Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 - Strasbourg
Closure of the accounts for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) for the financial year 2016
 EU-Morocco Agreement on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement (Resolution)
 EU-Morocco Agreement on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement ***
 EU-China Agreement in connection with the WTO dispute settlement proceedings DS492 - Measures affecting tariff concessions on certain poultry meat products ***
 European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) ***I
 European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) ***I
 Specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) ***I
 Apportionment of tariff rate quotas included in the WTO schedule of the Union following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union ***I
 Union's authorisation procedure for pesticides
 Establishing a dedicated financial programme for decommissioning of nuclear facilities and management of radioactive waste *
 Implementation report on the trade pillar of the Association Agreement with Central America
 Establishing the InvestEU Programme ***I
 EU Emergency Travel Document *
 Euratom Research and Training programme 2021- 2025 *
 European Central Bank Annual report 2017
 Banking Union - Annual report 2018
 Implementation of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement
 Situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2017

Closure of the accounts for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) for the financial year 2016
PDF 115kWORD 42k
European Parliament decision of 16 January 2019 on the closure of the accounts of the European Asylum Support Office for the financial year 2016 (2018/2938(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0015B8-0052/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Asylum Support Office for the financial year 2016,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Asylum Support Office for the financial year 2016, together with the Office’s reply(1),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(2) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2016, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 20 February 2018 on discharge to be given to the Office in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2016 (05941/2018 – C8-0087/2018),

–  having regard to its decision of 18 April 2018(3) postponing the discharge decision for the financial year 2016, and the reply from the Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office,

–  having regard to its decision of 24 October 2018(4) refusing to grant the Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office discharge for the financial year 2016,

–  having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(5), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 439/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 establishing a European Asylum Support Office(6), in particular Article 36 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of, and the second paragraph of Article 5(2)(a) of Annex IV to, its Rules of Procedure,

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Asylum Support Office for the financial year 2016;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 417, 6.12.2017, p. 79.
(2) OJ C 417, 6.12.2017, p. 79.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0140.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0406.
(5) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 132, 29.5.2010, p. 11.
(7) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.


EU-Morocco Agreement on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement (Resolution)
PDF 141kWORD 59k
European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part (10593/2018 – C8-0463/2018 – 2018/0256M(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0016A8-0478/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10593/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(i), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0463/2018),

–  having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part,

–  having regard to the Agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products and fishery products, also referred to as the Liberalisation Agreement, which entered into force on 1 September 2013,

–  having regard to the General Court judgment (Case T-512/12) of 10 December 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judgment (Case C-104/16 P) of 21 December 2016,

–  having regard to Commission staff working document SWD(2018)0346 of 11 June 2018, which accompanies the proposal for a Council decision,

–  having regard to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969 and its Articles 34 and 36,

–  having regard to the report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara to the United Nations Security Council (S/2018/277),

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolution 2414 (2018) on the situation concerning Western Sahara (S/RES/2414 (2018)),

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations, in particular to its Article 73 in Chapter XI regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular its Article 21 in Chapter 1, Title V,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular its Article 218(6)(a),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 16 January 2019(1) on the draft Council decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade, the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and the position in the form of amendments of the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0478/2018),

A.  whereas the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco enjoy historical relations and maintain close cooperation developed through a broad partnership that covers political, economic and social aspects, as strengthened by the advanced status and the willingness of both parties to further develop it;

B.  whereas the Liberalisation Agreement between the EU and Morocco entered into force on 1 September 2013; whereas the Front Polisario referred the agreement to the CJEU on 19 November 2012 for violating international law in applying to the territory of Western Sahara;

C.  whereas on 10 December 2015 the first instance of the Court repealed the Council decision to conclude the Liberalisation Agreement; whereas the Council unanimously appealed this judgment on 19 February 2016;

D.  whereas the CJEU General Court in its judgment of 21 December 2016 determined that the Liberalisation Agreement did not provide a legal basis for Western Sahara to be included, and therefore could not apply to this territory;

E.  whereas paragraph 106 of the judgment states that the people of Western Sahara must be regarded as a ‘third party’ to the agreement – within the meaning of the principle of the relative effect of treaties – whose consent must be received for the implementation of the agreement to the territory; whereas, therefore, this agreement could not extend its application to the territory of Western Sahara in the absence of a further agreement;

F.  whereas operators can still export to the European Union from Western Sahara, but since 21 December 2016 tariff preferences do not apply to products originating from this territory;

G.  whereas there is insufficient information available that would enable the EU customs authorities to determine whether products exported from Morocco originate in Western Sahara, therefore preventing compliance with the CJEU ruling;

H.  whereas, following the CJEU judgment, the Council gave the Commission a mandate to modify protocols 1 and 4 of the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement in order to allow for the inclusion of Western Saharan products; whereas their inclusion by definition necessitates some form of traceability to identify such products;

I.  whereas it is essential to ensure that the Agreement complies with the judgment of the CJEU of 21 December 2016 in Case C-104/16P;

J.  whereas the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) consulted, in Brussels and in Rabat, elected officials and several representatives and associations of civil society from the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara;

K.  whereas Parliament considered it necessary to go and assess the situation at first hand and gain an understanding of the different views of the people; whereas it recalled the conclusions of the fact-finding mission of its Committee on International Trade (INTA) to the territory on 2 and 3 September 2018;

L.  whereas the modification of the Liberalisation Agreement takes place within a broader political and geopolitical context;

M.  whereas, following the end of Spanish colonialisation of Western Sahara, the conflict in the area has lasted for more than forty years;

N.  whereas Western Sahara is considered by the United Nations as a non-decolonised territory;

O.  whereas United Nations Security Council resolution 2440 (2018) prolonged the MINURSO mandate for an additional six-month period;

P.  whereas the EU and its Member States do not recognise the sovereignty of Morocco over the territory of Western Sahara; whereas the United Nations and the African Union recognise the Front Polisario as the representative of the people of Western Sahara;

Q.  whereas the United Nations lists Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory for the purposes of Article 73 of its Charter;

1.  Recalls that Morocco is a privileged EU partner in the Southern Neighbourhood, with which the EU has built up a strong, strategic and long-lasting partnership that covers political, economic and social aspects, as well as security and migration; highlights that Morocco has been granted advanced status within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP);

2.  Stresses that it is important for this agreement to give guarantees regarding respect for international law, including human rights, and to comply with the relevant ruling by the CJEU;

3.  Recalls the obligation under Article 21 of the TEU for the EU and its Member States to respect the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law; underlines, in this respect, that Article 1(2) of the UN Charter includes respect for the principle of the self-determination of peoples;

4.  Recalls that, according to Article 21 of the TEU, the Union’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles of democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law;

5.  Stresses that this agreement does not imply any form of recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, presently listed by the United Nations as a non-self-governing territory, large parts of which are currently administered by the Kingdom of Morocco, and insists that the EU’s position remains that of supporting UN efforts to secure a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict in Western Sahara that will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and the relevant UN resolutions; reiterates, therefore, its full support to the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr Horst Köhler, in helping to bring the parties back to the UN negotiation table in order to achieve this settlement; calls on the parties to resume these negotiations without preconditions and in good faith; emphasises that ratification of the amended Liberalisation Agreement between the EU and Morocco has to be strictly without prejudice to the outcome of the peace process over Western Sahara;

6.  Points out that a meeting of the parties involved in the conflict was held in Geneva in early December on the initiative of the UN and with the participation of Algeria and Mauritania, and hopes that meeting will help kick-start the peace process;

7.  Recognises the two conditions set in the CJEU judgment, to explicitly mention Western Sahara in the Agreement text and to obtain the consent of the people, as well as the third criterion added by the Council which is the need to ensure that it benefits the local population;

8.  Stresses, as stated in the Commission report, that all reasonable and feasible steps have been taken to inquire about the consent of the population concerned, through these inclusive consultations;

9.  Underlines that throughout the consultation process the Commission and the EEAS maintained regular contact with the team of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara;

10.  Takes note of the legitimate interests of the people in the territory and believes that a respected and accepted end to the ongoing conflict is required for the territory’s economic development; is, at the same time, convinced that the Sahrawi people has the right to develop while awaiting a political solution;

11.  Notes, in talks with various local actors and civil society representatives, that some parties express their support to the agreement by defending their right to economic development, while others consider that the settlement of the political conflict should precede the granting of trade preferences; notes that, during inclusive consultations led by the Commission and the EEAS with a range of Western Saharan organisations and other organisations and bodies, majority support was expressed, by the parties participating, for the socio-economic benefits the proposed tariff preferences would bring;

12.  Recalls that the CJEU did not specify in its judgment how the people’s consent has to be expressed and considers therefore that some uncertainty remains as regards this criterion;

13.  Recognises that the agreement can lead to the promotion of social and sustainable development which makes a key contribution to current economic, social and environmental development and to the potential creation of both low- and high-skilled local employment opportunities; notes that an estimated 59 000 or so jobs are dependent on exports, corresponding to roughly 10 % of the population living in the territory;

14.  Believes that the EU tariff preferences have had a positive impact on the agricultural and fisheries products sectors and their export levels in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara; calls, however, for caution in checking that these produce local value added, are locally re-invested, and provide decent work opportunities for the local population;

15.  Is convinced that, notwithstanding the outcome of the peace process, the local population will profit from economic development and the spill-over effects created in terms of investment in infrastructure, employment, health and education;

16.  Acknowledges the existing investment in several sectors, and the endeavours to develop green technologies such as renewables and the seawater desalination plant, but insists that further efforts are necessary to ensure increased inclusion in all parts of the local economy;

17.  Recognises business initiatives by Sahrawis, especially those coming from young people, many of whom are women, and highlights their need for extended export opportunities and legal certainty in order to allow for further investment in sectors with high employment demand, such as agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure;

18.  Recognises the strategic potential of Western Sahara as an investment hub for the rest of the African continent;

19.  Warns of the adverse effects of the non-application of tariff preferences on products from the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, and the message this sends to the younger generation investing or willing to invest in the territory and its potential to develop it; underlines the risk of activities being relocated to regions where they would benefit from the preferences; notes that, according to the Commission, the non-application of tariff preferences could worsen the economic and social situation of the local population in the territories concerned;

20.  Is convinced that an EU presence through, inter alia, this agreement is preferable to withdrawal when it comes to engagement in promoting and monitoring of human rights and individual freedoms, and demands a rigorous assessment and dialogue with Morocco on these issues;

21.  Recalls that other parts of the world that have a less ambitious approach to sustainable development, high labour and social standards and human rights are knocking on the door for new trade opportunities and will gain increased influence wherever the EU withdraws;

22.  Highlights that the EU’s ongoing engagement in the territory will have a positive leverage effect on its sustainable development;

23.  Underlines that legal certainty is essential to attract sustainable and long-term investment in the territory and hence for the dynamism and diversification of the local economy;

24.  Recalls that, since the CJEU judgment, Member States cannot legally apply trade preferences to products from the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara and that the legal uncertainty affecting economic operators has to come to an end;

25.  Is aware and very concerned that, until now, it has been extremely difficult to identify which products are exported from the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara;

26.  Emphasises that a key criterion for Parliament before giving its consent to the agreement is to ensure that a mechanism will be put in place for Member States’ customs authorities to have access to reliable information on products originating in Western Sahara and imported into the EU, in full compliance with EU customs legislation; emphasises that such a mechanism will make available detailed and disaggregated statistical data provided timely on such exports; regrets the fact that the Commission and Morocco took a long time to agree to such a mechanism and calls on the Commission to use all corrective measures available should the implementation of the agreement not be satisfactory; urges the Commission to present to Parliament an annual assessment of the conformity of this mechanism with EU customs legislation;

27.  Highlights that, without this agreement in force, including the mechanism allowing for the identification of products, it will be impossible to know whether, and how many, products originating in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara are entering the European market;

28.  Emphasises that the implementation of the provision agreed between the EU and Morocco on the annual mutual exchange of information and statistics concerning products covered by the Exchange of Letters is necessary to evaluate the scope of the Agreement and its impact on development and local populations;

29.  Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to closely monitor the implementation and result of the agreement and to regularly report their findings to Parliament;

30.  Calls on the Commission to explore ways in which trade preferences can be effectively granted in the future to the entirety of the people living in Western Sahara;

31.  Points out that the EU and Morocco have negotiated, as set out in the initial agreement concluded in 2012, an ambitious and comprehensive agreement on protecting the geographical indications and designations of origin of agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products that provides for the protection by Morocco of the full list of the EU’s geographical indications; points out, furthermore, that the procedure for concluding the agreement, which began in 2015, was suspended following the Court’s judgment of 21 December 2016; calls on the EU and Morocco to resume that procedure immediately and to return swiftly to the DCFTA negotiations;

32.  Emphasises that the preferential treatment granted for certain Moroccan fruit and vegetable exports to the EU under the agreement of 8 March 2012 concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products is a particularly sensitive matter for Europe’s horticulture industry;

33.  Emphasises that access to the EU’s internal market by all third countries should comply with EU sanitary, phytosanitary, traceability and environmental rules and standards;

34.  Asks the Commission to promote equivalency of measures and controls between Morocco and the European Union in the area of sanitary, phytosanitary, traceability and environmental standards as well as labelling of origin rules, in order to guarantee fair competition between the two markets;

35.  Recalls that the updated agreement does not alter the tariff rate quotas and the preferential import regime previously established, and only provides European producers with clarification on the geographical scope of the agreement;

36.  Draws attention to the fact that some of the fruit and vegetables exported preferentially to the EU under the terms of the agreement in question (including tomatoes and melons) come from the territory of Western Sahara, and points out that ambitious plans have been drawn up with a view to further developing such production and exports;

37.  Takes note, nevertheless, of the clarification that the new agreement provides, and hopes that it will be able henceforth to provide a clear, stable framework between the parties of this agreement and for the economic operators concerned on both sides of the Mediterranean;

38.  Notes that the monitoring of sensitive agricultural products and the strict application of quotas are fundamental to the balanced functioning of the agreement; points out that Article 7 of Protocol 1 to the 2012 Agreement contains a safeguard clause making it possible for appropriate steps to be taken where imports of large quantities of agricultural products classed as sensitive under the agreement cause serious market distortion and/or serious harm to the industry concerned; hopes that preferential imports into the EU of sensitive agricultural products from Morocco and Western Sahara will be subject to appropriate and broad monitoring by the Commission, and that the Commission will still be ready to activate immediately the aforementioned clause where an established need arises;

39.  Takes note of the fact that EU fishing vessels operating in the waters concerned are legally obliged to have a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and that it is mandatory to transmit the position of a vessel to the Moroccan authorities, making it fully possible to track the vessels and to record where their fishing activities take place;

40.  Calls on the EU to step up efforts to foster regional cooperation among the Maghreb countries, which can only have tremendous positive implications for the region and beyond;

41.  Points to the strategic need for the EU to engage more closely with the countries in the Maghreb region and develop its ties with them; views the extension of the Association Agreement in this context as a logical component of this strategy;

42.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0017.


EU-Morocco Agreement on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement ***
PDF 119kWORD 39k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part (10593/2018 – C8-0463/2018 – 2018/0256(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0017A8-0471/2018

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10593/2018),

–  having regard to the draft agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco on the amendment of Protocols 1 and 4 to the Euro‑Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part (10597/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(i), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0463/2018),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 16 January 2019(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0471/2018),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of Morocco.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA-PROV(2019)0016.


EU-China Agreement in connection with the WTO dispute settlement proceedings DS492 - Measures affecting tariff concessions on certain poultry meat products ***
PDF 115kWORD 42k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the People's Republic of China in connection with DS492 European Union - Measures affecting Tariff Concessions on Certain Poultry Meat Products (10882/2018 – C8-0496/2018 – 2018/0281(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0018A8-0472/2018

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10882/2018),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union and the People's Republic of China in connection with DS492 European Union - Measures affecting Tariff Concessions on Certain Poultry Meat Products (10883/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with first subparagraph of Article 207(4) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0496/2018),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0472/2018),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the People’s Republic of China.


European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) ***I
PDF 280kWORD 97k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) (COM(2018)0380 – C8-0231/2018 – 2018/0202(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0019A8-0445/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0380),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 175(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0231/2018),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 December 2018(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 5 December 2018(2),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Regional Development, and the position in the form of amendments of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0445/2018),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 16 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) .../... of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for Transition (EFT) [Am. 1. This amendment applies throughout the text]

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0202


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular the third paragraph of Article 175 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(3),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(4),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(5),

Whereas:

(1)  Horizontal principles as set out in Article 3 of the Treaty on the European Union ('TEU') and in Article Articles 9 and 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), including principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in Article 5 TEU should be respected in the implementation of the Funds, taking into account the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In accordance with Article 8 TFEU, Member States and the Commission should aim at eliminating inequalities and at promoting equality between men and women and integrating the gender perspective, as well as at combating discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The objectives of the Funds should be pursued in the framework of sustainable development and the Union's promotion of the aim of preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment as set out in Articles 11 and 191(1) TFEU, taking into account the polluter pays principle. [Am. 2]

(2)  On 17 November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights(6) was jointly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission as a response to social challenges in Europe. Taking into account the changing realities of the world of work, the Union shall be made ready for the current and future challenges of globalisation and digitisation, making growth more inclusive and by improving employment and social policies. The twenty key principles of the Pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; social protection and inclusion. The European Pillar of Social Rights shall act as an overarching guiding framework of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Transition (EGFEFT), allowing the Union to set the relevant principles into practice in the case of major restructuring events.

