​PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR EUROPEAN FUNDS “European funds should be more accessible and with simple regulations" – Dr Chris Bonett

​Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Chris Bonett participated in the Council of Ministers of the European Union responsible for European funds and cohesion policy in Luxembourg.

During the formal session, the ministers discussed the conclusions of the 8th Cohesion Report 'Cohesion in Europe towards 2050'. In his first address to the Council, Dr Bonett commended the work of the Commission which launches the reflection on cohesion policy and how this should evolve to address the challenges.

Dr Bonett stressed that cohesion policy can only continue to be relevant to people's lives if it has a strong focus on diversity and the challenges that each member state faces. He stressed the need to make European funds more accessible and continue to simplify the process and regulations to make it easier for businesses and voluntary organisations to apply for and receive funding for their projects.

The Council of Ministers also discussed the situation in Ukraine with the intention of identifying methods through which cohesion policy can support common efforts in the face of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. Dr Bonett called for solidarity not only through words but also through concrete actions.​

Dr Bonett also had an informal meeting with the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira. During the meeting there was a cordial exchange of views on Malta's programming priorities and process for the programming period 2021 – 2027. Both welcomed Malta's progress and looked forward to further consultations for a swift conclusion and adoption of the operational programmes for Malta to start implementing projects under the new financial framework.