Procedure : 2016/2695(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0852/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0852/2016

Debates :

PV 05/07/2016 - 14
CRE 05/07/2016 - 14

Votes :

PV 06/07/2016 - 6.11
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0311

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 268kWORD 72k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0851/2016
29.6.2016
PE585.287v01-00
 
B8-0852/2016

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on synergies for innovation between the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other European innovation funds (2016/2695(RSP))


Ruža Tomašić, Evžen Tošenovský, Angel Dzhambazki on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on synergies for innovation between the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other European innovation funds (2016/2695(RSP))  
B8-0852/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 4, 162 and 174 to 178 thereof,

–  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 (hereinafter ‘the Common Provisions Regulation’)(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on specific provisions for the support from the European Regional Development Fund to the European territorial cooperation goal(4),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1302/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 amending Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) as regards the clarification, simplification and improvement of the establishment and functioning of such groupings(5),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1300/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the Cohesion Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006(6),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 January 2014 on smart specialisation: networking excellence for a sound Cohesion Policy(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 September 2015 on investment for jobs and growth: promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Union(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 November 2015 entitled ‘Towards simplification and performance orientation in cohesion policy 2014-2020’(10),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 June 2014 entitled ‘Research and innovation as sources of renewed growth’ (COM(2014)0339),

–  having regard to the Commission’s sixth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion entitled ‘Investment for jobs and growth’ of 23 July 2014,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 November 2014 entitled ‘An Investment Plan for Europe’ (COM(2014)0903),

–  having regard to the guide published by the Commission in 2014 entitled ‘Enabling synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes’,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 October 2010 entitled ‘Regional Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020’ (COM(2010)0553),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 30 July 2013 entitled ‘Closing the Innovation Divide’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 20 November 2014 entitled ‘Measures to support the creation of high-tech start-up ecosystems’,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas cohesion policy in the 2014-2020 financial programming period continues to represent the main EU instrument, covering all regions, for investment in the real economy, is the key pillar of the EU economic policy triangle of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and investment in growth, and at the same time represents an expression of European solidarity by extending growth and prosperity and reducing economic, social and territorial disparities, which were exacerbated by the economic and financial crisis;

B.  whereas cohesion policy is fully aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and was built around the articulation of its three instruments, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF), together with a broader coordination under a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) with the funds for rural development, namely the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and, for the maritime and fisheries sector, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF);

C.  whereas common provisions were established for all five of these funds – the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) – under the Common Provisions Regulation, while specific rules applicable to each ESI Fund and to the European territorial cooperation goal were subject to separate regulations;

D.  whereas the recent cohesion policy reform introduced a limited number of objectives and priorities, creating a thematic focus / thematic concentration, while at the same time allowing a certain degree of flexibility and adaptation to certain characteristics; whereas, moreover, it ensured an enhanced partnership principle and solid multi-level governance, a well-defined approach for territorial development, increased synergies between the five funds, but also with other relevant funds (e.g. Horizon 2020, PSCI, COSME, LIFE), further simplification of the implementation rules, an effective monitoring and evaluation system, a transparent performance framework and clear rules on the use of financial instruments, as well as a sound management and control system and an effective financial management system;

E.  whereas, in order to facilitate the focus on performance and attainment of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, a performance reserve was introduced for each Member State consisting of 6 % of the resources allocated to the ERDF (without the European territorial cooperation goal), the ESF, the CF, the EAFRD and the EMFF, and, on the basis of a performance review in 2019, it is planned to allocate the reserve only to those programmes and priorities which have achieved their milestones; whereas a closer link between cohesion policy and the economic governance of the Union has also been introduced with a view to ensuring the effectiveness of expenditure under the ESI Funds, while strict monitoring and evaluations ensure that the cohesion policy 2014-2020 is the most evaluated policy within the EU budget;

F.  whereas on 14 December 2014 the Commission adopted a communication on the contribution of the ESI Funds to the EU’s growth strategy, the Investment Plan and the Commission’s priorities over the next decade, which is in fact the report, provided for in Article 16 of the Common Provisions Regulation on the ESI Funds, on their implementation so far, which also includes the outcomes of the negotiations with all the Member States on partnership agreements and programmes and the key challenges for each country;

1.  Reiterates that links between cohesion policy and other EU policies and initiatives (Horizon 2020, Connecting Europe Facility, rural development, the digital single market, the energy union) have been strengthened within the Common Strategic Framework introduced by the Common Provisions Regulation, and thus, through all its instruments and objectives, including the urban agenda, the territorial agenda, investment in SMEs, smart growth and smart specialisation strategies, it is contributing substantially to strengthening the single market and achieving Europe 2020 strategy targets;

