Parliamentary questions
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10 September 2021
Question for oral answer  O-000061/2021
to the Council
Rule 136
Younous Omarjee
on behalf of the Committee on Regional Development
 Subject: The Council’s lack of will to move the European cross‑border mechanism forward

The proposal for a European cross‑border mechanism (ECBM) regulation published in May 2018 by the Commission on the recommendation of the former Luxembourgish Council presidency (COM(2018)0373), would have set up a mechanism to allow, in a cross‑border region, for the application in one Member State of the legal provisions of another, where the application of the legal provisions of the former would constitute a legal obstacle hampering the implementation of a joint project.

This would have applied to specific projects or actions limited in time, taking place within a border region and initiated by local and/or regional public authorities. According to both the internal Commission case analysis and an external applied science study by Medeiros et al. in Regional Studies, the enactment of the proposed regulation in question could help to overcome at least 30 %, and likely even 50 %, of the analysed obstacles to cross‑border cooperation.

On 2 October 2019, following a first-reading adoption, Parliament voted to open negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement. Its position included specific formulations that would have ensured the voluntary application of the above‑described solutions, in order to address the likely concerns of the Member States.

In the Council, conversely, the Working Party on Structural Measures held a number of exchanges of views on the proposal, both before and after having considered the opinion of the Council’s legal service. On 10 May 2021, the working party decided that the Council would not continue work on the proposal.

1. When will the Council unblock the legislative process for the European cross‑border mechanism and what was the exact reasoning behind its decision to de facto block the adoption of the proposed ECBM regulation in the face of Parliament’s openness and willingness to adopt it?

2. Is the Council aware of the analyses and studies clearly showing the negative consequences of not adopting the proposed ECBM regulation?

3. Considering that the adoption of the ECBM has the potential to overcome at least 30 % of the obstacles to cross‑border cooperation, thereby improving the lives of many EU citizens, what does the Council propose as an alternative to the ECBM in order to overcome these obstacles?

Submitted: 10.9.2021

Lapses: 11.12.2021

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