On 21 June 2012, Reuters issued a special report on the absorption rates of European rail projects financed by the Cohesion Fund. It indicated that in the programming period 2007-2013 the Commission had reserved EUR 14.9 billion. At present the absorption rate of these funds is approximately 11 % (EUR 1.65 billion having been used).
The PVV would appreciate receiving concise, to-the-point and itemised answers to each of the following questions:
Does the Commission agree with the PVV that at the end of the current programming period the remaining funds should be returned to the national budgets on a pro rata basis, rather than to the EU budget? If not, why not?
If it becomes apparent at the end of the programming period that the reserved budget has not been called up, does the Commission agree with the PVV that in the next programming period an amount corresponding to the residual budget can be deducted from the rail project budget, making it possible to save money on the Cohesion Fund? If not, why not?
Does the Commission agree with the PVV that such low absorption rates bear witness to a lack of interest on the part of the Member States and that the so-called TEN‑T project has turned out to be a complete flop? If not, why not?