chapter  4
13 Pages

A EUROPEAN PLANNING PROGRAMME

A German version of the Kunzmann paper discussed in the previous chapter was published two years later (Kunzmann 1984). It added a note saying that whether the ideas expressed were a pan-European scientific pipedream was for the future to tell. However, Kunzmann informed the reader that, in the meantime, PaulHenri Gendebien had submitted a report to the European Parliament on this very issue. It is the topic of this chapter. There was disquiet, illustrated by the irritated quote above from a representative of the Limousin Region in France, amongst actors in the regions about the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of EC regional policy after the first enlargement. Gendebien was a Member of the European Parliament from the Walloon Region of Belgium. In his report he formulated what amounts to a fully-fledged European planning programme, this time – as against ‘Regional Planning a European Problem’ – with a view to the EC becoming active in this area. So this chapter is about a renewed campaign by the European Parliament, after its unsuccessful attempt described earlier, to coax the Council of Ministers to accept the need for a form of regional policy. Although elected by European citizens, like the Parliamentary Assembly before, the European Parliament did not have much leverage. In the Introduction I pointed out that it now assumes an increasingly important role. With the coming into operation of the Lisbon Treaty in what is now called the ‘ordinary legislative procedure’, co-decision

making applies in many more areas, including cohesion policy and the European Parliament may also make recommendations pertaining to new Community legislation. I first discuss the state of the game in the early 1980s, by which time, although for the wrong reasons, a sort of Community regional policy, but without any real programmatic element to it, existed. Then I explain why I regard the Gendebien Report as representing a fully-fledged planning programme. This is followed by an analysis of the ‘Explanatory Statement’ with the flesh and bones of the argument. As usual, I end by pointing out what happened in the wake of this report: nothing much!