Procedure : 2014/2946(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0283/2014

Texts tabled :

B8-0283/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/11/2014 - 10.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0068

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 116kWORD 58k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0278/2014
24.11.2014
PE539.006v01-00
 
B8-0283/2014

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))


Andrew Lewer, Ruža Tomašić, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, James Nicholson, Mirosław Piotrowski on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on delays in the start-up of cohesion policy for 2014‑2020 (2014/2946(RSP))  
B8‑0283/2014

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 of 2 December 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 established driver for growth in the EU, with a budget of over EUR 350 billion until 2020;

B.     whereas through thematic concentration these resources are targeted at 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, together with training, education and infrastructure;

C.     whereas the Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes are strategic tools for guiding investments in Member States and regions, in line with the overall Europe 2020 goals for 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 Partnership Agreements should have been adopted by the end of August 2014 and Operational Programmes by the end of January 2015 at the latest;

E.     whereas there is a clear delay in the programming process, with only a very limited number of Operational Programmes (about 115) expected to be adopted by the end of 2014;

F.     whereas, at the request of the Member States, the Commission has prepared a non-paper on the treatment of 2014 commitments under programmes co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund which are not adopted by the Commission by 31 December 2014;

G.     whereas two scenarios are envisaged for the adoption of Operational Programmes, both implying further delays as regards the start of implementation: the carry-over procedure for those programmes considered ‘ready for adoption’ by 31 December 2014, and the re-budgeting of the unused 2014 allocation for the European Structural and Investment Funds – entailing a technical revision of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) – for those considered ‘not ready for adoption’ by the end of 2014;

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

I.      whereas in addition to the delay in implementation for the 2014-2020 programming period, cohesion policy also faces a backlog in payments for the 2007-2013 period, and whereas both of these factors undermine its credibility;

1.      Expresses very serious concerns as regards the significant delay in the implementation of cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period, while recognising the importance of adopting high-quality Operational Programmes at the start of the programming period in order to avoid reprogramming at a later stage;

2.      Stresses that the current delays are challenging regional and local authorities’ capacity to effectively plan and implement the European Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 period;

3.      Urges the Commission and the Member States to show responsibility and do their utmost to speed up the adoption of a maximum number of Operational Programmes in 2014, and to ensure that as many programmes as possible are ‘ready for adoption’ by 31 December 2014 so that they can 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;

4.      Demands that the Commission analyse all possibilities for streamlining its internal procedures so as to ensure that Operational Programmes re-submitted after the deadline of 17 November 2014 are also taken into consideration with a view to concluding the inter‑service consultation by the end of the year so that they can be treated as ‘ready for adoption’ if they fulfil the quality requirements;

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

6.      Asks the Commission, in view of the above, to present to Parliament the measures it envisages taking to facilitate the implementation of the Operational Programmes as soon as possible, together with the timeline it envisages;

7.      Is alarmed about the status of the payments backlog under cohesion policy for the 2007‑2013 Operational Programmes; stresses the importance and the urgency of reaching an agreement on the basis of the Commission’s new proposals by the end of 2014;

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

9.      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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