(3)  On 20 June 2017, the Council endorsed the Union response(7) to the ‘UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’(8) — a sustainable European future. The Council underlined the importance of achieving sustainable development across the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental), in a balanced and integrated way. It is vital that sustainable development is mainstreamed in the European policy framework, and that the Union is ambitious in the policies it uses to address global challenges. The Council welcomed the Commission Communication on ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future’ of 22 November 2016 as a first step in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals and applying sustainable development as an essential guiding principle for all Union policies, including through its financing instruments.

(4)  In February 2018, the Commission adopted its Communication on ‘A new, modern Multiannual Financial Framework for a European Union that delivers efficiently on its priorities post-2020’(9). The Communication stresses that the Union budget shall support Europe’s unique social market economy. Therefore, it will be of utmost importance to improve employment opportunities and to address the skills challenges, especially also those linked to digitisation, automatisation and a transition towards a resource-efficient economy, fully respecting the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change following the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Budgetary flexibility shall be a key principle in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Flexibility mechanisms shall remain in place to allow the Union to react in a more timely manner to unforeseen events, and to ensure that budgetary resources are used where most urgently needed. [Am. 3]

(5)  In its ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’(10) the Commission expresses concerns regarding isolationist movements, growing doubts over the benefits of open trade and the Union’s social market economy in general.

(6)  In its ‘Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation’(11) the Commission identifies the combination of trade related globalisation and technological change as the major drivers of an increased demand for skilled labour and a reduced number of jobs that require lower qualifications. Despite the overall tremendous advantages of more open trade and further integration of world economies, these While acknowledging the advantages of more open trade, appropriate means are needed to address related negative side effects need to be tackled. As the current benefits of globalisation are already unequally distributed among people and regions, causing a significant impact on those adversely affected, there is a danger that the ever faster evolving technological advances and environmental changes will further fuel these effects. Therefore, in line with the principles of solidarity and sustainability, it will be necessary to ensure that the benefits of globalisation will be are shared more fairly. Any simultaneous adverse effects of globalisation and technological and environmental transitions should be more widely anticipated by the relevant Union Structural Funds, such as the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), in order better to adapt the business world and workforces by reconciling economic opening growth and technological advance with adequate social protection and active support to accessing employment and self-employment opportunities. [Am. 4]

(7)  In its ‘Reflection Paper on the Future of Union Finances’(12) the Commission underlines the need to reduce economic and social divergences between and within Member States. Therefore, a key priority is to invest in sustainable development, equality, social inclusion, education and training as well as health. [Am. 5]

(8)  Globalisation Climate Change, globalisation and technological change is are likely to further increase the interconnectedness and interdependence of world economies. Labour reallocation is an integral and inevitable part of such economic change. If the benefits of change are to be distributed fairly, offering assistance to displaced workers and those threatened by displacement is of utmost importance. The main Union instruments to assist affected workers are ESF+, which is designed to offer assistance in an anticipatory way, and the EFT, which is designed to offer assistance in the case of major restructuring events in a reactive manner. The ‘EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring’(13), is the Union policy instrument that sets the framework of best practice for anticipating and dealing with corporate restructuring. It offers a comprehensive framework on how the challenges of economic adjustment and restructuring and their employment and social impact should be addressed by adequate policy means. It also calls upon Member States to use EU and national funding in a way to ensure that the social impact of restructuring, especially the adverse effects on employment, can be cushioned more effectively. The main Union instruments to assist workers affected are the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), which is designed to offer assistance in an anticipatory way, and the EGF, which is designed to offer assistance in the case of unexpected major restructuring events in a reactive manner. [Am. 6]

(9)  The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established by Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) for the multiannual financial framework from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The EGF has been set up to enable the Union to show solidarity towards workers who lost their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation.

(10)  The scope of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 was broadened in 2009 by Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(15) as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan to include workers who lost their jobs as a direct consequence of the global financial and economic crisis.

(11)  For the duration of the multiannual financial framework from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020, Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16) extended the scope to cover not only job displacements resulting from a serious economic disruption caused by a continuation of the global financial and economic crisis addressed in Regulation (EC) No 546/2009, but also from any new global financial and economic crisis.

(11a)  The EFT programme should be visible and require more and better data, in order to allow a proper scientific evaluation of the EFT and avoid administrative constraints in the operation of the programme for trade adjustment assistance. [Am. 7]

(12)  The Commission carried out a mid-term evaluation of the EGF to assess how and to what extent the EGF achieves its objectives. The EGF proved to be effective, attaining a higher reintegration rate of displaced workers than in the previous programming period. The evaluation also found that the EGF generated European added value. This is particularly true in terms of its volume effects, meaning that EGF assistance not only increases the number and variety of services offered, but also their level of intensity. Moreover, EGF interventions have high visibility and demonstrate the EU added value of the intervention directly to the general public However, several challenges were identified. On the one hand, the mobilisation procedure was considered to be too long. Furthermore, many Member States reported problems putting together the extensive background analysis of the event that triggered the redundancies. The main reason that keeps Member States that would have had a potential EGF case from applying are financial and institutional capacity problems. On the one hand, it could simply be a lack of manpower — Member States currently can ask for technical assistance only if they implement an EGF case. Since redundancies can happen unexpectedly, it would be important that Member States are ready to react immediately and can submit an application without any delays. Furthermore, in certain Member States, more profound institutional capacity building efforts seem necessary in order to ensure an efficient and effective implementation of EGF cases. The threshold of 500 displaced jobs was criticized as being too high, especially in lesser populated regions(17).

(13)  The Commission underlines the continuing importance of the role of the EGF EFT as a flexible fund to support workers who lose their jobs in large-scale restructuring events and to help them to find another job as rapidly as possible. The Union should continue to provide specific, one-off support to facilitate the re-integration into equality and sustainable employment of displaced workers in areas, sectors, territories or labour markets suffering a shock of serious economic disruption. Considering the interplay and mutual effects of open trade, technological change, digitisation and automation or other factors like the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union or the transition to a low carbon economy, and therefore considering that it is increasingly difficult to single out a specific factor that causes job displacements, the mobilisation of the EGF shall EFT should in the future only be based on the significant impact of a restructuring event. Given its purpose, which is to provide support in situations of urgency and unexpected circumstances, complementing the more anticipatory assistance offered by the ESF+, the EGF shall EFT should remain a flexible and special instrument outside the budgetary ceilings of the Multiannual Financial Framework, as set out in the Commission's communication.' A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends - The Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021–2027' and its annex(18). [Ams 8 and 97]

(13a)  In its resolution of 30 May 2018 on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and own resources, the European Parliament reconfirmed its firm position on the necessary level of funding for key Union policies in the 2021-2027 MFF, in order to enable them to fulfil their mission and objectives. It stressed in particular the call to double the specific MFF funding for SMEs and for tackling youth unemployment; welcomed several proposals that improve the current provisions, notably the increased allocations of special instruments; and stated its intention to negotiate additional improvements, wherever necessary. [Am. 9]

(14)  As stated, in order to maintain the European nature of the EGF EFT, an application for support should be triggered when a major restructuring event causes a significant impact on the local or regional economy. Such an impact should be defined by a minimum number of job displacements within a specific reference period. Taking into account the findings of the mid-term evaluation, the threshold shall be set at 250 200 jobs displacement within a the respective reference period of four months (or 6 months in sectoral cases) periods. Taking into account that waves of dismissals in different sectors but the same region have an equally significant impact on the local labour market, regional applications shall be possible as well. In small labour markets, such as small Member States or remote regions, including the outermost regions as referred in Article 349 of the TFEU, or in exceptional circumstances, it should be possible to submit applications could be submitted in the case of a lower number of job displacements. [Am. 10]

(14a)  While respecting the principle of subsidiarity, and taking into account the need for a significant impact of the restructuring event as a threshold for an EFT application, the EFT should strive to show solidarity with dismissed workers from all types of enterprises, regardless of their size. [Am. 11]

(14b)  The EFT should remain a special Union instrument reacting to situations that cause major restructuring events in the European labour market. However, the Union should continue efforts to find more sustainable ways of tackling the structural change and challenges that affect labour markets and lead to such events in the Member States. [Am. 12]

(15)  In order to express Union solidarity with displaced workers and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased, the co-funding rate of the cost of the package of personalised services and its implementation should equal that of the ESF+ in the respective Member State concerned.

(16)  Part of the budget of the Union allocated to the EGF EFT should be implemented by the Commission under shared management with Member States within the meaning of Regulation (EU, Euratom) [number of the new Financial Regulation] of the European Parliament and of the Council(19) (the 'Financial Regulation'). Therefore, when implementing the EGF EFT under shared management, the Commission and the Member States should respect the principles referred to in the Financial Regulation, such as sound financial management, transparency and non-discrimination.

(17)  The European Monitoring Centre on Change, based in the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) in Dublin, assists the Commission and the Member States with qualitative and quantitative analyses in order to help in the assessment of trends of, such as in globalisation, technological and environmental changes, restructuring and in the use of the EGF EFT. Such analyses should include sufficient disaggregated data, particularly from a gender perspective, in order to combat gender inequalities more efficiently. [Am. 13]

(17a)  Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) monitors in real time the reporting of large-scale restructuring events throughout the Union, based on a network of national correspondents. The ERM is very relevant to the EFT and should assist its operation in particular by helping to identify potential intervention cases at an early stage. [Am. 14]

(18)  Displaced workers and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased should have equal access to the EGF EFT independently of their type of employment contract or employment relationship. Therefore, displaced workers, regardless of the type and duration of their employment relationship, as well as self-employed persons whose activity has ceased should be regarded as possible EGF EFT beneficiaries for the purposes of this Regulation. [Am. 15]

(19)  Financial contributions from the EGF EFT should be primarily directed at active labour market measures and personalised services aimed at reintegrating beneficiaries rapidly into quality and sustainable employment in a future-oriented sector, either whether within or outside their initial sector of activity, but should also seek to promote self-employment and enterprise creation, including through the establishment of cooperatives. Measures should reflect the prospected prospective needs of the local or regional labour market. However, whenever relevant, the mobility of displaced workers should also be supported in order to help find new employment elsewhere. A particular focus shall should be laid on the dissemination of skills required in the digital age, and on overcoming gender stereotypes in employment, where appropriate. The inclusion of pecuniary allowances in a coordinated package of personalised services should be restricted. The financial contributions should complement and not replace any measures which are the responsibility of Member States and/or companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements. Companies could should be encouraged to participate in the national co-funding for the EGF EFT-supported measures. [Am. 16]

(19a)  When implementing and designing coordinated package of personalised services, aimed at facilitating the re-integration of the targeted beneficiaries, Member States should exploit and better target the aims of the Digital Agenda and the Digital Single Market Strategy with a view to addressing the serious gender gap within the ICT and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors by promoting re-training and re-qualification of women into ICT and STEM sectors. When implementing and designing coordinated package of personalised services, Member States should also avoid perpetuating the domination of one gender in those industries and sectors where this has traditionally been the case. Increasing the representation of the less represented gender in different sectors, such as finance, ICT and STEM, would contribute towards the reduction of gender pay and pension gap. [Am. 17]

(20)  When drawing up the coordinated package of active labour market policy measures, Member States should favour measures that will significantly contribute to the employability of the beneficiaries. Member States should strive towards the reintegration into quality and sustainable employment of the largest possible number of all beneficiaries participating in these measures as soon as possible within the sixseven-month period before the final report on the implementation of the financial contribution is due. The design of the coordinated package of personalised services should take into account the underlying reasons for the redundancies where relevant and anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills. The coordinated package should be compatible with the shift towards a climate-friendly and resource-efficient economy. [Am. 18]

(21)  Member States should pay particular attention to disadvantaged beneficiaries, including persons with disabilities, persons with dependent relatives, young and older unemployed persons, persons with a low level of qualifications, persons with a migrant background and those persons at risk of poverty, when designing the coordinated package of active labour market policy measures, given that those groups experience particular problems in re-entering the labour market. Notwithstanding, the principles of gender equality and of non-discrimination, which are among the Union’s core values and are enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, should be respected and promoted when implementing the EGF EFT. [Am. 19]

(21a)  In the period between March 2007 and March 2017, the Commission received 148 applications for co-financing from the EGF from 21 Member States, for a total of almost EUR 600 million to help 138 888 displaced workers and 2 944 people not in employment, education or training (NEETs). [Am. 20]

(22)  In order to support beneficiaries effectively and rapidly, Member States should do their utmost to submit as a matter of urgency complete applications for a financial contribution from the EGF EFT and the Union institutions should do their utmost to assess them rapidly. In case the Commission requires further information for the assessment of an application, the provision of additional information should be limited in time. [Am. 21]

(22a)  To facilitate the implementation and the aims of this Regulation, more publicity should be given to the EFT and its possibilities, in particular at the level of the relevant authorities in the Member States. [Am. 22]

(22b)  The Commission should facilitate access to national and regional authorities through a dedicated helpdesk that would provide general information and explanations on procedures and on how to submit an application. That helpdesk should make available standard forms for statistics and further analysis. [Am. 23]

(23)  In the interest of beneficiaries and bodies responsible for implementation of the measures, the applicant Member State should keep all actors involved in the application process informed of the progress of the application and keep them engaged during the implementation process. [Am. 24]

(24)  In compliance with the principle of sound financial management, financial contributions from the EGF should not EFT cannot replace but rather should, where possible, complement support measures which are available for beneficiaries within the Union funds or other Union policies or programmes. Nor can the EFT’s financial contribution replace national measures or replace measures that are the responsibility of dismissing companies under national law or collective agreements and should instead create real European added value. [Am. 25]

(25)  Special provisions In light of the principle of equality, Member States should be included for ensure effective access to information about the EFT throughout their territory, including in rural areas. The Commission should, in particular, promote the dissemination of existing best practice, raise awareness of the EFT’s eligibility criteria and application procedures and do more to raise awareness of the EFT among Union citizens, in particular workers. Special provisions should be included for information and communication activities on EGF EFT cases and outcomes. [Am. 26]

(26)  To facilitate the implementation of this Regulation, expenditure should be eligible either from the date on which a Member State starts to provide personalised services or from the date on which a Member State incurs administrative expenditure for implementing the EGF EFT.

(27)  In order to cover the needs arising especially during the first months of each year, when the possibilities for transfers from other budget lines are particularly difficult, an adequate amount of payment appropriations should be made available on the EGF EFT budget line in the annual budgetary procedure.

(27a)  In order to cover the needs arising especially during the first months of each year, where the options for transfers from other budget lines are particularly limited, an adequate amount of payment appropriations should be made available on the EFT budget line in the annual budgetary procedure. [Am. 27]

(28)  [The Multiannual Financial Framework and the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of [future date] on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(20) (‘the Interinstitutional Agreement’) determine the budgetary framework of the EGF EFT].

(29)  In the interest of the beneficiaries, assistance should be made available as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Member States and the Union institutions involved in the EGF EFT decision-making process should do their utmost to reduce processing time and simplify procedures so as to ensure the smooth and rapid adoption of decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF EFT. Therefore, the Budgetary Authority shall in the future decide on transfer requests submitted by the Commission, not requiring a Commission Proposal for the mobilisation of the EGF anymore. [separate vote]

(30)  In the event of an enterprise closing down, displaced workers may be helped to take over some or all of the activities of their former employer and the Member State in which the enterprise is located may advance the funds that are required urgently to make this possible. [Am. 29]

(31)  In order to enable political scrutiny by the European Parliament and continuous monitoring by the Commission of results obtained with EGF EFT assistance, Member States should submit a final report on the implementation of the EGF EFT which should respond to clear monitoring requirements and contain a follow up of the beneficiaries and a gender equality impact assessment. [Am. 30]

(32)  The Member States should remain responsible for the implementation of the financial contribution and for the management and control of the actions supported by Union funding, in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (the ‘Financial Regulation’)(21) or its successor Regulation. The Member States should justify the use made of the financial contribution received from the EGF EFT. In view of the short implementation period of EGF EFT operations, reporting obligations should reflect the particular nature of the EGFEFT interventions.

(32a)  The Member States should conduct effective communication activities in order to promote financial contributions from the EFT, emphasise that funding has come from the Union and raise the profile of activities financed by the Union under the EFT. [Am. 31]

(33)  Member States should also prevent, detect and deal effectively with any irregularities including fraud committed by beneficiaries. Moreover, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(22), and Council Regulations (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95(23) and No 2185/96(24), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out administrative investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. In accordance with Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939(25), the European Public Prosecutor's Office may investigate and prosecute fraud and other criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council(26) on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law. Member States should take the necessary measures so that any person or entity receiving Union funds fully cooperates in the protection of the Union’s financial interests, grants the necessary rights and access to the Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and ensures that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights. Member States should report to the Commission on detected irregularities including fraud, and on their follow-up as well as on the follow-up of OLAF investigations.

