José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, announced the portfolio responsibilities for the next Commission on 27 November. The appointments must still be approved by the European Parliament in January. Johannes Hahn, who has until now served as Minister for Science and Research in Austria, has been nominated as Commissioner for Regional Policy. He has a doctoral degree in philosophy and has served on numerous boards on various companies.
The members of the Barroso Commission designate (2009-2014):
The international conference on climate change in Copenhagen is the occasion to reiterate the vital role played by Cohesion Policy in this policy area. There is no shortage of successful projects. The town of Kistelek in Hungary has been able to replace the use of gas with cheaper geothermal energy in 8 of its public buildings with help from the European Union. In 2007-13, €48 billion will be invested in Cohesion Policy measures to promote the fight against climate change.
€23 billion will go to railways, €6 billion to clean urban transport, €4.8 billion to renewable energy and €4.2 billion to energy efficiency
A new background document has been published to serve as a basis for discussions at a conference on "Cohesion Policy and Territorial Development". Organised by the Swedish Presidency, the conference is taking place in Kiruna in the north of Sweden on 10-11 December 2009. The document gives an overview of the almost 400 contributions received in response to the consultation on the European Commission's Green Paper on territorial cohesion held from Oct 2008 to Feb 2009, and provides a basis for the discussion on the future cohesion policy.
Commissioner Pawel Samecki has presented an orientation paper on the future cohesion policy. The paper looks at the goals that cohesion policy should pursue to meet the challenges of the 21st century, with Europe' regions as essential actors in providing responses to these challenges. It argues that the policy should continue to focus on addressing market failures and ensure that regions make full use of their development potential in the context of European economic integration. It also looks at ways in which future cohesion policy can become more focused on performance and results and how to simplify its delivery. Finally, the paper presents an important contribution on the debate launched earlier this year on the rationale, goals and delivery system of European cohesion policy. This reflection process on the future cohesion policy takes place in an evolving European policy context and is one where the policy's stakeholders play an important role.