Texte intégral 
Procédure : 2018/2546(RSP)
Cycle de vie en séance
Cycle relatif au document : O-000005/2018

Textes déposés :

O-000005/2018 (B8-0006/2018)

Débats :

PV 15/03/2018 - 16
CRE 15/03/2018 - 16

Votes :

Textes adoptés :

Compte rendu in extenso des débats
Jeudi 15 mars 2018 - Strasbourg Edition révisée

16. Réserve de performance des fonds ESI (débat)
Vidéo des interventions

  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Anfrage zur mündlichen Beantwortung an die Kommission über die leistungsgebundene Reserve der ESI-Fonds von Iskra Mihaylova im Namen des Ausschusses für regionale Entwicklung (O-000005/2018 - B8-0006/2018) (2018/2546(RSP)).


  Lambert van Nistelrooij, replacing the author. – Mr President, thank you for having this specific point together with Johannes Hahn, the former commissioner for regional policy. Mr Hahn, I remember that you were always there when we were negotiating on the regulations for this period, 2014-2020, and that you were in the debate when we talked about the performance reserve. The performance reserve is really an innovation. We talk in this House about performance-based budgeting; we talk about the fact that those partners in the Member States, regional cities and Member States themselves reach the milestones and they are rewarded for it. It is to praise those who really perform and to give them another incentive to do their utmost.

And what happens now? Now we stand with the question: what’s the point? The Regional Development Committee wants to test the Commission on the feasibility, to do a reality check on the performance reserve. As the President already said, it’s about the ESI funds, it’s about the Regional Development Fund, about the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund... and in these funds we put aside EUR 21 billion. That’s 6% of the whole budget for the 7 years, for the best to serve the best.

Parliament, already last year – it was in Westphal report, on 13 June last year – established their building blocks for the rest of the period and gave a glimpse into the next period. Parliament there said that we wanted to have quicker decision-making, a faster track if possible, for this reserve that we had made. Since then we have had no answer from the European Commission on this point. So we want to hear clearly what the Commission is willing to do. The questions are clear. First, does the Commission intend to commence performance earlier when those programmes in the Member States are ahead of schedule and the evaluation can be done earlier. Second, depending on the outcome of any such anticipated performance review, is the Commission willing to release the performance reserves earlier?

Next year, we go to the citizens. We have our elections. We did our negotiating in the year 2013; in 2014 we started; 2016... 2017... 2018, and now we have to wait until 2019 to have an evaluation, and then this money that’s already in the envelope of the Member States can be committed to be spent later in 2021-22-23.

How can I explain to my voters that Europe delivers, that Europe has better regulation, that Europe has an open ear and delivers, where companies and schools and public authorities take the right path? So this is the question: where is the flexibility on the side of the Commission? But then something happened: the Commission itself came forward in December with a new proposal to take the money of the performance reserve, and they had the intention, and I quote the College, to test the main features of the reform delivery tool in a pilot already in 2018-2020. And that was for quite another goal: to prepare countries, if they want to, to join the eurozone. And this got us to the question: what are we doing with the performance reserve? Who can explain this way of acting?

So this is the question the REGI Committee wants to bring forward and I hope that you can come with at least a clear message – because it was so silent, it was too silent. We were surprised when near St. Nicholas, at the beginning of December, we got this present and we didn’t understand it anymore.


  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, indeed it’s a kind of coming home to participate again in a debate about structural funds and regional policy, and everything which is related to this. It’s also good to see some well—known faces again here in the plenary.

I am speaking primarily representing my successor and I don’t want to intervene too much, but there is a common Commission view, of course, on this issue. I would really like to emphasise – and to begin this intervention by underlining – that the applicable provisions of the common provisions regulation as adopted by the co-legislators don’t foresee an earlier performance review, or an earlier release of the performance reserve. Hence, it would be necessary to amend these provisions if the performance review was to be carried out ahead of the deadlines specified in the current legislation. The Commission does not intend to propose such a change in the current provisions applicable to the date of the performance assessment and the allocation of the reserve for the following reasons:

First, the rate of project selection is an important indicator of progress of programmes and of their potential final achievements, but it’s not an automatic or a sufficient guarantee that the physical and financial intermediate objectives, so—called milestones, of the programmes measured by the performance framework will be achieved. Moreover, the so—called selection rate is not among the indicators included in the performance frameworks and the performance reserve may be released only when and if all indicators included in the performance framework meet the milestones in line with the applicable legal provisions.

