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Parliamentary questions
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23 September 2019
Question for written answer E-002909-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  The Commission's Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)
 Answer in writing 

The Commission’s Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) provides around EUR 40 million in funding each year for research and innovation projects related to the coal and steel industries.

In June this year, documents obtained by the European Environmental Bureau revealed that funds for one project, CoalTech2051, were being spent on the wages of staff working for EURACOAL, the European coal industry’s Brussels lobby group. It also emerged that both EURACOAL and another company, RWE, have benefited from RFCS funding despite being represented in the Coal Advisory Group (CAG), which advises the Commission on setting RFCS priorities.

1. Could the Commission explain how the RFCS and its current projects are compatible with the Commission’s aim of contributing to the Paris Agreement and how RFCS would contribute to its Green New Deal for Europe proposal?

2. Can it provide a full report on the progress of the monitoring and assessment exercise currently being carried out, as well as the efforts that have been made to ensure this exercise is conducted openly and transparently?

3. Could it also explain what, if any, steps have been taken to avoid conflicts of interest between CAG members and RFCS beneficiaries?

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