(34)  In accordance with the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013, Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95, Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 and Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the financial interests of the Union are to be protected through proportionate measures, including the prevention, detection, correction and investigation of irregularities and fraud, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, the imposition of administrative sanctions. In particular, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 and Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) may investigate and prosecute fraud and other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371. In accordance with the Financial Regulation, any person or entity receiving Union funds is to fully cooperate in the protection of the Union’s financial interests, to grant the necessary rights and access to the Commission, OLAF, the EPPO and the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and to ensure that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights.

(35)  Horizontal financial rules adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union apply to this Regulation. These rules are laid down in the Financial Regulation and determine in particular the procedure for establishing and implementing the budget through grants, procurement, prizes, indirect implementation, and provide for checks on the responsibility of financial actors. Rules adopted on the basis of Article 322 TFEU also concern the protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States, as the respect for the rule of law is an essential precondition for sound financial management and effective EU funding.

(36)  Pursuant to paragraph 22 and 23 of the Interinstitutional agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(27), there is a need to evaluate this Programme on the basis of information collected through specific monitoring requirements, while avoiding overregulation and administrative burdens, in particular on Member States. These requirements, where appropriate, can include measurable indicators, as a basis for evaluating the effects of the Programme on the ground.

(37)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union's policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives over the MFF 2021-2027 period, and an annual target of 30 % as soon as possible and at the latest by 2027. Relevant actions will be identified during the fund's preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of its evaluation. [Am. 32]

(38)  Since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, but can rather, by reason of their scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(39)  Considering the fact that the digital transformation of the economy requires a certain level of digital competence of the workforce, the dissemination of skills required in the digital age should be a mandatory horizontal element of any coordinated package of personalised services offered and should incorporate the aim of increasing the participation of women in STEM professions, [Am. 33]

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Transition (EGF EFT).

It lays down the objectives of the EGF EFT, the forms of Union funding and the rules and criteria for providing such funding, including applications by the Member States for financial contributions from the EGF EFT for measures targeting the beneficiaries referred to in Article 7. [Am. 34]

Article 2

Mission

The EGF shall contribute to a better distribution of the benefits of globalisation and technological advance The objective of the EFT shall be to support socio-economic transformations that are the result of globalisation and of technological and environmental changes by helping displaced workers adapt to structural change through the promotion of alternative, sustainable employment. The EFT shall be an emergency fund that operates reactively and contributes to a just transition. As such, the EGF EFT shall contribute to the implementation of the principles defined under the European Pillar of Social Rights and enhance social and economic cohesion among regions and Member States. [Am. 35]

Article 3

Objectives

1.  The general objective of the programme is to demonstrate solidarity with and offer financial support for re-employment measures with regard to displaced workers regardless of the type or duration of their employment relationship and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased in the course of unexpected major restructuring events, referred to in Article 5(1), (2) and (3). [Am. 36]

2.  The specific objective of the EGF EFT is to offer assistance and support to workers with regard to their reintegration into the labour market in the case of unexpected major restructuring events, particularly those caused by globalisation-related challenges, such as changes in world trade patterns, trade disputes, financial or economic crises, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the transition to a low-carbon economy or as a consequence of digitisation or automation, automatisation and technological change. Particular emphasis shall lie be placed on measures that help the most disadvantaged groups and on the promotion of gender equality. [Ams 37 and 98]

Article 4

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation,

(a)  'displaced worker' means a worker, regardless of the type or duration of his or her employment relationship, whose employment is ended prematurely by redundancy, or whose contract is not renewed, due to economic reasons; [Am. 38]

(b)  'self-employed person' means a person who employed fewer than 10 workers;

(c)  'beneficiary' means a person participating in EGF EFT co-funded measures;

(d)  'irregularity' means any breach of applicable law, resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator involved in the implementation of the EGF EFT, which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the budget of the Union by charging unjustified expenditure to that budget.

Article 5

Intervention criteria

1.  Member States may apply for financial contributions from the EGF EFT for measures targeting displaced workers and self-employed persons in accordance with the provisions laid down in this Article.

2.  A financial contribution from the EGF EFT shall be provided in major restructuring events that result in the following:

(a)  the cessation of activity of more than 250 at least 200 displaced workers or self-employed persons, over a reference period of four six months, in an enterprise in a Member State, including where that cessation applies in its suppliers or downstream producers; [Am. 39]

(b)  the cessation of activity of more than 250 at least 200 displaced workers or self-employed persons, over a reference period of six nine months, particularly in SMEs, where all operate in the same economic sector defined at NACE Revision 2 division level and located in one region or two contiguous regions defined at NUTS 2 level or in more than two contiguous regions defined at NUTS 2 level provided that there are more than 250 at least 200 workers or self-employed persons affected in two of the regions combined; [Am. 40]

(c)  the cessation of activity of more than 250 at least 200 displaced workers or self-employed persons, over a reference period of four nine months, particularly in SMEs, operating in the same or different economic sectors defined at NACE Revision 2 division level and located in the same region defined at NUTS 2 level. [Am. 41]

3.  In small labour markets or in exceptional circumstances, in particular with regard to including applications involving SMEs, where duly substantiated by the applicant Member State, an application for a financial contribution under this Article may be considered admissible even if the criteria laid down in points (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 1 are not entirely met, when the redundancies have a serious impact on employment levels and the local, or regional or national economy. The applicant Member State shall specify which of the intervention criteria set out in points (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 1 are not entirely met. The aggregated amount of contributions in exceptional circumstances may not exceed 15 % of the annual ceiling of the EGF EFT. [Am. 42]

4.  The EGF EFT may not be mobilised when workers are dismissed as a result of budget cuts taken by a Member State, which affect sectors that depend primarily on public financing. [Am. 43]

Article 6

Calculation of displacements and of cessation of activity

1.  The applicant Member State shall specify the method used for calculating the number of displaced workers and self-employed persons defined in Article 4 for the purpose of Article 5(1), (2) and (3). [Am. 44]

2.  The applicant Member State shall calculate the number referred to in paragraph 1 as it stands on one of the following dates:

(a)  the date on which the employer, in accordance with Article 3(1) of Council Directive 98/59/EC(28), notifies the competent public authority in writing of the projected collective redundancies;

(b)  the date of the employer’s individual notice to lay off or to terminate the contract of employment of the worker;

(c)  the date of the de facto termination of the contract of employment or its expiry;

(d)  the end of the assignment to the user undertaking; or

(e)  for a self-employed person, the date of cessation of the activities as determined in accordance with national law or administrative provisions.

In the cases referred to in point (a), the applicant Member State shall provide the Commission with additional information on the actual number of redundancies effected according to Article 5(1) of this Regulation, prior to the completion of the assessment by the Commission.

Article 7

Eligible beneficiaries

The applicant Member State may provide a coordinated package of personalised services in accordance with Article 8 co-financed by the EGF EFT to eligible beneficiaries, who may include:

(a)  displaced workers and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased, calculated in accordance with Article 6, within the reference periods provided for in Article 5(1), (2) and (3); [Am. 45]

(b)  displaced workers and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased, calculated in accordance with Article 6, outside the reference period provided for in Article 5; namely 6 months before the start of the reference period or between the end of the reference period and the last day before the date of the completion of the assessment by the Commission.

The workers and self-employed persons referred to in point (b) of the first subparagraph shall be considered eligible provided that a clear causal link can be established with the event which triggered the redundancies during the reference period.

By way of derogation from Article 5, applicant Member States may provide personalised services co-financed by the EFT to up to a number of NEETs (not in employment, education or training) under the age of 25, or where Member States so decide under the age of 30, on the date of submission of the application, equal to the number of targeted beneficiaries, as a priority to persons made redundant or whose activity has ceased, provided that at least some of the redundancies occur in NUTS 2 level regions. [Am. 46]

Article 8

Eligible measures

1.  A financial contribution from the EGF EFT may be made for active labour market measures that form part of a coordinated package of personalised services, with the involvement of trade union organisations and/or worker representatives, designed to facilitate the re-integration of the targeted beneficiaries and, in particular, the most disadvantaged among the displaced workers, into quality and sustainable employment or self-employment. [Am. 47]

The dissemination of skills required in the digital industrial age as well as in a resource-efficient economy is a mandatory horizontal element of any package of personalised training and/or services offered. The level of training shall be adapted to the qualifications, skills and the specific needs of the respective beneficiary. [Am. 48]

The coordinated package of personalised services may include in particular:

(a)  tailor-made training and retraining, including in information and communication technology and other skills required in the digital age, certification of acquired experience, personalised job-search assistance, occupational guidance, advisory services, mentoring, outplacement assistance, entrepreneurship promotion, aid for self-employment, business start-ups and employee take-overs, and cooperation activities; [Am. 49]

(b)  special time-limited measures, such as job-search allowances, employers’ recruitment incentives, mobility allowances, childcare allowances, training or subsistence allowances, including allowances for carers and employers’ recruitment incentives including incentives to provide flexible working arrangements for displaced workers. [Am. 50]

The costs of the measures referred to in point (b) may shall not exceed 35 % of the total costs for the coordinated package of personalised services listed in this paragraph. [Am. 51]

The investments for self-employment, starting an own business including a cooperative or for employee take-overs may shall not exceed EUR 20 000 25 000 per displaced worker. [Am. 52]

The design of the coordinated package of personalised services shall anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills. The coordinated package shall be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy, and shall also focus on the dissemination of skills required in the digital industrial age and take into account the demand on the local labour market as well as the possibility of reintegrating workers into the occupational sector of their former employment, where a major restructuring event has created a need for new or supplementary skills, and where existing skills can be utilised most efficiently. [Am. 53]

2.  The following measures shall not be eligible for a financial contribution from the EGF EFT:

(a)  special time-limited measures referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1, which are not conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries in job-search or training activities;

(b)  measures which are the responsibility of enterprises by virtue of national law or collective agreements;

(ba)  measures to stimulate in particular the disadvantaged workers, those at the higher risk of poverty or older workers to remain in or return to the labour market; [Am. 54]

(bb)  measures for which Member States are responsible by virtue of national law or collective agreements. [Am. 55]

The measures supported by the EGF EFT shall not under any circumstances substitute passive social protection measures. [Am. 56]

3.  The coordinated package of services shall be drawn up in consultation with the targeted beneficiaries or their representatives, or and/or the social partners. [Am. 57]

4.  At the initiative of the applicant Member State, a financial contribution from the EGF EFT may be made for the preparatory, management, information and publicity, control and reporting activities.

Article 9

Applications

1.  The applicant Member State shall submit an application to the Commission within 12 weeks of the date on which the criteria set out in Article 5(2) or (3) are met.

2.  Within 10 working days of the date of submission of the application, or, where applicable, of the date on which the Commission is in possession of the translation of the application, whichever is the later, the Commission shall acknowledge receipt of the application and inform the Member State of any additional information it requires in order to assess the application. [Am. 58]

3.  Where requested by the Member State, the Commission shall provide them with technical assistance at the early stages of the procedure. Where additional information is required by the Commission, the Member State shall reply within 10 working days of the date of the request. That deadline shall be extended by the Commission by 10 working days at the duly justified request of the Member State concerned. [Am. 59]

4.  On the basis of the information provided by the Member State, the Commission shall complete its assessment of the application’s compliance with the conditions for providing a financial contribution, within 60 40 working days of the receipt of the complete application or, where applicable, of the translation of the application. Where the Commission is unable, exceptionally, to comply, with that deadline, it shall provide may be extended by a further 20 working days, provided that the Commission gives a prior written explanation setting out the reasons for the its delay and submits that explanation to the Member State concerned. [Am. 60]

5.  An application shall contain the following information:

(a)  an assessment of the number of redundancies in accordance with Article 6, including the method of calculation;

(b)  the confirmation that, where the dismissing enterprise has continued its activities after the lay-offs, it has complied with all its legal obligations governing the redundancies and has provided for its workers accordingly; [Am. 61]

(ba)   a clear indication of the activities already undertaken by the Member States for the assistance of displaced workers and of the complementary nature of the requested funds from the EFT due to lack of resources available to national or regional authorities; [Am. 62]

(bb)   an overview of Union funds the dismissing enterprise already benefitted from in the five years preceding the collective redundancies; [Am. 63]

(c)  a brief description of the events that led to the displacement of workers;

(d)  the identification, where applicable, of the dismissing enterprises, suppliers or downstream producers, sectors, and the categories of targeted beneficiaries broken down by gender, age group and educational level;

(e)  the expected impact of the redundancies as regards the local, regional, or national or, where appropriate, cross-border economy and employment; [Am. 64]

(f)  a detailed description of the coordinated package of personalised services and related expenditure, including, in particular, any measures in support of employment initiatives for disadvantaged, low-skilled, older and young beneficiaries, and those from disadvantaged areas; [Am. 65]

(g)  an explanation to what extent the recommendations set out in the EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring were taken into account, and how the coordinated package of personalised services complements actions funded by other national or Union funds, including information on measures that are mandatory for the dismissing enterprises concerned by virtue of national law or pursuant to collective agreements;

(h)  the estimated budget for each of the components of the coordinated package of personalised services in support of the targeted beneficiaries and for any preparatory, management, information and publicity, control and reporting activities;

(i)  for evaluation purposes, indicative case specific targets defined by the Member State regarding the re-employment rate of beneficiaries 6 months after the end of the implementation period;

(j)  the dates on which the personalised services to the targeted beneficiaries and the activities to implement the EGF EFT, as set out in Article 8, were started or are due to be started;

(k)  the procedures followed for consulting the targeted beneficiaries or their representatives or the social partners as well as local and regional authorities or other relevant stakeholders as applicable;

(l)  a statement of compliance of the requested EGF EFT support with the procedural and material Union rules on State aid as well as a statement outlining why the coordinated package of personalised services does not replace measures that are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements;

(m)  the sources of national pre-financing or co-funding and other co-funding if applicable;

(ma)   a statement that proposed actions will be complementary with actions funded by the Structural Funds and that any double financing will be prevented. [Am. 66]

Article 10

Complementarity, compliance and coordination

1.  A financial contribution from the EGF EFT shall not replace measures which are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements.

2.  Support for targeted beneficiaries shall complement measures of the Member States at national, regional, and local and, where appropriate, cross-border level including those co-financed by Union funds and programmes, in line with the recommendations set out in the EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring. [Am. 67]

3.  The financial contribution from the EGF EFT shall be limited to what is necessary to show solidarity with, and provide temporary, one-off support to, for targeted beneficiaries. The measures supported by the EGF EFT shall comply with Union and national law, including State aid rules. [Am. 68]

4.  In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the applicant Member State shall ensure the coordination of the assistance from Union funds and programmes. [Am. 69]

5.  The applicant Member State shall ensure that the specific measures receiving a financial contribution from the EGF EFT do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments.

Article 11

Equality between men and women and non-discrimination

The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are an integral part of, and are promoted during, the various all appropriate stages of the implementation of the financial contribution from the EGF EFT. [Am. 70]

The Commission and the Member States shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on gender, gender identity, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in access to the EGF EFT and during the various stages of the implementation of the financial contribution.

Article 12

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission

1.  At the initiative of the Commission, a maximum of 0,5 % of the annual ceiling of the EGF EFT may be used for to finance technical and administrative assistance for its implementation, such as preparatory, monitoring, data gathering, control, audit and evaluation activities including corporate information technology systems, communication activities and those enhancing the EGF EFT's visibility and other administrative and technical assistance measures. Synergies with established monitoring systems of structural change, such as the ERM, shall be reinforced. Such measures may cover future and previous programming periods. [Am. 71]

2.  Subject to the ceiling set out in paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit a request for a transfer of appropriations for technical assistance to the relevant budgetary lines in accordance with Article 31 of the Financial Regulation.

3.  The Commission shall implement technical assistance at its own initiative under direct or indirect management in accordance with [points (a) and (c) of Article 62(1)] of the Financial Regulation.

Where the Commission implements technical assistance under indirect management, it shall ensure the transparency of the procedure for designating the third party responsible for carrying out the tasks assigned to it and shall inform all EFT stakeholders, including the European Parliament, of the sub-contractor selected for that purpose. [Am. 72]

4.  The Commission’s technical assistance shall include the provision of information and guidance to the Member States for using, monitoring and evaluating the EGF EFT, including the creation of a helpdesk. The Commission shall also provide information along with clear guidance on using the EGF EFT to the European and national social partners. Guidance measures may also include the creation of taskforces in cases of severe economic disruptions in a Member State. [Am. 73]

Article 13

Information, communication and publicity

1.  The Member States shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding by providing coherent, effective and targeted information to multiple audiences, including targeted information to beneficiaries, local and regional authorities, social partners, the media and the public. The Member States shall ensure that the Union added value of the funding is highlighted and that they assist the data gathering efforts of the Commission in order to enhance budgetary transparency. [Am. 74]

Member States shall use the EU emblem in accordance with [Annex VIII of the Common Provisions Regulation] together with a simple funding statement ("funded/co-funded by the European Union").

