Procedure : 2011/0428(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0294/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0294/2012

Debates :

PV 21/11/2013 - 3
CRE 21/11/2013 - 3

Votes :

PV 21/11/2013 - 8.8

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0507

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1156kDOC 1310k
28 September 2012
PE 489.483v02-00 A7-0294/2012

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

(COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Jutta Haug

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

(COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0874),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 192 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0498/2011),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 25 April 2012(1),

–   having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 19 July 2012(2),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0294/2012),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Points out that the financial envelope specified in the legislative proposal is only an indication to the legislative authority and cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the proposal for a regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020;

3.  Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe(3); reiterates that without sufficient additional resources in the next MFF, the Union will not be able to fulfil its existing policy priorities, in particular those linked to the EU2020 strategy, and the new tasks provided for by the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; points out that, even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5 % compared to the 2013 level, only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union's agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value;

4.  Recalls that, in its abovementioned resolution of 8 June 2011, it underlined that LIFE+ had been successfully implemented and had proven its importance in safeguarding biodiversity and protecting the environment; recalls also that Parliament emphasised the need for continuing well-endowed programmes for nature and biodiversity in order to meet the Union's environmental objectives, in particular for LIFE+ and Natura 2000;

5.  Considers that the extension of the thematic scope of LIFE, the broadening of its geographical scope and the addition of new types of projects should not lead to a replacement of the successful existing projects and thus be reflected in a significant increase of the Programme's overall envelope. Furthermore, stresses the urgency of providing adequate funding for the Union's biodiversity through support of the Natura 2000 network and is convinced that LIFE should contribute at least 10 % to the annual Natura 2000 funding needs of EUR 5 800 million and considers that the remaining funding needs to be covered through other Union funds as well as Member States and private funding sources;

6.  Points out that any change of the financial envelope for the LIFE Programme for the period from 2014 to 2020, compared to the original proposal by the Commission, will affect the budgetary breakdown of the Programme; considers that, if the financial envelope is increased, the additional budgetary resources should be used to increase the share of resources allocated to the sub-programme for Environment, the share of resources used for projects financed by action grants or innovative financial instruments, and the share of resources allocated to "traditional" projects;

7.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

8.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) Those Union funding programmes cannot address all environmental and climate action specific needs. For environment and climate action, specific approaches are required to deal with uneven integration of their objectives into Member States practice, uneven and inadequate implementation of the legislation in the Member States, and insufficient dissemination and promotion of policy goals. It is appropriate to continue the LIFE Programme regulated by Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and adopt a new Regulation. Therefore, this Regulation should establish a dedicated funding Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (the ‘LIFE Programme’).

(3) Those Union funding programmes cannot address all environmental and climate action specific needs. For environment and climate action, specific approaches are required to deal with uneven integration of their objectives into Member States practice, uneven and inadequate implementation of the legislation in the Member States, and insufficient dissemination and promotion of policy goals. It is appropriate to continue the LIFE Programme regulated by Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and adopt a new Regulation. Therefore, this Regulation should establish a dedicated funding Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (the ‘LIFE Programme’). With the aim of achieving substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies and complementarity should be developed between the LIFE Programme and other Union funding programmes.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) This Regulation should lay down, for the entire duration of the LIFE Programme, a financial envelope constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission proposal of 29 June 2011 for an Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) Experience of the LIFE+ programme has shown that the uptake of available LIFE funding has been very unequal between different Member States despite the mechanism of indicative national allocations. In those Member States that have most difficulties with accessing funds, specific assistance and capacity building should therefore be provided for, especially through the system of national and regional contact points and advisory services provided by successful project beneficiaries. Union solidarity and effort sharing should not be reflected by allocating budget shares and thereby compromising project quality, but rather by targeted assistance and additional award points for regions with particular environment-related or climate-related needs. Member States themselves can significantly contribute to increasing their uptake of LIFE funding by strengthening their system of national or regional contact points, by supporting project preparation technically and financially and by establishing environmental funds or other mechanisms to ensure the availability of matching funds.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4b) Solidarity should also take the form of a broad and continuous dissemination of project results so that Member States and regions with fewer projects will benefit from lessons learned and technologies or procedures developed by successful projects. LIFE projects should therefore give particular importance to networking activities and to the dissemination of project results and should give advice to interested stakeholders and potential future applicants beyond the LIFE network. The Commission should further strengthen its activities on targeted dissemination of project results within and beyond the LIFE network, with a specific focus on Member States with low uptake of LIFE funds.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) Given its characteristics and size, the LIFE Programme cannot solve all environmental and climate problems. Rather, its objective should be to catalyse changes in policy development and implementation by providing and disseminating solutions and best practices to achieve environmental and climate goals.

(5) Given its characteristics and size, the LIFE Programme cannot solve all environmental and climate problems. Rather, its objective should be to catalyse changes in policy development and implementation by providing and disseminating solutions and best practices to achieve environmental and climate goals. In this endeavour, it should support the implementation of the Union Environmental Action Programme. In its resolution of 20 April 2012 on the review of the 6th Environment Action Programme and the setting of priorities for the 7th Environment Action Programme – A better environment for a better life1 the European Parliament emphasised that the Environmental Action Programmes contribute to ensuring the necessary coordination among the various Union policies and considered that, in the coming decade, it will be even more crucial to address environmental issues with a more coherent and integrated approach that takes into account the links between them and that fills the remaining gaps, as otherwise irreversible damage may be caused. The European Parliament also stressed that the 7th Environment Action Programme should provide the right framework to ensure adequate funding, including for innovation, research and development and that financing environmental objectives, in synergy with LIFE, and fully integrating protection of the environment should be an important part of the multiannual financial framework 2014 - 2020, of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), of Cohesion Policy and of Horizon 2020.

 

______________

 

1 P7_TA(2012)0147.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) This Regulation lays down, for the entire duration of the LIFE Programme, a financial envelope of €3,618 million constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission Proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement of 29 June 2011 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

(6) This Regulation lays down, for the entire duration of the LIFE Programme, a financial envelope of EUR [...] million, which amounts to [...] % of the total amount of commitment appropriations as referred to in Council Regulation (EU) no …/… laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020, constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission proposal of 29 June 2011 for an Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) In view of the Message from Reunion Island of July 2008 and in accordance with the Council conclusions of 19 December 2011, which encouraged the Commission and the Member States to continue promoting a common approach to nature conservation throughout the Union, including in the Member States' outermost regions and overseas territories, as well as with the Commission communication of 3 May 2011 entitled ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’, in which the Commission undertook to expand and encourage the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST) initiative, the overseas countries and territories should be able to take part in Union programmes under the terms laid down in Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community1.

 

_____________

 

1 OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1.

Justification

The LIFE programme should be opened up to all of the EU’s overseas entities (outermost regions and OCTs) in order to protect those areas, which number among the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding.

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. To ensure legal clarity and practical feasibility of LIFE Integrated Projects, cooperation between other Union funds and Integrated Projects should be explicitly provided for in Regulation (EU) No …/… [the Common Provisions Regulation]1. Specific arrangements should be put in place to establish cooperation at an early stage, so that the advantages of Integrated Projects are taken into account during the drawing up of partnership contracts and operational or rural development programmes. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding and also to ensure that the net financial investment in attainment of the objectives set out in this Regulation does not decline.

 

_______________

 

1 COM(2011)0615.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and improving resource efficiency, together with addressing environment and health related concerns, remain key challenges for the Union. These challenges require increased efforts at Union level to provide solutions and best practices that help achieving the targets of the Communication from the Commission "Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" (hereinafter the "Europe 2020 Strategy"). In addition, improved governance, in particular through awareness raising and stakeholders' involvement, is essential to deliver environmental objectives. Therefore the sub-programme for Environment should have three priority areas for action: Environment and Resource Efficiency, Biodiversity, and Environmental Governance and Information. It should be possible for projects financed by the LIFE Programme to contribute to the achievement of the specific objectives of more than one of those priority areas and to involve the participation of more than one Member State.

(11) Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and improving resource efficiency, together with addressing environment and health related concerns, remain key challenges for the Union. These challenges require increased efforts at Union level to provide solutions and best practices that help achieving the targets of the Communication from the Commission "Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" (hereinafter the "Europe 2020 Strategy"). In addition, improved governance, in particular through awareness raising and stakeholders' involvement, is essential to deliver environmental objectives. Therefore the sub-programme for Environment should have three priority areas for action: Environment and Resource Efficiency, Nature and Biodiversity, and Environmental Governance and Information. It should be possible for projects financed by the LIFE Programme to contribute to the achievement of the specific objectives of more than one of those priority areas and to involve the participation of more than one Member State.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020" (hereinafter the "Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020") has set up targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These targets include, among others, the full implementation of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, as well as maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services. The LIFE Programme should contribute to achieving those targets. Therefore, the priority area Biodiversity should focus on the implementation and management of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular in relation to the Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, on the development and dissemination of best practices in relation to biodiversity and Directives 2009/147/EC and 92/43/EEC, as well as on the wider biodiversity challenges identified by the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020;

(13) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020" (hereinafter the "Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020") has set up targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These targets include, among others, the full implementation of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, as well as maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services. The LIFE Programme should contribute to achieving those targets. Therefore, the priority area Nature and Biodiversity should focus on the implementation and management of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular in relation to the Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, on the development and dissemination of best practices in relation to biodiversity and Directives 2009/147/EC and 92/43/EEC, as well as on the wider biodiversity challenges identified by the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. The contribution of LIFE to the annual funding needs of the Natura 2000 network, estimated at EUR 5 800 million1, should be seen and determined in the context of secured biodiversity expenses from other Union funds. In its resolution of 20 April 2012 on our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 20202 the European Parliament called on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that at least EUR 5 800 million per year is provided through Union and Member State funding and that adequate funding is made available through various Union funds (for example the CAP funds, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Cohesion Funds and a strengthened LIFE+ fund), with better coordination and coherence between those funds, inter alia through the concept of Integrated Projects, thereby improving transparency for the different regions in receipt of Union funding;

 

_____________

 

1 Financing Natura 2000. Investing in Natura 2000: Delivering benefits for nature and people. Commission Staff Working Paper SEC(2011)1573.

 

2 P7_TA(2012)0146.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) With a view to optimising the use of LIFE Programme resources, synergies between actions under the sub-programme for Environment, particularly to protect biodiversity, and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures under the sub-programme for Climate Action should be fostered.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular with regard to greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, policies related to land use, land use change and forestry, emissions trading system, Member States' effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular by supporting synergies with other environmental objectives, such as biodiversity, in the areas of greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, land use, land use change and forestry, conservation of natural carbon sinks, ecosystem-friendly approaches in the development of renewable energy in urban, agricultural, mountainous or remote areas, waste recovery and biogas production, energy efficiency, public lighting, transport and fuels, in particular third-generation fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

Justification

Waste recovery is an important task, for which local and regional authorities should take responsibility. The sustainable management of waste recovery should also be encouraged.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) Full implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy is inextricably linked to achieving better governance, improving stakeholder involvement and disseminating information. Therefore, the priority areas Governance and Information should in both sub-programmes support the development of platforms and sharing of best practices for better compliance and enforcement, and to generate support from the public and stakeholders for Union's policy making efforts in the areas of environment and climate. In particular, they should support improvements in the dissemination of knowledge-base, raising awareness, public participation, access to information and access to justice on environmental matters.

(18) Full implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy is inextricably linked to achieving better governance, improving stakeholder involvement and disseminating information. Therefore, the priority areas Governance and Information should in both sub-programmes support the development of platforms and sharing of best practices for better compliance and enforcement, and to generate support from the public and stakeholders for Union's policy making efforts in the areas of environment and climate. In particular, they should support improvements in the dissemination of knowledge-base and best practices, raising awareness, public participation, access to information and access to justice on environmental matters.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus.

