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Parliamentary questions
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30 September 2016
Question for written answer E-007469-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz (ALDE)

 Subject:  Penalties for Spain's failure to comply with deficit rules
 Answer in writing 

The options on the table as regards what penalty to impose on Spain for failing to comply with the deficit rules (Spain’s deficit is 5.1%, whereas the agreed limit is 4.2%) include a financial penalty under Article 126 TFEU. The Commission has apparently rejected that option. Instead, under Article 23(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 laying down common provisions on EU funds, the Commission has drawn up a list of 60 education, training, rural development and infrastructure investment programmes that could be frozen. Cuts to those programmes could amount to EUR 1.1 billion of the 14.497 billion that Spain is to receive in 2016. It is estimated that the net figure Spain receives from the EU is 740 million, this means that a country with almost 20% unemployment would become a net contributor.

This is worrying, because various organisations need those funds to tackle social exclusion, including as regards immigrants, disabled people and the Roma minority.

Does the Commission think that Spain has taken ‘effective action’ since July, meaning that the country can avoid penalties?

Given Spain’s unemployment figures and the potential economic impact of the suspension (Article 23(11) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013), will the Commission make cuts without affecting ‘programmes of critical importance to address adverse economic or social conditions’?

Original language of question: ES 
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