Secondly, in order to avoid excessive burden on Member States and regions, reporting on the achievement of milestones takes place in the framework of the annual implementation reports. Any anticipated performance review would require separate reporting on the achievement of the milestones to take place before that date. Moreover, the performance framework and performance reserve are included in the programmes at the level of priority axes, and anticipated performance reviews may therefore result in a situation where some priority axes in one programme receive their reserve while others have still to undergo another performance review in 2019. This would therefore add complexity to the system and increase the burden on Member States and regions without bringing tangible benefits.

Therefore, the Commission doesn’t intend to use its right of initiative to propose amendments to these rules as the potential benefits are significantly outweighed by the associated disadvantages, such as administrative burden, complexity, inconsistency across Member States and programmes, and unplanned changes to the indicative budgetary profile. The additional work for the legislators to process a potential amendment comes in addition to this. Having said that, the Commission stands ready to listen and to discuss specific ideas to improve this instrument with the European Parliament.


  Lambert van Nistelrooij, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor again for the PPE Group. There are, of course, no inconsistencies between the two stories. You can understand that. We think – and we want to underline this – that the visibility of our policy should be underlined. With all the complexities maybe we have created a very heavy instrument with this performance reserve, but that does not mean that, in the sense of better regulation and even on the request of a Member State, it can present these milestones on the priority axes at the speed we need. So there should be flexibility and I am happy that the total silence until now on this subject in this House is broken and that you are offering us this dialogue. We will definitely take it.

Secondly, this debate is also in the framework of the new proposal by the Commission, and I can say that, if nothing is moving and no flexibility is coming from the performance reserve, I think that we will have serious doubts as to whether we have to be positive on the extent of the proposal that the Commission made in December alone. If you don’t move on the one side and you add full flexibility on the other side, I don’t think that the College is being consistent. So we have to speak. Otherwise it won’t fly.


  Nicola Caputo, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ogni Stato membro dispone di una riserva di efficacia dall'attuazione dei fondi strutturali e di investimento europei pari al 6 % delle risorse stanziate.

Alcuni paesi hanno già adottato decisioni per oltre il 70 % della spesa relativa alle rispettive assegnazioni al Fondo di sviluppo regionale e al Fondo sociale. Tuttavia, in seguito alla risoluzione di questo Parlamento, adottata quasi un anno fa, sulla costruzione di pilastri per una politica di coesione dell'Unione europea post 2020, non sono pervenute ulteriori informazioni in merito allo sblocco della riserva di efficacia.

La Commissione deve assolutamente, a mio avviso, sbloccare tale riserva, anticipando la verifica dell'efficacia dell'attuazione per i programmi che sono avanti sulle scadenze previste. Tra le iniziative del pacchetto di completamento dell'Unione economica e monetaria, recentemente presentato dalla Commissione, vi è la proposta di modifica del regolamento generale sui fondi strutturali per permettere agli Stati membri di lasciare in tutto o in parte la riserva di efficacia nella disponibilità della Commissione, allo scopo di realizzare un proprio piano di riforme strutturali, che l'Europa pagherebbe attraverso una procedura semplificata e senza bisogno di cofinanziamento nazionale.

La Commissione ha anche teorizzato una bipartizione tra regioni a basso reddito e regioni a bassa crescita. Si tratta di un meccanismo che, per quanto semplice all'apparenza, può generare equivoci e perplessità, anzitutto rispetto alla nozione stessa di riforme strutturali che, per come intesa dalla Commissione, appare in completa antinomia rispetto a quella di infrastrutture.

La mia posizione è chiara, proprio perché sono consapevole del ritardo infrastrutturale che continua a penalizzare le regioni in ritardo di sviluppo – come il Mezzogiorno d'Italia, che ho il privilegio di rappresentare in quest'Aula – e delle difficoltà che quotidianamente il loro tessuto produttivo incontra, sono convinto che la politica di coesione debba perseguire, contrariamente a quanto proposto dalla Commissione, il suo fine originario: ridurre, cioè, il gap tra i territori, ma tra tutti i territori, senza distinzioni tra "buoni" e "cattivi", che nelle intenzioni di qualcuno dovrebbe tradursi in obiettivi diversi per i fondi della coesione.

