Procedure : 2016/0047(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0358/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0358/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/12/2016 - 9.14
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0501

REPORT     *
PDF 647kWORD 83k
30.11.2016
PE 583.919v02-00 A8-0358/2016

on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2008/376/EC on the adoption of the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel and on the multiannual technical guidelines for this programme

(COM(2016)0075 – C8‑0099/2016 – 2016/0047(NLE))

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Rapporteur: Jerzy Buzek

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2008/376/EC on the adoption of the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel and on the multiannual technical guidelines for this programme

(COM(2016)0075 – C8‑0099/2016 – 2016/0047(NLE))

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2016)0075),

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  Having regard to the Article 2(2) the Protocol No 37, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on the financial consequences of the expiry of the ECSC Treaty and on the Research Fund for Coal and Steel, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0099/2016),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0358/2016),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Amendment    1

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3)  It is necessary to revise the rules on the competencies and on the composition of the Advisory Groups and of the Technical Groups, notably as regards the nature of the experts appointed by the Commission to ensure increased transparency as well as compliance and coherence with the framework for Commission expert groups, and contribute, as far as possible, to a balanced representation of relevant areas of expertise and areas of interest as well as to an optimal gender balance.

(3)  It is necessary to revise the rules on the competencies and on the composition of the Advisory Groups and of the Technical Groups, to make the relevant stakeholders aware of the deliberations in these groups, notably as regards the nature of and influence exerted by the experts appointed by the Commission, to ensure increased transparency as well as compliance and coherence with the framework for the Commission expert groups, and contribute as far as possible, to a balanced representation of relevant areas of expertise and areas of interest as well as to an optimal gender balance. It is, however, necessary to respect the Commission’s decision of 30 May 2016 on establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups and a European Parliament resolution on Control of the Register and composition of the Commission’s expert groups.

Justification

The proposal for change of the legal basis of the RFCS Programme was published before the EC published an updated horizontal rules on expert groups (Decision of 30 May 2016 establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups (C (2016)3301); Commission Communication to the Commission – Framework for Commission expertgroups: horizontal rules and public register (C (2016)3300).

Amendment    2

Proposal for a decision

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4)  It is appropriate to consider simpler funding rules to ease the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the RFCS Programme and to permit the use of 'unit costs' to calculate eligible staff costs for SME owners and other natural persons not receiving a salary.

(4)  It is appropriate to support the overall participation of SMEs in the RFCS Programme by, inter alia, simplifying the rules to ease the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the RFCS Programme and to permit the use of 'unit costs' to calculate eligible staff costs for SME owners and other natural persons not receiving a salary.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a decision

Recital 5 a new

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(5a)  The coal and steel sectors are important in the process of European integration and have a key role in the Union's overall industrial landscape. At the same time, the working conditions in those sectors are demanding and have often resulted in damage to the health of workers and citizens. Installations and companies should therefore respect all legal requirements on social responsibility, bring definitive solutions, and minimise the social implications of transition or closure of installations. The social partners need to be consulted to the extent possible on issues relating to social responsibility.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point -1 (new)

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point g a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1)  In Article 6(2), the following point is added:

 

“(ga)   the impact on the employment of workers and the local community of operations for mining;”

Amendment    5

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point -1 a (new)

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point g b (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1a)  In Article 6(2), the following point is added:

 

“(gb)  the impact on the health and safety of workers and of the local community of operations for mining.”

Amendment    6

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point 1

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 21 – point i a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ia)  assessment of finalised projects, including further support measures to ensure their continuity and the long-term viability of coal and steel production in the areas concerned;

Amendment    7

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point 2

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 22 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Each Advisory Group shall be composed in accordance with the tables set out in the Annex. Members of the Advisory Groups shall be individuals appointed by the Director General of Directorate General for Research and Innovation to represent a common interest shared by stakeholders. They shall not represent an individual stakeholder, but shall express an opinion common to the different stakeholder organisations.

Each Advisory Group shall be composed in accordance with the tables set out in the Annex. Members of the Advisory Groups shall be individuals appointed by the Director General of the Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation to represent a common interest shared by stakeholders. They shall act individually and shall not represent an individual stakeholder, but shall express an opinion common to the different stakeholder organisations.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point 2

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 22 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

They shall be active in the field concerned and be aware of the industrial priorities.

They shall be active in the field concerned and be aware of the industrial and sectoral priorities.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point 3

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Members of the Technical Groups shall be appointed in their personal capacity by the Director General of Directorate General for Research and Innovation.

Members of the Technical Groups shall be appointed in their personal capacity by the Director General of the Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 – point 9

Decision 2008/376/EC

Article 39

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the appointment of independent and highly qualified experts referred to in Article 18, Article 28(2) and Article 38, the provisions set out in Article 40 of Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 (*) shall apply by analogy.

For the appointment of independent and highly qualified experts referred to in Article 18, Article 28(2) and Article 38, the provisions set out in Article 40 of Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(*) shall apply by analogy together with, for expert groups as a whole, the Commission Decision of 30 May 2016 on establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups and a European Parliament resolution on Control of the Register and composition of the Commission’s expert groups.

