Parliamentary questions
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3 May 2016
Question for oral answer O-000078/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Christian Ehler, Lambert van Nistelrooij, on behalf of the PPE Group
Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Constanze Krehl, on behalf of the S&D Group

 Subject: Synergies for research and innovation between Horizon 2020, cohesion policy and other EU funding programmes

In December 2015, the Commission adopted the Article 16(3) communication on maximising the contribution of the European Union Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds to the EU’s growth strategy, the Investment Plan and the Commission’s priorities until 2020. The amount of money for thematic objective 1 ‘research and innovation’, EUR 43 billion, is higher than ever before. However, information on the synergies of cohesion policy with other funds such as Horizon 2020 (H2020) is underestimated in this report. Furthermore, when the actual regulation up to 2020 was under negotiation, Parliament introduced ‘Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation’ and the ‘Stairway to Excellence’ as new budget lines in order to improve synergies and cooperation in research and innovation.

1. What is the Commission’s specific assessment of the results of the synergies as formulated in Horizon 2020 and the cohesion regulations, including under the Common Strategic Framework, the Annex to the cohesion Common Provisions Regulation?

2. What synergy activities are being undertaken by the JTIs to accomplish their objectives, and how is the Commission directly involving the Joint Undertakings in the discussions and exchanges with the Member States related to synergies between H2020 and their smart specialisations under the ESI funds?

3. What are the results of the upstream (capacity building, national/regional R&I systems) and downstream (innovation/market) actions in the operational programmes 2014-2020? What are the effective impulses to support these synergies between all the various funds? What is the role of the Seal of Excellence?

4. Is the Commission willing to present a communication on the implementation of synergies of the ESI Funds with H2020, Galileo/Copernicus, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and other European Innovation Funds?

5. Is the Commission willing to come forward with a monitoring system to track for results of the synergies and identify best practices as agreed in the regulations for 2014-2020?

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