Procedure : 2004/0218(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0180/2007

Texts tabled :

A6-0180/2007

Debates :

PV 21/05/2007 - 17
CRE 21/05/2007 - 17

Votes :

PV 22/05/2007 - 9.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0187

REPORT     ***III
PDF 143kWORD 85k
11.5.2007
PE 386.718v02-00 A6-0180/2007

on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)

(PE-CONS 3611/2007 – C6‑0105/2007 – 2004/0218(COD))

European Parliament delegation to the Conciliation Committee

Delegation chairwoman: Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

Rapporteur: Marie Anne Isler Béguin

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)

(PE-CONS 3611/2007 – C6‑0105/2007 – 2004/0218(COD))

(Codecision procedure: third reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee (PE-CONS 3611/2007 – C6‑0105/2007),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0621)(2),

–   having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2004)0621/2)(3),

–   having regard to its position at second reading(4) on the Council common position(5),

–   having regard to the Commission's opinion on Parliament's amendments to the common position (COM(2006)0759)(6),

–   having regard to Article 251(5) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 65 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of its delegation to the Conciliation Committee (A6‑0180/2007),

1.  Approves the joint text and draws attention to the Commission statement thereon;

2.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;

3.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this legislative resolution to the Council and Commission.

(1)

OJ C 157 E, 6.7.2006, p. 451.

(2)

Not yet published in OJ.

(3)

Not yet published in OJ.

(4)

Texts Adopted, 24.10.2006, P6_TA(2006)0431.

(5)

OJ C 238 E, 3.10.2006, p. 1.

(6)

Not yet published in OJ.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background

The Aim of the Regulation concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+), which is based on Article 175(1) of the Treaty, is to introduce a single financial instrument targeting the environment to support in particular the priorities of the 6th Environment Action Programme. This programme, which will run from 2007 until 2013, will cover most of the ongoing programmes currently managed by DG Environment, such as the LIFE III programme, the sustainable urban development programme, the NGO programme and Forest Focus in a streamlined and simplified manner.

The Parliament held its first reading on 7 July 2005: Council adopted its common position on 27 June 2006. At second reading, on 24 October 2006, the Parliament adopted 31 amendments to the Council's common position.

Most of the Parliament's 31 second-reading amendments were related to the management of LIFE+ budget which was also the most controversial issue. The Council Common position proposed a system of delegated management of the Programme, under which 80% for the funds were to be managed by Members States. The EP insisted on the central role of the Commission and therefore supported a system of central management. Other issues at stake between Parliament and Council concerned mainly budgetary questions (including the financing of Natura 2000), the introduction of the new Comitology procedure, and the measures eligible for funding.

The Conciliation procedure

The Council subsequently indicated informally that it would be unable to accept all of the Parliament's amendments and that consequently a conciliation procedure would be necessary.

The constituent meeting of Parliament's delegation to the Conciliation Committee was held on 28 November 2006 in Brussels. Three trialogues were held (on 1 February, 13 February and 1 March), with the negotiating team reporting back to the EP delegation (on 13 February and 15 March). During this first phase of negotiations, the Council accepted the EP position on central direct management. Reasonable progress was made on other issues such as the possibility for Member States to set national priorities, public participation and some technical provisions.

However, other key points of difference remained unresolved, namely: the total budget, implementation of the budget, the proportion of the budget dedicated to "nature and biodiversity" projects, and the need to enhance transnational cooperation projects.

The Conciliation Committee met in the evening of 27 March 2007. The EP was represented by Vice-President Mrs. Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, the Chair of the Committee responsible, Mr. Miroslav Ouzký, and the rapporteur, Mrs. Marie Anne Isler Béguin.

The Council was represented by Mr. Gabriel, German Federal Minister of the Environment, and the Commission by Commissioner Dimas. Shortly before midnight, the Committee was able to reach a final agreement after the delegation of the European Parliament had accepted unanimously the proposed compromise package.

