Procedure : 2009/0010(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0261/2009

Texts tabled :

A6-0261/2009

Debates :

PV 06/05/2009 - 2
CRE 06/05/2009 - 2

Votes :

PV 06/05/2009 - 6.8
CRE 06/05/2009 - 6.8
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0366

REPORT     ***I
PDF 201kWORD 332k
8.4.2009
PE 423.742v01-00 A6-0261/2009

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

(COM(2009)0035 – C6‑0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD))

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Rapporteur: Eugenijus Maldeikis

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 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 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

(COM(2009)0035 – C6‑0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2009)0035),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 156 and 175(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6‑0049/2009),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0261/2009),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Considers that the reference amount indicated in the legislative proposal can be compatible with the multiannual financial framework only if the latter is reviewed;

3.  Reiterates its willingness to negotiate with the Council to find a solution on the reference amount; recalls that any redeployment that would lead to any negative impact on other EU policies by diminishing the funds allocated to them must be avoided;

4.  Recalls that the annual amount will be decided within the annual budgetary procedure, in accordance with the provisions of Point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1);

5.  Recalls that the legislative process can only be completed once the financing of the programme has been agreed;

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

7.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(13a) Where financial assistance cannot be directed to listed projects due to their lacking progress and investment maturity in 2009 and 2010 the Commission should, not later than 1 September 2009, submit a new proposal on the eligibility and selection criteria for energy projects, particularly in the field of energy efficiency (for example, smart cities) and renewable energy, in order to redirect the unspent funds to these projects. The Commission should closely monitor such projects, so as to allow for the reallocation of funds as quickly as possible.

Justification

Where identified projects are not ready for investment within the next two years, it should be ensured that the financial assistance dedicated to those projects could be made available for other eligible projects meeting the criteria as laid down in subparagraph 1 of Art. 1.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Where the established sub-programmes and identified projects referred to in points (a), (b) and (c) of the second paragraph do not reach the stage of individual legal commitment by 1 September 2010 due to a lack of project maturity, the unspent funds allocated to such projects shall be reallocated to additional sub-programmes and projects in the field of energy efficiency (for example, smart cities) and renewable energy.

Justification

Where identified projects are not ready for investment within the next two years, it should be ensured that the financial assistance dedicated to those projects could be made available for other eligible projects meeting the criteria as laid down in subparagraph 1.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the EEPR for 2009 and 2010 shall be EUR 3,500 million, allocated as follows:

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the EEPR for 2009 and 2010 shall be EUR xxxx million, allocated as follows:

(a) gas and electricity interconnection projects: EUR 1,750 million;

(a) gas and electricity interconnection projects: EUR xxxx million;

(b) offshore wind energy projects: EUR 500 million;

(b) offshore wind energy projects: EUR xxxx million;

(c) projects for carbon capture and storage: EUR 1,250 million.

(c) projects for carbon capture and storage: EUR xxxx million.

 

1a. Individual legal commitments implementing the budgetary commitments made in 2009 and 2010 shall be made before 1 September 2010 for the projects referred to in points (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 1.

 

1b. Where a project does not reach the investment phase and the individual legal commitment under paragraph 1a, cannot be made, the funds which have been reserved for the individual project shall without delay be redirected to projects in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

No later than 1 September 2009 the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal on the eligibility and selection criteria that apply for the projects in the field of energy efficiency (for example, smart cities) and renewable energy.

2. The commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of the commitment decommitted as a result of total or partial non-implementation of the projects for which they were earmarked may, exceptionally and in duly substantiated cases, be made available again in 2010 and 2011 where it is essential to achieve the objectives of the EEPR.

 

3. For the purposes of paragraph 2, the Commission shall, at the beginning of each financial year, examine decommitments made during the previous financial year and assess, in the light of the requirements, the need for making the appropriations available again. On the basis of this assessment, the Commission may submit appropriate proposals to the budgetary authority, by 15 February of each financial year, stating for each budget item the reasons for making these appropriations available again.

 

4. The budgetary authority shall decide on the Commission's proposals within six weeks. Where no decision is taken within this time limit, the proposals shall be deemed to be approved.

