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Parliamentary questions
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16 March 2016
Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-000697/2016

The legal framework(1) of the reformed EU cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 period requires that certain pre-conditions for funding (called ex-ante conditionalities) are met to ensure effective and efficient use of Union support. For the waste sector, this means that the planned measures for the waste sector included in the programming documents (i.e. Partnership agreements and programmes) are in line with the waste management plans(2) designed by Member States to meet their recycling targets. Following this, priority is given to activities and projects promoting separate collection, recycling and composting and, as appropriate, waste to energy for non-recyclable waste.

In that respect, funding for new facilities for incineration or mechanical biological treatment is to be granted in limited and well justified cases, where there is no risk of overcapacity and the objectives of the waste hierarchy are fully respected. All these are key principles of the Circular economy package(3) and are, to a large extent, already incorporated in the existing EU cohesion policy Partnership Agreements and programmes.

The Commission is reviewing the waste management plans and is using the tools (e.g. EU pilot, infringement procedure) available at its disposal to ensure that these are in line with the existing EU waste legislation. Under the shared management, the Commission is reviewing only projects of total eligible costs above EUR 50 million(4). If such projects to build the facilities mentioned by the Honourable Member are submitted to the Commission for the EU Cohesion policy financing under the programming period 2014-2020, the Commission will assess them on the basis of the framework explained above.

(1)i.e. Article 19 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013.
(2)As required under Article 28 of Directive 2008/98/EC.
(3)COM(2015)0614 final.
(4)Called major projects as specified in Article 100 of the regulation (EU) No 1303/2013.

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