The European Union cohesion policy for the period 2007‑13 set aside EUR 21.4 billion from the structural funds for development in Portugal. The strategic objective set by the Portuguese national strategic reference framework (NSRF) is to enhance the skills and qualifications of the Portuguese people through an emphasis on knowledge, science, technology and innovation, as well as the promotion of high and sustained levels of economic and socio-cultural development and territorial qualification. According to information from the Commission's DG Budget, forwarded on 1 September 2011, Portugal has received EUR 5.758 million, i.e. 26.9 % of the total Community funding to which it is entitled, placing it among the four countries with the largest volume of total transfers from the Commission in the form of interim payments. Issue 12 of the information bulletin for the NSRF, based on information forwarded on 30 June 2011, shows that the commitment rate for the funds available under the NSRF stands at 72 % whilst the implementation rate amounts to only 31.2 %, indicating that some difficulties are being encountered in carrying out projects that have already been approved by the national authorities.
On 29 April 2010 the Portuguese Council of Ministers approved the draft budget law on funding for initiatives to support reconstruction in the Autonomous Region of Madeira following the storm of February 2010. The budget law laid down the burden-sharing between the Portuguese Government and the Autonomous Region of Madeira, an agreement having been reached on reallocating EUR 265 million from the Cohesion Fund to be added to the appropriations earmarked for the Autonomous Region of Madeira for measures to repair the destruction caused in the archipelago.
Can the Commission answer the following questions:
Has Portugal submitted any request for the reallocation of appropriations from Community funds?
If so, will any request for the reallocation of Community funds take account of the budget law agreed with the Autonomous Region of Madeira, which provides for a reallocation of EUR 265 million from the Cohesion Fund? What other changes has Portugal requested?