 

5. Commitment appropriations made available again shall not be carried over. Legal commitments relating to the commitment appropriations which have been made available again shall be concluded by 31 December of year n. At the end of year n, the unused balance of the commitment appropriations made available again shall be definitively decommitted by the authorising officer responsible.

 

Justification

Local and regional initiatives which can be carried out comparatively easily and quickly should also be supported.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament of the control, management and monitoring system established by the Member States.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In assessing the proposals received under the call for proposals referred to in Article 18(2), the Commission shall apply the following selection criteria:

1. In assessing the proposals received under the call for proposals, the Commission shall apply the following award criteria:

(a) the soundness and technical adequacy of the approach;

(a) maturity, that is, by the end of 2010, the proposal has reached the investment stage and substantial capital expenditure has been incurred;

(b) the soundness of the financial package for the full investment phase of the project;

(b) the extent to which a lack of access to finance is delaying implementation of the project.

(c) identification of, all necessary permits required for construction and operation of the project at the proposed site(s) and having a strategy to secure those permits.

 

2. In assessing the proposals received under the call for proposals referred to in Article 18(2), the Commission shall apply the following award criteria:

 

(a) requested funding per tonne of CO2 to be abated in the first 5 years of operation (weighting of 40%);

 

(b) complexity of the project and level of innovation of the overall installation including other accompanying research activities as well as the commitment demonstrated by the beneficiaries to diffuse the results of the technological advances made by the project to other European operators in compatibility with Community law and in particular with the objectives and structures outlined in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan for Europe (weighting of 40%);

 

(d) soundness and adequacy of the management plan including, in relation to the scientific, engineering, and technical information and data that it contains, documenting readiness of the proposed concept to achieve operation of the project by 31 December 2015 (weighting of 20%).

 

Justification

The Regulation should specify, in a clear and unequivocal way, the elements needed for evaluating the financial plan of a project’s proposal. A general wording for this article might not support properly the European Commission selecting CCS projects proposals.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Other EEPR assistance and instruments

EEPR assistance through innovative financial instruments

1. A part of the Community assistance for the projects listed in the Annex may be implemented through a contribution to an appropriate instrument under the resources of the European Investment Bank. That contribution shall not exceed EUR 500 million.

1. A part of the Community assistance shall be implemented through a contribution to an appropriate instrument, such as a loan, guarantee, equity or other financial product issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF) or other public financial institutions, which provide long-term lending, to support projects in the fields of gas and electricity interconnection, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart cities. That contribution shall be equal to EUR 500 million. The relevant financial institutions shall contribute an equal amount.

The Community exposure to the loan guarantee instrument or other financing instrument, including management fees and other eligible costs, shall be limited to the amount of the Community contribution to that instrument and there shall be no further liability on the general budget of the European Union.

2. The Community exposure to the loan guarantee instrument or other financing instrument, including management fees and other eligible costs, shall be limited to the amount of the Community contribution to that instrument and there shall be no further liability on the general budget of the European Union. Specific attention shall be given to the development, by the EIB, of a finance facility, along the lines of the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility for research and development projects, designed for the financial support of the energy projects contained in this Regulation.

2. 3. The Commission, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 28(2), shall decide on the amount of EEPR assistance to be granted to this instrument. The Commission and the European Investment Bank shall establish a memorandum of understanding specifying the conditions and the methods for the implementation of that decision.

3. The Commission, the EIB, the EIF and other public financial institutions, which provide long-term lending, shall establish a memorandum of understanding specifying the conditions and the methods for the implementation of those instruments.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

2a. The Commission shall strictly assess the financial parameters of each of the proposed projects, in order to prevent the misuse of Community funds;

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall carry out an evaluation of the EEPR in order to assess its contribution to the objectives of Community energy policy and the effective use made of the appropriations.

1. The Commission shall carry out an evaluation of the EEPR in order to assess its contribution to the objectives of Community energy policy and the effective use made of the appropriations. The Commission shall submit the results of this evaluation to the budgetary authority.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. The first review by the Commission on the projects for which financing has been committed or spent shall be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council no later than 31 December 2009.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3b. The Commission shall carry out a further evaluation of the EEPR by 31 March 2010 in order to assess the effectiveness of the appropriations.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 3 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3c. The Commission shall, immediately after noticing that a project cannot be financed, reallocate funds to projects in the field of energy efficiency (for example, smart cities) or renewable energy. The Commission shall, after having informed and taken into account the opinion of the European Parliament, introduce proposals in accordance with Articles 1 and 3.

