs 13-09-2018

Cohesion – the big ‘absent’ from Juncker’s SOTEU speech

European regions and cities were left wondering about the noticeable absence of Cohesion policy in Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday (12 September). They were particularly irked by his failure to highlight the positive role of regions in handling migration.
Economy & Jobs 07-09-2018

Cohesion file must be closed before 2019 elections, stakeholders say

Prolonging the Cohesion debate and postponing the final agreement will have a negative impact on the policy’s essence and content, but will also further affect the European idea, participants underlined during a hearing at the European Economic and Social Committee on Thursday (6 September).
Economy & Jobs 05-09-2018

EESC rapporteur: reducing future Cohesion’s budget affects EU’s credibility

The European Economic and Social Committee expressed strong disagreement with the Commission’s proposal to cut Cohesion policy funds by 10% in a recent opinion, saying the EU executive must show sensitivity for the current political environment rather than focus only...
Economy & Jobs 05-09-2018

Cohesion Policy projects still not result-oriented, EU Auditors say

Project-selection procedures in the EU's Cohesion policy remain oriented towards outputs and spending rather than driven by expected results, a new report from the European Court of Auditors (ECA) underlined.
Economy & Jobs 05-07-2018

Urban growth needs further planning and support, regions say

Urban development needs to be further extended and must not be transformed into a networking exercise, Kieran McCarthy, an Irish councillor from Cork, told a Committee of the Regions plenary in Brussels on Wednesday (4 July).
Future of mobility 29-06-2018

Clean transport boosts mobility, environment, local labour markets

Big vehicle manufacturing companies have committed to investing more in clean buses for European cities, Alain Van Gaever, DG Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, told a conference on clean transport in Brussels on Wednesday (27 June).
Economy & Jobs 01-06-2018

New cohesion policy is ‘as good as it gets’, Commission insists

The EU's new regional policy is a “balanced, simpler and ambitious” proposal, the best that could have ever been achieved under the current conditions, Commissioner Corina Crețu told Members of the European Parliament on Thursday (May 31).
Economy & Jobs 31-05-2018

Commission defends Cohesion-European Semester link, with suspended payments option

The Commission rushed on Wednesday (30 May) to defend its proposal on linking Cohesion Policy programmes with structural reforms in the European Semester, after MEPs and networks of regions and cities voiced concerns about the possible impact on Cohesion’s initial objectives to help less developed regions.
Economy & Jobs 30-05-2018

Regions confused by proposed Cohesion reforms

Networks of European regions and cities remain puzzled by the "mixed messages" sent from the presentation of the legislative package for Cohesion on Tuesday (29 May), where they heard Commission proposals to focus more on southern Europe and to apply significant changes in the structure of Cohesion Policy Funds.

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