Procedure : 2014/2946(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0278/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/11/2014 - 10.5
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Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0278/2014

further to Question for Oral Answer B8‑0042/2014

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on delays in the start-up of cohesion policy for 2014-2020 (2014/2946(RSP))

Constanze Krehl, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Victor Boştinaru, Mercedes Bresso, Andrea Cozzolino, Anneliese Dodds, Michela Giuffrida, Pina Picierno, Kerstin Westphal, Demetris Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Iliana Iotova, Viorica Dăncilă, Isabelle Thomas, Derek Vaughan on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on delays in the start-up of cohesion policy for 2014-2020 (2014/2946(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006,

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014 -2020,

–       having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002,

–       having regard to the question to the Commission on delays in the start-up of cohesion policy for 2014-2020 (O-000082/2014 – B8‑0042/2014),

–       having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas cohesion policy represents the main EU-wide investment policy in the real economy and is an excellent driver for growth in Europe, with a budget of over EUR 350 billion up to 2020;

B.     whereas through thematic concentration the resources are targeted on a limited number of strategic goals with growth-enhancing potential, such as innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the low carbon economy, and also on training, education and infrastructure;

C.     whereas the Partnership Agreements (PAs) and Operational Programmes (OPs) are strategic tools for guiding investments in Member States and regions in line with the overall aims of the Europe 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

D.     whereas Articles 14, 16 and 29 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/ 2013 lay down the timeline for the submission and adoption of Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, according to which the Partnership Agreements should have been adopted by the end of August 2014 and the Operational Programmes by the end of January 2015 at the latest;


E.     whereas we are facing a clear delay at the level of the programming process, with only a very limited number of Operational Programmes foreseen to be adopted by the end of 2014 (about 100);

F.     whereas on the request of the Member States the Commission has prepared a non-paper on the treatment of 2014 commitments under programmes cofinanced by the ERDF, ESF and CF not adopted by the Commission by 31 December 2014;

G.     whereas there are two scenarios envisaged for the adoption of Operational Programmes, both implying further delays as regards the start-up of the implementation: the carry-over procedure for those considered ‘ready for adoption’ by 31 December 2014, and the rebudgeting of the unused 2014 allocation for the ESIF, implying a technical revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), for the programmes considered ‘not ready for adoption’ by the end of 2014;

H.     whereas according to the timeline presented by the Commission, under the carry-over procedure OPs could be adopted between 15 February and 31 March 2015, and under the rebudgeting procedure after 1 May 2015;

I.      whereas besides the delay in implementation for 2014-2020, cohesion policy is also confronted with a backlog of payments for the 2007-2013 programming period, and both circumstances are undermining its credibility;

1.      Expresses its serious concern as regards the significant delay in the implementation of cohesion policy 2014- 2020, while recognising the importance of adopting high-quality Operational Programmes at the start of the programming period in order to avoid reprogramming afterwards;

2.      Calls on the Commission and the Member States to show responsibility and to do their utmost to speed up the adoption of a maximum number of Operational Programmes already in 2014, and also to ensure that as many programmes as possible are ‘ready for adoption’ by 31December 2014, in order to benefit from the carry-over procedure, in accordance with Article 13(2)(a) of the Financial Regulation and Article 4 of its Rules of Application;

3.      Calls on the Commission to use its good offices to streamline its internal procedures in order to ensure that Operational Programmes resubmitted after the deadline of 17 November 2014 are also taken into consideration in order to conclude the inter-service consultation by the end of the year, being treated as ready for adoption if they fulfil the quality requirements;

4.      Is aware that the rebudgeting of uncommitted amounts of 2014 in 2015, according to Article 19 of the MFF, implies a revision of the MFF by 1 May 2015, which, even if technical, has to comply with the multiannual budget procedure: a proposal for a revision of the MFF from the Commission, the consent of Parliament and adoption by unanimity in Council; moreover, for the Operational Programmes to be adopted, also a corresponding draft amending budget covering the respective commitment appropriations for 2015 needs to be approved, which implies, in the best case, a delay in the effective start-up of those programmes implementation until mid-2015;

5.      In view of the above, invites the Commission to present to Parliament the measures it envisages undertaking in order to facilitate as soon as possible the implementation of the Operational Programmes, as well as the timeline it envisages;

6.      Furthermore, expresses its serious concern as regards the payments backlog under cohesion policy for the 2007-2013 Operational Programmes, as well as in respect of the current blockage in the adoption of Draft Amending Budget No. 3/2014 on the outstanding payments and BUDG 2015, which makes the situation of the unpaid bills even more critical;

7.      Calls on the Commission to explain the impact of this delay in payments on the start-up of the new Operational Programmes implementation and to put forward solutions for limiting the damage as much as possible;

8.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and the other relevant institutions.

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