(1)

OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (31.3.2009)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

(COM(2009)0035 – C6‑0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD))

Rapporteur: Mario Mauro

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The proposal for a Programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy is part of the Economic Recovery Plan, which provides for an allocation of EUR 30 billion (EUR 30 000 000 000).

This proposal is connected to the proposal for a regulation aiming at the enforcement of the rural development and of broadband in rural areas. The total amount of allocations is EUR 5 billion, of which EUR 3,5 billion for the energy sector and EUR 1,5 billion for rural development.

As the Commission stated in its proposal, it "has already tabled a proposal to revise the Multiannual Financial Framework 2007-2013 to make available additional funds under heading 1A whilst respecting the total amounts agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and sound financial management of 17 May 2006(1) (…).Commission "now proposes a transfer of resources not required under the ceiling of heading 2 in respect of the year 2008 to heading 1A to fund the EUR 3.5 billion proposed for energy projects (EUR 1.5 billion in 2009 and EUR 2.0 billion in 2010)".

                                                                                        EUR million

 

Expenditure type

Section no.

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

 

Total

Operational expenditure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commitment Appropriations (CA)

8.1

A

1498,8

1998,8

 

 

 

 

 

3497,6

Payment Appropriations (PA)

 

B

75

1012

750

1024

362

212

62,6

3497,6

Administrative expenditure within reference amount

Technical & administrative assistance (NDA)

8.2.4

C

1,2

1,2

 

 

 

 

 

2,4

TOTAL REFERENCE AMOUNT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commitment Appropriations

 

a+c

1500

2000

 

 

 

 

 

3500

Payment Appropriations

 

b+c

76,2

1013,2

750

1024

362

212

62,6

3500

The rapporteur for the opinion notes that there are additional EUR 18 million of administrative expenditure, not included in the reference amount, and would like the Commission to clarify the administrative expenses of this proposal.

Despite the European Council of December 2008 being favourable to the initiative, the Council of Ministers has not yet reached any agreement. The Committee on Budgets has already reaffirmed the necessity of a revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework on many occasions.

This proposal for a regulation creates a Programme for funding projects in the energy sector, which can contribute to an economic re-launch, to the safety of energy provision and to the reduction of gases responsible for the greenhouse effect.

The list of eligible projects proposed by the Commission has been revised in the Council, in order to meet the needs of those Member States which asked for a more inclusive list of projects.

Your rapporteur supports the Commission proposal. Notwithstanding the great financial effort to be supported by the EU budget, such a project is of such worth in economic and recovery terms, that it has to be carried on in every way possible.

Considering the changes made to the annex of the Commission proposal which were distributed at the Council's Budget Committee meeting of 19 February 2009, your rapporteur cannot comment on the exact amount of the necessary allocation to finance the Programme.

As for the origin of the allocations addressed to the energy-sector projects for the years 2009-2010 your rapporteur wonders how to conciliate this source with the possible risk in the future of agricultural prices declining sharply (i.e. milk prices) which will necessitate an allocation in favour of the rural sector in the short term.

At the time of writing, your rapporteur for the opinion is not yet aware of any concrete agreement within the Council, namely in respect of the final amount devoted to the Programme. At this stage, it is understood that the decision has now been put in the hands of the European Council of 19-20 March 2009.

Some amendments are anyhow susceptible to be already tabled to the Commission proposal, keeping in mind that the object of negotiation could change from now within a few days.

The amendments proposed concern the compatibility of the reference amount with the MFF. Your rapporteur is of the opinion, just like the Commission is, that a review of the MFF is needed to find the credits to cover the EUR 3,5 billion credits to devote to energy projects.

Your rapporteur also insists on the need not to deprive heading 2 of all possible margin as the situation in the agricultural markets is quite unstable. No policy in the EU should suffer from the launching of the projects in the field of energy, but be financed as needed.