2.  Underlines the fact that the aforementioned synergies are built in right from the strategic planning stage, and therefore require, from the start, strategic choices and planning by the regions and Member States in order to identify and generate opportunities, for example for fostering excellence in the smart specialisation areas; points out that, in the case of Horizon 2020, this consists in implementing the programmes in a synergies-friendly manner in terms of raising awareness, providing information, engaging in communication campaigns and connecting National Contact Points (NCP) as much as possible to national and regional ESIF policy-makers and managing authorities;

3.  Stresses that the development of smart specialisation strategies through the involvement of national or regional managing authorities and stakeholders such as universities and other higher education institutions, industry and the social partners in an entrepreneurial discovery process is compulsory for the regions and Member States that wish to invest ERDF resources in research and innovation, as smart specialisation strategies should include upstream actions (capacity building, national/regional R&I systems) and downstream actions (innovation/market) in Horizon 2020, which in turn stimulates cooperation at EU level, building on connections between front-runners and followers, and the smart specialisation methodology needs to become a model for the articulation of cohesion policy post-2020;

4.  Expresses its satisfaction that, in the 2014-2020 programming period, cohesion policy allows financial instruments to play a stronger role, and notes that financial instruments, if implemented effectively, can significantly increase the impact of financing for less-developed regions;

5.  Emphasises that because the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and European Structural and Investment Funds policies (cohesion, but also rural development and fisheries) target different policy and institutional levels, they need to strengthen each other, not least in terms of resources;

6.  Notes that synergies with other policies and instruments must be further enhanced in order to maximise the impact of investments; recalls, in this context, the Stairway to Excellence (S2E) EU budget pilot project, which continues to support regions of 13 Member States in developing and exploiting the synergies between the ESI Funds; highlights the importance of also identifying related areas of specialisation in other regions and Member States with a view to teaming up with them and being better prepared for multi-country project opportunities and becoming internationally connected;

7.  Welcomes the implementation of the substantial parts of the Horizon 2020 budget delegated to public-public partnerships and public-private partnerships, which will offer opportunities to use the governance mechanisms of the public-public partnerships to optimise synergies with the RIS3 and programmes by shaping the annual work plans;

8.  Underlines that the EFSI must be complementary and additional to the ESI Funds and other EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and to traditional European Investment Bank activities; stresses that full coherence and synergies between all EU instruments should be ensured in order to avoid overlaps or contradictions among them or between the different levels of policy implementation; recalls that the review of the Europe 2020 strategy must address this challenge with a view to using all available resources effectively and achieving the expected results as regards the overarching strategic goals, given that the quantity, quality and impact of R&I investments should be increased through the coordinated use of cohesion policy instruments and Horizon 2020;

9.  Reflects on the ‘Pact for Innovation’ initiated during the 7th European Innovation Summit (December 2015) at the European Parliament, calling for a horizontal approach in EU innovation policymaking, the maximising of synergies between industrial, digital and regional policies and a joint effort to create pro-innovation conditions in order to overcome well-known weaknesses in turning knowledge created by research and inventions into innovation, thus providing added value for Europe’s economy and citizens;

10.  Reflects on the preparations of the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science for the possible establishment of a European Innovation Council for better coordination of the innovation initiatives in the European Union (December 2015); notes that the main objective of a European Innovation Council (EIC) should be to help reduce barriers to commercialisation in Europe and close the innovation divide; stresses that an EIC should involve all relevant stakeholders, have transparent, swift consultations and decision-making processes, and complement other EU bodies, avoiding overlap; underlines, furthermore, that there should be no further reductions in the appropriations currently provided for within the Horizon 2020 budget, given that they have already been cut as part of the EFSI;

11.  Calls for a monitoring system to track the success of synergies with a view to spreading best practices and learning lessons ahead of the review of the Europe 2020 strategy;

12.  Draws attention to the issue of the link between Horizon 2020 and the ESI Funds in terms of security (the need to have the same level of ICT infrastructure across the EU), and to the manufacturing dimension of this link; would welcome the harmonisation of ICT security structures, so that the ESI Funds Regulations for the next programming period would also address these aspects, and stresses that sufficient financial means must be provided to that end;

13.  Requests that the Commission issue a communication on the implementation of synergies given that, with the exception of a reference to their potential in the use of scarce investment resources and to general prospects in tackling new challenges in the future, this issue is missing from its report drawn up under Article 16 of the Common Provisions Regulation, while country-specific recommendations (CSR) form part of these synergies;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320.

(2)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 289.

(3)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 470.

(4)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 259.

(5)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 303.

(6)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 281.

(7)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 487.

(8)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0002.

(9)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0308.

(10)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0419.

Legal notice