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Parliamentary questions
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28 February 2019
E-006233/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006233/2018

1. The Commission elaborated a Policy Report ‘EU coal regions: opportunities and challenges ahead’(1) which lists 41 European regions with active coalmines(2).

2. Cohesion policy is the main European Union policy instrument to address structural changes in Europe’s regions, working in partnership with actors on the ground. 2014-2020 cohesion policy programmes(3) invest in a wide range of areas, through an integrated, place-based approach, that contribute to growth and jobs in EU coal regions.

The potential resources available have been estimated with regard to the current pilot regions(4) of the Coal Regions in Transition Initiative(5) at around EUR 20 billion. The Commission is currently not in a position to provide a breakdown by region, as these are estimates pending the implementation of ongoing and future projects. Final amounts will only be known once project selection has been completed.

3. For 2021-2027, cohesion policy support to coal regions remains a priority, highlighted by the proposed thematic concentration of the European Regional Development Fund on the policy objectives for a smarter and a greener, low-carbon Europe. The legislative proposal(6) does not provide for allocations to specific coal mining regions.

Cohesion policy support will eventually be granted to regions that identify within their programmes challenges and needs linked to their industrial reconversion. In order to target resources towards coal regions in transition, the Commission will recommend an earmarking of resources within programmes.

(1)European Commission, Joint Research Centre, https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/eu-coal-regions-opportunities-and-challenges-ahead, list in Annex 3.
(2)As of 2015.
(3)Including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund. For further details: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/programmes/.
(4)Karlovarský, Ústecký, Moravskoslezský (CZ), Brandenburg, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt (DE), Dytiki Makedonia (EL), Principado de Asturias, Castilla y León, Aragón (ES), Valea Jiului (RO), Śląsk (PL), Trenčín (SK).
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/oil-gas-and-coal/coal-and-other-solid-fuels
(6)COM(2018) 375 final, 2018/0196 (COD), 29.5.2018.

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