2.  The Commission shall maintain and update regularly an online presence, accessible in all official languages of the institutions of the Union, to provide updated information on the EGF EFT, guidance on the submission of applications and on eligible actions, regularly updated list of contacts in the Member States as well as information on accepted and rejected applications and on the role of the European Parliament and the Council in the budgetary procedure. [Am. 75]

3.  The Commission shall promote the dissemination of existing best practices in the area of communication, and implement information and communication activities on EGF EFT cases and outcomes based on its experience with the aim of raising improving the effectiveness profile of the EGF EFT, raising awareness of the EFT’s eligibility criteria and applications procedures, improving the EFT’s effectiveness and ensuring that Union citizens and workers know about the EGF EFT, including citizens and workers in rural areas with difficult access to information. [Am. 76]

The Member States shall ensure that all communication and visibility material is made available upon request to Union institutions, bodies or agencies and that a royalty-free, non-exclusive and irrevocable licence to use such material and any pre-existing rights attached to it is granted to the Union. The licence grants the following rights to the Union:

–  internal use i.e. right to reproduce, copy and make available the communication and visibility materials to EU and EU Member States' institutions and agencies and their employees;

–  reproduction of the communication and visibility materials by any means and in any form, in whole or in part;

–  communication to the public of the communication and visibility materials by using any and all means of communication;

–  distribution to the public of the communication and visibility materials (or copies thereof) in any and all forms;

–  storage and archiving of the communication and visibility materials;

–  sub-licensing of the rights on the communication and visibility materials to third parties.

Additional rights may be granted to the Union.

4.  The resources allocated to communication actions under this Regulation shall also contribute to covering the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union provided that they are related to the general objectives referred to in Article 3.

Article 14

Determination of the financial contribution

1.  The Commission shall, on the basis of the assessment carried out in accordance with Article 9 and in particular taking into account the number of targeted beneficiaries, the proposed measures and the estimated costs, evaluate and propose as quickly as possible within the deadline laid down in Article 9(4), the amount of a financial contribution from the EGF EFT, if any, that may be made within the limits of the resources available. [Am. 77]

2.  The co-financing rate of the EGF EFT for the measures offered shall be aligned with the highest co-financing rate of the ESF+ in the respective Member State.

3.  Where, on the basis of the assessment carried out in accordance with Article 9, the Commission concludes that the conditions for a financial contribution under this Regulation are met, it shall immediately initiate the procedure set out in Article 16 and shall notify the applicant Member State. [Am. 78]

4.  Where, on the basis of the assessment carried out in accordance with Article 9, the Commission concludes that the conditions for a financial contribution under this Regulation are not met, it shall immediately notify the applicant Member State as well as other concerned stakeholders, including the European Parliament. [Am. 79]

Article 15

Eligibility period

1.  Expenditure shall be eligible for a financial contribution from the EGF EFT from the dates set out in the application pursuant to point (j) of Article 9(5) on which the Member State concerned starts, or is due to start, providing the personalised services to the targeted beneficiaries or incurs the administrative expenditure to implement the EGF EFT, in accordance with Article 8(1) and (4).

2.  The Member State shall carry out the eligible measures set out in Article 8 as soon as possible. They shall, in any event, be implemented by six months after the date of entry into force of the decision on the financial contribution and carried out, and at the latest within 24 months after the date of entry into force of the decision on the financial contribution. [Am. 80]

3.  The implementation period is the period from the dates set out in the application pursuant to point (j) of Article 9(5) on which the Member State concerned starts the personalised services to the targeted beneficiaries and the activities to implement the EGF EFT, as set out in Article 8, and ends 24 months after the date of entry into force of the decision on the financial contribution.

4.  Where a beneficiary accesses an education or training course the duration of which is two years or more, the expenditure for such a course shall be eligible for EGF EFT co-funding up to the date when the final report referred to in Article 20(1) is due, provided that the relevant expenditure have been incurred before that date.

5.  Expenditure pursuant to Article 8(4) shall be eligible until the deadline for submission of the final report in accordance with Article 20(1).

Article 16

Budgetary procedure and implementation

1.  Where the Commission has concluded that the conditions for providing a financial contribution from the EGF EFT are met, it shall submit a request proposal to mobilise it. The decision to mobilise the EFT shall be taken jointly by the European Parliament and the Council within one month of the submission of the proposal to them. The Council shall act by a qualified majority and the European Parliament shall act by a majority of its component members and three fifths of the votes cast.

At the same time as it submits its proposal for a decision to mobilise the EFT, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a proposal for a transfer to the relevant budgetary lines. In the event of disagreement, a trilogue procedure shall be initiated.

Transfers related to the EFT shall be made in accordance with Article 31 of the Financial Regulation. [Am. 81]

2.  The transfer request needs to be accompanied by a summary of the examination of the eligibility of the application. [Am. 82]

3.  The Commission shall adopt a decision on a financial contribution, by means of an implementing act, which shall enter into force on the date the Commission is notified of the approval of the budgetary transfer by on which the European Parliament and the Council adopt the decision shall constitute a financing decision within the meaning of Article 110 of the Financial Regulation to mobilise the EFT. [Am. 83]

3a.  A proposal for a decision to mobilise the EFT pursuant to paragraph 1 shall include the following:

(a)  the assessment carried out in accordance with Article 9(4), together with a summary of the information on which that assessment is based;

(b)  evidence that the criteria laid down in Articles 5 and 10 have been met; and

(c)  the reasons justifying the amounts proposed. [Am. 84]

Article 16a

Exceptional cases

In exceptional cases and if the remaining financial resources available in the Fund in the year of the occurrence of the major restructuring event are not sufficient to cover the amount of assistance deemed necessary by the budgetary authority, the Commission may propose that the difference be financed through the next year's Fund. The annual budgetary ceiling of the Fund in the year of the occurrence of the major restructuring event and in the following year shall be respected under all circumstances. [Am. 85]

Article 17

Payment and use of the financial contribution

1.  Following the entry into force of a decision on a financial contribution in accordance with Article 16(3) the Commission shall pay the financial contribution to the Member State concerned in a single 100 % pre-financing payment, in principle within 15 working days. The pre-financing shall be cleared once the Member State submits the certified statement of expenditure in accordance with Article 20(1).The unspent amount shall be reimbursed to the Commission.

2.  The financial contribution referred to in paragraph 1 shall be implemented under shared management in accordance with Article 63 of the Financial Regulation.

3.  Detailed technical terms of the financing shall be determined by the Commission in the decision on a financial contribution referred to in Article 16(3).

4.  When carrying out the measures contained in the coordinated package of personalised services, the Member State concerned may submit a proposal to the Commission to amend the actions included by adding other eligible measures listed in points (a) and (b) of Article 8(1), provided that such amendments are duly justified and the total does not exceed the financial contribution referred to in Article 16(3). The Commission shall assess the proposed amendments and, if it agrees, shall amend the decision on a financial contribution accordingly.

5.  The Member State concerned shall have the flexibility to re-allocate amounts between the budget items laid down in the decision on a financial contribution pursuant to Article 16(3). Should a reallocation exceed a 20 % increase for one or more of the items specified, the Member State shall notify the Commission beforehand.

Article 18

Use of the euro

Applications, decisions on financial contributions and reports under this Regulation, as well as any other related documents, shall express all amounts in euro.

Article 19

Indicators

1.  Indicators to report on progress of the Programme towards the achievement of the objectives established in Article 3 are set out in the Annex.

2.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and results are collected efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on Member States.

3.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 25 to amend the indicators in the Annex where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of the use of the fund.

Article 19a

Model for the beneficiary survey

The beneficiary survey referred to in point (d) of Article 20(1) shall be based on the model established by the Commission by means of an implementing act. The Commission shall adopt that implementing act in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 26(2) in order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Article. [Am. 86]

Article 20

Final report and closure

1.  Not later than at the end of the seventh month after the expiry of the period specified in Article 15(3), the Member State concerned shall present a final report to the Commission on the implementation of the financial contribution, including information on:

(a)  the type of measures and main the results obtained, explaining the challenges, lessons learned, synergies and complementarities with other EU funds, particularly ESF+, and indicating, whenever possible, the complementarity of measures with those funded by other Union or national programmes in line with the EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring; [Am. 87]

(b)  the names of the bodies delivering the package of measures in the Member State;

(c)  the indicators set out in Article 19;

(d)  the results of a beneficiary survey conducted within six months after of the end of the implementation period, which shall cover the perceived change in the employability of beneficiaries, or for those who already found employment, more information on the quality and type of employment found, such as the change in working hours, level of responsibility or change of salary level in comparison to previous employment, and the sector in which the person found employment and break down this information by gender, age group and education level; [Am. 88]

(e)  whether the dismissing enterprise, with the exception of start-ups, micro enterprises and SMEs, has been a beneficiary of State aid or previous funding from Union cohesion or structural funds in the preceding five years; [Am. 89]

(f)  a statement justifying the expenditure.

2.  Not later than at the end of the nineteenth month after the expiry of the period specified in Article 15(3), the Member State concerned shall submit the complete and duly verified simple dataset informing on the longer-term result indicator specified in point (3) of the Annex. [Am. 90]

3.  No later than six months after the Commission has received all the information required in accordance with paragraph 1, it shall wind up the financial contribution by determining the final amount of the financial contribution from the EGF EFT and the balance due, if any, by the Member State concerned in accordance with Article 24. The winding-up shall be conditional on the provision of the longer-term result indicator in accordance with paragraph 2.

Article 21

Biennial report

1.  By 1 August 2021 and every two years thereafter, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament and to the Council a comprehensive, quantitative and qualitative report on the activities under this Regulation and Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 in the previous two years. The report shall focus mainly on the results achieved by the EGF EFT and shall in particular contain information relating to applications submitted, speed of their processing and potential deficiencies in existing rules, decisions adopted, measures funded, including statistics on the indicators set out in the Annex, and the complementarity of such measures with measures funded by other Union funds, in particular ESF+, and information relating to the winding-up of financial contributions made and shall also document those applications that have been rejected or reduced owing to a lack of sufficient appropriations or to non-eligibility. [Am. 91]

2.  The report shall be transmitted for information to the Member States, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the social partners. [Am. 92]

Article 22

Evaluation

1.  Every four years the Commission shall carry out on its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, an evaluation of the EGF EFT financial contributions including subsequent impact assessment of its application at national, regional and local levels.

For the purpose of evaluation referred to in the first subparagraph, the Member States shall collect all available data on EFT cases and assisted workers. [Am. 93]

2.  The results of the evaluations referred to in paragraph 1 shall be transmitted, for information, to the European Parliament, the Council, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the social partners. The recommendations of the evaluations shall be taken into account for the design of new programmes in the area of employment and social affairs or the further development of existing programmes.

3.  The evaluations referred to in paragraph 1 shall include relevant statistics on the financial contributions, broken down by sector and Member State. [Am. 94]

4.  To ensure effective assessment of progress of the EGF EFT towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 25 to amend the Annex to review or complement the indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

Article 23

Management and financial control

1.  Without prejudice to the Commission’s responsibility for implementing the general budget of the Union, Member States shall take responsibility for the management of measures supported by the EGF EFT and the financial control of the measures. The steps they take shall include:

(a)  verifying that management and control arrangements have been set up and are being implemented in such a way as to ensure that Union funds are being used efficiently and correctly, in accordance with the principle of sound financial management;

(b)  ensuring that the delivery of monitoring data is a mandatory requirement in contracts with bodies delivering the coordinated package of personalised services;

(c)  verifying that the financed measures have been properly carried out;

(d)  ensuring that expenditure funded is based on verifiable supporting documents, and is legal and regular;

(e)  preventing, detecting and correcting irregularities including fraud and recovering amounts unduly paid together with interest on late payments where appropriate. The Member States shall report on irregularities including fraud to the Commission.

2.  For the purposes of Article [63(3)?] of the Financial Regulation, Member States shall identify bodies responsible for the management and control of the measures supported by the EGF EFT. Those bodies shall provide the Commission with the information set out in [Article 63(5), (6) and (7)?] of the Financial Regulation on the implementation of the financial contribution when submitting the final report referred to in Article 20(1) of this Regulation.

Where authorities designated in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 have provided sufficient guarantees that payments are legal and regular, and properly accounted for, the Member State concerned may notify to the Commission that these authorities are confirmed under this Regulation. In this case, the Member State concerned shall indicate which authorities are confirmed and which is their function.

3.  Member States shall make the financial corrections required where an irregularity is ascertained. The corrections made by the Member States shall consist in cancelling all or part of the financial contribution. The Member States shall recover any amount unduly paid as a result of an irregularity detected, repay it to the Commission and, where the amount is not repaid by the relevant Member State in the time allowed, default interest shall be due.

4.  The Commission, in its responsibility for the implementation of the general budget of the Union, shall take every step necessary to verify that the actions financed are carried out in accordance with the principle of sound financial management. It is the responsibility of the applicant Member State to ensure that it has smoothly functioning management and control systems. The Commission shall satisfy itself that such systems are in place.

To that end, without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Auditors or the checks carried out by the Member State in accordance with national laws, regulations and administrative provisions, Commission officials or servants may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on the measures financed by the EGF EFT with a minimum notice of one working day. The Commission shall give notice to the applicant Member State with a view to obtaining all the assistance necessary. Officials or servants of the Member State concerned may take part in such checks.

5.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 25 to supplement paragraph 1(e) by setting out the criteria for determining the cases of irregularity to be reported and the data to be provided.

6.  The Commission shall adopt an implementing act setting out the format to be used for reporting of irregularities in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 26(2) in order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Article.

7.  Member States shall ensure that all supporting documents regarding expenditure incurred are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of three years following the winding-up of a financial contribution received from the EGF EFT.

Article 24

Recovery of the financial contribution

1.  In cases where the actual cost of the coordinated package of personalised services is less than the amount of the financial contribution pursuant to Article 16, the Commission shall recover the corresponding amount after having given the Member State concerned the possibility to submit its observations.

2.  If, after completing the necessary verifications, the Commission concludes that a Member State either has failed to comply with the obligations stated in the decision on a financial contribution or is not complying with its obligations under Article 23(1), it shall give the Member State concerned the possibility to submit its observations. The Commission shall, if no agreement has been reached, adopt a decision by means of an implementing act to make the financial corrections required by cancelling all or part of the contribution of the EGF EFT to the measure in question. That decision shall be taken within 12 months after having received the observations from the Member State. The Member State concerned shall recover any amount unduly paid as a result of an irregularity and, where the amount is not repaid by the applicant Member State in the time allowed, default interest shall be due.

Article 25

Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 19(3) and Article 23(5) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from date of entry into force of this Regulation.

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 19(3) and Article 23(5), may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making.

5.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 19(3) and Article 23(5) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 26

Committee Procedure

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(29).

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 27

Transitional provision

Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 shall continue to apply to applications submitted until 31 December 2020. It shall apply until the closure of the respective cases.

Article 28

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply to applications submitted as from 1 January 2021.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ...,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

Common output and result indicators for EGF EFT applications

All personal data(30) are to be broken down by gender (female, male, non-binary).

(1)  Common output indicators on beneficiaries

—  unemployed*,

—  inactive*,

—  employed*,

—  self-employed*,

—  below 30 years of age*,

—  above 54 years of age*,

—  with lower secondary education or less (ISCED 0-2)*,

—  with upper secondary (ISCED 3) or post-secondary education (ISCED 4)*,

—  with tertiary education (ISCED 5-8)*,

—  with less than two years of professional experience,

—  with between two and 10 years of professional experience,

—  with over 10 years of professional experience. [Am. 95]

The total number of beneficiaries is to be calculated automatically on the basis of the common output indicators relating to employment status(31).

These data on beneficiaries participating in EGF EFT co-funded measures are to be provided in the final report as specified in Article 20(1).

(2)  Common result indicators for beneficiaries

—  percentage of EGF EFT beneficiaries in employment (broken down by type of employment contract: full time/part time, fixed term/open-ended) and self-employment, 6 months after the end of the implementation period*,

—  percentage of EGF EFT beneficiaries gaining a qualification 6 months after the end of the implementation period*,

—  percentage of EGF EFT beneficiaries in education or training 6 months after the end of the implementation period*.

These data are to be provided in the final report as specified in Article 20(1) and are to be collected by means of data provided by the competent authorities of the Member State as well as by beneficiary surveys (as specified in Article 20(1)d). Those data are to cover the calculated total number of beneficiaries as reported under the common output indicators (1). The percentages shall thus also relate to this calculated total.

(3)  Common longer-term result indicator for beneficiaries

—  percentage of EGF EFT beneficiaries in employment, including self-employment, 18 months after the end of the implementation period specified in the financing decision*.

These data are to be made available by the end of the nineteenth month after the end of the implementation period. The data should cover the calculated total number of beneficiaries as reported under the common output indicators (1). The percentages shall thus also relate to this calculated total. For larger cases, covering more than 1 000 beneficiaries, data may alternatively be collected based on a representative sample of the total number of beneficiaries as reported as an output indicator (1).