Moreover, your rapporteur insists on the fact that negotiations within the Council must come up with a clear, global and detailed financing proposal, and information on any impact this would have on the annual budget. He therefore presents an amendment recalling the need to refer to Point 38 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 as far as the budgetary procedure is concerned.

Another amendment tabled by your rapporteur concerns the obligation for the Commission to refer to the Parliament about the assessment that it will make at the beginning of every financial year to propose whether or not decommitments concerning the foreseen credits should become appropriations available again for the Programme.

Finally, your rapporteur tables an amendment in which he calls for the Commission to inform the Parliament about the control, management and monitoring systems established by the Member States and solely communicated to the Commission.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 a (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1a. Considers that the reference amount indicated in the legislative proposal can be compatible with the Multiannual Financial Framework only if the latter is reviewed;

Amendment  2

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 b (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1b. Reiterates its willingness to negotiate with the Council to find a solution on the reference amount; recalls that any redeployment that would lead to any negative impact on other EU policies by diminishing the funds allocated to them must be excluded;

Amendment  3

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 c (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1c. Recalls that the annual amount will be decided within the annual budgetary procedure, in accordance with the provisions of Point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

Amendment  4

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 d (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

1d. Recalls that the legislative process can only be completed once the financing of the programme has been agreed;

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the EEPR for 2009 and 2010 shall be EUR 3,500 million, allocated as follows:

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the EEPR for 2009 and 2010 shall be EUR XXX million, allocated as follows:

(a) gas and electricity interconnection projects: EUR 1,750 million;

(a) gas and electricity interconnection projects: EUR XXX million;

(b) offshore wind energy projects: EUR 500 million;

(b) offshore wind energy projects: EUR XXX million;

(c) projects for carbon capture and storage: EUR 1,250 million.

(c) projects for carbon capture and storage: EUR XXX million.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of the commitment decommitted as a result of total or partial non-implementation of the projects for which they were earmarked may, exceptionally and in duly substantiated cases, be made available again in 2010 and 2011 where it is essential to achieve the objectives of the EEPR.

2. The commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of the commitment decommitted as a result of total or partial non-implementation of the projects for which they were earmarked may, exceptionally and in duly substantiated cases, be made available again in the following year 2010 and 2011 respectively ‑ where it is essential to achieve the objectives of the EEPR.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. For the purposes of paragraph 2, the Commission shall, at the beginning of each financial year, examine decommitments made during the previous financial year and assess, in the light of the requirements, the need for making the appropriations available again. On the basis of this assessment, the Commission may submit appropriate proposals to the budgetary authority, by 15 February of each financial year, stating for each budget item the reasons for making these appropriations available again.

3. For the purposes of paragraph 2, the Commission shall, at the beginning of each financial year, examine decommitments made during the previous financial year and assess, in the light of the requirements, the need for making the appropriations available again. On the basis of this assessment, which shall be submitted to the budgetary authority, the Commission may submit appropriate proposals to the budgetary authority, by 15 February of each financial year, stating for each budget item the reasons for making these appropriations available again.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament about the control, management and monitoring system established by the Member States.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment

 

2a. The Commission will strictly assess the financial parameters of each of the proposed projects, in order to prevent the misuse of Community funds;

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall carry out an evaluation of the EEPR in order to assess its contribution to the objectives of Community energy policy and the effective use made of the appropriations.

1. The Commission shall carry out an evaluation of the EEPR in order to assess its contribution to the objectives of Community energy policy and the effective use made of the appropriations; the Commission shall submit the results of this evaluation to the budgetary authority.

PROCEDURE

Title

Programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

References

COM(2009)0035 – C6-0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

19.2.2009

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Mario Mauro

10.2.2009

 

 

Discussed in committee

11.3.2009

30.3.2009

 

 

Date adopted

30.3.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Richard James Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Simon Busuttil, Paulo Casaca, Szabolcs Fazakas, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Ingeborg Gräßle, Catherine Guy-Quint, Janusz Lewandowski, Vladimír Maňka, Mario Mauro, Gérard Onesta, Nina Škottová, László Surján, Gary Titley

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Călin Cătălin Chiriţă

(1)

COM(2008)0859 of 10.12.2008.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (30.3.2009)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

(COM(2009)0035 – C6-0049/2009 ‑ 2009/0010(COD))

Rapporteur: Rumiana Jeleva

app

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Ø Introduction

The European Commission proposal deals with two policy areas one being the economy and the other energy security. The argument in favour of immediate action is a response to the European Council's call to the Commission to propose a list of concrete projects(1), to stimulate the European economy taking into account both the necessity to ensure an adequate geographical balance and a capacity for speedy implementation.