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus while also ensuring an effective simplification of procedures. Integrated Projects will benefit other funds by increasing their absorption capacity for environment-related and climate-related expenditure. Given the novelty and the lack of broad experience with the 'Integrated Project' approach, stakeholders should, when needed, be supported through an increased co-financing rate and technical assistance for the preparation phase. In addition, a two-step selection procedure should alleviate the application phase. Exchanges concerning successful integrated approaches should be facilitated, involving all relevant sectors of administration and stakeholders. Based on experience of the first programming years, the factors determining the smooth functioning and success of Integrated Projects should be analysed. Based on that analysis and depending on funding available, additional areas might be added to the scope of Integrated Projects.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21a) Integrated Projects should serve as a model aimed at supporting Member States in using funds efficiently and in establishing constructive and continuous cooperation between different sectors of administration to address major implementation challenges. Given that those challenges exist throughout the Union, experience with the new project type represented by Integrated Projects should be as broad as possible. Every Member State should therefore be guaranteed to receive funding for at least two Integrated Projects in different areas, provided basic quality requirements are met, over the programming period. Further pan-European thematic distributional targets may be laid down by the Commission.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21b) The success of integrated projects is dependent on close cooperation between national, regional and local authorities and the non-state actors concerned by the LIFE Programme’s objectives. The principles of transparency and disclosure of decisions concerning the development, implementation, assessment and monitoring of projects should therefore be applied.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) In order to carry out its role in the initiation of environmental and climate policy development and implementation, the Commission should use resources from the LIFE Programme to support the initiation, implementation and mainstreaming of Union environmental and climate policy and legislation, including the purchase of services and goods. Financial resources allocated to communication activities under this Regulation shall also cover corporate communication on the political priorities of the Union.

(23) In order to carry out its role in the initiation of environmental and climate policy development and implementation, the Commission should use resources from the LIFE Programme to support the initiation, implementation and mainstreaming of Union environmental and climate policy and legislation, including the purchase of services and goods. Concrete measures should be taken to encourage SME participation in those calls for tender. Financial resources allocated to communication activities under this Regulation shall also cover corporate communication on the political priorities of the Union. The Commission should also dedicate financial resources to improving communication activities and information systems on the implementation of all major Union environmental legislation as outlined in its Communication of 7 March 2012 entitled "Improving the delivery of benefits from EU environment measures: building confidence through better knowledge and responsiveness"1. This should, as a first and urgent step, include the online publication and regular update of precise indications of whether, how and where Union directives in the climate and environment field have been implemented, including transposed, in each Member State. Such a widely accessible overview will complement the implementation focus of LIFE projects, provide useful background information for the design of projects and, more generally, raise citizens' awareness of the broad application, Union-wide positive impact and thus the importance of Union law. In addition, the LIFE Programme should contribute to the implementation of action 3c) under Target 1 of the Union's Biodiversity Strategy, in accordance with which the Commission and Member States are to facilitate enforcement of the nature directives by providing specific training programmes on Natura 2000 for judges and public prosecutors, and by developing better compliance promotion capacities.

 

_____________

 

1 COM(2012)0095.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) The experience of past instruments has highlighted the need to program on a multi-annual basis and to focus efforts on concrete environmental and climate policy priorities and areas for action. Such multiannual work programmes should be flexible to achieve the LIFE Programme targets and objectives, while providing the necessary stability of priority areas for potential applicants to plan, prepare and submit proposals. In this view, those multiannual work programmes should be valid for at least two years with non-exhaustive priorities.

(25) The experience of past instruments has highlighted the need to program on a multi-annual basis and to focus efforts on concrete environmental and climate policy priorities and areas for action. Such multiannual work programmes should be flexible to achieve the LIFE Programme targets and objectives, while providing the necessary stability of priority areas for potential applicants to plan, prepare and submit proposals. In this view, those multiannual work programmes should be valid for at least three years with non-exhaustive priorities.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) With a view to simplifying the LIFE Programme and reducing administrative burden for applicants and beneficiaries, more use should be made of flat rates and lump-sums, and funding should focus on more specific categories of costs. By way of compensation for ineligible costs and in order to maintain the effective level of support provided by the LIFE Programme, the co-funding rates should be 70% as a general rule and 80% in specific cases.

(26) With a view to simplifying the LIFE Programme and reducing administrative burden for applicants and beneficiaries, more use should be made of flat rates and lump-sums. The Commission should consider introducing a two-phase application procedure for all projects and options to accelerate the selection procedure, including providing for a shorter gap between selection and the start of a project. The Commission should also endeavour to facilitate, upon request, contact between interested applicants and beneficiaries of ongoing projects in similar areas to allow for an exchange of experience for the application and implementation phase. The Commission should furthermore ensure that detailed reasons are provided for a project's rejection and that those reasons are communicated before the announcement of the subsequent call for proposals. Where best practices from other funds exist, corresponding changes for the LIFE programme should be made, where appropriate.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(26a) In order to maintain the effective level of support provided by the LIFE Programme, the co-financing rates should be 50 % as a general rule and 60 % for Integrated Projects and corresponding technical assistance projects. To increase the accessibility of LIFE funding for Member States with temporary budgetary difficulties, those Member States should be able to apply for an increased rate of up to 75 % of eligible costs. Projects under the priority area "Nature and Biodiversity" relating to seriously threatened habitats and species should be entitled to an increased rate of 75 % of eligible costs.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(26b) Not all non-profit organisations and other project beneficiaries receiving Union co-financing can recover VAT costs under their national VAT regimes. Only in these cases, VAT costs should be eligible under the LIFE Programme to ensure fair and equal treatment of all beneficiaries. This should not apply to non-taxable persons as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Directive 2006/112/EC. The Commission should, based on information provided by all Member States, compile an overview of VAT rules affecting LIFE projects publicly available. The amount of VAT costs reimbursed through LIFE project action grants in each Member State should be reported on by the Commission, as part of the mid-term and ex-post evaluation reports.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) The LIFE Programme and the sub-programmes should be regularly monitored and evaluated based on corresponding indicators to allow for readjustments. In order to provide evidence of the co-benefits that both sub-programmes can bring to climate action and biodiversity, and to provide information on the level of spending, the monitoring of the LIFE Programme should track climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, as defined in the MFF Communication. Such tracking should be performed based on a simple methodology by placing the expenditure in one of three categories: climate/biodiversity related only (to be counted as 100%), significantly climate/biodiversity related (to be counted as 40%), and not climate/biodiversity related (to be counted as 0%). That methodology should not exclude the use of more precise methodologies, where appropriate.

(27) The LIFE Programme and the sub-programmes should be regularly monitored and evaluated based on corresponding indicators to allow for readjustments. When developing indicators for the assessment of programmes and projects, the Commission should place emphasis on quality monitoring on the basis of performance indicators and expected results and impacts. The Commission should also propose a method for monitoring the long-term success of projects, especially in the area of nature and biodiversity. In order to provide evidence of the co-benefits that both sub-programmes can bring to climate action and biodiversity, and to provide information on the level of spending, the monitoring of the LIFE Programme should track climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, as defined in the MFF Communication. Such tracking should be performed based on a simple methodology by placing the expenditure in one of three categories: climate/biodiversity related only (to be counted as 100%), significantly climate/biodiversity related (to be counted as 40%), and not climate/biodiversity related (to be counted as 0%). That methodology should not exclude the use of more precise methodologies, where appropriate.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(27a) Given the long-standing experience of the Commission's Directorate General (DG) responsible for the environment with managing the LIFE Programme and projects and the positive experience of LIFE beneficiaries with external monitoring teams, any change in the management structure of LIFE Programme and projects should be thoroughly assessed and subject to a probationary period. The management of Integrated Projects under the sub-programme for Environment, as well as projects in the priority area Nature and Biodiversity, should stay within the Commission's DG responsible for the environment.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29) In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation related to the adoption of the multiannual work programmes, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers.

deleted

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of eligibility criteria for project selection, criteria for the application of geographical balance to “Integrated Projects”, and performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the adoption and, where appropriate, the revision of multiannual work programmes, the setting out of specific thematic, pan-European distributional targets, applicable to “Integrated Projects”, the extension of the scope of, and the modification of the maximum allocation for,Integrated Projects, the further definition of performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities, and the establishment of a list of seriously threatened habitats and species. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level and with social partners and local and regional authorities. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council. Delegated acts, however, should be adopted only when appropriate, safeguarding the European Parliament's right to object to the measures adopted by the Commission.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) ‘pilot projects’ mean projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, and that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice;

(a) ‘pilot projects’ mean projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, and that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice and which can subsequently be applied on a larger scale to similar situations;

Justification

The results of pilot projects may serve as an example to be followed by other local and regional authorities or for cross-border cooperation projects.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d)“integrated projects” mean projects implementing in a sustainable manner, on a large territorial scale, in particular, regional, multi-regional or national scale, environmental or climate strategies or action plans required by specific environmental or climate Union legislation, pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities;

(d) “Integrated Projects” mean projects implementing in a sustainable manner, on a large territorial scale, in particular, regional, multi-regional, national or transnational scale, environmental or climate strategies or action plans primarily in one or more of the areas of nature, water, waste, air and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as required by specific environmental or climate Union legislation, pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities. Integrated Projects aim at integrating environmental and climate policy into other policies, especially by promoting a coordinated mobilisation of other Union, national and private funds towards environmental or climate objectives and towards major implementation challenges;

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point f a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fa)"capacity building projects" mean projects aimed at financially supporting, for a maximum duration of two years and not more than once per Member State per programming period, the national or regional contact point of LIFE. LIFE contact points shall thereby be enabled to widely distribute information about the LIFE Programme to potential applicants, to establish close cooperation with administrations managing other Union funds in order to identify synergies with LIFE Programme and to support applicants throughout the application procedure to ensure high-quality projects. Capacity building projects are selected through a separate application procedure;

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point f b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fb) “information, awareness, exchange and dissemination projects” mean projects aimed at supporting communication, dissemination of information and awareness raising in the fields of environment and climate. This may also include inter-sectoral exchanges between administrations and/or stakeholders in order to showcase successful integrated projects and approaches.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) to support the management of areas that form part of the Natura 2000 network and the conservation of the natural values included in that network, in particular the species and habitats considered priorities in accordance with Union legislation;

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca) to support the implementation of the Union Environmental Action Programme.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In doing so, the LIFE Programme shall contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy's objectives and targets.

In doing so, the LIFE Programme shall contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of the objectives and targets of, inter alia, the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Union biodiversity strategy to 2020, the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, the Roadmap 2050 and the Energy Roadmap until 2050.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) attributable environmental and climate improvements, as regards the objective referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1. In relation to the objective to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, attributable environmental improvements shall be measured through the percentage of the Natura2000 network restored or brought to adequate management, surface of ecosystem services restored, and number and type of habitats and species targeted improving conservation status;

(a) attributable environmental and climate improvements, as regards the objective referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1. In relation to the objective to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, attributable environmental improvements shall be measured through the percentage of the Natura2000 network restored or brought to adequate management, surface of ecosystem services restored or re-established, and number and type of habitats and species targeted improving conservation status;

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the performance indicators in view of their application to the thematic priorities as defined in the multiannual work programmes referred to in Article 24.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 further defining the performance indicators in view of their application to the thematic priorities as defined in the multiannual work programmes referred to in Article 24.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme shall be EUR 3 618 000 000.

1. Within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission proposal of 29 June 2011 for an Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, the prime reference financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme for the period from 2014 to 2020 shall be EUR [...] which amounts to[...]% of the total amount of commitment appropriations as referred to in Council Regulation (EU) No …/… laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) EUR 2 713 500 000 of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Environment;

(a) EUR [...], which amounts to approximately 75 % of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1, shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Environment;

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) EUR 904 500 000 of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Climate Action.