(1) Not yet published in the Official Journal.
(2) Not yet published in the Official Journal.
(3)OJ C ...
(4)OJ C ...
(5) Position of the European Parliament of 16 January 2019.
(6)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights_en.
(7)http://eu-un.europa.eu/eu-response-2030-agenda-sustainable-development-sustainable-european-future/.
(8)https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld.
(9)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/communication-new-modern-multiannual-financial-framework_en.pdf
(10)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/white-paper-future-europe-reflections-and-scenarios-eu27_en.
(11)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/reflection-paper-harnessing-globalisation_en.
(12)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/reflection-paper-future-eu-finances_en.
(13)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, EU Quality Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring (COM(2013)0882, 13.12.2013).
(14)Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(15)Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (OJ L 167, 29.6.2009, p. 26).
(16)Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855).
(17)COM(2018)0297 and accompanying SWD(2018)0192.
(18)Commission SWD(2018)0171 and its annex COM(2018)0321.
(19)OJ L ….
(20)Reference to be updated.
(21)Reference to be updated.
(22)Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).
(23)Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).
(24)Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).
(25)Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’) (OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1).
(26)Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law (OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 29).
(27) OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(28)Reference to be checked/updated: Council Directive 98/59/EC of 20 July 1998 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to collective redundancies (OJ L 225, 12.8.1998, p. 16).
(29) Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).
(30)Managing authorities are to establish a system that records and stores individual participant data in computerised form. The data processing arrangements put in place by the Member States are to be in line with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1), in particular Articles 4, 6 and 9 thereof. Data reported under the indicators marked with * are personal data according to Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Their processing is necessary for compliance with the legal obligation to which the controller is subject (Article 6(1)(c) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679).
(31)Unemployed, inactive, employed, self employed.