In parallel with the financial crisis and the global recession, Europe has suffered the effects of huge uncontrollable fluctuations in the price of crude oil, severe and repetitive cuts in gas supplies from Russia. It has also identified a clear necessity to ensure that despite the downturn, investment in the development and exploitation of renewable energy sources continues at a pace compatible with its ambitions.

Thus the Commission's proposal for investment is built on three pillars namely:

v The interconnection of gas and electricity networks,

v Carbon capture and storage,

v Offshore wind projects.

This proposal therefore lays out procedures and methods of providing financial assistance to stimulate investment in the creation of a European integrated energy network capable of ensuring improved security of supply whilst enhancing the Union's policy of reducing green-house gas emissions.

The creation of a pan- European interconnected energy network is not new. The European Union already finances electricity and gas transmission infrastructure projects of European interest. A yearly budget of about 25 Million Euros is spent mainly for supporting feasibility studies. Most of the projects cross national borders or have an influence on several EU Member States. This proposal must be seen as complementary to that plan, fitting neatly into current EU energy policy.

Ø Security and diversity of supply and the control of carbon emmissions

The control of carbon emissions and the development of alternative renewable energy resources are central to all European policies. Without realistic, speedy and effective measures taken at all levels of governance, the Union will be unable to meet its avowed aims to reduce carbon emissions by 2020 or to ensure a dominant competitive position for its energy sector in the global market when the economy rebounds. A cursory glance at the distribution of energy sources throughout the Union shows that it is clear that for the foreseeable future, coal and coal derivatives will continue to be major sources of energy for the production of electricity and steel At present coal fired power stations account for 20% of the EU's CO2 emissions and the European energy industry looks set to build 40 new coal fired power stations over the next five years(2). Faced with this probability carbon storage technology is not only a possibility, it is a realistic and absolute necessity.

Of course the development of technologies capable of generating electricity on a sustainable basis such as wind power and solar energy must not only continue but be accelerated, and those projects which have been identified as having the greatest chance of successful implementation in the short to medium term, must be encouraged by all. However it would be wishful thinking to imagine that these technologies will be able to meet all the energy needs of the Union within the proscribed time scale. It is of the full range of energy producing technologies which the Union must avail itself This Commission proposal is an immediate response to meet the needs for adaptation and coordination of energy policy to meet the contingencies of the present.

Global and local economic and financial conditions are far from conducive to increased investments in energy research and infrastructure projects. However ensuring future secure energy supplies throughout the Union requires a general level of national reserve stocks as well as the possibility to make resources available in places and regions which for any reason encounters problems in supply or availability. Viewed in this way and in order to avoid the energy deficiencies that certain Member States have repeatedly encountered in recent history, urgent action is required to support investment in energy interconnection.

In taking this initiative therefore, the Union is not only accelerating the development of projects intimately related to the security of energy supplies but also creating or maintaining jobs in a highly specialized and technically advanced industry, vital to all European Regions.

Ø geopolitics of EU energy supply

As one of the world's largest importers of oil, gas and coal, the EU is a major player on the international energy market(3) but its dependency on imported energy supplies will increase exponentially over the coming 20 years. The European Commission has estimated(4) that if no action is taken the EU's energy dependency will rise from 50% in 2000 to 70% in 2030. The principal suppliers of gas to the Union are Russia 30%; Algeria 25% and Norway 25% whilst dependency on Russian sources is forecast to rise to 80% by 2030. For historical and geographical reasons, those Member States which previously belonged to the sphere of Soviet influence are the most vulnerable to inconsistencies in the manner in which Russia manages its contractual arrangements(5).