(b) EUR [...], which amounts to approximately 25 % of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1, shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Climate Action.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. At least 80 % of the budgetary resources for LIFE Programme shall be allocated to innovative financial instruments and projects supported by means of action grants set out in Article 18.

Justification

The share of resources allocated to both sub-programmes of LIFE serves only as an indication. As noted in the Compromise Amendment 1 (Paragraph 1 e new), if the total budget of LIFE Programme increases compared to the original proposal by the Commission, the additional resources will be used for an increase of the share of the sub-programme for Environment and an increase of the share allocated to innovative financial instruments and projects supported by means of action grants.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b. From the amount referred to in paragraph 2a of this Article, not more than 30 % shall be allocated to Integrated Projects referred to in point (d) of Article 18 throughout the programming period. That maximum percentage shall be re-evaluated in the framework of the mid-term evaluation referred to in point (a) of Article 27(2). Depending on the outcome of the assessment and after consultation with stakeholders, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning a decrease, increase or deletion of that maximum percentage.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Participation of third countries in the LIFE Programme

Participation of overseas countries and territories and third countries in the LIFE Programme

The LIFE Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries:

The LIFE Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries and territories:

 

-(a) the overseas countries and territories referred to in Decision 2001/822/EC;

(a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);

(a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);

(b) candidate countries, potential candidates and acceding countries to the Union;

(b) candidate countries, potential candidates and acceding countries to the Union;

(c) countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy applies;

(c) countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy applies;

(d) countries which have become members of the European Environmental Agency in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 993/1999 of 29 April 1999 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 on the establishment of the European Environmental Agency and the European environment information and observation network.

(d) countries which have become members of the European Environmental Agency in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 993/1999 of 29 April 1999 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 on the establishment of the European Environmental Agency and the European environment information and observation network.

Such participation shall be done in accordance with the conditions laid down in the respective bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for their participation in Union programmes.

Such participation shall be done in accordance with the conditions laid down in Decision 2001/822/EC and the respective bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for their participation in Union programmes.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the LIFE Programme is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union.

1. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the LIFE Programme is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union while also ensuring the implementation of simplification measures.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and 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, in order to create synergies, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d), and to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (CSF Regulation).

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States in an active and concerted effort shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and/or the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, in order to create synergies, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) and also through the establishment of prioritised action frameworks referred to in Article 8 of Directive 92/43/EEC, and to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (CSF Regulation). In their partnership contracts, as referred to in Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No …/… (the Common Provisions Regulation), the Member States shall indicate the mechanisms which will enable coordination at national and regional level between the LIFE programme and the other funds referred to in Regulation (EU) No /(the Common Provisions Regulation).

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 -a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 8-a

 

Visibility of the LIFE Programme

 

The coordinating beneficiary and associated beneficiaries shall publicise the LIFE Programme project and its results, always mentioning the Union support received. The LIFE logo set out in the Annex shall be used for all communication activities and shall appear on notice boards at strategic places visible to the public. All durable goods acquired in the framework of the LIFE Programme shall bear the LIFE logo unless otherwise specified by the Commission.

Justification

The LIFE logo has been very successful in ensuring the visibility of the Union's funding in the environment and climate area and has been showcasing the Union's contribution to nature conservation and environmental activities on the ground. It is therefore reasonable to refer to the LIFE logo in the regulation.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 8a

 

Integrated Projects

 

1. Integrated Projects shall serve as concrete instruments for mainstreaming environment and climate objectives into overall Union expenditure in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. They shall provide model cases for efficient and well-coordinated implementation in areas where it is most needed by Member States and/or regions.

 

2. Integrated Projects shall focus primarily on the areas of nature, water, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Depending on their performance, after the mid-term evaluation referred to in point (a) of Article 27(2), and on funds available, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the addition of the areas to be covered by Integrated Projects.

 

3. The coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources is a central element of Integrated Projects and shall therefore be promoted.

 

4. Integrated Projects shall be managed at the appropriate administrative and territorial level to deal with the specific area and to mobilise complementary Union, national, regional or private funds. Integrated Projects shall involve and be accessible to stakeholders.

 

5. The Commission and the Member States shall actively support and facilitate the development of Integrated Projects, inter alia through technical assistance projects, exchange activities such as visits to successful Integrated Projects, seminars and workshops organised by the Commission or other communication and information activities.

 

6. The geographical balance of Integrated Projects shall be ensured in accordance with Article 19(3). Member States shall endeavour, if necessary supported by a LIFE technical assistance project, to prepare and propose at least one integrated project during the LIFE financing period as referred to in Article 1.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – indent 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

- Biodiversity;

- Nature and Biodiversity;

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. At least 50% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

2. At least 75 % of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

(Linked to amendment to Article 4 paragraph 1)

Justification

This amendment is linked to increasing the LIFE programme budget to represent 1% of total EU budget, where the increase is intended in particular to contribute to the management of Natura 2000 sites.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union environmental policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the environment within and outside the Union.

(c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union environmental policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the environment within and outside the Union.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Specific objectives for the priority area Biodiversity

Specific objectives for the priority area Nature and Biodiversity

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The specific objectives of the sub-programme for Environment for the priority area Biodiversity shall in particular be:

The specific objectives of the sub-programme for Environment for the priority area Nature and Biodiversity shall in particular be:

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union biodiversity policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the biodiversity within and outside the Union.

(c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union biodiversity policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the biodiversity within and outside the Union.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – point d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(da) to promote targeted dissemination of project results to interested stakeholders and potential future applicants in those regions most relevant for the particular subject area and which are most likely to benefit from the sharing of positive experiences.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective adaptation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

(b) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective ecosystem-based adaptation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches, such as for adaptation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;

(c) to facilitate the development and implementation of ecosystem-based integrated approaches, such as for adaptation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative adaptation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed.

(d) to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative adaptation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed and that focus on ecosystem-based approaches.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

(d) Integrated Projects;

Justification

To avoid redundancy. The priority areas of IPs have already been mentioned in Art 2 (definitions) and Art 8 a (new).

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ea) capacity building projects in accordance with Article 19(2a);

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g) information, awareness and dissemination projects;

(g) information, awareness, exchange and dissemination projects;

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1 - subparagraph 1 - point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) being of Union interest by making a significant contribution to the achievement of one of the objectives of the LIFE Programme set out in Article 3;

(a) being of Union interest by making a significant contribution to the achievement of one of the general objectives of the LIFE Programme set out in Article 3 as well as the specific objectives for the priority areas set out in Articles 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16;

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1 - subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the conditions for the application of the criterion referred to paragraph 1(a) in order to adapt that criterion to the specific priority areas defined in Articles 9 and 13.

deleted

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Where possible, projects financed by the LIFE Programme shall promote synergies between different objectives and promote the use of green public procurement.

2. Where possible, projects financed by the LIFE Programme shall promote the use of green public procurement and synergies between different objectives. Any project under one priority area shall avoid compromising environmental and climate objectives in another priority area.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The selection of funding for all projects other than Integrated Projects referred to in point (d) of Article 18 shall be based on merit and quality pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article.

 

If a Member State has been awarded fewer than two projects in two subsequent years, it shall be entitled to receive special technical assistance such as targeted workshops to support the preparation of high quality projects for the following year and may apply for a capacity building project in accordance with point (ea) of Article 18 . The Member States which have received far less than their indicative national allocations under the programming period 2007-2013 may also apply for a capacity building project.

 

The Commission shall ensure dissemination of the results of the most successful projects with a special focus, where relevant, on those Member States that have been allocated fewest projects in the respective field.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b. In order to encourage a balanced distribution of projects, the Commission shall maintain a publicly available register of LIFE project financing disbursed in Member States and shall provide the information relating to indicative national allocations for the periods 2014-2017 and 2018-2020, based on the following criteria:

 

(1) the sub-programme for Environment:

 

(a) Population

 

(i) the total population of each Member State. A weighting of 45 % shall be applied to this criterion; and

 

(ii) the population density of each Member State, up to a limit of twice the Union's average population density. A weighting of 5 % shall be applied to this criterion;

 

(b) Nature and Biodiversity

 

(i) the total area of sites of Union importance for each Member State, expressed as a proportion of the total area of sites of Union importance. A weighting of 25 % shall be applied to this criterion; and

 

(ii) the proportion of a Member State's territory covered by sites of Union importance in relation to the proportion of Union territory covered by sites of Union importance. A weighting of 25% shall be applied to this criterion;

 

(2) the sub-programme for Climate Action:

 

(i) the total population of each Member State as a proportion of the total Union population. A weighting of 50% shall be applied to this criterion;

 

(ii) reverse GDP per capita to reflect solidarity with less prosperous Member States. A weighting of 50 % shall be applied to this criterion.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 2 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2c. The effective distribution of the disbursed LIFE funding in relation to the indicative national allocation shall be part of the mid-term evaluation report referred to in point (a) of Article 27(2). The Member States which have received far less than their indicative national allocations may apply for a capacity building project.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall involve, where appropriate, stakeholders and promote, when possible, the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall involve stakeholders and promote the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

The Commission shall ensure geographical balance in line with the principles of solidarity and effort sharing in the award process for Integrated Projects. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning criteria for the application of geographical balance in each thematic area referred to in Article 18 point (d).

The Commission shall ensure geographical balance in line with the principles of solidarity and effort sharing in the award process for Integrated Projects. In this endeavour:

 

(a) each Member State shall be entitled to receive, throughout the entire programming period and provided that the eligibility criteria pursuant to paragraph 1 are met, funding for at least two Integrated Projects in two different areas identified in Article 8a(2);

 

(b) all other Integrated Projects shall be assessed and distributed based on their quality. The Commission shall also be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the setting out of specific thematic, pan-European distributional targets, applicable to the Integrated Projects for the programming period.

Justification

Given the novelty and the specific planning approach required for Integrated Projects it is crucial that all Member States gain experience with this type of project during the next LIFE programming period. It is therefore suggested that each Member State be entitled to funding for at least three integrated projects, provided that these cover different areas.

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. The Commission shall establish a separate, fast-track application and selection procedure for capacity building projects which shall not last longer than three months from the submission of the application.

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4b. The Commission shall regularly publish lists of projects financed through LIFE, including a short description of objectives and results achieved and a summary of funds expended, using appropriate media and technologies. The Commission shall also facilitate the matching of completed or ongoing projects with new project beneficiaries, applicants or interested stakeholders in the same field.

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The maximum co-financing rate for the projects referred to in Article 18 shall be 70% of eligible costs. By way of exception, the maximum co-financing rate for projects referred to in Article 18 points (d) and (f) shall be 80% of eligible costs.

1. The maximum co-financing rate for the projects referred to in Article 18 shall be 50 % of eligible costs.

 

By way of exception:

 

(a) the maximum co-financing rate for projects referred to in Article 18 points (d) and (f) shall be 60 % of eligible costs;

 

(b) Member States with temporary budgetary difficulties as described in Regulation (EU) No .../... [Common Provisions Regulation] may apply for an increased rate of up to 75 % of eligible costs;

 

(c) the maximum co-financing rate under the priority area "Nature and Biodiversity" for seriously threatened habitats and species shall be 75 %. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the establishment of a list of such habitats and species. Such list shall be based on the priority habitats and species for the implementation of Directive 92/43/EEC, updated according to latest scientific findings, as well as on the species of birds considered as priority for funding by the committee set up pursuant to Article 16 of Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds1.

 

_______________

 

1 OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7.

Justification

The Commission proposes an increased co-financing rate to compensate for the proposed limitation of eligibility of VAT and permanent staff costs. Suggested compromise 6 and 7 reintroduce this eligibility. A significant increase of the co-financing rate would only be possible at the expense of the total number of projects and the leverage effect of the LIFE instrument.