European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) (COM(2018)0382 – C8-0232/2018 – 2018/0206(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2019)0020A8-0461/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital -1 (new)
(-1)  Pursuant to Article 3 TEU, in establishing an internal market the Union is working for a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress; promoting equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child; as well as combating social exclusion and discrimination. In accordance with Article 9 TFEU, in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union is to take into account requirements linked to, inter alia, the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1
(1)  On 17 November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights was jointly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission as a response to social challenges in Europe. The twenty key principles of the pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; social protection and inclusion. The twenty principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights should guide the actions under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). In order to contribute to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights the ESF+ should support investments in people and systems in the policy areas of employment, education and social inclusion, thereby supporting economic, territorial and social cohesion in accordance with Article 174 TFEU.
(1)  On 17 November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights was jointly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission as a response to social challenges in Europe. The twenty key principles of the pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; social protection and inclusion. The twenty principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights should guide the actions under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). In order to contribute to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights the ESF+ should support investments in people and systems in the policy areas of employment, public services, health, education and social inclusion, thereby supporting economic, territorial and social cohesion in accordance with Articles 174 and 175 TFEU. All actions under the ESF+ should respect the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter), the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and have regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which the European Union and all its Member States are parties.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  At Union level, the European Semester of economic policy coordination is the framework to identify national reform priorities and monitor their implementation. Member States develop their own national multiannual investment strategies in support of those reform priorities. Those strategies should be presented alongside the yearly National Reform Programmes as a way to outline and coordinate priority investment projects to be supported by national and/or Union funding. They should also serve to use Union funding in a coherent manner and to maximise the added value of the financial support to be received notably from the programmes supported by the Union under the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Investment Stabilisation Function and InvestEU, where relevant.
(2)  At Union level, the European Semester of economic policy coordination is the framework to identify national reform priorities and monitor their implementation. Member States develop their own national multiannual investment strategies in support of those reform priorities. Those strategies should be developed in partnership between national, regional and local authorities, include a gender perspective and be presented alongside the yearly National Reform Programmes as a way to outline and coordinate priority investment projects to be supported by national and/or Union funding. They should also serve to use Union funding in a coherent manner and to maximise the added value of the financial support to be received notably from the programmes supported by the Union under the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the European Investment Stabilisation Function and InvestEU, where relevant.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3
(3)  The Council of […] adopted revised guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States to align the text with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, with a view to improving Europe’s competitiveness and making it a better place to invest, create jobs and foster social cohesion. In order to ensure the full alignment of the ESF+ with the objectives of these guidelines, particularly as regards employment, education, training and the fight against social exclusion, poverty and discrimination, the ESF+ should support Member States, taking account of the relevant Integrated Guidelines and relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article 121(2) TFEU and Article 148(4) TFEU and, where appropriate, at national level, the national reform programmes underpinned by national strategies. The ESF+ should also contribute to relevant aspects of the implementation of key Union initiatives and activities, in particular the “Skills Agenda for Europe” and the European Education Area, relevant Council Recommendations and other initiatives such as the Youth Guarantee, Upskilling Pathways and on Integration of the long-term unemployed.
(3)  The Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States adopted by the Council in accordance with Article 148(2) TFEU, namely: boosting the demand for labour; enhancing labour supply: access to employment, skills and competences; enhancing the functioning of labour markets and the effectiveness of social dialogue and promoting equal opportunities for all, fostering social inclusion and combatting poverty, including improved public services in the health and other sectors, together with the broad economic guidelines adopted in accordance with Article 121(2) TFEU form part of the Integrated Guidelines underpinning the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Council of […] adopted revised guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States to align them with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, with a view to stimulate creation of jobs and foster social cohesion, thus improving Europe’s competitiveness and making the Union a better place to invest. In order to ensure the full alignment of the ESF+ with the objectives of the Guidelines for the employment policies, Member States should plan support under the ESF+ relevant to them, taking account of those Guidelines, as well as of relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article 148(4) and Article 121(2) TFEU and, at national level, the employment and social aspects of the national reform programmes underpinned by national strategies. The ESF+ should also contribute to relevant aspects of the implementation of key Union initiatives and activities, in particular the “Skills Agenda for Europe” and the European Education Area, the Youth Guarantee and other relevant Council Recommendations and other initiatives such as Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage, the Upskilling Pathways, on Integration of the long-term unemployed, a Quality Framework for Traineeships and Apprenticeships and the Action Plan on the integration of third-country nationals.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  On 20 June 2017, the Council endorsed the Union response to the ‘UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ - a sustainable European future. The Council underlined the importance of achieving sustainable development across the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental), in a balanced and integrated way. It is vital that sustainable development is mainstreamed into all Union internal and external policy areas, and that the Union is ambitious in the policies it uses to address global challenges. The Council welcomed the Commission Communication on “Next steps for a sustainable European future” of 22 November 2016 as a first step in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals and applying sustainable development as an essential guiding principle for all Union policies, including through its financing instruments.
(4)  On 20 June 2017, the Council endorsed the Union response to the ‘UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ - a sustainable European future. The Council underlined the importance of achieving sustainable development across the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental), in a balanced and integrated way. It is vital that sustainable development is mainstreamed into all Union internal and external policy areas, and that the Union is ambitious in the policies it uses to address global challenges. The Council welcomed the Commission Communication on “Next steps for a sustainable European future” of 22 November 2016 as a first step in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals and applying sustainable development as an essential guiding principle for all Union policies, including through its financing instruments. The ESF+ should contribute to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals by, inter alia, eradicating extreme forms of poverty (goal 1); promoting quality and inclusive education (goal 4); promoting gender equality (goal 5); promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (goal 8); and reducing inequality (goal 10).
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)  The Union and its Member States, having in mind the European Social Charter signed at Turin on 18 October 1961, should have in their objectives the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, with a view to lasting high levels of employment and combating exclusion, in accordance with Article 151 TFEU.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4 b (new)
(4b)  European society continues to face a range of social challenges. Over 100 million people are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, the youth unemployment rate is still over double the general unemployment rate and there is a need for better integration of third-country nationals. Those challenges not only threaten the well-being of the persons directly concerned, but also place economic and social pressure on European society as a whole.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  The Union is confronted with structural challenges arising from economic globalisation, the management of migration flows and the increased security threat, clean energy transition, technological change and an increasingly ageing workforce and growing skills and labour shortages in some sectors and regions, experienced especially by SMEs. Taking into account the changing realities of the world of work, the Union should be prepared for the current and future challenges by investing in relevant skills, making growth more inclusive and by improving employment and social policies, including in view of labour mobility.
(5)  The Union is confronted with structural challenges arising from economic globalisation, social inequalities, the management of migration flows and related integration challenges, clean energy and just transition, technological change, demographic decline, unemployment in general and youth unemployment and an increasingly ageing society and workforce and growing skills shortages and labour shortages in some sectors and regions, experienced especially by SMEs. Taking into account the changing realities of the world of work, the Union should be prepared for the current and future challenges by investing in relevant skills, education, training and lifelong learning making growth more inclusive and by improving competences and knowledge, employment and social policies, including in view of labour mobility of Union citizens and addressing increasing health inequalities between and within Member States.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  Regulation (EU) No […] establishes the framework for action by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), the Cohesion Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMIF), Internal Security Fund (ISF) and the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) as a part of the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF), and lays down, in particular, the policy objectives and the rules concerning programming, monitoring and evaluation, management and control for Union funds implemented under shared management. It is therefore necessary to specify the general objectives of the ESF+, and to lay down specific provisions concerning the type of activities that may be financed by the ESF+.
(6)  Regulation (EU) No […] establishes the framework for action by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), the Cohesion Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMIF), Internal Security Fund (ISF) and the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) as a part of the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF), and lays down, in particular, the policy objectives and the rules concerning programming, monitoring and evaluation, management and control for Union funds implemented under shared management. It is therefore necessary to specify the general objectives of the ESF+ and its coordination with other funds, and to lay down specific provisions concerning the type of activities that may be financed by the ESF+.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No [the new FR] (the ‘Financial Regulation’) lays down rules on the implementation of the Union budget, including the rules on grants, prizes, procurement, indirect implementation, financial assistance, financial instruments and budgetary guarantees. In order to ensure coherence in the implementation of Union funding programmes, the Financial Regulation is to apply to the actions to be implemented in direct or indirect management under the ESF+.
(7)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No [the new FR] (the ‘Financial Regulation’) lays down rules on the implementation of the Union budget, including the rules on grants, prizes, procurement, indirect implementation, financial assistance, financial instruments and budgetary guarantees and synergies between financial instruments. In order to ensure coherence in the implementation of Union funding programmes, the Financial Regulation is to apply to the actions to be implemented in direct or indirect management under the ESF+. This Regulation should specify the operational objectives and lay down the specific provisions concerning the eligible actions that may be financed by the ESF+ under direct and indirect management.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8
(8)  The types of financing and the methods of implementation under this Regulation should be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. For grants, this should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs, as well as financing not linked to costs as envisaged in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation. To implement measures linked to the socio-economic integration of third country nationals, and in accordance with Article 88 of the Common Provisions Regulation, the Commission may reimburse Member States using simplified cost options including the use of lump sums.
(8)  The types of financing and the methods of implementation under this Regulation should be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. For grants, this should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs, as well as financing not linked to costs as envisaged in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation. To implement measures linked to the socio-economic inclusion of third country nationals, and in accordance with Article 88 of the Common Provisions Regulation, the Commission may reimburse Member States using simplified cost options including the use of lump sums.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9
(9)  In order to streamline and simplify the funding landscape and create additional opportunities for synergies through integrated funding approaches, the actions which were supported by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (‘FEAD’), the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation and the Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health should be integrated into one ESF+. The ESF+ should therefore include three strands: the ESF+ strand under shared management, the Employment and Social Innovation strand, and the Health strand. This should contribute to reducing the administrative burden linked to the management of different funds, in particular for Member States, whilst maintaining simpler rules for simpler operations such as the distribution of food and/or basic material assistance.
(9)  In order to streamline and simplify the funding landscape and create additional opportunities for synergies through integrated funding approaches, the actions which were supported by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (‘FEAD’), the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation and the Programme for the Union's action in the field of health should be integrated into one ESF+. The ESF+ should therefore include three strands: the ESF+ strand under shared management, the Employment and Social Innovation strand, and the Health strand under direct and indirect management. This should contribute to reducing the administrative burden linked to the management of different funds, in particular for Member States and beneficiaries, whilst maintaining simpler rules for simpler operations such as the distribution of food and/or basic material assistance.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  In view of this wider scope of the ESF+ it is appropriate to foresee that the aims to enhance the effectiveness of labour markets and promote access to quality employment, to improve the access to and the quality of education and training as well as to promote social inclusion and health and to reduce poverty are not only implemented under shared management, but also under direct and indirect management under the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands for actions required at Union level.
(10)  The Union should contribute to the employment policies of the Member States by encouraging cooperation and by complementing their actions. In view of this wider scope of the ESF+ it is appropriate to foresee that the aims to enhance the effectiveness of inclusive, open and fair labour markets for all genders and promote access to quality employment, to improve the access to and the quality of education and training, to aid reintegration into education systems and to promote lifelong learning, as well as to promote social inclusion and health and to eradicate poverty will continue to be implemented mainly under shared management, and where appropriate, complemented under direct and indirect management under the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands for actions required at Union level.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  The integration of the Programme for the Union's action in the field of health with the ESF+ will also create synergies between the developments and testing of initiatives and policies to improve the effectiveness, resilience and sustainability of health systems developed by the Health strand of the ESF+ Programme and their implementation in the Member States by the tools provided by the other strands of the ESF+ Regulation.
(11)  The integration of the Programme for the Union's action in the field of health with the ESF+ will also create synergies between the developments and testing of initiatives and policies to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, resilience and sustainability of health systems developed by the Health strand of the ESF+ Programme and their implementation in the Member States at national, regional and local level by the tools provided by the other strands of the ESF+ Regulation.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 12
(12)  This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the ESF+. Parts of this financial envelope should be used for actions to be implemented in direct and indirect management under the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands.
(12)  This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the ESF+. It should specify the allocations for activities to be implemented under shared management and the allocations for actions to be implemented in direct and indirect management.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13
(13)  The ESF+ should aim to promote employment through active interventions enabling (re)integration into the labour market, notably for youth, the long-term unemployed and the inactive, as well as through promoting self–employment and the social economy. The ESF+ should aim to improve the functioning of labour markets by supporting the modernisation of labour market institutions such as the Public Employment Services in order to improve their capacity to provide intensified targeted counselling and guidance during the job search and the transition to employment and to enhance workers’ mobility. The ESF+ should promote women’s participation in the labour market through measures aiming to ensure, amongst others, improved work/life balance and access to childcare. The ESF + should also aim to provide a healthy and well-adapted working environment in order to respond to health risks related to changing forms of work and the needs of the ageing workforce.
(13)  The ESF+, in close cooperation with the Member States, should aim to promote employment through active interventions enabling the integration and re-integration into the labour market, notably for youth, the long-term unemployed, carers, the economically inactive and disadvantaged groups, as well as through promoting self–employment, entrepreneurship, and the social economy. The ESF+ should aim to improve employment policies and the functioning of labour markets by supporting the modernisation of labour market institutions such as the Public Employment Services in order to improve their capacity to provide intensified targeted and personalised, where suitable, counselling and guidance during the job search and the transition to employment, with special attention to disadvantaged groups and to facilitate workers’ mobility, and to deliver their service in a non-discriminatory manner. The ESF+ should promote women’s participation in the labour market through measures aiming to ensure, amongst others, improved work/life balance and easy access to affordable or free quality childcare, eldercare and other care services or support of high quality. The ESF + should also aim to provide a safe, healthy and well-adapted working environment in order to respond to health risks related to work as well as to changing forms of work and the needs of the ageing workforce. The ESF+ should also support measures aimed to facilitate the transition of young people from education to employment.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)  With a view to supporting and unlocking the job creation potential in the social economy, the ESF+ should contribute to improving the integration of social economy enterprises in national employment and social innovation plans, and in their National Reform Programmes. The definition of a social economy enterprise should follow the definitions given in the Member States’ social economy law and in the Council Conclusions of 7 December 2015 on the promotion of the social economy as a key driver of economic and social development in Europe.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  The ESF+ should provide support to improving the quality, effectiveness and labour market relevance of education and training systems in order to facilitate the acquisition of key competences notably as regards digital skills which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. The ESF+ should help progression within education and training and transition to work, support lifelong learning and employability, and contribute to competitiveness and societal and economic innovation by supporting scalable and sustainable initiatives in these fields. This could be achieved for example through work-based learning and apprenticeships, lifelong guidance, skills anticipation in cooperation with industry, up-to-date training materials, forecasting and graduate tracking, training of educators, validation of learning outcomes and recognition of qualifications.
(14)  Given that the ESF+ is the main Union instrument focusing on employment, skills and social inclusion it is essential that it is able to contribute to social, economic, and territorial cohesion in all parts of the Union. To that end it should provide support to improving the quality, non-discriminatory nature, accessibility, inclusiveness, effectiveness and labour market relevance of education and training systems in order to facilitate the acquisition of key competences notably as regards language skills, entrepreneurial and digital skills, including data protection and information governance skills, which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. In case of the long-term unemployed and people coming from a disadvantaged social background, special attention should be paid to empower them. The ESF+ should help progression within education and training and transition to work and reintegration to work, support lifelong learning and employability of all, and contribute to inclusiveness, competitiveness, the reduction of horizontal and vertical segregation, and societal and economic innovation by supporting scalable and sustainable initiatives in these fields. This could be achieved for example through investments in vocational education, work-based learning and apprenticeships, focusing in particular on the proven dual system combining teaching and work experience, lifelong guidance, skills anticipation in cooperation with the social partners, up-to-date training materials, forecasting and graduate tracking, training of educators, support for informal and non-formal learning, validation of learning outcomes and recognition of qualifications. The ESF+ should also promote access to the teaching profession by minorities, aiming at a better integration of marginalised communities, such as the Roma, minorities and migrants.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14 a (new)
(14a)  The ESF+ should provide support to measures included in Member States' national plans aiming to eradicate energy poverty and to promote energy efficiency in buildings among vulnerable households, including those affected by energy poverty and, where appropriate, in social housing, in line with the Commission Communication entitled ‘The European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion’ and in accordance with Regulation (XX/XX) of the European Parliament and Council on the Governance Energy Union and Directive (XX/XX) of the European Parliament and Council amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14 b (new)
(14b)  In the future the allocation of ESF+ funding to Member States should be made contingent on provision of proof of effective involvement in projects to introduce or enhance, in the context of the Youth Guarantee, the dual system combining teaching and work experience.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15
(15)  Support through the ESF+ should be used to promote equal access for all, in particular for disadvantaged groups, to quality, non-segregated and inclusive education and training, from early childhood education and care through general and vocational education and training and to tertiary level, as well as adult education and learning, thereby fostering permeability between education and training sectors, preventing early school leaving, improving health literacy, reinforcing links with non-formal and informal learning and facilitating learning mobility for all. Synergies with the Erasmus programme, notably to facilitate the participation of disadvantaged learners in learning mobility, should be supported within this context.
(15)  Support through the ESF+ should be used to promote equal access for all, in particular for disadvantaged groups, to quality, non-segregated and inclusive education and training, from early childhood education and care, paying special attention to children coming from a disadvantaged social background, such as children in institutional care and children experiencing homelessness, through general and vocational education and training and to tertiary level and re-integration into the education system, as well as adult education and learning, thereby preventing the transmission of poverty through generations, fostering permeability between education and training sectors, reducing and preventing early school leaving and social exclusion, improving health literacy, reinforcing links with non-formal and informal learning and facilitating learning mobility for all. Those forms of informal learning should not replace access to regular education, particularly pre-school and primary education. Synergies, complementarity and policy coherence with the Erasmus programme should be established in this context in order to properly and actively reach out and to prepare disadvantaged learners for mobility experiences abroad and increase their participation in cross-border learning mobility.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15 a (new)
(15a)   Support under the investment priority "community-led local development" contributes to the objectives as set out in this Regulation. Community-led local development strategies supported by the ESF+ should be inclusive with regard to disadvantaged people present on the territory, both in terms of governance of local action groups and in terms of content of the strategy. The ESF should be able to support community-led local development strategies in urban and rural areas, as well as integrated territorial investments (ITI).
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15 b (new)
(15b)  The added value of the Union cohesion policy lies particularly in the place-based territorial dimension approach, the multilevel governance, the multiannual planning and shared and measurable objectives, the integrated development approach and the convergence towards European standards in administrative capabilities.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15 c (new)
(15c)  The Commission and the Member States should ensure that gender equality and the integration of the gender perspective is a binding principle in all phases of programming, from shaping the priorities of the operational programmes to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and that key actions for gender mainstreaming receive support.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15 d (new)
(15d)   The ESF+ should support educational schemes that offer adults with a low level of skills the possibility to acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital competence in line with the Council Recommendation of 19 December 2016 on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults1a.
__________________
1a OJ C 484, 24.12.2016, p. 1.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 16
(16)  The ESF+ should promote flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all, notably digital skills and key enabling technologies, with a view to providing people with skills adjusted to digitalisation, technological change, innovation and social and economic change, facilitating career transitions, mobility and supporting in particular low-skilled and/or poorly qualified adults, in line with the Skills Agenda for Europe.
(16)  The ESF+ should promote flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all, taking into consideration the challenges of different disadvantaged groups, notably entrepreneurial and digital skills and key enabling technologies, with a view to providing people and local communities with skills, competences and knowledge adjusted to digitalisation, technological change, innovation and social and economic change, such as the ones induced by the transition to a low carbon economy, facilitating the transition from education to employment, mobility and supporting in particular, low-skilled, persons with disabilities and/or poorly qualified adults, in line with the Skills Agenda for Europe and in coordination and complementarity with the Digital Europe Programme.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17
(17)  Synergies with the Horizon Europe programme should ensure that the ESF+ can mainstream and scale up innovative curricula supported by Horizon Europe in order to equip people with the skills and competences needed for the jobs of the future.
(17)  Synergies with the Horizon Europe programme should ensure that the ESF+ can mainstream and scale up innovative curricula supported by Horizon Europe in order to equip people with the skills and competences needed for their personal and professional development and for the jobs of the future and to address current and future societal challenges. The Commission should ensure synergies between the Health Strand and the Horizon Europe programme in order to boost the results achieved in the area of health protection and diseases prevention.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17 a (new)
(17a)   Synergies with the Rights and Values programme should ensure that ESF+ can mainstream and scale up actions to prevent and combat discrimination, racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, islamophobia and other forms of intolerance, as well as devoting specific actions to prevent hatred, segregation and stigmatisation, including bullying, harassment and intolerant treatment.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17 b (new)
(17b)   The synergies created thanks to European territorial cooperation at regional and cross-border levels have also resulted in cooperation projects to improve employment, inclusion of the most vulnerable sections of the population, demographic challenges, health and education, not only in the Union but also with countries in the pre-accession phase and in neighbouring countries, where Union cooperation provides added value. The ESF+ should improve funding for projects of this type and ensure the transfer of knowledge between them and the legislative process to improve the European regulatory framework and promote the sharing of good practices between the territories of the Union.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 18
(18)  The ESF+ should support Member States’ efforts to tackle poverty with a view to breaking the cycle of disadvantage across generations and promote social inclusion by ensuring equal opportunities for all, tackling discrimination and addressing health inequalities. This implies mobilising a range of policies targeting the most disadvantaged people regardless of their age, including children, marginalised communities such as the Roma, and the working poor. The ESF+ should promote the active inclusion of people far from the labour market with a view to ensuring their socio-economic integration. The ESF+ should be also used to enhance timely and equal access to affordable, sustainable and high quality services such as healthcare and long-term care, in particular family and community-based care services. The ESF+ should contribute to the modernisation of social protection systems with a view in particular to promoting their accessibility.
