EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about possible regional aid budget cuts was published by EurActiv on 15th April 2010.

The European Commission is considering cutting its 50 billion euro annual package of regional aid for countries which repeatedly infringe the EU’s budget rulebook in a bid to discourage other member states from following in the footsteps of debt-stricken Greece.

“We have to sharpen our teeth against countries which repeatedly break rules,” EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn said yesterday (14 April), announcing that a comprehensive proposal on the matter would be presented on 12 May.

Among the measures under consideration, the commissioner indicated the possibility to “suspend cohesion funds” for states which are regularly in breach of the EU’s stability and growth pact.

Cohesion funds are used to support the EU’s poorest regions, notably those which have a GDP lower than 70% of the EU average (see ‘Background’).

This idea is likely to be debated at an informal meeting of EU economic ministers to be held in Madrid on Friday (16 April).

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