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Parliamentary questions
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21 April 2010
Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-1637/2010

As per the date of accession, the former ISPA projects of Bulgaria and Romania are assimilated to projects of the 2000‑06 Cohesion Fund. Therefore, any extension of their eligibility period can only be considered in the light of the rules applicable to the Cohesion Fund, in particular the ‘Guidelines on the closure of Cohesion Fund and Ex‑ISPA projects 2000‑06’(1). In these Guidelines it is stated that the Commission will not, as a general rule, set the final eligibility date beyond 31 December 2010.

Notably in the light of the financial crisis that has set in since 2008, the Commission considers that such a uniform general rule may be too strict. Projects first adopted in the second half of the programming period, from 2004 onwards, were in the midst or even only at the start of their implementation when the financial crisis set in. This may have had severe consequences in terms of providing the necessary national public or private co-financing and of the ability of beneficiaries to respect the original schedule of works, notably where it concerns very large projects.

Therefore the Commission has the intention to introduce a certain degree of flexibility when it comes to setting the final eligibility date. The date of 31 December 2010 will continue to be the general rule for projects first adopted before 2004. Exceptionally, an extension up to 31 December 2011 can be allowed for projects first adopted from 1 January 2004 onwards. An extension up to 31 December 2012 could be allowed for projects first adopted from 1 January 2004 onwards with a Cohesion Fund assistance of at least EUR 100 million (i.e. the very large projects).

This flexibility would be allowed, provided certain conditions are met. Any adjustment of the final eligibility date will only be accepted on the basis of a duly justified request, which would have to demonstrate that the project can be completed within the new deadline. Moreover, in the case of very large projects a detailed timetable for the implementation of the project will be requested, which should serve to monitor progress and correct any deviations as soon as they might occur.

(1)SEC(2008)415, in particular point 1.2.

Aviso jurídico - Política de privacidad