(18)  The ESF+ should support Member States’ efforts at all levels of government, including at regional and local level, to eradicate poverty, including energy poverty as provided for in the recently adopted rules on the Governance of the Energy Union [substitute number of the Regulation once published], with a view to breaking the cycle of disadvantage across generations and promote social inclusion by ensuring equal opportunities for all, reducing barriers, fighting discrimination and addressing social and health inequalities. This implies also, but is not limited to, mobilising a range of pro-active and reactive policies and strategies targeting the most disadvantaged people regardless of their age, including children, marginalised communities such as the Roma, persons with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, third-country nationals, including migrants and the working poor. The ESF+ should promote the active inclusion of people far from the labour market with a view to ensuring their socio-economic integration, including through targeted support to the social economy. Member States should promote ESF+ actions that complement national measures in line with the Commission Recommendation of 3 October 2008 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market1a including measures on adequate income support. The ESF+ should be also used to enhance timely and equal access to affordable, sustainable and high quality services such as person-centred healthcare, related care and long-term care, in particular family and community-based care services and services guiding access to adequate, social and affordable housing services. This includes health promotion and diseases prevention services as part of primary healthcare services. The ESF+ should contribute to the modernisation of social protection systems with a view in particular to promoting their accessibility, inclusiveness, and effectiveness in responding to the changing realities of world of work. The ESF+ should also address rural poverty stemming from the specific disadvantages of rural areas, such as an unfavourable demographic situation, a weak labour market, limited access to education and training services, or healthcare and social services.
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1a Commission Recommendation of 3 October 2008 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market (OJ L 307, 18.11.2008, p. 11).
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19
(19)  The ESF+ should contribute to the reduction of poverty by supporting national schemes aiming to alleviate food and material deprivation and promote social integration of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion and the most deprived. With a view that at Union level at least 4% of the resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management supports the most deprived, Member States should allocate at least 2% of their national resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to address the forms of extreme poverty with the greatest social exclusion impact, such as homelessness, child poverty and food deprivation. Due to the nature of the operations and the type of end recipients, it is necessary that simpler rules apply to support which addresses material deprivation of the most deprived.
(19)  The ESF+ should contribute to poverty eradication by supporting national schemes aiming to alleviate food and material deprivation and promote social integration of people experiencing or at risk of poverty or social exclusion and the most deprived. Member States should allocate at least 3% of their national resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to combat the forms of extreme poverty with the greatest social exclusion impact, such as homelessness, child poverty, old-age poverty and food deprivation. Due to the nature of the operations and the type of end recipients, it is necessary that the simplest possible rules apply to support which addresses material deprivation of the most deprived.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 a (new)
(19a)   ESF+ should aim to address the poverty among elderly women across the Union, taking into account that the gender pension gap, standing at 40%, constitutes an acute risk for worsening levels of poverty among older women, especially those living without a partner, thus following up on the commitments made in the 2015 ‘Council conclusions on equal income opportunities for women and men: closing the gender gap in pensions’1a. Poverty among elder women is also exacerbated by the rising out-of-pocket costs for health care and medicines that have to be borne by the elderly patients, especially women who spend a larger proportion of their lifespan in ill health than men mostly due to longer life expectancy.
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1a http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9302-2015-INIT/en/pdf.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 b (new)
(19b)  In order to eradicate poverty and ensure greater social inclusion, the ESF+ should promote the active participation of specialised NGOs and organisations representing people living in poverty both in the preparation and in the implementation of the programmes dedicated to this.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  In light of the persistent need to enhance efforts to address the management of the migration flows in the Union as a whole and in order to ensure a coherent, strong and consistent support to the solidarity and responsibility-sharing efforts, the ESF+ should provide support to promote the socio-economic integration of third country nationals complementary to the actions financed under the Asylum and Migration Fund.
(20)  In light of the persistent need to enhance efforts to address the management of the migration flows in the Union as a whole and in order to ensure a coherent, strong and consistent support to the solidarity and fair responsibility-sharing efforts, the ESF+ should provide support to promote the socio-economic integration of third country nationals, including migrants, which may include initiatives at local level, complementary to the actions financed under the Asylum and Migration Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and those funds which can have a positive effect on the inclusion of third-country nationals.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20 a (new)
(20a)   The authorities of the Member States responsible for planning and implementing the ESF+ should coordinate with the authorities designated by Member States to manage the interventions of the Asylum and Migration Fund in order to promote the integration of third-country nationals at all levels in the best possible way through strategies implemented mainly by local and regional authorities and non-governmental organisations and by the most appropriate measures tailored to the particular situation of the third-country nationals. The scope of the integration measures should focus on third-country nationals legally residing in a Member State or where appropriate in the process of acquiring legal residence in a Member State, including beneficiaries of international protection.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21
(21)  The ESF+ should support policy and system reforms in the fields of employment, social inclusion, healthcare and long-term care, and education and training. In order to strengthen alignment with the European Semester, Member States should allocate an appropriate amount of their resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to implement relevant country-specific recommendations relating to structural challenges which it is appropriate to address through multiannual investments falling within the scope of the ESF+. The Commission and the Member States should ensure coherence, coordination and complementarity between the shared-management and Health strands of ESF+ and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument. In particular, the Commission and the Member State should ensure, in all stages of the process, effective coordination in order to safeguard the consistency, coherence, complementarity and synergy among sources of funding, including technical assistance thereof.
(21)  The ESF+ should support policy and system reforms in the fields of employment, social inclusion, poverty eradication, healthcare and long-term care, and education and training. In order to strengthen alignment with the European Semester Member States should allocate an appropriate amount of their resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to implement relevant country-specific recommendations relating to structural challenges, which it is appropriate to address through multiannual investments falling within the scope of the ESF+. The Commission and the Member States should involve local and regional authorities to ensure coherence, coordination and complementarity between the shared-management and Health strands of ESF+ and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument. In particular, the Commission and the Member State should ensure, in all stages of the process, effective coordination in order to safeguard the consistency, coherence, complementarity and synergy among sources of funding, including technical assistance thereof, taking into account principles and rights set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Social Scoreboard under the European Semester, the ILO Decent Work Agenda, and regional specificities, thereby contributing to the goals of the Union set out in Article 174 TFEU as regards to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21 a (new)
(21a)  Given the diversity of the level of development in the regions and different social realities across the Union, the degree of flexibility of the ESF+ should be sufficient to take the regional and territorial specificities into account.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22
(22)  To ensure that the social dimension of Europe as set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights is duly put forward and that a minimum amount of resources is targeting those most in need Member States should allocate at least 25% of their national ESF+ resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to fostering social inclusion.
(22)  To ensure that the social dimension of Europe as set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights is duly put forward and that a minimum amount of resources is targeting those most in need Member States should allocate at least 27% of their national ESF+ resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to fostering social inclusion and poverty eradication. That percentage should be complementary to the national resources to address extreme poverty.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 a (new)
(22a)  All Member States have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which constitutes the standard in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. The promotion of children’s rights is an explicit objective of Union policies (Article 3 of the Lisbon Treaty), and the Charter requires the best interests of the child to be a primary consideration in all Union action. The Union and Member States should make appropriate use of the ESF+ to break the cycle of disadvantage for children living in poverty and social exclusion, as defined in the 2013 Commission Recommendation Investing in children. The ESF+ should support actions promoting effective interventions that contribute to the realisation of children’s rights.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 b (new)
(22b)  In light of the persistently high level of child poverty and social exclusion in the Union (26,4 % in 2017), and the European Pillar of Social Rights which states that children have the right to protection from poverty, and children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the rights to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities, Member States should allocate at least 5 % of ESF+ resources under shared management to the European Child Guarantee scheme in order to contribute to children’s equal access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition for the eradication of child poverty and social exclusion. Investing early in children yields significant returns for these children and society as a whole and is crucial to break the cycle of disadvantage in early years. Supporting children to develop skills and capabilities enables them to develop their full potential, brings them the best educational and health outcomes, and helps them to become active members of society and to increase their chances on the labour market as young people.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23
(23)  In the light of persistently high levels of youth unemployment and inactivity in a number of Member States and regions, in particular affecting young people who are neither in employment, nor in education or training, it is necessary that those Member States continue to invest sufficient resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management towards actions to promote youth employment including through the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes. Building on the actions supported by the Youth Employment Initiative in the 2014-2020 programming period targeting individual persons, Member States should further promote employment and education reintegration pathways and outreach measures for young people by prioritising, where relevant, long-term unemployed, inactive and disadvantaged young people including through youth work. Member States should also invest in measures aimed at facilitating school-to-work transition as well as reforming and adapting employment services with a view to providing tailor-made support to young people. Member States concerned should therefore allocate at least 10% of their national resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management to support youth employability.
(23)  In the light of persistently high levels of youth unemployment and inactivity in a number of Member States and regions, in particular affecting young people who are neither in employment, nor in education or training (NEETs), which levels are even higher in case of young people coming from a disadvantaged social background, it is necessary that Member States continue to invest adequate resources of the ESF+ strand under shared management towards actions to promote youth employment, in particular through the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes. Building on the actions supported by the Youth Employment Initiative in the 2014-2020 programming period targeting individual persons, Member States should further promote high-quality employment and education reintegration pathways and effective outreach measures for young people by prioritising, where relevant, long-term unemployed, inactive and disadvantaged young people, young people who are hardest to reach and young people in vulnerable situations, including through youth work. Member States should also invest in measures aimed at facilitating school-to-work transition as well as reforming and adapting employment services with a view to providing tailor-made support to young people and at delivering their service without discrimination of any kind. Member States should allocate at least 3% of their national resources of the ESF+ strand to support policies in the field of youth employability, continued education, quality employment, apprenticeships and traineeships. Member States with a NEET rate above the Union average, or above 15 %, should allocate at least 15 % of their national resources of the ESF+ to support policies in this field, acting at the appropriate territorial level.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23 a (new)
(23a)  Disparities are growing at subregional level, including in more prosperous regions where there are pockets of poverty.
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23 b (new)
(23b)   Given the extension of the scope of the ESF+, the extra tasks should be coupled with an increased budget in order to fulfil the goals of the Programme. More funding is needed to combat unemployment, in particular youth unemployment, poverty and for the support of professional development and training, especially in the digital workplace, in line with the principles set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23 c (new)
(23c)  EURES should be strengthened on a long-term basis, in particular through the comprehensive development of the internet platform and the active involvement of the Member States. Member States should use this existing model more effectively and publish details of all vacant jobs in the EURES system.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 24
(24)  Member States should ensure coordination and complementarity between the actions supported by these funds.
(24)  Member States and the Commission should ensure coordination and complementarity and exploit synergies between the actions supported by the ESF+ and the other Union programmes and instruments such as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Erasmus, the Asylum and Migration Fund, Horizon Europe, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Digital Europe Programme, InvestEU, Creative Europe or the European Solidarity Corps.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25
(25)  In accordance with Article 349 TFEU and Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession, the outermost regions and the northern sparsely populated regions are entitled to specific measures under common policies and EU programmes. Due to the permanent constraints these regions require specific support.
(25)  In accordance with Articles 349 and 174 TFEU and Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession, the outermost regions, the northern sparsely populated regions and islands are entitled to specific measures under common policies and EU programmes. Because they suffer from severe and permanent natural handicaps, these regions need specific support.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25 a (new)
(25a)  In accordance with Article 174 TFEU, the Member States and the Commission should ensure that the ESF+ contributes to the development and implementation of specific policies to address the constraints and difficulties experienced by regions that suffer from severe and permanent demographic handicaps, such as depopulated regions and sparsely populated regions.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26
(26)  Efficient and effective implementation of actions supported by the ESF+ depends on good governance and partnership between all actors at the relevant territorial levels and the socio-economic actors, in particular the social partners and civil society. It is therefore essential that Member States encourage the participation of social partners and civil society in the implementation of the ESF+ under shared management.
(26)  Efficient and effective implementation of actions supported by the ESF+ depends on good governance and partnership between Union institutions and local, regional and national authorities and the socio-economic actors, in particular the social partners and civil society. It is therefore essential that Member States, in partnership with regional and local authorities, ensure meaningful participation of social partners and civil society organisations, equality bodies, national human rights institutions and other relevant or representative organisations in the programming and delivery of the ESF+ from shaping priorities for operational programmes to implementing, monitoring and evaluating the results and impact in line with the European code of conduct on partnership in the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds established by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 240/20141a. Furthermore, for the sake of safeguarding non-discrimination and equal opportunities, equality bodies and national human rights institutions should also be involved in each stage.
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1a Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 240/2014 of 7 January 2014 on the European code of conduct on partnership in the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds (OJ L 74, 14.3.2014, p. 1).
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26 a (new)
(26a)  Good governance and partnership between managing authorities and the partners require the effective and efficient use of capacity building for stakeholders, to whom Member Stes should allocate an appropriate amount of ESF+ resources. As investment in institutional capacity and in the efficiency of public administration and public services at the national, regional and local levels with a view to reforms, better regulation and good governance, is no longer included as an operational objective of the ESF+ under shared management, but has been included in the Structural Support Reform Programme, it is necessary that the Commission and the Member States ensure effective coordination between the two instruments.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27
(27)  With a view to rendering policies more responsive to social change and to encourage and support innovative solutions, support for social innovation is crucial. In particular, testing and evaluating innovative solutions before scaling them up is instrumental in improving the efficiency of the policies and thus justifies specific support from the ESF+.
(27)  With a view to rendering policies more responsive to social change and to encourage and support innovative solutions, including at local level, support for social innovation and the social economy is crucial. In particular, testing and evaluating innovative solutions before scaling them up is instrumental in improving the efficiency of the policies and thus justifies specific support from the ESF+.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27 a (new)
(27a)  With a view to fully tapping into the potential of cross-sectorial cooperation and to improving synergies and coherence with other policy fields to achieve its general objectives, the ESF+ should support innovative actions which use sport and physical activity and culture to drive social inclusion, fight youth unemployment, particularly for disadvantaged groups, improve social inclusion of marginalised groups and to promote good health and disease prevention.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28
(28)  The Member States and the Commission should ensure that ESF+ contributes to the promotion of equality between women and men in accordance with Article 8 TFEU to foster equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men in all areas, including regarding participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. They should also ensure that the ESF+ promotes equal opportunities for all, without discrimination in accordance with Article 10 TFEU and promotes the inclusion in society of persons with disabilities on equal basis with others and contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These principles should be taken into account in all dimensions and in all stages of the preparation, monitoring, implementation and evaluation of programmes, in a timely and consistent manner while ensuring that specific actions are taken to promote gender equality and equal opportunities. The ESF+ should also promote the transition from residential/institutional care to family and community-based care, in particular for those who face multiple discrimination. The ESF+ should not support any action that contributes to segregation or to social exclusion. Regulation (EU) No [future CPR] provides that rules on eligibility of expenditure are to be established at national level, with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to lay down specific provisions with regard to the ESF+ strand under shared management.
(28)  The Member States and the Commission should ensure that ESF+ contributes to the promotion of equality between women and men in accordance with Article 8 TFEU to foster equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men in all areas, including regarding participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. The gender aspects should be taken into account in all programmes implemented, throughout their preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, the ESF+ should in particular comply with Article 21 of the Charter that stipulates that any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age, sexual orientation is prohibited; furthermore, any discrimination based on sex characteristics or gender identity and on grounds of nationality should also be prohibited. Member States and the Commission should also ensure that the ESF+ promotes the inclusion in society of persons with disabilities on equal basis with others and contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with regard inter alia to education, work, employment and universal accessibility. These principles should be taken into account in all dimensions and in all stages of the preparation, monitoring, implementation and evaluation of programmes, in a timely and consistent manner while ensuring that specific actions are taken to promote gender equality and equal opportunities. The ESF+ should also promote the transition from institutional care to family and community-based care, in particular for those who face multiple and intersectional discrimination. The ESF+ should not support any action that contributes to segregation or to social exclusion. Regulation (EU) No [future CPR] provides that rules on eligibility of expenditure are to be in line with the Charter and established at national level, with certain exceptions for which it is necessary to lay down specific provisions with regard to the ESF+ strand under shared management.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28 a (new)
(28a)  The use of regional indicators should be considered in order to allow subregional disparities to be better taken into account.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28 b (new)
(28b)   The ESF+ should support the study of languages in fostering mutual understanding and in building an inclusive society, also through a wider adoption by the Member States of the toolkit for language support for refugees developed by the Council of Europe.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29
(29)  In order to reduce the administrative burden for the collection of data, Member States should, where such data are available in registers, allow managing authorities to collect data from registers.
(29)  In order to reduce the administrative burden for the collection of data, Member States should, where such data, possibly disaggregated by sex, are available in registers, allow managing authorities to collect data from registers while respecting the protection of personal data in accordance to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a. It is advisable to incentivise the continuation of the electronic transmission of data as it helps reducing the administrative burden.
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1a Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 31
(31)  Social experimentation is a small-scale project testing which allows gathering evidence on the feasibility of social innovations. It should be possible for feasible ideas to be pursued on a wider scale or in other contexts with financial support from the ESF+, as well as from other sources.
(31)  Social experimentation is a small-scale project testing which allows gathering evidence on the feasibility of social innovations. It should be possible and encouraged for ideas to be tested at local level and for those that are feasible to be pursued on a wider scale - where appropriate - or transferred to other contexts in different regions or Member States with financial support from the ESF+ or in combination with other sources.
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 32
(32)  ESF+ lays down provisions intended to achieve freedom of movement for workers on a non-discriminatory basis by ensuring the close cooperation of the central employment services of Member States with one another and with the Commission. The European network of employment services should promote a better functioning of the labour markets by facilitating the cross-border mobility of workers and a greater transparency of information on the labour markets. The ESF+ scope also includes developing and supporting targeted mobility schemes with a view to filling vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified.
(32)  ESF+ lays down provisions intended to achieve freedom of movement for workers on a non-discriminatory basis by ensuring the close cooperation of the public employment services of Member States, the Commission and the social partners. The European network of employment services, with the involvement of the social partners, should promote a better functioning of the labour markets by facilitating the cross-border mobility of workers and a greater transparency of information on the labour markets. The ESF+ scope also includes developing and supporting targeted mobility schemes with a view to filling vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified. The ESF + covers cross-border partnerships between regional public employment services and social partners and their activities to promote mobility, as well as transparency and integration of cross-border labour markets through information, advice and placement. In many border regions they play an important role in the development of a genuine European labour market.
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 33
(33)  Lack of access to finance for microenterprises, social economy and social enterprises is one of the main obstacles to business creation, especially among people furthest from the labour market. The ESF+ Regulation lays down provisions in order to create a market eco-system to increase the supply of and access to finance for social enterprises as well as to meet demand from those who need it most, and in particular the unemployed, women and vulnerable people who wish to start up or develop a microenterprise. This objective will also be addressed through financial instruments and budgetary guarantee under the social investment and skills policy window of the InvestEU Fund.
(33)  Lack of access to finance for microenterprises, social economy and social economy enterprises is one of the main obstacles to business creation, especially among people furthest from the labour market. The ESF+ Regulation lays down provisions in order to create a market eco-system to increase the supply of and access to finance and support services for social economy enterprises, including in the cultural and creative sector, as well as to meet demand from those who need it most, and in particular the unemployed, women and disadvantaged groups who wish to start up or develop a microenterprise. This objective will also be addressed through financial instruments and budgetary guarantee under the social investment and skills policy window of the InvestEU Fund.
Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 33 a (new)
(33a)  The Commission should introduce at Union level a ‘European Social Economy Label’ for social and solidarity-based enterprises, based on clear criteria designed to highlight the specific characteristics of these enterprises and their social impact, increase their visibility, create incentives for investment and facilitate access to funding and to the single market for those willing to expand nationally or into other Member States, in a manner consistent with the different legal forms and frameworks in the sector and in the Member States.
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 34
(34)  Social investment market players, including philanthropic actors, can play a key role in achieving several ESF+ objectives, as they offer financing as well as innovative and complementary approaches to combatting social exclusion and poverty, reducing unemployment and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, philanthropic actors such as foundations and donors should be involved, as appropriate, in ESF+ actions in particular in those aimed at developing the social investment market ecosystem.
(34)  Social investment market players, including philanthropic actors, can play a key role in achieving several ESF+ objectives, as they offer financing as well as innovative and complementary approaches to combatting social exclusion and poverty, reducing unemployment and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, philanthropic actors such as foundations and donors should be involved, as appropriate and as long as they do not have a political or social agenda in conflict with Union ideals, in ESF+ actions in particular in those aimed at developing the social investment market ecosystem.
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 34 a (new)
(34a)  Transnational cooperation has significant added value and should therefore be supported by all Member States with the exception of duly justified cases taking into account the principle of proportionality. It is also necessary to reinforce the Commission’s role in facilitating exchanges of experience and coordinating implementation of relevant initiatives.
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 35 a (new)
(35a)   The Commission should increase participation of Member States and underrepresented organisations by lowering as much as possible the barriers to participation, including the administrative burden of applying for and receiving funding.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 35 b (new)
(35b)   One of the main Union objectives is to strengthen health systems by supporting the digital transformation of health and patient care and developing a sustainable health information system as well as supporting national reforms to make health systems more effective, accessible and resilient.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 36
(36)  Keeping people healthy and active longer and empowering them to take an active role in managing their health will have positive effects on health, health inequalities, quality of life, productivity, competitiveness and inclusiveness, while reducing pressures on national budgets. The Commission has been committed to help Member States to reach their sustainable development goals (SDG), in particular SDG 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages".17
(36)  Continued effort is required in order to meet the requirements set out in Article 168 TFEU. Keeping all people healthy and active in a non-discriminatory way and empowering them to take an active role in managing their health will have positive effects on health, health inequalities, quality of life, productivity, competitiveness and inclusiveness, while reducing pressures on national budgets. Support for, and recognition of, innovation, including social innovation, which has an impact on health, helps in order to take up the challenge of sustainability in the health sector in the context of addressing the challenges of demographic change. Moreover, action to reduce inequalities in health is important for the purposes of achieving 'inclusive growth'. The Commission has been committed to help Member States to reach their sustainable development goals (SDG), in particular SDG 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.17
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17 COM(2016)0739
17 COM(2016)0739
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 36 a (new)
(36a)  According to the definition of the World Health Organisation (WHO), "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". In order to improve the health of the population in the Union, it is essential not to focus only on physical health and social well-being. According to the WHO, mental health problems account for almost 40 % of years lived with disability. Mental health problems are also wide-ranging, long-lasting and a source of discrimination, and contribute significantly to inequality in health. Moreover, the economic crisis affects factors determining mental health, as protective factors are weakened and risk factors increased.
