Speaking in the EU Parliament today on Cohesion Funding Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson disagreed with the use of macro-conditionality to ensure ‘budgetary discipline’ on Cohesion funding.
Martina Anderson said:
“Ireland is in receipt of EU funding which delivers much needed investment – hence I’m acutely aware of the importance of Cohesion Policy funding.
“But I disagree with macro-economic conditionality being applied to cohesion funding – the sanctioning mechanism triggering suspension of funds if “budgetary discipline” – namely austerity is not implemented.
“Cohesion Policy should not have a sword hanging over its head as it will only provide another excuse for the banking sectors reluctance to provide credit to SMEs or Councils for much needed projects when the EU funding element of the project could be suspended.
“That said, I recognise the work done by colleagues in the REGI Committee to limit the application of macro-economic conditionality by including socio-economic safeguards that take into account unemployment and poverty rates in relevant Member States when suspension of cohesion funds is being considered.
“However I still believe it will have adverse impact on the object of Cohesion Funding.”