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. VAT shall not be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18.

2. VAT shall, in principle, not be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18. VAT amounts shall be eligible where they are not recoverable under the applicable national VAT legislation and are paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax1. Each Member State shall inform the Commission by the date of entry into force of this Regulation, of the national legislation governing the VAT, the entities with deduction rights and the cases of recoverability. The Commission shall make that information publicly available and shall indicate the amount of VAT reimbursed to LIFE projects per Member State as part of the mid term and ex-post evaluation reports referred to in Article 27(2).

 

_______________

 

1 OJ L 347 11.12.2006, p.1.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Staff costs for all beneficiaries, including salary costs of the personnel of national administrations, shall be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18 to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the beneficiary would not have carried out if the project concerned had not been undertaken. The respective staff shall be specifically seconded to the project concerned on an hourly, part-time or full-time basis. The sum of the public organisations' contributions (as coordinating beneficiary and/or associated beneficiary) to the project shall exceed by at least 2 % the sum of the salary costs of the civil servants charged to the project.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 – indent 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

– the purchase will contribute to improving, maintaining and restoring the integrity of the Natura2000 network set up in Article 3 of Directive 92/43/EEC;

– the purchase will contribute to improving, maintaining and restoring the integrity of the Natura2000 network set up in Article 3 of Directive 92/43/EEC, including through improving connectivity through the creation of corridors, stepping stones, or other elements of green infrastructure;

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 22 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ea) communication on the implementation, including transposition, where applicable, of all major Union environmental and climate legislation;

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall adopt multiannual work programmes for the LIFE Programme. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 29(2).

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the adoption of multiannual work programmes for the LIFE Programme. The Commission shall ensure stakeholders are consulted adequately when multiannual work programmes are developed.

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 2 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Each multiannual work programme shall have a duration of at least two years and shall set out, in line with the objectives laid down in Article 3, the following:

2. Each multiannual work programme shall have a duration of at least three years and shall set out, in line with the objectives laid down in Article 3, the following:

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall revise, where appropriate, the multiannual work programmes. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 29(2).

3. Each multiannual work programme shall have a duration of at least three years and be renewable, provided that the thematic priorities laid down in that multiannual work programme remain valid. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 in order to revise, where appropriate, the multiannual work programmes at the latest by the mid-term review of the LIFE Programme.

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall regularly monitor and report on the implementation of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure. It shall also examine synergies between the LIFE Programme and other complementary Union programmes, and in particular between its sub-programmes.

1. The Commission shall regularly monitor and report on the implementation of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure. It shall also examine synergies between the LIFE Programme and other complementary Union programmes, and in particular between its sub-programmes.

 

The Commission shall regularly make available the most meaningful results of the projects funded under the LIFE Programme in order to facilitate feedback and exchange of good practices across the Union.

2. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

2. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

(a) no later than 30 September 2017, an external mid-term evaluation report of the LIFE Programme (and its sub-programmes), including qualitative and quantitative aspects of its implementation, the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, and its complementarity with other relevant Union programmes, the achievement of the objectives of all the measures (at the level of results and impacts, when possible), the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation shall additionally address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of its predecessor. The report shall be accompanied by remarks by the Commission including the manner in which the findings of the mid-term evaluation shall be taken into account when implementing the LIFE Programme, and, in particular, when drawing up the multiannual work programmes;

(a) no later than 30 June 2017, an external mid-term evaluation report of the LIFE Programme (and its sub-programmes), including qualitative and quantitative aspects of its implementation, the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, the extent to which synergies between the objectives have been reached, and its complementarity with other relevant Union programmes, the achievement of the objectives of all the measures (at the level of results and impacts, when possible), the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation shall additionally address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of its predecessor. The report shall be accompanied by remarks by the Commission including the manner in which the findings of the mid-term evaluation shall be taken into account when implementing the LIFE Programme, and, in particular, when drawing up the multiannual work programmes. The mid-term evaluation report shall contain or be accompanied by a thorough assessment of the extent and quality of the demand for, planning of and implementation of Integrated Projects. A special focus shall be given to the realised or expected success of Integrated Projects in leveraging other Union funds, particularly taking into account, in particular, the benefits of increased coherence with other Union funding instruments, the extent to which stakeholders have been involved and the extent to which previous traditional LIFE projects have been or are expected to be covered by Integrated Projects. That assessment may be accompanied by appropriate proposals for adapting the overall financial share available for Integrated Projects under the LIFE Programme as referred to in Article 4(2b) and the scope of Integrated Projects as referred to in Article 8a(2) of this Regulation;

(b) no later than 31 December 2023, an external and independent ex-post evaluation report covering the implementation and results of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate related expenditure and biodiversity related expenditure, the extent to which the LIFE Programme as a whole, and each of its sub-programmes, has achieved its objectives, and the contribution of the LIFE Programme to achieving the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives and targets.

(b) no later than 31 December 2023, an external and independent ex-post evaluation report covering the implementation and results of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate related expenditure and biodiversity related expenditure, the extent to which the LIFE Programme as a whole, and each of its sub-programmes, has achieved its objectives, the extent to which synergies between the various objectives have been realized, and the contribution of the LIFE Programme to achieving the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives and targets. The ex-post evaluation report should also examine, to the extent possible, the economic benefit achieved through the LIFE Programme as well as the impact and added value for the communities involved.

3. The Commission shall make the results of the evaluations undertaken pursuant to this Article publicly available.

3. The Commission shall make the results of the evaluations undertaken pursuant to this Article publicly available.

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Committee procedure

deleted

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee for the LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action.

 

That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

 

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

 

Justification

The Article on Committee procedure would not be needed should the amendments deleting or replacing the implementing acts by delegated acts be adopted.

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Articles 3(2), 19(1) and 19(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from the [date of entry into force of this Regulation].

2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 3(2), Article 4(2b), Article 8a(2), Article 19(3), Article 20(1), Article 24(1) and Article 24(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from the [date of entry into force of this Regulation].

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The delegation of power referred to in Articles 3(2), 19(1) and 19(3) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

3. The delegation of power referred to in Article 3(2), Article 4(2b), Article 8a(2), Article 19(3), Article 20(1), Article 24(1) and Article 24(3) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Articles 3(2), 19(1) or 19(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

5. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 3(2), Article 4(2b), Article 8a(2), Article 19(3), Article 20(1), Article 24(1) or Article 24(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 32 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Measures started before 31 December 2013 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 shall, until their completion, continue to be governed by that Regulation and shall comply with the technical provisions defined therein. The Committee referred to in Article 29(1) shall replace the committee provided for in Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 from date of entry into force of this Regulation.

1. Measures started before 31 December 2013 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 shall, until their completion, continue to be governed by that Regulation and shall comply with the technical provisions defined therein.

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Annex (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

ANNEX

 

The LIFE logo

 

Justification

Linked to the amendment introducing Article 8-a (new). The LIFE logo has been very successful in ensuring the visibility of the Union's funding in the environment and climate area and has been showcasing the Union's contribution to nature conservation and environmental activities on the ground. It is therefore reasonable to refer to the LIFE logo in the regulation.

(1)

   OJ C 191, 29.6.2012, p. 111.

(2)

   OJ C 277, 13.9.2012, p. 61.

(3)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

For the last 20 years, LIFE has achieved considerable success as a means of addressing environment and climate-related challenges faced by European citizens. It is a small, but well-targeted and effective instrument, highly appreciated by local, regional and national public administrations, NGOs, research institutions and SMEs. From the budgetary perspective, LIFE's performance has also been very satisfactory; the rate of execution has been consistently and considerably above average.

Budget and mainstreaming

That said, it is obvious that LIFE's share of the overall EU budget, amounting to 0.3% in the Commission's proposal, is disproportionately low as against the challenges and opportunities presented by the move towards a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient and biodiversity-rich society. The investments supported by the Parliament (EP) in the context of the current negotiations on major EU funds under the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), will influence the EU's development for the next two decades at least. Your Rapporteur therefore emphasises the need to ensure that these investments underpin the policies and strategies advocated by the EP, for example in the EU Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe, the Low-carbon economy Roadmap or the EU Biodiversity strategy.

In its resolution on the EU Biodiversity strategy, the EP expresses its disappointment in relation to the proposed allocation for the new LIFE programme and takes the view that the challenges addressed in the biodiversity and nature conservation plan call for a substantial increase in the funds allocated to the LIFE programme. It further notes that benefits generated by the Natura 2000 network alone are estimated to be worth EUR 200-300 billion, with a total of about 4.5 to 8 million jobs being supported directly.

Endowing LIFE with an adequate budget and a visible share within overall EU spending will be a strong signal that the EU takes its environment and climate commitments seriously. In line with the EP's overall approach to the MFF negotiations, your Rapporteur abstained in this report from making any precise proposals as to the amount of the LIFE budget. However, the above arguments clearly call for a substantial increase. The LIFE programme should contribute to at least 10% of the financing needs of the Natura 2000 network, without reducing expenses for any other area. The current budget should be increased by 5% at least, as requested in the Parliament's MFF resolution. This should be further raised by the amount judged necessary by the Commission to cover the newly proposed elements of LIFE, namely the sub-programme for climate change and the Integrated Projects.

Geographical balance and technical assistance

The selection of LIFE projects is primarily based on their quality and their contribution to European added value, focussing on their demonstration/transferability potential and their environment/climate impact. The experience of previous LIFE programming periods has revealed disparities among Member States in the uptake of available LIFE funds. Some countries or regions have repeatedly been able to prepare high quality projects, to ensure matching funds, and have thus received more overall support through the LIFE programme. This has even been the case under the complex system of indicative national allocations that was introduced under LIFE+ (2007-2013).

Without doubt, striking inequalities in project allocation have to be addressed within the new LIFE regulation. But are national allocations the right instrument to ensure such distribution? Should a Union fund - in the name of European solidarity - compromise on the quality, replication potential, conservation value, and the required EU-wide results and impacts of projects, just to ensure that every Member State receives its share?

Your Rapporteur believes that European solidarity and effort sharing means something different: Member States and regions with a low selection rate of projects have to be supported in aiming to achieve higher project quality. This should take the form of targeted workshops and training, but should also include advisory services from project to project. Your Rapporteur proposes that the Commission facilitates such exchanges between successful ongoing or completed projects and project applicants. Moreover, proactive assistance provided by national and regional LIFE contact points has been identified as a key factor in successful applications. Your Rapporteur would therefore propose to allow for a time-limited capacity-building support to be provided to the LIFE contact points in areas or regions with very low project uptake.

The concept of geographical balance goes beyond national distribution. Combined with the principle of solidarity, it means that regions, eco-systems, sectors or otherwise defined entities that have a unique European value or a specific burden to carry should receive priority when selecting projects. This could refer to the protection of priority species or to agglomerations with severe air pollution problems. No additional mechanism within LIFE is needed to ensure this. These considerations should be and are already part of every selection process and should lead to additional award points. In order to increase clarity and to strengthen this solidarity element, your Rapporteur proposes the addition of a corresponding provision in the LIFE Regulation.

Moreover, given the novelty and the specific planning approach required for Integrated Projects, as explained below, your Rapporteur considers it crucial that all Member States gain experience with this type of project during the next LIFE programming period. Your Rapporteur therefore suggests that each Member State be entitled to funding for at least three Integrated Projects, provided that these cover different areas.

Co-financing rate

The second main bottleneck responsible for reducing the uptake of LIFE funding in several Member States is the difficulty in ensuring matching funds. Your Rapporteur therefore proposes that economically less developed regions be entitled to a co-financing rate of up to 75%. Your Rapporteur is of the view that this would provide an additional incentive to apply for LIFE funding for the regions most in need and would eventually ensure that they benefit from LIFE expertise for environment and climate-related investments.