Dobbiamo sgombrare il campo dall'equivoco che i fondi europei, che sicuramente possono contribuire a tanto, da soli possano fare tutto. Sarebbe un errore imperdonabile, non solo accettare, ma addirittura promuovere l'idea che essi possano diventare la riserva per tutti i bisogni e per tutte le emergenze che l'Europa si trova ad affrontare. Al contrario, cerchiamo tutti insieme di rilanciare la politica di coesione modernizzandola, riscoprendone gli obiettivi e restituendo ai territori l'unica vera politica europea di investimenti strategici di lungo periodo.


  Kosma Złotowski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Środki z rezerwy na wykonanie stanowią bardzo ważne narzędzie zachęcające państwa członkowskie do szybkiego i efektywniejszego realizowania projektów finansowanych z Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego i Europejskiego Funduszu Społecznego. Zasady korzystania z tej rezerwy powinny być jasne, a państwa członkowskie powinny być informowane o jej uruchomieniu w takim momencie, który pozwoli te środki jak najlepiej wykorzystać. Komisja powinna umożliwić państwom członkowskim uruchomienie rezerwy na wykonanie, biorąc pod uwagę fakt, że znaczna część programów jest realizowana z wyprzedzeniem. Pociąga to za sobą konieczność dostosowania daty przeglądu wyników dotyczących osiągnięcia celów pośrednich, od którego zależy uruchomienie tych środków. W maju 2017 r. Parlament Europejski jednoznacznie stwierdził, że obecnie czas pomiędzy spełnieniem warunków a uwolnieniem rezerwy na wykonanie jest zbyt długi, przez co ogranicza się jej skuteczność i efektywność. Problem ten jest szczególnie widoczny teraz, gdy zbliża się koniec obecnej perspektywy budżetowej i kreślimy kształt wieloletnich ram finansowych po 2020 r. Chciałbym usłyszeć jasną deklarację Komisji w tej sprawie oraz precyzyjną odpowiedź na pytanie Komisji Rozwoju Regionalnego.


  Ana Miranda, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group I would like to thank Mr van Nistelrooij for this initiative. It is important that we have the opportunity today to speak about the performance reserve for the European Structural Funds. Commissioner Hahn, you may remember that the Verts/ALE Group supported the performance reserve in the current funding period. We are convinced that it’s very useful for the quality of the funding programmes. It is based on a new focus on results and milestones that have to be achieved. Some – if not all – regions and territories have done their job and are working hard towards the results by putting in place support for energy transition, creating new jobs and continuing to fight poverty and social exclusion. They have done everything the Commission asked of them, and now, Commissioner Hahn, the same Commission wants to take away the money that was put in reserve to honour their efforts? Seriously? Commissioner, the latest proposal from the Commission on the performance reserve has damaged the credibility of the European Union in the regions. For the Verts/ALE Group it is not acceptable to destroy the performance system at the moment, when it is at full speed. The regions have committed themselves to quality spending and result orientation. The Commission must not discourage them. More in general, Commissioner, we observe that the Commission continues to propose new budgetary instruments. So what is the Commission doing to resolve the problem? Deviating resources that have already been allocated? We fundamentally disagree with this approach.


  Rosa D'Amato, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, lo diciamo senza giri di parole: dirottare ben 21 miliardi – circa 2,4 per l'Italia – destinati alla politica di coesione, e quindi alla coesione economica, sociale e territoriale, per rivolgerli ad altri obiettivi, tipo privatizzazioni o Jobs Act, è l'ennesimo schiaffo ai nostri territori, che mai come adesso hanno bisogno di investimenti per lo sviluppo.

Il Movimento 5 Stelle, sulle riforme strutturali, è assolutamente contrario a tutte quelle misure che intaccano il welfare state, inclusi gli interventi sul mercato del lavoro, mentre siamo aperti a misure relative, ad esempio, al miglioramento sulla capacità amministrativa o alla lotta all'evasione fiscale.

