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Parliamentary questions
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22 November 2018
Joint answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the European Commission
Written questions: P-004737/18 , E-004739/18
Question references: E-004739/2018, P-004737/2018

The freedom of establishment is one of the pillars of the internal market. While the Commission has no powers to interfere in company decisions regarding restructuring plans, it urges companies to follow good practices on restructuring(1). National authorities are responsible to ensure that the employer concerned applies correctly and effectively EU legislation.

By virtue of the shared management principle, the management of projects co-financed by the European structural and Investment funds is the responsibility of the competent national or regional authorities.

The Commission has contacted the competent Spanish authorities in order to request specific information on possible funding from the European Regional Development Fund to the Vestas plant in Villadangos del Páramo (Leon) and is waiting for an official answer.

The competent managing authority is to ensure that an operation retains the contribution from the Funds only if that operation does not, within five years from its completion, undergo a substantial modification resulting, inter alia, from the cessation of a productive activity which affects the nature or the implementation conditions of the operation or gives to a firm or a public body an undue advantage(2).

(1)As presented in the communication of 13 December 2013 establishing an EU Quality Framework for Anticipation of Change and Restructuring COM(2013) 882 final.

According to the provisions of Article 57.1 of Regulation 1083/2006:”the Member State or managing authority shall ensure that an operation retains the contribution from the Funds only if that operation does not, within five years from the completion of the operation or three years from the completion of the operation in Member States which have exercised the option of reducing that time limit for the maintenance of an investment or jobs created by SMEs, undergo a substantial modification:

(a) affecting its nature or its implementation conditions or giving to a firm or a public body an undue advantage; and
(b) resulting either from a change in the nature of ownership of an item of infrastructure or the cessation of a productive activity.”
If the conditions for applying this provision are not met, the Commission will recover sums unduly paid, in accordance with Articles 98 to 102 of Regulation 1083/2006(3).
(3)Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, OJ L 210, 31.7.2006.

Last updated: 22 November 2018Legal notice