Your Rapporteur has doubts about a more general increase in the co-funding rate since this would, obviously, only be possible at the expense of the total number of projects and thus the EU-wide distribution of the LIFE network. Many high quality projects are currently ongoing, based on a co-financing rate of 50%. A general increase of the co-financing rate might risk the loss of this leverage effect and this critical mass of projects, which provide meaningful results and lessons learned.

Finally, Member States' efforts in establishing mechanisms to secure matching funds, combined with a strengthening of their system of LIFE contact points, have proved crucial to the success of LIFE projects. The Commission should therefore encourage Member States to exchange best practice with regards to these structures.

Eligibility and simplification

The question of eligibility of costs and simplification has to be considered independently from the co-financing rate and in the context of the revision of the financial regulation.

Despite differences in the management structure of EU funds, basic rules should be the same. It is obvious that best practice on application procedures, administration and monitoring of grants should be spread so as to relieve the burden on all sides.

When project beneficiaries, except non-taxable persons(1), cannot recover costs for Value Added Taxes (VAT) under their national VAT regimes, those VAT costs should be eligible under the LIFE programme. This will ensure fair and equal treatment of all beneficiaries. That said, your Rapporteur considers it unacceptable that parts of the small LIFE budget flow back into Member States' budgets. There should at least be clarity on how each Member State deals with VAT recovery and on the annual amount of VAT costs reimbursed to LIFE projects.

Permanent staff costs should be generally eligible under the LIFE programme to ensure continuity of expertise. At the same time, a maximum share of project grants should flow into concrete project-related expenses such as conservation actions. Managing public goods such as nature and environment is one of the core tasks of public administrations. Your Rapporteur therefore considers it reasonable not to reimburse, via the EU budget, the costs of public officials' involvement in LIFE projects. However, costs for additionally recruited staff for LIFE project activities should still be eligible for reimbursement.

Integrated Projects

"Integrated Projects" under LIFE are a concrete mainstreaming tool. They aim to support, jointly with other EU funds, the implementation of major environmental legislation such as waste or river basin management plans, climate strategies or prioritised action frameworks for the management of Natura 2000 areas - all with significant potential to create employment and growth. Such projects also have the potential to significantly contribute to an efficient use of funds.

Your Rapporteur strongly supports this new type of project suggested by the Commission. The proposed regulation, however, to some extent lacks clarity in relation to this concept. Your Rapporteur has therefore introduced a new, separate Article on Integrated Projects, including mechanisms to assist Member States in putting this new approach into practice. Given the limited experience with Integrated Projects, they should be phased in gradually and closely examined at the mid-term evaluation of the LIFE programming period.

Integrated Projects will be beneficial for other funds by increasing their absorption capacity for environment-related expenditure and channelling it to major implementation challenges. They can also encourage the establishment of a constructive and enduring cooperation between different sectors of administrations, which will improve the coherency of EU spending. To realise these benefits in practice, activities which are potentially complementary with other EU funds have to be identified at an early stage. Your Rapporteur has tabled corresponding amendments to the Common Provisions Regulation.

(1)

As defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Directive 2006/112/EC.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (6.9.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

(COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD))

Rapporteur: Helga Trüpel

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The risks deriving from environmental degradation and climate change constitute some of the most profound and most long term challenges the European Union is facing today. Fighting climate change and making the Union more resilient to the associated risks must be one of the core priorities of our political efforts. As expressed in the Europe 2020 Strategy there is an urgent need for a more determined political action.

Despite of the Union's past efforts in the field of environmental and climate policy substantial challenges remain which urgently need addressing. Past efforts fell short of addressing the environmental and climate related challenges in a satisfactory and comprehensive way. What is more, the implementation of environmental and climate legislation remains uneven and in many cases inadequate across the Union, consolidating existing environmental and climate related problems.

To counter such challenges the European Commission sets out a budgetary framework in its next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 that enlists environmental action as an integral part. Furthermore, an environmental mainstreaming approach is foreseen which intends to ensure that environmental objectives will be reflected in all main instruments and policies and that these policies positively contribute to the efforts made by the Union for meeting its environmental targets.

Such efforts need however to be complemented by a separate financing instrument dedicated exclusively to the area of climate and environment. The Parliament has recognised this necessity and has in its resolution on the Multiannual Financial Framework from the 08th of June 2011 underlined the importance of a "separate financing instrument" for the area of environment and climate.

In the period from 2007 - 2013 LIFE+ has provided for such a targeted financial instrument. Being the Union's only separate financial instrument targeting these areas, it has over these years proven to be an indispensable part of the Union's effort to fight climate change and environmental degradation. Repeatedly LIFE+ has been evaluated as an exceedingly successful programme. Its high European added value and considerable leverage effect have been pointed out.

Given the limited financial resources at its disposal, LIFE is not capable of developing comprehensive answers to the environmental and climate related challenges the Union is facing. It can however play a considerable role as a catalyst for both policy development and policy implementation and can provide valuable support for a more active and efficient exchange of solutions and best practices.

The future continuation of the LIFE+ programme during the years of 2014-2020 is indispensible and a substantial strengthening of the programme, also with regard to its financial envelope, is essential.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe1; reiterates that without sufficient additional resources in the next MFF, the Union will not be able to fulfil its existing policy priorities, in particular those linked to the EU2020 strategy, and the new tasks provided for by the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; points out that, even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5 % compared to the 2013 level, only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union's agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value;

 

____________

 

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.

Amendment  2

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1b. Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on "Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe"1; reiterates that, sufficient additional resources are needed in the next MFF in order to enable the Union to fulfil its existing policy priorities and the new tasks provided for by the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value;

 

______________

 

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.

Amendment  3

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1c. Recalls that, in its resolution of 8 June 2011, it underlined that LIFE+ had been successfully implemented and had proven its importance in safeguarding biodiversity and protecting the environment. The European Parliament emphasized the need for continuing well endowed programmes for nature and biodiversity in order to meet EU environmental objectives, in particular for LIFE+ and NATURA 2000;

Amendment  4

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1d. Points out that the estimated financial impact of the proposal constitutes only an indication to the legislative authority and cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the proposal for a regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) Those Union funding programmes cannot address all environmental and climate action specific needs. For environment and climate action, specific approaches are required to deal with uneven integration of their objectives into Member States practice, uneven and inadequate implementation of the legislation in the Member States, and insufficient dissemination and promotion of policy goals. It is appropriate to continue the LIFE Programme regulated by Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and adopt a new Regulation. Therefore, this Regulation should establish a dedicated funding Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (the ‘LIFE Programme’).

(3) Those Union funding programmes cannot address all environmental and climate action specific needs. For environment and climate action, specific approaches are required to deal with uneven integration of their objectives into Member States practice, uneven and inadequate implementation of the legislation in the Member States, and insufficient dissemination and promotion of policy goals. It is appropriate to continue the LIFE Programme regulated by Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) and adopt a new Regulation. Therefore, this Regulation should establish a dedicated funding Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (the ‘LIFE Programme’). With the aim of achieving substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies and complementarity should be developed between the "LIFE Programme" and other Union programmes.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) This Regulation should lay down, for the entire duration of the Programme, a financial envelope constituting the prime reference, within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement of 29 June 2011 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus.

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus while also ensuring an effective simplification of procedures.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme shall be EUR 3 618 000 000.

1. Within the meaning of point 17 of the Commission proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement of 29 June 2011 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, the prime reference financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme for the period from 2014 to 2020 shall be EUR [...].

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) EUR 2 713 500 000 of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Environment;

(a) EUR [...], which corresponds to 75 % of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Environment;

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) EUR 904 500 000 of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Climate Action.

(b) EUR [...], which corresponds to 25 % of the overall financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the sub-programme for Climate Action.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the LIFE Programme is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union.

1. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the LIFE Programme is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union while also ensuring the implementation of simplification measures.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – first subparagraph

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. VAT shall not be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18.

2. VAT shall generally not be deemed an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18. In the case of project beneficiaries who cannot recover VAT costs according to the VAT regulation in the respective Member State, VAT costs shall still be eligible. This exception shall however not apply to non-taxable persons as defined in Article 13(1) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax.

Justification

Whereas the Commission's initiative to exempt the VAT from the eligible cost does in principle deserve support as it limits the backflow of money from the LIFE programme into the budgets of the respective member state, this newly introduced rules risks to become a considerable obstacle for a certain groups of beneficiaries, especially for the group of non-profit organizations, to carry out projects und the LIFE programme. Especially because such beneficiaries have in the past made a valuable contribution to the success of the LIFE programme their future access must not be endangered. In case of the beneficiary being a non-taxable person in the sense of Council Directive 2006/112/EC, namely states, regional and local government authorities and other bodies governed by public law, it shall under all circumstances be excluded form this advantageous provision.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The cost of permanent staff shall not be eligible if such staff serves as a public official to a public authority. In other cases, the cost of permanent staff shall be eligible when it originates in an activity linked to a LIFE project.

Justification

The Commission's initiative to exempt the cost of permanent staff from the eligible cost risks to become a considerable obstacle for small and medium sized non-governmental organisations to carry out projects. Especially because such beneficiaries have in the past made a valuable contribution to the success of the LIFE programme their future access must not be endangered. The cost of permanent staff shall therefore be eligible if there is an existing link to the LIFE funded project, meaning that it is a cost which the beneficiary would not have been facing had he not taken on the LIFE funded project. In case of public entities being the beneficiaries of LIFE funds this advantageous exception shall however not apply.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) no later than 30 September 2017, an external mid-term evaluation report of the LIFE Programme (and its sub-programmes), including qualitative and quantitative aspects of its implementation, the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, and its complementarity with other relevant Union programmes, the achievement of the objectives of all the measures (at the level of results and impacts, when possible), the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation shall additionally address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of its predecessor. The report shall be accompanied by remarks by the Commission including the manner in which the findings of the mid-term evaluation shall be taken into account when implementing the LIFE Programme, and, in particular, when drawing up the multiannual work programmes;

(a) no later than 30 June 2017, an external mid-term evaluation report of the LIFE Programme (and its sub-programmes), including qualitative and quantitative aspects of its implementation, the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure, and its complementarity with other relevant Union programmes, the achievement of the objectives of all the measures (at the level of results and impacts, when possible), the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation shall additionally address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of its predecessor. The report shall be accompanied by remarks by the Commission including the manner in which the findings of the mid-term evaluation shall be taken into account when implementing the LIFE Programme, and, in particular, when drawing up the multiannual work programmes;

PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

References

COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

15.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

15.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Helga Trüpel

6.2.2012

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean-Luc Dehaene, Isabelle Durant, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Jens Geier, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Claudio Morganti, Jan Mulder, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann, Jacek Włosowicz

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Edit Herczog, Jürgen Klute, Constanze Angela Krehl, Peter Šťastný, Georgios Stavrakakis

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Luigi Berlinguer


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (4.6.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

(COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD)

Rapporteur: Gaston Franco

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Since 1992, the LIFE programme has served as a breeding ground for innovation and a vehicle for disseminating knowledge and raising awareness of environmental issues. It has helped to improve the way in which EU environmental legislation is implemented. Now, with the LIFE+ programme about to come to an end, we are in need of a new instrument that is more effective and more in tune with the environmental challenges facing us.

General approach and integrated projects

Notwithstanding the budgetary restraint required in this time of crisis, your rapporteur welcomes the reasonable increase in LIFE funding for 2014-2020, with a climate section now being included in the overall budget.

The main point of note in the new programme is the inclusion of integrated projects. These are ambitious structural projects based on a holistic approach to environmental issues and involving synergies between the EU budget, national financing instruments and additional funding from the public and private sectors.

