General Affairs Council (Cohesion) (18 November 2015, Brussels)

As a part of the General Affairs Council, the presidency invited ministers in charge of Cohesion Policy to a dedicated meeting focused on the following issues:

In the view of the UN climate conference in Paris in December the Council adopted conclusions. They cover the contribution from Cohesion Policy and more generally from European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020 to support the shift towards a low-carbon economy. "Cohesion policy is one of the main ways in which the EU can contribute to a green economy. Over the period 2014-2020 European structural and investment funds will be providing €110 billion for climate-related measures, of which €45 billion is set to support the shift towards a low-carbon economy", said Camille Gira, Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

The Council adopted conclusions taking stock of 25 years of European territorial cooperation, known as Interreg, and its contribution to Cohesion Policy. It also discussed the added value of Interreg for cultural and institutional learning across borders.

It also adopted conclusions setting out the priorities and expectations of member states regarding the simplification of the European Structural and Investment Funds, which is a permanent challenge for beneficiaries and all bodies involved in programme management and control.

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