REPORT on the proposal for a regulation (EC) No .../2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 on the European Regional Development Fund as regards the eligibility of housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities

9.11.2009 - (COM(2009)0382 – C7‑0095/2009 – 2009/0105(COD)) - ***I

Committee on Regional Development
Rapporteur: Lambert van Nistelrooij


Procedure : 2009/0105(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
A7-0048/2009

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation (EC) No .../2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 on the European Regional Development Fund as regards the eligibility of housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities

(COM(2009)0382 – C7‑0095/2009 – 2009/0105(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2009)0382),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 162 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7‑0095/2009),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development (A7‑0048/2009),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  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;

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

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) With the view to enhance the economic and social cohesion of the Community, it is necessary to support limited interventions for the renovation of existing buildings serving housing purposes in Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004. Those interventions can take place under the conditions set out in Article 7 (2) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999.

(1) With the view to enhance the economic and social cohesion of the Community, it is necessary to support limited interventions for the renovation of existing buildings serving housing purposes in the Member States. Those interventions can take place under the conditions set out in Article 7 (2) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) In the Member States to which Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 applies, a large number of marginalised communities live also outside urban areas. Therefore, it is necessary to extend the eligibility of expenditures on housing interventions in favour of these communities living in rural areas.

(3) In several Member States, a large number of marginalised communities live outside urban areas. It is therefore necessary to extend the eligibility of expenditures on housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities living in rural areas.

Justification

The new provision about housing interventions for marginalized communities should concern all Member States and not only those that acceded to the EU on or after 1 May 2004. Therefore, this recital should be amended accordingly.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) Irrespective of whether these communities are located in urban or rural areas, due to the extremely poor quality of their housing conditions, expenditures on the replacement of the existing houses by newly constructed ones should also be eligible.

(4) Irrespective of whether marginalised communities are located in urban or rural areas, due to the extremely poor quality of their housing conditions, expenditures on the renovation of existing housing or on its replacement, including by newly constructed housing, should also be eligible.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In line with Principle No 1 of those Common Basic Principles, in order to limit the risks of segregation, housing interventions for marginalised communities should take place in the framework of an integrated approach, which includes actions, in particular, in the fields of education, health, social affairs, employment and security.

(6) In line with Principle No 1 of those Common Basic Principles, in order to limit the risks of segregation, housing interventions for marginalised communities should take place in the framework of an integrated and sustainable approach, which includes actions, in particular, in the fields of education, health, social affairs, employment and security.

Justification

Intervention in the field of housing for marginalised communities should have the objective of furthering the sustainable integration of these communities. Renovation and replacement of existing buildings should be carried out solely with that in mind.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Article 1

Regulation (EC) N°1080/2006

Article 7 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Expenditure on housing, except for energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as set out in paragraph 1a, shall be eligible only for those Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004, where the following conditions are met:

2. Expenditure on housing, except for energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as set out in paragraph 1a, shall be eligible where the following conditions are met:

(a) expenditure shall be programmed within one of the following frameworks:

(a) expenditure shall be programmed within one of the following frameworks:

(i) the framework of an integrated urban development approach for areas experiencing or threatened by physical deterioration and social exclusion;

(i) the framework of an integrated urban development approach for areas experiencing or threatened by physical deterioration and social exclusion;

(ii) the framework of an integrated approach for marginalised communities.

(ii) the framework of an integrated and sustainable approach for marginalised communities.

 

(aa) expenditure under point (a)(i) shall be eligible only for those Member States that acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004; expenditure under point (a)(ii) shall be eligible for all Member States.

(b) The allocation to housing expenditure shall be either a maximum of 3 % of the ERDF allocation to the operational programmes concerned or 2 % of the total ERDF allocation.

(b) the allocation to housing expenditure shall be either a maximum of 3 % of the ERDF allocation to the operational programmes concerned or 2 % of the total ERDF allocation.

Justification

The problem that the current revision of the ERDF Regulation is trying to address -by introducing a new provision under article 7 point 2(a)(ii) - does not only concern those Member States that acceded to the EU on or after 1 May 2004. In reality, housing for marginalised communities -and notably for the Roma population- represents an issue of major concern in many of the EU-15 Member States. Moreover, and as a matter of principle, it is imperative that the obsolete distinction between "old" and "new" Member States does not cover this new measure under point 2(a)(ii), as it happens under the current regime for other housing interventions (point 2(a)(i)).

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

Article 7 paragraph 2 subparagraph 2 introductory wording

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purposes of point (a)(i) of the first subparagraph, expenditure shall be limited to one of the following interventions:

For the purposes of point (a)(i) and (ii) of the first subparagraph, expenditure shall be limited to the following interventions:

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

Article 7 paragraph 2 subparagraph 3

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purposes of point (a)(ii) of the first subparagraph, interventions may include the replacement of existing housing by newly constructed houses.

For the purposes of point (a)(ii) of the first subparagraph, interventions may include the renovation or replacement of existing housing.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation – amending act

Article 1

Regulation (EC) N°1080/2006

Article 7 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 4

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may adopt the list of criteria needed for determining the areas referred to under point (a)(i) of the first subparagraph and the list of eligible interventions in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.

The Commission shall adopt the list of criteria needed for determining the areas referred to under point (a)(i) of the first subparagraph and the list of eligible interventions in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 103(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006.

Justification

We propose the reinstatement of the previous version of article 7 - final part - so that European Commission can continue to carry out its original duty assigned by the regulation in the field of evaluation and fixation of criteria for the interventions, in particular in the sector of housing interventions in the new Member States, in order to guarantee efficiency and added value in politics, also in consideration of its cost.