However, although the idea of integration is an attractive one, these projects could well undermine the efforts made to simplify the programme. Implementation is likely to be a complicated matter, given that the various types of funds are subject to different procedures, timetables and conditions and not all the rules governing them provide for complementarity. Given the risk of applications being rejected by some funds, the Commission needs to provide additional guarantees in order to ensure that such projects may go ahead, without, however, undermining the competition rules applying to funding grant procedures.

Integrated projects will be used as a vehicle for funding large-scale measures, such as climate plans, conducted by local and regional authorities, among others. However, this must not result in the abandonment of the more conventional types of project that have shown people how useful life is LIFE and helped to make it a popular programme.

For all LIFE projects in general, the Commission needs to improve feedback, ensure broad dissemination of results and facilitate the exchange of good practices, so that the projects do not exist in isolation.

Priority areas

To name but a few:

– eco-corridors, priority habitats and species, the marine environment, noise, the urban environment (environment sub-programme);

– energy efficiency (e.g. public lighting), energy wood, energy generation from waste, promotion of third-generation fuels (climate sub-programme).

Eco-innovation and the private sector

LIFE must continue to provide funding for eco-innovation, alongside that available under the Horizon 2020 initiative.

Above and beyond the role it plays in implementing legislation, LIFE must provide support for innovative and experimental approaches, in particular to testing new climate and environment technologies and processes.

It needs to give a clear lead to the private sector, to encourage it to develop excellence programmes, thus acting as a driving force for eco-innovation, in particular by SMEs.

Cross-border cooperation and inclusion of overseas countries and territories (OCTs)

Cross-border LIFE projects are extremely important in the EU. In connection with international cooperation, your rapporteur welcomes the fact that neighbouring countries are eligible, in particular the southern Mediterranean countries, given the pressing environmental and climate challenges in that region.

Although the outermost regions have gradually gained access to LIFE programme funding, their involvement remains at a low level and needs to be stepped up. The exclusion of the OCTs, which form part of the territory of four Member States, is incomprehensible, given that they and the outermost regions form a unique network spread over all of the world’s oceans that contains a treasure trove of biodiversity.

Eligibility of costs

Your rapporteur understands the reasoning behind making VAT and permanent-staff costs ineligible with a view to streamlining financial management and control procedures. However, this would result in too many restrictions and inequalities for beneficiaries. This is an issue that goes beyond the confines of the LIFE programme.

If permanent-staff costs were to continue to be eligible, beneficiaries would be able to keep staff with valuable experience. Furthermore, interfering with the organisational and recruitment arrangements of grant recipients is fraught with difficulties.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) In view of the Message from Reunion Island of July 2008 and in accordance with the Council conclusions of 10 December 2011, which encouraged the Commission and the Member States to promote a joint approach to nature conservation throughout the Union, including in the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories of the Member States, as well as with the Commission communication entitled ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’, in which the Commission undertook to expand and encourage the BEST (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas) initiative, the overseas countries and territories should be able to take part in Union programmes under the terms laid down in Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community1.

 

_____________

 

1 OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1.

Justification

The LIFE programme should be opened up to all of the EU’s overseas entities (outermost regions and OCTs) in order to protect those areas, which number among the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding.

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. To ensure legal clarity and the practical feasibility of Integrated Projects, cooperation between other Union funds and Integrated Projects should be explicitly provided for in Regulation (EU) No .../.... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ../../.... [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 covered by the Common Strategic Framework and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006]1 . Concrete arrangements should be put in place to establish cooperation at an early stage, so that the advantages of Integrated Projects are taken into account during the drawing-up of partnership contracts and operational programmes. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding and also to ensure that the net financial investment in attainment of the objectives formulated in this Regulation does not decline.

 

____________

 

1 COM(2011)0615

Justification

Integrated Projects are a very promising, concrete mainstreaming tool. To be feasible in practice, a solid cooperation between the administration of CSF funds and of LIFE projects is required at an early stage. The potential of increasing cost-efficiency and coherence of the EU budget and of improving the implementation of environmental and climate legislation via IPs, needs to be seized when elaborating partnership contracts and operational programmes. Based on the EP's repeated request of sustainability mainstreaming into all EU funds, cooperation with LIFE should be clearly laid down in the Common Provisions Regulation.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe" (hereinafter the "Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe") has set forth the milestones and actions that are needed to put the Union on a path to a resource-efficient and sustainable growth. Therefore, the priority area Environment and Resource Efficiency should support effective implementation of Union environmental policy by the public and private sectors, in particular in the environmental sectors covered by the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, by facilitating the development and sharing of new solutions and best practices. However, it should exclude those eco-innovation activities that overlap with Horizon 2020.

(12) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe" (hereinafter the "Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe") has set forth the milestones and actions that are needed to put the Union on a path to a resource-efficient and sustainable growth. Therefore, the priority area Environment and Resource Efficiency should support effective implementation of Union environmental policy by the public and private sectors, in particular in the environmental sectors covered by the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, by facilitating the development and sharing of new solutions and best practices. The LIFE programme should provide funding for eco-innovation and demonstration activities in synergy with Horizon 2020 and without prejudice to the specific features of each programme. It would thus help to boost the eco-technology sector and the green economy, in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular with regard to greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, policies related to land use, land use change and forestry, emissions trading system, Member States' effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular with regard to greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, policies related to land use, land use change and forestry, emissions trading system, Member States' effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy in urban, agricultural, mountainous or remote areas, waste recovery and biogas production, energy efficiency, public lighting, transport and fuels, in particular third-generation fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The first consequences of climate change can already be seen in Europe and worldwide, such as extreme weather conditions leading to floods and droughts, and rising temperatures and sea levels. The priority area Climate Change Adaptation should therefore contribute to adapt to such impacts across populations, economic sectors and regions to ensure a more resilient Union through specific adaptation measures and strategies. Actions in this field should be complementary to actions eligible for funding under the civil protection financial instrument.

(17) The first consequences of climate change can already be seen in Europe and worldwide, such as extreme weather conditions leading to floods and droughts, rising temperatures and sea levels, and the proliferation of exotic invasive species. The priority area Climate Change Adaptation should therefore contribute to adapt to such impacts across populations, economic sectors and regions to ensure a more resilient Union through specific adaptation measures and strategies. Actions in this field should be complementary to actions eligible for funding under the civil protection financial instrument and under the prospective specific instrument concerning exotic invasive species which is provided for in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of eligibility criteria for project selection, criteria for the application of geographical balance to “Integrated Projects”, and performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of eligibility criteria for project selection, and performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

Justification

Preference should be given to selection based on merit rather than on geographical balance in order to ensure fair and genuinely European competition conducive to high-added-value projects the outcomes of which will benefit the entire EU.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme shall be EUR 3 618 000 000.

1. The financial envelope for implementing the LIFE Programme shall be EUR 3 618 000 000. At least 78% of the budgetary resources allocated to LIFE shall be used for action grants for projects.

Justification

In the interests of certainty and clarity throughout the period 2014-2020, the budget breakdown between the various types of financing (action grants, NGO grants and programme operating budgets) needs to be included in the regulation, as is currently the case.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Participation of third countries in the LIFE Programme

Participation of overseas countries and territories and third countries in the LIFE Programme

The LIFE Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries:

The LIFE Programme shall be open to the participation of the following countries and territories:

 

-(a) the overseas countries and territories referred to in Decision 2001/822/EC;

(a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);

(a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA);

(b) candidate countries, potential candidates and acceding countries to the Union;

(b) candidate countries, potential candidates and acceding countries to the Union;

(c) countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy applies;

(c) countries to which the European Neighbourhood Policy applies;

(d) countries which have become members of the European Environmental Agency in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 993/1999 of 29 April 1999 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 on the establishment of the European Environmental Agency and the European environment information and observation network.

(d) countries which have become members of the European Environmental Agency in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 993/1999 of 29 April 1999 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1210/90 on the establishment of the European Environmental Agency and the European environment information and observation network.

Such participation shall be done in accordance with the conditions laid down in the respective bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for their participation in Union programmes.

Such participation shall be done in accordance with the conditions laid down in Decision 2001/822/EC and the respective bilateral or multilateral agreements establishing the general principles for their participation in Union programmes.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and 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, in order to create synergies, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d), and to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (CSF Regulation).

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and 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, in order to create synergies, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) and, including by creating a prioritized action framework under Article 8 of Directive 92/43/EEC, to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (CSF Regulation).

Justification

The LIFE Programme should contribute in a strategic manner to the funding of Natura 2000. It is important to establish national and regional plans for prioritized actions, as is required in the Habitats Directive.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – indent 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

– Biodiversity;

Nature and Biodiversity;

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to support the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of plans and programmes pursuant to Union environmental policy and legislation, primarily in the areas of water, waste and air;

(b) to support the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of plans and programmes pursuant to Union environmental policy and legislation, primarily in the areas of water, waste, air, noise and the urban environment;

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Specific objectives for the priority area Biodiversity

Specific objectives for the priority area Nature and Biodiversity

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The specific objectives of the sub-programme for Environment for the priority area Biodiversity shall in particular be:

The specific objectives of the sub-programme for Environment for the priority area Nature and Biodiversity shall in particular be:

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to support the further development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network set up in Article 3 of Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of the Prioritised Action Frameworks referred to in Article 8 of Directive 92/43/EEC;

(b) to support the further development, implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network set up in Article 3 of Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of the Prioritised Action Frameworks referred to in Article 8 of Directive 92/43/EEC to help preserve ecological corridors;

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) to develop the Natura 2000 marine network and ensure that it dovetails with actions coming under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and under Directive 2008/56/EC;

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

In the case of projects which form part of the sub-programme for Climate Action, an effort should be made to attain the maximum synergy with other environmental objectives, particularly as regards simultaneous action on climate and biodiversity.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

(d) integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, noise, the urban environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall involve, where appropriate, stakeholders and promote, when possible, the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall involve stakeholders and promote, when possible, the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall ensure geographical balance in line with the principles of solidarity and effort sharing in the award process for Integrated Projects. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning criteria for the application of geographical balance in each thematic area referred to in Article 18 point (d).

The Commission shall ensure, in the award process for Integrated projects, that projects are selected on merit.

Justification

Preference should be given to selection based on merit rather than on geographical balance in order to ensure fair and genuinely European competition conducive to high-added-value projects the outcomes of which will benefit the entire EU.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. VAT shall not be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18.

2. VAT shall be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18, as shall expenditure on permanent staff.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) the allocation of funds between each priority area and between different types of funding within each sub-programme;

deleted

Justification

So that some areas are not deprived of funding, allocation of funds must not be pre-determined. A more flexible approach should be favoured.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

c) the thematic priorities for projects to be financed for the period covered by the multiannual work programme;

c) the indicative thematic priorities for projects to be financed for the period covered by the multiannual work programme;

Justification

So that some areas are not deprived of funding, allocation of funds must not be pre-determined. A more flexible approach should be favoured.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall regularly monitor and report on the implementation of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure. It shall also examine synergies between the LIFE Programme and other complementary Union programmes, and in particular between its sub-programmes.

1. The Commission shall monitor and report annually to the European Parliament on the implementation of the LIFE Programme and its sub-programmes, including the amount of climate-related expenditure and biodiversity-related expenditure. It shall also examine synergies between the LIFE Programme and other complementary Union programmes, and in particular between its sub-programmes.

Amendment   24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Commission shall regularly make available the most meaningful results of the projects funded under the LIFE programme in order to facilitate feedback and the exchange of good practices across the Union.

PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

References

COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

15.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

15.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Gaston Franco

20.1.2012

Discussed in committee

24.4.2012

 

 

 

Date adopted

31.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

53

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Amelia Andersdotter, Josefa Andrés Barea, Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Jan Březina, Reinhard Bütikofer, Giles Chichester, Jürgen Creutzmann, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Dimitrios Droutsas, Christian Ehler, Gaston Franco, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, András Gyürk, Fiona Hall, Kent Johansson, Romana Jordan, Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Marisa Matias, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Vittorio Prodi, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Jens Rohde, Paul Rübig, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Patrizia Toia, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Kathleen Van Brempt, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Henri Weber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Francesco De Angelis, Ioan Enciu, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Françoise Grossetête, Satu Hassi, Roger Helmer, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Ivailo Kalfin, Seán Kelly, Holger Krahmer, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Vladimír Remek

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Franziska Keller


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (17.7.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

(COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD))

Rapporteur: Patrice Tirolien

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The LIFE programme is the principal instrument for direct funding of the Community’s policy to protect the environment and biodiversity and to adapt to climate change.

The Commission’s proposal for a multiannual financial framework provides for a new focus on combating climate change, and the budget allocated to this programme, whose aims are at the heart of the EU 2020 Strategy, has thus been revised. A greater focus on environmental policy is essential for the EU to have sustainable growth.

Your rapporteur fully supports the Commission in its aim to promote greater synergies between the LIFE programme and Cohesion Policy funds, particularly by carrying out pilot projects, improving multi-annual programming or introducing integrated projects. Your rapporteur, however, believes certain clarifications need to be made concerning just how effectively the programmes, which continue to diverge widely in terms of the way in which they are governed, have been linked.

In this regard, your rapporteur considers that it would be counterproductive to exclude VAT and staff costs from the scope of project financing. Such a decision would indeed appear ultimately to run counter to the objectives of simplification and of strengthening the technical and administrative capacity of project initiators. What is more, the rapporteur believes it essential to stick to, inasmuch as possible, certain fundamental principles deriving from the Cohesion Policy financial rules.

As for the controversial issue of geographical balance in the selection of projects, your rapporteur is in favour of an increased rate of co-financing for regions with geographical handicaps and with particularly delicate ecosystems.

Although the LIFE programme is supposed to strengthen the dynamics of local projects, integrated projects can help raise awareness of the programme and help it fit in better with other EU priority action areas. A fairer geographical balance must therefore be struck for integrated projects so that all Member States may fully benefit from them. This type of activities will markedly improve the leverage effect of the LIFE programme. Your rapporteur thus proposes a substantial raise in the rate of co-financing for such projects and calls for the LIFE programme to be taken into account when drawing up the Common Strategic Framework.

Your rapporteur considers that the catchment area approach must be strengthened, and has therefore tabled amendments with a view to improving management of the marine environment and to fostering closer coordination with EU external action. Your rapporteur thus would like to see clear recognition of the status of project initiators in the overseas countries and territories in line with their close partnerships with the EU and the fact that they are form part of Member States.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) Given that harmful effects on the environment and climate frequently arise from the activities of countries in the vicinity of the Union, particular attention should be given to its external border, OCTs and outermost regions so as to ensure the necessary strategic guarantees and to prevent damage to the environment; given, moreover, that the French outermost regions are excluded from Natura 2000 because Directives 92/43/EC and 2009/147/EC do not take into account to, or list, their fauna, flora or habitats; in view of the Message from Reunion Island of July 2008 and in accordance with the Council conclusions of 10 December 2011, which encouraged the Commission and the Member States to promote a joint approach to nature conservation throughout the Union, including in the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories of the Member States, as well as in accordance with the Commission communication entitled ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’, in which the Commission undertook to expand and encourage the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas (BEST) initiative, this Regulation should, as part of its sub-programme for Environment, make biodiversity and ecosystem services in the outermost regions referred to in Article 349 TFEU a specific ongoing area of priority, thus consolidating the BEST preparatory action, which was launched in 2011 and has proved to be very successful; and as stated in Article 58 of Council Decision 2001/822/EC 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community (‘Overseas Association Decision’)1 overseas countries and territories shall be eligible for Community programmes, subject to the rules and objectives of the programmes and the arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the overseas countries and territories are linked.

 

_________________

 

1 OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding.

(10) Environmental and climate requirements should be integrated into Union's policies and activities. The LIFE Programme should therefore be complementary to other Union funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agriculture Guarantee Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020. The Commission and Member States should ensure such complementarity at all levels. At Union level, complementarity should be ensured by establishing a structured cooperation between the LIFE Programme and the shared-management Union funding programmes in the Common Strategic Framework, in particular to promote funding of activities that complement Integrated Projects or support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. To ensure legal clarity and practical feasibility of LIFE Integrated Projects, the cooperation between other Union funds and Integrated Projects should be explicitly provided for in Regulation (EU) No .../... [CPR]. Specific arrangements should be put in place to establish the cooperation at an early stage, so that the advantages of Integrated Projects are taken into account during the drawing up of partnership contracts and operational or rural development programmes. The LIFE Programme should also encourage the uptake of environmental and climate-related research and innovation results of Horizon 2020. Within this context it should offer co-funding opportunities for projects with clear environmental and climate benefits in order to ensure synergies. Coordination is required to prevent double funding.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and improving resource efficiency, together with addressing environment and health related concerns, remain key challenges for the Union. These challenges require increased efforts at Union level to provide solutions and best practices that help achieving the targets of the Communication from the Commission ‘Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (hereinafter the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’). In addition, improved governance, in particular through awareness raising and stakeholders' involvement, is essential to deliver environmental objectives. Therefore the sub-programme for Environment should have three priority areas for action: Environment and Resource Efficiency, Biodiversity, and Environmental Governance and Information. It should be possible for projects financed by the LIFE Programme to contribute to the achievement of the specific objectives of more than one of those priority areas and to involve the participation of more than one Member State.

(11) Halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and improving resource efficiency, together with addressing environment and health related concerns, remain key challenges for the Union. These challenges require increased efforts at Union level to provide solutions and best practices that help achieving the targets of the Communication from the Commission ‘Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (hereinafter the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’). In addition, improved governance, in particular through awareness raising and stakeholders’ involvement, is essential to deliver environmental objectives. To achieve these objectives, the Union – recognising the fundamental importance of biodiversity conservation in the outermost regions – should affirm the voluntary scheme for promoting conservation and sustainable use of BEST in those outermost regions referred to in Article 349 TFEU to which Union environmental protection legislation (Directives 92/43/EC and 2009/147/EC) does not apply, thus drawing on the experience acquired through Union nature conservation policy, in particular Natura 2000. Therefore the sub-programme for Environment should have four priority areas for action: Environment and Resource Efficiency, Biodiversity, Environmental Governance and Information, and BEST in the outermost regions. It should be possible for projects financed by the LIFE Programme to contribute to the achievement of the specific objectives of more than one of those priority areas and to involve the participation of more than one Member State.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’ (hereinafter the ‘Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’) has set up targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These targets include, among others, the full implementation of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, as well as maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services. The LIFE Programme should contribute to achieving those targets. Therefore, the priority area Biodiversity should focus on the implementation and management of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular in relation to the Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, on the development and dissemination of best practices in relation to biodiversity and Directives 2009/147/EC and 92/43/EEC, as well as on the wider biodiversity challenges identified by the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020;

(13) The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions ‘Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020’ (hereinafter the ‘Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’) has set up targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. These targets include, among others, the full implementation of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, as well as maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services. The LIFE Programme should contribute to achieving those targets. Therefore, the priority area Biodiversity should focus on the implementation and management of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC, in particular in relation to the Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, on the development and dissemination of best practices in relation to biodiversity and Directives 2009/147/EC and 92/43/EEC, as well as on the wider biodiversity challenges identified by the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. The contribution of LIFE to the annual funding needs for the Natura 2000 network should be seen and determined in the context of secured biodiversity expenses from other Union funds. In its resolution of 20 April 2012 on our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, the European Parliament called on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that at least EUR 5 800 million per year is provided through Union and Member State funding and that appropriate funding is made available through various Union funds (for example, the CAP funds, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Cohesion Funds and a strengthened LIFE+ fund), with better coordination and coherence between those funds, amongst others through the concept of Integrated Projects, thereby improving transparency for the different regions in receipt of Union funding;

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) With a view to optimising the use of LIFE programme resources, synergies between action to protect biodiversity and measures to mitigate climate change should be fostered, particularly by promoting projects to safeguard local ecosystems.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular with regard to greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, policies related to land use, land use change and forestry, emissions trading system, Member States' effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

(16) The priority area Climate Change Mitigation should contribute to the development and implementation of Union climate-related policy and legislation, in particular by supporting synergies with other environmental objectives, such as biodiversity, in the areas of greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting, land use, land use change and forestry, conservation of natural carbon sinks, ecosystem friendly approaches in the development of renewable energy, waste recovery and biogas production, energy efficiency, transport and fuels, ozone layer protection and fluorinated gases.

Justification

Waste recovery is an important task, for which local and regional authorities should take responsibility. The sustainable management of waste recovery should also be encouraged.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The first consequences of climate change can already be seen in Europe and worldwide, such as extreme weather conditions leading to floods and droughts, and rising temperatures and sea levels. The priority area Climate Change Adaptation should therefore contribute to adapt to such impacts across populations, economic sectors and regions to ensure a more resilient Union through specific adaptation measures and strategies. Actions in this field should be complementary to actions eligible for funding under the civil protection financial instrument.

(17) The first consequences of climate change can already be seen in Europe and worldwide, such as extreme weather conditions leading to floods and droughts, and rising temperatures and sea levels. The priority area Climate Change Adaptation should therefore contribute to adapt to such impacts across populations, economic sectors and regions to ensure a more resilient environment through specific adaptation measures and strategies. Actions in this field should be complementary to actions eligible for funding under the civil protection financial instrument and mainly focus on ecosystem-based approaches, supporting cost-efficient co-benefits with other environmental objectives.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus.

(21) In order to improve the implementation of environmental and climate policy and enhance the integration of environmental and climate objectives in other policies, the LIFE Programme should promote projects that support integrated approaches to the implementation of environmental and climate legislation and policy. For the sub-programme for Environment, those projects should focus primarily on the implementation of the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, with particular regard to the effective management and consolidation of the Natura2000 network set up by Council Directive 92/43/EEC through the implementation of Prioritised Action Frameworks foreseen in Article 8 of the same Directive, of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy, and of the Waste and Air legislation. Those projects, while focusing on the themes identified, will be multi-purpose delivery mechanism (e.g. aiming at environmental benefits and capacity building) allowing to reach results in other policy areas, in particular Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Those types of projects could be envisaged in other environmental areas. For the sub-programme for Climate Action, those projects should in particular concern climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and action plans. Those types of projects should support only a series of specific activities and measures, while other activities that complement those included in the project should be sourced from other Union funding programmes, as well as from national, regional and private sector funds. Funding through the LIFE Programme should exploit synergies and ensure consistency between different Union funding sources by providing a strategic environmental and climate focus. Integrated Projects will benefit other funds by increasing their absorption capacity for environment-related and climate-related expenditure. Given the novelty and the lack of broad experience with the 'Integrated Project' approach, stakeholders should, when needed, be supported through an increased co-funding rate and technical assistance for the preparation phase. In addition, a two-step selection procedure should alleviate the application phase. Exchanges concerning successful integrated approaches should be facilitated, involving all relevant sectors of administration and stakeholders. Based on experience of the first programming years, the factors determining the smooth functioning and success of Integrated Projects should be analysed. Based on that analysis and depending on funding available, additional areas might be added to the scope of Integrated Projects.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21b) The success of integrated projects is dependent on close cooperation between national, regional and local authorities and the non-state actors concerned by the LIFE programme’s objectives. The principles of transparency and disclosing decisions concerning the development, implementation, assessment and monitoring of projects should therefore be applied.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(26a) VAT compensation is important as the means of ensuring that entities with relatively limited financial resources, such as NGOs and local and regional bodies, should also be able to implement LIFE projects.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of eligibility criteria for project selection, criteria for the application of geographical balance to “Integrated Projects”, and performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(30) In order to secure the best possible use of Union funds and to ensure European added value, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of eligibility criteria for project selection, criteria for the application of geographical balance to "Integrated Projects", and performance indicators applicable to specific thematic priorities. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level and with social partners and local and regional authorities. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council. Delegated acts, however, should be adopted only when appropriate, safeguarding the European Parliament's right to object the measures adopted by the Commission.