Le elezioni italiane hanno dimostrato che i cittadini non vogliono queste riforme calate dall'alto, che servono solo le multinazionali per abbassare i diritti dei cittadini. Siamo rimasti francamente sorpresi dalla proposta della Commissione di liberare anticipatamente queste risorse per destinarle, tra l'altro, alle riforme strutturali. Non capiamo la fretta, tanto più che le norme attuali prevedono che una verifica avrà luogo soltanto nel 2019. Le riforme strutturali non hanno nulla a che vedere con la ratio della politica di coesione.

Chiediamo alla Commissione di ascoltare le richieste e gli appelli che arrivano dalle autorità regionali e locali, quindi non tagliare i fondi della coesione, non distorcere gli obiettivi di queste preziose risorse che servono alle regioni più povere. Faremo di tutto, anche grazie alla forza che arriva dai cittadini italiani, per trasformare questa Europa in una terra in cui nessuno – nessuno – rimarrà indietro.


  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Commissioner back to regional development. I would also compliment my good friend, Lambert van Nistelrooij, on the great work he has done in this area for many years. When he speaks, he speaks with authority and knowledge and we would be well advised to listen to him.

Therefore, I believe it is necessary to call on the Commission to commence the performance review earlier for programmes that are ahead of schedule. In Ireland, for instance, we have established many programmes with ESI funding for 2014—2020. For recovering from the recession in 2008, the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning, for example, has been a fantastic development in providing employment training and educational opportunities. This programmes aims to help one million people integrate into the working world and encourages a continuation of third level education, including those with disabilities and those with financial disadvantages. The programmes implemented aim for sustainable and quality employment. Some examples of these programmes include training for the unemployed and Springboard Plus, which offer free part—time and full—time conversion courses at certificate, degree and postgraduate level.

However, in order to keep on track and continue progressing, it is important that performance reviews be delivered. These programmes have been funded by ESI, so I think these reviews should be made earlier than 2019 for the programmes ahead of schedule. The European Regional Development Fund has had a significant impact in decentralising development from main cities and spreading this development into rural parts of the country by developing the Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme and the Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme. It is important for these programmes to be reviewed so that their strengths and weaknesses can be established and work done rather than endlessly spending EU funding without knowing if it is actually effective.

So I would encourage the Commission to consider commencing these performance reviews before 2019, in order to avoid a backlog, and to allow the performance reserve to be utilised effectively.


Spontane Wortmeldungen


  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, vreau să o felicit pe colega mea, în primul rând, pentru întrebarea adresată și, ca un om care a lucrat în business, spun că a bloca 21 de miliarde și a nu le da acolo unde trebuie, mi se pare absolut de neacceptat și nu înțeleg motivația dumneavoastră, domnule comisar, potrivit căreia n-ați putea începe mai repede evaluările, pentru că ar crea o birocrație suplimentară pentru cei care trebuie să raporteze. Păi consultați statele, consultați regiunile și o să vedeți că vor vrea să raporteze.

Orice întârziere în a da niște bani pe reforme înseamnă o pierdere. Și nu mai înțeleg un lucru - cum să existe ideea de a lua acești bani, am înțeles din luările de cuvânt de aici? Factorul motivațional: a fost gândită această sumă pentru a se da pentru cei care au performanță. Și, sigur că nu pot să nu fac referire la ce a spus colega noastră, că nu au legătură reformele structurale cu politica de coeziune, mi se pare straniu. Vă rog, domnule comisar, să ne răspundeți.


(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)


  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, the performance framework and the reserve are among the main elements of the reinforced result—orientation of cohesion policy in the current period and the Commission remains committed to the strong performance orientation of ESI funds. For reasons of consistency, coherence, simplification and having a level playing field across Member States, it is essential to maintain uniform conditions for applying the performance framework and to ensure that the achievement of milestones is assessed at the same time.

Let me reiterate that the Commission is always ready to listen to ideas and proposals from the European Parliament. Mr President, honourable Members, thank you for this debate. May I say very personally that you can be reassured that, as a former Commissioner for this policy and having invested a lot of energy in the reform of this policy, I still have a very close eye on it and on performance in particular.


  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Dernière mise à jour: 16 juillet 2018Avis juridique - Politique de confidentialité