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The current global economic crisis represents a major challenge for the European Union, requiring prompt, flexible and effective responses on behalf of its policies. With total financial resources of €347 billion for the 2007 - 2013 programming period, the European cohesion policy is the largest source of investment in the real economy, helping Europe and its regions to recover from the crisis and rebuilding confidence and optimism.

Last year in November, the European Commission presented a comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan for Europe, in which cohesion policy plays an important role. In the initial stage, The Commission presented proposals to revise three Structural Funds Regulations for the period 2007 - 2013: the General Regulation, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regulation and the European Social Fund (ESF) Regulation with the general aim of stimulating projects' implementation and both protecting and creating new jobs, through smart investments. The European Parliament gave its "green light" for the legislative package in the beginning of April and the measures stipulated in it started to take effect already in the end of May. A report on the implementation of these measures adopted within the framework of the Economic Recovery Plan is expected in the second half of 2010

The first amendment to the ERDF Regulation extended the scope of the eligibility rules, enabling all EU Member States and regions to invest in energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures in housing[1] and broadened the use of flat-rates and lump sums in order to simplify the declaration of expenditure and introduce a more result-based reimbursement system.

On the 22nd of July, the European Commission proposed a new set of measures aimed at simplifying the cohesion policy management rules. These amendments refer to the General Regulation on the ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund and to the ERDF Regulation.

The new proposal for the ERDF Regulation, which is the subject of the present report, aims at extending the eligibility of housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities in the new Member States.

Commission Proposal

The Commission introduced an amendment to the current Article 7(2) in order to allow the ERDF financial support for housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities living in the new Member States (EU-12). Under the current regulation, housing interventions can take place only in the framework of urban development operations, in the form of renovation of existing houses. Since the great majority of the marginalised communities in the new Member States live in rural areas and in shelters, they can not benefit of the ERDF support for replacing houses of a very poor quality. Therefore, the ERDF financial support could significantly complement the existing European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) contribution in this field and also the Member States' efforts to solve the deprivation and marginalisation of their vulnerable communities. The expenditure should be limited to interventions for the renovation of the common parts in existing multi-family housing and for the renovation and change of use of existing buildings owned by public authorities or non-profit operators for use as housing designated for low-income households or people with special needs.

The proposal makes also a specific reference in its recitals to the Roma population, as the largest marginalised community in Europe, while stating that interventions on Roma people as target group should not exclude other people sharing similar socio-economic circumstances.

The present proposal does not increase funding and has no implications for the Community budget. It will enable the new Member States to use in the form of an integrated approach, the ERDF Fund, complementarily to other resources (EAFRD and their national instruments), to tackle the housing issue for their marginalised communities.

Council Position

The Council introduces only minor additions, aiming just to clarify the wording of the text proposed by the Commission. Consequently, its Working Party on Structural Measures made precise reference to the eligibility of expenditure also for the renovation of existing housing, not only for their replacement and removed the limitation to the replacement only by "newly constructed ones".

Evaluation of the proposed revision of the ERDF Regulation

Your Rapporteur agrees on the necessity of addressing the issue of housing for marginalised communities in the context of amending the ERDF Regulation. Since the current provisions cannot apply to marginalised communities, whom are living mostly in rural areas in the new Member States, the proposed amendment is coming to fill a gap within the legislation, in order to deal more appropriately with the poor living conditions of these populations.

This new measure respects the subsidiarity principle, broadening the possibilities for the new Member States to provide support for housing interventions in the case of marginalised communities, in the way they consider more appropriate, while keeping the integrated approach as a minimum condition for the intervention's implementation.

After an informal trialogue with the Commission and the Council, when he was assured by both parts of the new provisions' general application, notwithstanding the explicit reference to the Roma population in its recitals, your Rapporteur views very favourably the proposed change to the Regulation. He welcomes and emphasises in this context the importance of the addition that this reference should not exclude other people sharing similar socio-economic conditions. He acknowledges the fact that Roma people represent the largest marginalised community in Europe, but he stresses nevertheless that there are also other communities, especially the legal migrants that need to be addressed appropriately, since migration and integration have become an everyday experience in our globalised world.

The report of the European Parliament

The revision of this Regulation will be done according to the co-decision procedure, which gives to the European Parliament and the Council equal rights and powers to amend the Commission proposal.

Although some of the old Member States also have marginalised communities on their territory that might be assisted by the present provisions, your Rapporteur takes into consideration the fact that a large majority of the Members States support the proposal of the Commission as it stands, and therefore decided, since the matter requires urgent action, to take on board all the amendments proposed by the Council and not to present any new amendments or additions to the text.

Your Rapporteur also asks for an evaluation of this provision's implementation to be made by the Commission by the end of 2010.

  • [1]  The initial form of the Regulation provided financial support for interventions in the housing sector, including energy efficiency, but only for the new Member States (EU-12)

PROCEDURE

Title

Eligibility of housing interventions in favour of marginalised communities

References

COM(2009)0382 – C7-0095/2009 – 2009/0105(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

17.7.2009

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

REGI

14.9.2009

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

14.9.2009

 

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

BUDG

21.10.2009

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Lambert van Nistelrooij

5.10.2009

 

 

Discussed in committee

6.10.2009

 

 

 

Date adopted

4.11.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

3

1

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Catherine Bearder, Victor Boştinaru, Philip Bradbourn, Sophie Briard Auconie, Zuzana Brzobohatá, John Bufton, Salvatore Caronna, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Elie Hoarau, Seán Kelly, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Erminia Mazzoni, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Franz Obermayr, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Csanád Szegedi, Nuno Teixeira, Michael Theurer, Michail Tremopoulos, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jan Březina, Karima Delli, Ivars Godmanis, Andrey Kovatchev, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Marek Henryk Migalski, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Vilja Savisaar, Elisabeth Schroedter, Sabine Verheyen