Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission
1. The Commission has received in late 2009 and early 2010 the first national strategic reports. The national reports made publicly available by the Member States are available on this web page: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/policy/reporting/index_en.htm
Those reports contain information on ‘allocations to selected operations.’
The concept of allocations to selected operations implies that the selection criteria of the programme have been applied and a financial volume of projects has been selected. The concept of ‘allocation to selected operations’ is not necessarily identical to different national concepts of contracting (which can imply signed grant agreements, finalised procurement procedures and so on). The national and regional Managing authorities do not report and therefore the Commission does not systematically collect information on contracting at programme level.
The Commission summarised and analysed the national reports and the data provided in the context of the preparation of the Commission's strategic report 2010. The Commission's report adopted on 31 March 2010 shows that allocation to already selected projects amounts to more than 93 billion EUR or over 27 % of the total financial resources for the current programming period across the Member States. This provides an insight to the ‘project pipeline,’ and it gives information on the progress in the implementation of cohesion programmes 2007‑13 in the Member States against the EU average. The Strategic report 2010 and its accompany documents are available on this web page: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/policy/reporting/cs_reports_en.htm
2. The attached tables present the level of spending for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) under the current programming period 2007‑13 allocated to all 27 Member States.
An overall amount of EUR 344.3 billion has been decided for the three Funds for the 2007‑13 programming period, out of which ERDF represents in total EUR 198.8 billion or 57.7 % of total decided (including EUR 7.8 billion or 3.9 % for EU cross-border cooperation), Cohesion Fund EUR 69.6 billion (or 20.2 % of total decided) and ESF EUR 75.9 billion (or 22.1 %).
By mid‑February 2010, out of this total amount of EUR 344.3 billion decided, a total amount of EUR 188.3 billion has been committed which represents some 54.7 % of the total decided amount. The commitments vary from one fund to another (ERDF: 56.3 %, ESF: 55.2 % and the Cohesion Fund is at 49.8 %). Please note that the commitments for each individual programme are made by the Commission automatically on an annual basis and this should take place by 30 April of the corresponding year (see art 75.1 of Regulation 1083/2006). Accordingly, 100 % execution of commitments is expected in the last commitment year, i.e. 2013.
In terms of payments, differences of absorption per individual fund and per individual Member State are reflected in the table sent to the Honourable Member and to Parliament's Secretariat, under columns ‘paid’ in absolute values and ‘paid/decided’ as a percentage of the total allocation per Member State. The notion of ‘paid’ corresponds to the pre-financing payments (made in 2007, 2008 and 2009), as well as reimbursements to the Member States of the corresponding community contribution in relation to the actual expenditure occurred on the ground and claimed to the Commission. By mid‑February 2010, a total amount of EUR 45.3 billion has been paid, which represents some 13.2 % of the total decided amount. Payments differ also from one fund to another (ERDF: 12.5 %, ESF: 14.4 % and the Cohesion Fund: 13.6 %).
-  Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, OJ L 210, 31.7.2006.