Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission
The achievement of the growth and jobs related objectives of cohesion policy depends on sound fiscal and economic policies. In their absence, investments co-financed by cohesion policy will not fulfil the expected impacts. This is the reason why the Commission has proposed to further align cohesion policy with EU economic governance.
The public deficit and public debt-to-GDP ratio relate to all levels of government and not only to the central level. It is therefore important to consider the national public administration as a whole when setting the fiscal and budgetary objectives and obligations.
It needs to be underlined that the trigger for the suspension of payments and commitments is not that a Member State faces macroeconomic difficulties, but that the Council takes a decision that a Member State has failed to take the necessary actions to correct its excessive deficit.
All decisions on suspension must be proportionate. When deciding on suspensions, the Commission will take account the economic and social situation of the Member State concerned and the impact of the suspension on the economy of that Member State. The suspension will be lifted and the funds made available again as soon as the Member State takes the necessary actions.