The key points of the agreement reached may be summarised as follows:

LIFE+ total budget: The EP succeeded in securing an increase of EUR 40 million above the amount provided for in the Council Common Position. The budget for LIFE+ has now been set at some 1894million Euro.

Implementation of the LIFE+ budget: The Council had proposed that 79% of the budgetary resources for LIFE+ will be used for project actions, leaving the Commission 1% for other expenses. The EP insisted on the need to provide the Commission with the necessary resources to finance the administrative expenditure for the project selection procedure as well as for other relevant activities, such as information and awareness campaigns and Green Weeks. It was finally agreed that 78% of the budgetary resources for LIFE+ will be used for project actions and the Commission will be provided with 2% of the budget for other expenses.

Proportion of the LIFE+ budget dedicated to "nature and biodiversity" projects: The EP has ensured that at least 50% of the budget resources of LIFE+ will be dedicated to project action grants for measures to support the conservation of nature and biodiversity. In its common position, the Council had proposed dedicating 40% of the whole budget to such projects.

Trans-national projects: The EP secured inclusion in the Regulation of a special provision that at least 15% of the budgetary resources of LIFE+ should be allocated to trans-national projects. The Council had opposed this provision.

During the Conciliation Committee meeting, Mr Dimas read out a declaration that, before the review of the Financial Framework, the Commission will undertake a review of committed and planned spending, both at national and EU level, on the management of the Natura 2000 networks. This overview will be used with a view to adapting community instruments, in particular LIFE+, and to ensuring a high level of co-financing.

Conclusion

The agreement reached in the course of the conciliation procedure addresses the key issues covered by the Parliament's second-reading amendments. It is also much more satisfactory than any agreement which could have been concluded at an earlier stage of the legislative procedure. In particular, the EP succeeded in ensuring that the European Commission will remain the key player in the management of the programme. The delegation accordingly recommends that Parliament approve the joint text at third reading.


PROCEDURE

Title

Joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)

References

PE-CONS 3611/2007 – C6‑0105/2007 – 2004/0218(COD)

Delegation chairwoman:
Vice-President

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

Committee responsible
Chairman:

ENVI

Miroslav Ouzký

Rapporteur

Marie Anne Isler Béguin

 

Commission proposal

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+) – COM(2004)0621 – C6‑0127/2004

Date of Parliament’s first reading
– P number

7.7.2005

P6_TA(2005)0291

Amended Commission proposal

COM(2004)0621/2

Council common position
  Date announced in plenary

6284/1/2006 – C6‑0226/2006

6.7.2006

Commission position
(Article 251(2), subpara 2, indent 3)

COM(2006)0355

Date of Parliament’s second reading
– P number

24.10.2006

P6-TA(2006)0431

Commission opinion
(Article 251(2), subpara 3, point (c))

COM(2006)0759

Date Council received 2nd reading

6.12.2006

Date of Council letter on non-approval of Parliament amendments

5.3.2007

Conciliation Committee meetings

27.3.2007

 

 

 

Date of vote by Parliament delegation

27.3.2007

Result of vote

+:

–:

0:

18

0

0

Members present

Chris Davies, Edite Estrela, Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Jutta Haug, Gyula Hegyi, Mary Honeyball, Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Riitta Myller, Hartmut Nassauer, Miroslav Ouzký, Antonyia Parvanova, Frédérique Ries, Karin Scheele, Károly Ferenc Szabó, Evangelia Tzampazi, Lambert van Nistelrooij.

Substitute(s) present

Guido Sacconi

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present

Avril Doyle, Anne Ferreira.

Date of agreement in Conciliation Committee

27.3.2007

Agreement by exchange of letters

-

 

Date on which the co-chairmen established that the joint text had been approved and forwarded it to Parliament and the Council

8.5.2007

Date tabled

11.5.2007

Comments
(available in one language only)

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EXTENSION OF DEADLINES

Deadline for second reading by Council

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Deadline for convening the Committee
  Requesting institution – date


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Deadline for work in the Committee
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Deadline for adopting the act

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