Justification

Local authorities must be more closely involved in the process of comitology.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) ‘pilot projects’ mean projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, and that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice;

(a) ‘pilot projects’ mean projects that apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, and that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice and which can subsequently be applied on a larger scale to similar situations;

Justification

The results of pilot projects may serve as an example to be followed by other local and regional authorities or for cross-border cooperation projects.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

d) “integrated projects” mean projects implementing in a sustainable manner, on a large territorial scale, in particular, regional, multi-regional or national scale, environmental or climate strategies or action plans required by specific environmental or climate Union legislation, pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' authorities;

(d) ‘integrated projects’ mean projects implementing in a sustainable manner, on a large territorial scale, in particular, regional, multi-regional or national or transnational scale, environmental or climate strategies or action plans required by specific environmental or climate Union legislation, pursuant to other Union acts or developed by Member States' or regional authorities and which promote and, if possible, coordinate and mobilise other sources of financing from Union, national and private funds towards environmental or climate objectives and towards major implementation challenges in internal or external actions;

Justification

The importance of coordination cannot be stressed enough; coordination work is necessary in all areas of EU activity, particularly external action, with a view to involving the EU’s neighbour countries which are already included in policies of cooperation in managing regional catchment areas.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

e) “technical assistance projects” mean projects aimed at supporting the preparation of integrated projects referred to in point (d);

e) “technical assistance projects” mean projects aimed at supporting Member States’ and regional authorities in the preparation of integrated projects referred to in point (d);

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and 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, in order to create synergies, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d), and to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (CSF Regulation).

3. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States, in an active and concerted effort, shall ensure coordination between the LIFE Programme and 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, in order to create synergies and harmonise procedures, particularly in the context of Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) and carried out as local development projects run by local stakeholders and under local development strategies referred to in Articles 28 and 29 of Regulation (EU) No .... (Regulation laying down common provisions), and to support the use of solutions, methods and approaches developed under the LIFE Programme. At Union level, coordination shall take place within the Common Strategic Framework referred to in Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No…. (Regulation laying down general provisions). In their partnership contracts, as referred to in Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No XXX/xxx (Regulation laying down general provisions), the Member States must indicate the mechanisms which will enable coordination at national and regional level between the LIFE programme and the other funds referred to in Regulation (EU) No XXX/xxxx (Regulation laying down general provisions).

Justification

An overview at an early stage of integrated projects and other funds falling under the scope of the integrated approach provided for in Articles 28 and 29 of the Regulation laying down general provisions will optimise synergies between the LIFE programme’s objectives and the EU’s regional development strategies.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. Technical assistance to projects shall involve financial support provided as grants to help candidates with preparation work for integrated projects and, in particular, shall ensure that those projects are compatible with the technical and financial constraints and deadlines of the LIFE programme and the programmes listed in paragraph 3.

Justification

Technical support is needed for integrated projects, particularly for regions with administrative bodies with little experience of this type of project, with a view to ensuring that they are implemented in the best possible manner across the EU’s territory,

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. At least 50% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

2. At least 75% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

b) to support the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of plans and programmes pursuant to Union environmental policy and legislation, primarily in the areas of water, waste and air;

b) to support the application, development, testing and demonstration of integrated approaches for the implementation of plans and programmes pursuant to Union environmental policy and legislation, primarily in the areas of water, the marine environment, soil, waste and air;

Justification

A greater awareness of maritime areas, in line with the integrated maritime policy, should lead to a more comprehensive strategy. What is more, in many regions there is a pressing need to address soil pollution, which is closely linked to water pollution and waste production.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union environmental policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the environment within and outside the Union.

c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union environmental policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the environment within and outside the Union.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union biodiversity policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the biodiversity within and outside the Union.

c) to improve the knowledge base for the development, implementation, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of Union biodiversity policy and legislation, and for the assessment and monitoring of the factors, pressures and responses that impact on the biodiversity within and outside the Union.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training;

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training, intended for all age groups and economic and social categories;

Justification

Involvement of citizens independently of their level of instruction or their age will help improve knowledge of this programme and increase participation in its initiatives.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training;

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of environment, and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful environmental solutions and practice, including by developing regional cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) to contribute to the implementation and development of Union policy and legislation on mitigation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions for climate change mitigation;

(a) to contribute to the implementation and development of Union policy and legislation on mitigation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by supporting synergies with other environmental objectives, such as biodiversity, and by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices and solutions for climate change mitigation;

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) to contribute to the development and implementation of Union policy and legislation on adaptation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by developing, testing and demonstrating policy or management approaches, best practices, and solutions, for climate change adaptation;

(a) to contribute to the development and implementation of Union policy and legislation on adaptation, including mainstreaming across policy areas, in particular by supporting synergies with other environmental objectives, such as biodiversity, and by developing, testing and demonstrating ecosystem-based policy or management approaches, best practices, and solutions, for climate change adaptation;

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective adaptation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

(b) to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective ecosystem-based adaptation actions and measures and to enhance the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice;

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated approaches, such as for adaptation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;

(c) to facilitate the development and implementation of ecosystem-based integrated approaches, such as for adaptation strategies and action plans, at local, regional or national level;

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative adaptation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed.

(d) to contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative adaptation technologies, systems, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated, transferred or mainstreamed and that focus on ecosystem-based approaches.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of climate and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful climate solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training;

(b) to support communication, management, and dissemination of information in the field of climate and to facilitate knowledge sharing on successful climate solutions and practice, including by developing cooperation platforms between stakeholders and training, intended for all age groups and economic and social categories;

Justification

Involvement of citizens independently of their level of instruction or their age will help improve knowledge of this programme and increase participation in its initiatives.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. At least 78% of the LIFE programme’s budgetary resources shall be allocated to financial instruments and grants to projects.

Justification

The LIFE programme’s most important objective, namely providing project financing, must be consolidated by orientating a minimum proportion of its work towards the activities stated in Article 18.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

d) integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

d) integrated projects primarily in the areas of nature, water, the marine environment, soil, waste, air, and climate change mitigation and adaptation;

Justification

Idem AM 13.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca) being politically neutral.

Justification

There should be no suspicion of political subsidising with LIFE funds.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19– paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall involve, where appropriate, stakeholders and promote, when possible, the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

3. Integrated Projects referred to in Article 18 point (d) shall be accessible to and involve, where appropriate, stakeholders and promote the coordination with and mobilisation of other Union funding sources.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The maximum co-financing rate for the projects referred to in Article 18 shall be 70% of eligible costs. By way of exception, the maximum co-financing rate for projects referred to in Article 18 points (d) and (f) shall be 80% of eligible costs.

1. The maximum co-financing rate for the projects referred to in Article 18 shall be 50% of eligible costs. By way of exception:

 

the maximum co-financing rate for projects referred to in Article 18 points (d) and (f) shall be 75% of eligible costs;

 

– in the outermost regions referred to in Article 349 of the TFEU, and in the island and mountain areas and northernmost regions with very low population density, as listed in Article 174 of the TFEU, the maximum co-financing rate for the projects referred to in Article 18(a), (b), (c),(e), (f), (g) and (h) shall be 60%, and for projects referred to in Article 18(d) and in Article 12 (a) shall be 85%.

Justification

If non-recoverable VAT and staff costs remain eligible expenditure, the necessary financial balance can be struck and the diversity of projects can be ensured. An increase of 25% for integrated projects must go hand-in-hand with a proposal with the clear aim of reinforcing the leverage and the integrated nature of the LIFE programme. Furthermore, regions suffering from permanent geographical handicaps must be accorded higher rates of co-financing.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. VAT shall not be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18.

2. VAT shall be considered an eligible cost for projects referred to in Article 18 provided that it is paid by the final beneficiary, in accordance with Article 13 of Directive 2006/112/EC, and that it cannot be recovered under applicable national VAT regime. Any application for eligibility must include the appropriate supporting documents from the competent auditing or certification authorities in the Member States.

Justification

The Commission’s proposal to exclude VAT costs from eligibility risks to exclude a big part of potential beneficiaries from the LIFE programme and creates unequal treatment across Member States due to varying VAT rates and varying possibilities for reclaiming VAT. Furthermore this change would be an incentive to do less activities that generate VAT, such as dissemination and visibility actions (seminars, printing of material etc.).

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. Expenditure linked to permanent staff costs can be eligible as long as it is linked to the cost of activities related to the project implementation.

Justification

The EC proposes in the “explanatory memo” to the Regulation to limit or exclude eligibility of costs for permanent staff not specifically recruited for the project, to reduce monitoring and reporting problems. This would have negative impacts on the quality and feasibility of projects especially of smaller governmental and non-governmental organisations, who depend on continuity of permanent staff and their expertise, and whose staff members often work part-time in several projects at a time.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The LIFE Programme may fund public and private bodies.

The LIFE Programme may fund public bodies.

Justification

To ensure that the use of funds is efficient and neutral in terms of value and provides maximum added value for the region and not individual interests.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall adopt multiannual work programmes for the LIFE Programme. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 29(2).

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 concerning the adoption of multiannual work programmes for the LIFE Programme, and shall ensure that stakeholders are duly consulted when multiannual work programmes are developed.

PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

References

COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

15.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

REGI

15.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Patrice Tirolien

26.1.2012

Date adopted

11.7.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

7

0

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Charalampos Angourakis, Catherine Bearder, Victor Boştinaru, John Bufton, Salvatore Caronna, Nikos Chrysogelos, Francesco De Angelis, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Vincenzo Iovine, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Vladimír Maňka, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Miroslav Mikolášik, Jens Nilsson, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Younous Omarjee, Markus Pieper, Monika Smolková, Ewald Stadler, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jan Březina, Karima Delli, Ivars Godmanis, Juozas Imbrasas, Maurice Ponga, Elisabeth Schroedter, Richard Seeber, Patrice Tirolien

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Hans-Gert Pöttering, Konrad Szymański


PROCEDURE

Title

Establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

References

COM(2011)0874 – C7-0498/2011 – 2011/0428(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

12.12.2011

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

15.12.2011

 

 

 

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

15.12.2011

ITRE

15.12.2011

REGI

15.12.2011

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Jutta Haug

10.1.2012

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

7.5.2012

20.6.2012

 

 

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

56

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Martina Anderson, Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sergio Berlato, Lajos Bokros, Milan Cabrnoch, Martin Callanan, Nessa Childers, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Elisabetta Gardini, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Christa Klaß, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Jo Leinen, Peter Liese, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Miroslav Ouzký, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Andres Perello Rodriguez, Mario Pirillo, Pavel Poc, Anna Rosbach, Oreste Rossi, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Kārlis Šadurskis, Carl Schlyter, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Theodoros Skylakakis, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Salvatore Tatarella, Anja Weisgerber, Åsa Westlund, Glenis Willmott

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Frieda Brepoels, Nikos Chrysogelos, João Ferreira, Christofer Fjellner, Gaston Franco, Rebecca Harms, Jutta Haug, Romana Jordan, Toine Manders, James Nicholson, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Vittorio Prodi, Britta Reimers, Christel Schaldemose, Alda Sousa, Rebecca Taylor, Andrea Zanoni

Date tabled

28.9.2012

Last updated: 15 October 2013Legal notice