______________

___________________

(*) Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 81).";

(*) Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in "Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 81).";

Justification

The COM Decision was published after the RFCS proposal, the latter should take account of its content. As mentioned by the Parliament rapporteur, it would also be desirable for the current report to be consistent with the upcoming Parliament resolution 2015/2319(INI) and it should not, in anyway, prejudge its outcome.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

General

The EU has supported research on coal and steel for more than 50 years. It all started with the Treaty on the European Community for Steel and Coal (ECSC, signed in 1951).

When this Treaty expired in 2002, it was decided to make the assets of the ECSC (and the associated interest) available to a research fund for coal and steel ('RFCS'). The Programme is funded from revenues generated by the remaining assets of the (expired) ECSC. It is managed by the Commission.

The RFCS is complementary to and managed outside the Horizon 2020 programme. It provides annually around 50 M€ of R&D and Innovation funding to both the coal and the steel sectors (with a distribution of 72.8 % for steel and 27.2 % for coal). It brings together industrial partners, SMEs, leading research centres and universities from across the European Union to develop knowledge and foster innovation in the sector. The research funded covers production processes, utilisation and conservation of resources, environmental improvements and safety at work in the relevant sectors.

Context

According to the Commission, the purpose of this proposal is to amend the legal base after the periodical assessment of its management rules, with a view to implement the following objectives:

1)  Facilitate access to funding through simplified rules and a proportionate alignment with the rules of the general research programme ‘Horizon 2020’, with which Coal and Steel stakeholders are familiar.

The proposed amendments to the RFCS focus on the management rules of the RFCS programme (chapter III) and aligns, as much as possible, the procedures and concepts used for Horizon 2020 so as to facilitate the participation of the same beneficiaries in both programmes (RFCS and H2020).

2)  Ensure that the programme is managed by the Commission with due transparency and in line with the Commission’s rules on expert groups. This includes updating the relevant provisions referred to in the legal basis, in particular those, concerning Comitology.

The Commission is proposing amendments intended to clarify the nature of the experts it appoints to attend the Advisory Groups and the Technical Groups set up by the legal basis of the RFCS Programme in order to avoid any conflict of interests. The changes proposed follow the horizontal rules of the Commission concerning its advisory groups.(1)

Position of the Rapporteur

The Rapporteur is not dealing with this report in his personal capacity but as the Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. In view of this fact, he therefore feels that he should not prejudge the position of the Committee in this draft report.

However, at this stage, the Rapporteur would like to point out the following facts, which the Committee, and at a later stage Parliament, could take into consideration when debating and deciding on the outcome:

1.  The Rapporteur is not fully convinced that the alignment of RFCS rules with those of Horizon 2020 requires an amendment of the legal base.

2.  The proposal in question was published just a few weeks before the Commission published updated horizontal rules on this issue.(2) The Rapporteur is concerned about the future implications the update of the rules might have on this proposal on the RFCS.

3.  The European Parliament is in the process of preparing a resolution on the control of the Register and the composition of the Commission’s expert groups (2015/2319(INI)) which will position the European Parliament as regards the Commission´s latest update. It would be desirable for the current report to be consistent with this upcoming resolution, and it should not, in anyway, prejudge its outcome.

(1)

Communication from the President to the Commission: Framework for Commission Expert Groups Horizontal rules and public register C (2010)7649.

(2)

Decision of 30 May 2016 establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups (C (2016)3301); Commission Communication to the Commission – Framework for Commission expert groups: horizontal rules and public register (C (2016)3300.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Amending Decision 2008/376/EC on the adoption of the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel and on the multiannual technical guidelines for this programme

References

COM(2016)0075 – C8-0099/2016 – 2016/0047(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

29.2.2016

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

7.3.2016

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

7.3.2016

JURI

7.3.2016

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

BUDG

16.3.2016

JURI

24.5.2016

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Jerzy Buzek

16.3.2016

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

12.10.2016

 

 

 

Date adopted

29.11.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

51

11

0

Members present for the final vote

Zigmantas Balčytis, Nicolas Bay, Bendt Bendtsen, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, José Blanco López, David Borrelli, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jerzy Buzek, Angelo Ciocca, Jakop Dalunde, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, Ashley Fox, Adam Gierek, Theresa Griffin, Roger Helmer, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Kaja Kallas, Krišjānis Kariņš, Seán Kelly, Jaromír Kohlíček, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Janusz Lewandowski, Paloma López Bermejo, Ernest Maragall, Edouard Martin, Angelika Mlinar, Nadine Morano, Dan Nica, Morten Helveg Petersen, Miroslav Poche, Carolina Punset, Michel Reimon, Herbert Reul, Paul Rübig, Algirdas Saudargas, Sergei Stanishev, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Dario Tamburrano, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Claude Turmes, Vladimir Urutchev, Kathleen Van Brempt, Henna Virkkunen, Martina Werner, Lieve Wierinck, Hermann Winkler, Anna Záborská, Flavio Zanonato, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Pilar Ayuso, Michał Boni, Ian Duncan, Werner Langen, Olle Ludvigsson, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Clare Moody, Jens Rohde, Massimiliano Salini

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto

Date tabled

30.11.2016

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