Whilst insecure gas supplies have been the subject of headline news throughout Europe, the Union's dependency on oil imports from the Middle East is set to double over the next twenty years whilst 66% of EU needs for coal will also be imported. Clearly as the European Commission stresses in its Green Paper on sustainable, competitive and secure energy supplies for Europe, the existence of 27 separate national energy policies negotiating with external energy suppliers is detrimental to the economy and the argument in favour of a common external energy policy has become progressively more compelling in the extraordinary financial and economic climate existing today.

Of course with the unprecedented government spending levels that the global economy has seen in recent months, it is essential that available funding is targeted with precision, impacting on those projects which have the potential to ensure optimal security both at the level of supply and at that of sustainability and carbon emission reduction.

Ø Choice of projects and budgetary implications

The European Commission tells us(6) that in order to have an immediate impact on the economic crisis it is essential to list the projects which may receive immediate financial assistance. The choice of projects listed by the European Commission together with the concomitant budgetary implications is by definition extremely technical. Obviously, Parliament can propose amendments to the list of projects but most of these would be based on the reintroduction of projects which for one reason or another failed to qualify for selection either by the Commission or by their Member State. It is your draftswoman's view that to proceed in such a manner would be counterproductive, as speed, as has been pointed out above, is of the essence. The same goes to a large extent for the amounts allocated to each project. Without the detailed technical information necessary to assess the adequacy of the amounts proposed, it is but pretension to purport to change them.

Ø conclusion

In view of the above, the urgency with which these matters must be dealt with coupled with the clear benefit to the European economy, the security of energy supply and the reduction of carbon emissions that prompt and rapid implementation of this legislation should be, your draftswoman strongly recommends that this proposal be adopted without amendment.

*******

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to propose approval of the Commission proposal.

PROCEDURE

Title

Programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

References

COM(2009)0035 – C6-0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD)

Committee responsible

ITRE

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

REGI

19.2.2009

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Rumiana Jeleva

9.3.2009

 

 

Discussed in committee

9.3.2009

 

 

 

Date adopted

30.3.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Emmanouil Angelakas, Stavros Arnaoutakis, Rolf Berend, Victor Boştinaru, Wolfgang Bulfon, Gerardo Galeote, Gábor Harangozó, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Rumiana Jeleva, Gisela Kallenbach, Tunne Kelam, Evgeni Kirilov, Constanze Angela Krehl, Florencio Luque Aguilar, Sérgio Marques, Maria Petre, Elisabeth Schroedter, Catherine Stihler, Margie Sudre, Oldřich Vlasák

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Domenico Antonio Basile, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Samuli Pohjamo

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Dragoş Florin David, Siiri Oviir

(1)

European Council December 11/12 2008.

(2)

Source Climate Action

(3)

Source EurActiv.

(4)

Green Paper on Energy supply November 2000

(5)

see the effects on Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary during the winters of 2006 and 2009.

(6)

See Com(2009)0035, p. 7.


PROCEDURE

Title

Programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy

References

COM(2009)0035 – C6-0049/2009 – 2009/0010(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

28.1.2009

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

19.2.2009

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

19.2.2009

CONT

19.2.2009

ENVI

19.2.2009

REGI

19.2.2009

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

CONT

17.2.2009

ENVI

11.2.2009

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Eugenijus Maldeikis

16.2.2009

 

 

Discussed in committee

19.3.2009

30.3.2009

 

 

Date adopted

31.3.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

4

5

Members present for the final vote

Šarūnas Birutis, Jan Březina, Jerzy Buzek, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Giles Chichester, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Den Dover, Fiona Hall, Rebecca Harms, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Mary Honeyball, Ján Hudacký, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Werner Langen, Pia Elda Locatelli, Eugenijus Maldeikis, Eluned Morgan, Antonio Mussa, Angelika Niebler, Reino Paasilinna, Atanas Paparizov, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Anni Podimata, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Mechtild Rothe, Paul Rübig, Andres Tarand, Catherine Trautmann, Claude Turmes, Nikolaos Vakalis, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ivo Belet, Danutė Budreikaitė, Avril Doyle, Edit Herczog, Gunnar Hökmark, Bernhard Rapkay, Esko Seppänen, Hannes Swoboda, Lambert van Nistelrooij

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Jill Evans, Ona Juknevičienė, Willem Schuth

Date tabled

8.4.2009

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