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 37
(37)  Evidence and the common values and principles in European Union Health Systems as set out in the Council Conclusions of 2 June 2006 should support the decision-making processes for planning and managing innovative, efficient and resilient health systems, promoting tools for ensuring universal access to quality healthcare, and the voluntary wider scale implementation of best practices.
(37)  Evidence and the common values and principles in European Union Health Systems as set out in the Council Conclusions of 2 June 2006 should support the decision-making processes for planning and managing innovative, efficient and resilient health systems, promoting tools for ensuring universal access to quality person-centred healthcare and related care, and the voluntary wider scale implementation of best practices. This includes health promotion and disease prevention services as part of primary healthcare services.
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 37 a (new)
(37a)  The previous programmes of Union action in the field of public health (2003-2008) and in the field of health (2008-2013 and 2014-2020), established respectively by Decisions No 1786/2002/EC1a and 1350/2007/EC1b and Regulation (EU) No 282/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council1c ("the previous health programmes"), have been positively assessed as resulting in a number of important developments and improvements. The Health strand of the ESF+ should build on the achievements of the previous health programmes.
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1a Decision No 1786/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 adopting a programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008) (OJ L 271, 9.10.2002, p. 1).
1b Decision No 1350/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 establishing a second programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-13) (OJ L 301, 20.11.2007, p. 3).
1c Regulation (EU) No 282/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 on the establishment of a third Programme for the Union's action in the field of health (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1350/2007/EC (OJ L 86, 21.3.2014, p. 1).
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 37 b (new)
(37b)   The Health strand of the ESF+ should be a means of promoting actions in areas where there is Union added value that can be demonstrated on the basis of the following: exchanging good practices between Member States and between regions; supporting networks for knowledge sharing or mutual learning; supporting qualification of health professionals; addressing cross-border threats to reduce their risks and mitigate their consequences; addressing certain issues relating to the internal market where the Union has substantial legitimacy to ensure high-quality solutions across Member States; unlocking the potential of innovation in health; actions that could lead to a system for benchmarking to allow informed decision-making at Union level; improving efficiency by avoiding a waste of resources due to duplication, and optimising the use of financial resources.
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 38
(38)  The Health strand of the ESF+ should contribute to disease prevention throughout the lifetime of the Union's citizens and to health promotion by addressing health risk factors such as tobacco use and passive smoking, harmful use of alcohol, consumption of illicit drugs and reduction of drugs-related health damage, unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles in order to complement Member States action in line with the relevant strategies. The Health strand of the ESF+ should mainstream effective prevention models, innovative technologies and new business models and solutions to contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems of the Member States and facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for European citizens.
(38)  The Health strand of the ESF+ should contribute to disease prevention, early diagnosis throughout the lifetime of the people living in the Union and to health promotion by addressing health risk factors such as tobacco use, smoking and passive smoking, harmful use of alcohol, environmental health risk factors, consumption of illicit drugs and reduction of drugs-related health damage, obesity and unhealthy dietary habits, also related to poverty and physical inactivity and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles, greater public awareness of risk factors, well-designed public health interventions for reducing the burden and impact of infections and preventable infectious diseases, including through vaccinations, in the overall health throughout life in order to complement Member States action in line with the relevant strategies. In this context, special attention should be given to health education as it helps individuals and communities improve their health, increase their knowledge and influence their attitudes. Current health challenges can only be effectively addressed through collaboration at Union level and continued Union action in the field of health. The Health strand of the ESF+ should support implementation of the relevant Union law, mainstream effective prevention and awareness raising models reaching out to all, innovative technologies and new business models and solutions to contribute to innovative, accessible, efficient and sustainable health systems of the Member States and facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for people living in the Union in both urban and rural areas.
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 38 a (new)
(38a)   In order to implement the actions under the Health strand, the Commission should support the creation of a Steering Board for Health. In addition, the Commission should propose ways and methodology for aligning the health-related activities with the European Semester process, now empowered to recommend health systems (and other social determinants of health in fact) reforms towards greater accessibility and sustainability of healthcare and social protection provisions in Member States.
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 39
(39)  Non-communicable diseases are responsible for over 80 % of premature mortality in the Union and an effective prevention entails multiple cross border dimensions. In parallel, the European Parliament and the Council underlined the need to minimise the public health consequences of serious cross-border threats to health such as communicable diseases and other biological, chemical, environmental and unknown threats, by supporting preparedness and response capacity building.
(39)  Non-communicable diseases are responsible for over 80 % of premature mortality in the Union and an effective prevention entails multiple cross-sectoral actions and cross border dimensions. In parallel, the European Parliament and the Council underlined the need to minimise the public health consequences of serious cross-border threats to health such as sudden and cumulative environmental emissions and pollution, communicable diseases and other biological, chemical, environmental and unknown threats, by supporting preparedness and response capacity building.
Amendment 72
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 39 a (new)
(39a)   Continuous investments in innovative community-based approaches to tackle cross-border diseases such as the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis are vital as the social dimension of the diseases is a major factor affecting the ability to tackle them as epidemics in the Union and neighbouring countries. A more ambitious political leadership and adequate technical and financial means to provide a sustainable regional response to the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis in Europe will be instrumental to reach the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals on these diseases.
Amendment 73
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 40
(40)  Reducing the burden of resistant infections and healthcare associated infections and securing the availability of effective antimicrobials is essential for the efficiency of health systems and for the health of citizens.
(40)  Reducing the burden of resistant infections and healthcare associated infections and securing the availability of effective antimicrobials, whilst nonetheless reducing their use in order to help tackle antimicrobial resistance, is essential for the efficiency of health systems and for the health of citizens.
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 42
(42)  Given the specific nature of some of the objectives covered by the Health strand of the ESF+ and by the type of the actions under that strand, the respective competent authorities of the Member States are best placed to implement the related activities. Those authorities, designated by the Member States themselves, should therefore be considered to be identified beneficiaries for the purpose of Article [195]of [the new Financial Regulation] and the grants be awarded to such authorities without prior publication of calls for proposals.
(42)  Given the specific nature of some of the objectives covered by the Health strand of the ESF+ and by the type of the actions under that strand, the respective competent authorities of the Member States are best placed to implement the related activities with the active support of civil society. Those authorities, designated by the Member States themselves, and additionally, civil society organisations, as appropriate, should therefore be considered to be identified beneficiaries for the purpose of Article [195]of [the new Financial Regulation] and the grants be awarded to such authorities without prior publication of calls for proposals.
.
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 42 a (new)
(42a)   In order to increase the performance of programme monitoring inefficiencies and inadequacies, the Commission should implement and use programmatic and action specific monitoring indicators to ensure that programme objectives are achieved.
Amendment 76
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 42 b (new)
(42b)   The ESF+ programme should address existing obstacles to civil society participation, for example through simplifying the application procedures, easing the financial criteria by waiving the co-financing percentage in some cases, but also through building the capacity of patients, their organisations and other stakeholders through training and education. The programme shall also aim to enable the functioning of civil society networks and organisations at Union level that contribute to the achievement of its objectives, including Union-level organisations.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 42 c (new)
(42c)   The implementation of the Health strand of the ESF+ should be such that the responsibilities of the Member States, for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care, are respected. Whilst respecting Treaty obligations and the role of Member States as the primary interlocutor in the Union decision-making process, competent authorities at sub-national level should be engaged in order to ensure an effective and lasting impact of Union health policy through their integration with social policies on the ground.
Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 44
(44)  EU health legislation has an immediate impact on the lives of citizen, on the efficiency and resilience of the health systems and the good functioning of the internal market. The regulatory framework for medical products and technologies (medicinal products, medical devices and substances of human origin), as well as on tobacco legislation, patients' rights on cross-border health and serious cross-border threats to health is essential to health protection in the EU. Regulation, as well its implementation and enforcement, must keep pace with innovation and research advances and with societal changes in this area, while delivering on health objectives. It is therefore necessary to continuously develop the evidence base required for implementing legislation of such a scientific nature.
(44)  EU health legislation has an immediate impact on the lives of citizen, on the efficiency and resilience of the health systems and the good functioning of the internal market. The regulatory framework for medical products and technologies (medicinal products, medical devices and substances of human origin), as well as on tobacco legislation, patients' rights on cross-border health and serious cross-border threats to health is essential to health protection in the EU. In addition, many other Union legal acts have significant impacts on health such as those relating to food and food labelling, air pollution, endocrine disruptors and pesticides. In some cases, the cumulative impacts of environmental risk factors are not clearly understood, potentially leading to unacceptable risks to citizens' health.
Amendment 79
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 44 a (new)
(44a)   Regulation with health implications, as well as its implementation and enforcement, should keep pace with innovation and research advances and with societal change in this area, whilst remaining underpinned by the precautionary principle, as enshrined in the Treaties. It is therefore necessary to continuously develop the evidence base required for implementing legislation of such scientific nature and, in order to ensure the possibility of independent scrutiny thereby re-gaining public trust in Union processes and because, by its very nature the sharing of this evidence is in the public interest, the highest level of transparency should be guaranteed.
Amendment 80
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 44 b (new)
(44b)   Facing health challenges cannot be done by the health sector alone, as health is determined by multiple factors outside of it. Hence, as stated in the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties, health in all policies is important for the Union's ability to face future challenges. However, making other sectors aware of the health impacts of their decisions and to integrate health into their policies is one of the biggest challenges the European health sector currently encounters. Important advances in health have been registered so far through policies in sectors such as education, traffic, nutrition, agriculture, labour, or planning. As an example, heart health has registered significant improvements through changes in policies and regulations regarding the quality of food, increased physical activity and decreased smoking.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 46
(46)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Regulation will contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union’s policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. Relevant actions will be identified during the preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the mid-term evaluation.
(46)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Regulation will contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union's policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives over the MFF 2021-2027 period, and an annual target of 30 % as soon as possible and at the latest by 2027. Relevant actions will be identified during the preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the mid-term evaluation.
Amendment 82
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 47
(47)  Pursuant to Article [94 of Council Decision 2013/755/EU19], persons and entities established in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) are to be eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant OCTs are linked.
(47)  Pursuant to Article [94 of Council Decision 2013/755/EU19], persons and entities established in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) are to be eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant OCTs are linked. The programme will need to allow for the particular constraints affecting persons and entities established in those territories in order to provide for proper access to those strands.
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19Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ( ‘Overseas Association Decision’) (OJ L 344, 19.12.2013, p. 1).
19Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ( ‘Overseas Association Decision’) (OJ L 344, 19.12.2013, p. 1).
Amendment 83
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 48
(48)  Third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes in the framework of the cooperation established under the EEA agreement, which provides for the implementation of the programmes by a decision under that agreement. A specific provision should be introduced in this Regulation to grant the necessary rights for and access to the authorising officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office as well as the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences.
(48)  Subject to complying with all the relevant rules and regulations, third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes in the framework of the cooperation established under the EEA agreement, which provides for the implementation of the programmes by a decision under that agreement. A specific provision should be introduced in this Regulation to grant the necessary rights for and access to the authorising officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office as well as the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences.
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 50 a (new)
(50a)   It is important to ensure sound and fair financial management of the Fund to guarantee that it is implemented in such a way as to make it as clear, effective and easy to use as possible, while guaranteeing legal certainty and ensuring that it is accessible to all participants. As ESF+ activities are carried out under shared management, the Member States should not add additional rules or amend the rules as they go, as that would complicate the use of the funds for the beneficiaries and may lead to a delay in the payment of invoices.
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 51
(51)  Since the objective of this Regulation, namely enhancing the effectiveness of labour markets and promoting access to quality employment, improving the access to and the quality of education and training, promoting social inclusion and health and reducing poverty as well as the actions under the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.
(51)  Since the objective of this Regulation, namely enhancing the effectiveness and fairness of labour markets and promoting access to quality employment, improving the access to and the quality of education, training and care, promoting social inclusion, equal opportunities, and health and eradicating poverty as well as the actions under the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.
Amendment 86
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1
Article 1
Article 1
Subject matter
Subject matter
This Regulation establishes the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).
This Regulation establishes the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). ESF+ consists of three strands: the strand under shared management, the Employment and Social Innovation strand and the Health strand.
It lays down the objectives of the ESF+, the budget for the period 2021-2027, the methods of implementation, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding.
This Regulation lays down the objectives of the ESF+, the budget for the period 2021-2027, the methods of implementation, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding, complementing the general rules applicable to ESF+ under Regulation (EU) No [Regulation laying down Common Provisions].
Amendment 87
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2
Article 2
Article 2
Definitions
Definitions
1.  For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:
1.  For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:
(1)  'accompanying measures' means activities provided in addition to the distribution of food and/or basic material assistance with the aim of addressing social exclusion such as referring to and providing social services or advice on managing a household budget;
(1)  'accompanying measures' means activities provided in addition to the distribution of food and/or basic material assistance with the aim of addressing social exclusion and eradicating poverty such as referring to and providing social services and psychological support, providing relevant information on public services or advice on managing a household budget;
(2)  ‘associated country’ means a third country which is party to an agreement with the Union allowing for its participation in the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands of the ESF+ in accordance with Article 30;
(2)  ‘associated country’ means a third country which is party to an agreement with the Union allowing for its participation in the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands of the ESF+ in accordance with Article 30;
(3)  'basic material assistance' means goods which fulfil the basic needs of a person for a life with dignity, such as clothing, hygiene goods and school material;
(3)  'basic material assistance' means goods which fulfil the basic needs of a person for a life with dignity, such as clothing, hygiene goods, including feminine hygiene products, and school material;
(4)  'blending operation' means actions supported by the Union budget, including within blending facilities pursuant to Article 2(6) of the Financial Regulation, combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments from the Union budget with repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from commercial finance institutions and investors;
(4)  'blending operation' means actions supported by the Union budget, including within blending facilities pursuant to Article 2(6) of the Financial Regulation, combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments from the Union budget with repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from commercial finance institutions and investors;
(5)  ‘common immediate result indicators’ means common result indicators which capture effects within four weeks as from the day the participant leaves the operation (exit date);
(5)  ‘common immediate result indicators’ means common result indicators which capture effects within four weeks as from the day the participant leaves the operation (exit date);
(6)  ‘common longer term result indicators’ means common result indicators which capture effects six months after a participant has left the operation;
(6)  ‘common longer term result indicators’ means common result indicators which capture effects six and twelve months after a participant has left the operation;
(7)  'costs of purchasing food and/or basic material assistance' means the actual costs linked to the purchase of food and/or basic material assistance by the beneficiary and not limited to the price of the food and/or basic material assistance;
(7)  'costs of purchasing food and/or basic material assistance' means the actual costs linked to the purchase of food and/or basic material assistance by the beneficiary and not limited to the price of the food and/or basic material assistance;
(7a)  ‘cross-border partnerships’ in the Employment and Social Innovation strand means permanent structures of cooperation between public employment services, civil society or the social partners located in at least two Member States;
(8)  'end recipient' means the most deprived person or persons receiving the support as laid down in point (xi) of Article 4(1);
(8)  'end recipient' means the most deprived person or persons receiving the support as laid down in point (xi) of Article 4(1);
(9)  ‘health crisis’ means any crisis commonly perceived as a threat, having a health dimension and which requires urgent action by authorities under conditions of uncertainty;
(9)  ‘health crisis’ means any crisis commonly perceived as a threat, having a health dimension and which requires urgent action by authorities under conditions of uncertainty;
(10)  'legal entity' means any natural person, or any legal person created and recognised as such under national law, Union law or international law, which has a legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations;
(10)  'legal entity' means any natural person, or any legal person created and recognised as such under national law, Union law or international law, which has a legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations;
(11)  'microfinance' includes guarantees, microcredit, equity and quasi-equity, coupled with accompanying business development services such as in the form of individual counselling, training and mentoring, extended to persons and micro-enterprises that experience difficulties accessing credit for the purpose of professional and/or revenue-generating activities;
(11)  'microfinance' includes guarantees, microcredit, equity and quasi-equity, coupled with accompanying business development services such as in the form of individual counselling, training and mentoring, extended to persons and micro-enterprises that experience difficulties accessing credit for the purpose of professional and/or revenue-generating activities;
(12)  micro-enterprise' means an enterprise with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover or balance sheet below EUR 2 000 000;
(12)  micro-enterprise' means an enterprise with fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover or balance sheet below EUR 2 000 000;
(13)  'most deprived persons' means natural persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria set by the national competent authorities in consultation with relevant stakeholders, while avoiding conflicts of interest and which are approved by those national competent authorities and which may include elements that allow the targeting of the most deprived persons in certain geographical areas;
(13)  'most deprived persons' means natural persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, including children and homeless people, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria set by the national competent authorities in consultation with relevant stakeholders, while avoiding conflicts of interest and which are approved by those national competent authorities and which may include elements that allow the targeting of the most deprived persons in certain geographical areas;
(14)  'reference value’ means a value to set targets for common and programme specific result indicators which is based on existing or previous similar interventions;
(14)  'reference value’ means a value to set targets for common and programme specific result indicators which is based on existing or previous similar interventions;
(15)  'social enterprise' means an undertaking, regardless of its legal form, or a natural person which
(15)  'social enterprise' means a social economy undertaking, regardless of its legal form, or a natural person who:
(a)  in accordance with its Articles of Association, Statutes or with any other legal document that may result in liability under the rules of the Member State where it is located, has as its primary social objective the achievement of measurable, positive social impacts rather than generating profit for other purposes, and which provides services or goods that generate a social return, and/or employs methods of production of goods or services that embodies social objectives;
(a)  in accordance with its Articles of Association, Statutes or with any other legal document that may result in liability under the rules of the Member State where it is located, has as its primary social objective the achievement of measurable, positive social, including environmental, impacts rather than generating profit for other purposes, and which provides services or goods that generate a social return, and/or employs methods of production of goods or services that embodies social objectives;
(b)  uses its profits first and foremost to achieve its primary social objective, and has predefined procedures and rules covering any distribution of profits that ensure that such distribution does not undermine the primary social objective;
(b)  reinvests most of its profits first and foremost to achieve its primary social objective, and has predefined procedures and rules covering any distribution of profits that ensure that such distribution does not undermine the primary social objective;
(c)  is managed in an entrepreneurial, accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and stakeholders impacted by its business activities;
(c)  is managed in an entrepreneurial, democratic, participatory, accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and stakeholders impacted by its business activities;
(15a)  ‘social economy enterprise’ means different types of enterprises and entities falling within the social economy, such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises and other forms of enterprises regulated by the laws of the individual Member States and based on the primacy of the individual and social objectives over capital, democratic governance, solidarity and the reinvestment of the majority of profits or surpluses;
(16)  'social innovations' mean activities that are social both as to their ends and their means and in particular those which relate to the development and implementation of new ideas (concerning products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations, thereby benefiting society and boosting its capacity to act;
(16)  'social innovations' mean activities, including collective activities, that are social both as to their ends and their means and in particular those which relate to the development and implementation of new ideas (concerning products, services, practices and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations, including between public, third sector organisations such as voluntary and community organisations and social economy enterprises, thereby benefiting society and boosting its capacity to act;
(17)  'social experimentations' mean policy interventions that offer an innovative response to social needs, implemented on a small scale and in conditions that enable their impact to be measured, prior to being implemented in other contexts or on a larger scale, if the results prove convincing;
(17)  'social experimentations' mean policy interventions that offer an innovative response to social needs, implemented on a small scale and in conditions that enable their impact to be measured, prior to being implemented in other, including geographical and sectorial, contexts or on a larger scale, if the results prove convincing;
(18)  'key competences' means the knowledge, skills and competences all individuals need, at any stage of their lives, for personal fulfilment and development, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. The key competences are: literacy; multilingual; mathematics, science, technology and engineering; digital; personal, social and learning to learn; citizenship; entrepreneurship; cultural awareness and expression;
(18)  'key competences' means the knowledge, skills and competences all individuals need, at any stage of their lives, for personal fulfilment and development, employment, social inclusion and active citizenship. The key competences are: literacy; multilingual; mathematics, science, technology, arts and engineering; digital; media; personal, social and learning to learn; citizenship; entrepreneurship; (inter)cultural awareness and expression and critical thinking;
(19)  'third country' means a country that is not member of the European Union.
(19)  'third country' means a country that is not member of the European Union;
(19a)  ‘disadvantaged groups’ means targeted groups with a high level of people experiencing or at risk of poverty, discrimination or social exclusion, including among others ethnic minorities such as Roma, third-country nationals, including migrants, elderly people, children, single parents, persons with disabilities or persons with chronic diseases;
(19b)  ‘lifelong learning’ means learning in all its forms (formal, non-formal and informal learning) taking place at all stages in life including early childhood education, general education, vocational education and training, higher education and adult education, and resulting in an improvement in knowledge, skills, competences, and possibilities to participate in society.
2.  The definitions in Article [2] of [the future CPR] shall also apply for the ESF+ strand under shared management.
2.  The definitions in Article [2] of [the future CPR] also apply for the ESF+ strand under shared management.
2a.  The definitions in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union1a also apply to the Employment and Social Innovation strand and to the Health strand under direct and indirect management.
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1a Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
Amendment 88
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3
Article 3
Article 3
General objectives and methods of implementation
General objectives and methods of implementation
The ESF+ aims to support Member States to achieve high employment levels, fair social protection and a skilled and resilient workforce ready for the future world of work, in line with the principles set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017.
The ESF+ shall support Member States, at national, regional and local level, and the Union to achieve inclusive societies, high levels of quality employment, job creation, quality and inclusive education and training, equal opportunities, eradicating poverty, including child poverty, social inclusion and integration, social cohesion, social protection and a skilled and resilient workforce ready for the future world of work.
The ESF+ shall be in line with the Treaties of the European Union and the Charter, delivering on the principles set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017, thereby contributing to the goals of the Union as regards to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in accordance with Article 174 TFEU and the commitment of the Union and its Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
The ESF+ shall support, complement and add value to the policies of the Member States to ensure equal opportunities, access to the labour market, fair working conditions, social protection and inclusion, and a high level of human health protection.
The ESF+ shall support, complement and add value to the policies of the Member States to ensure equal opportunities, equal access to the labour market, lifelong learning, high quality working conditions, social protection, integration and inclusion, eradicating poverty, including child poverty, investment in children and young people, non-discrimination, gender equality, access to basic services and a high level of human health protection.
It shall be implemented:
It shall be implemented:
a)  under shared management, for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the specific objectives indicated in Article 4(1) (the ‘ESF+ strand under shared management’), and
a)  under shared management, for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the specific objectives indicated in Article 4(1) (the ‘ESF+ strand under shared management’), and
b)  under direct and indirect management for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the objectives indicated in Articles 4(1) and 23 (the ‘Employment and Social Innovation strand’) and for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the objectives indicated in Articles 4(1) and (3) and 26 (the ‘Health strand’).
b)  under direct and indirect management for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the objectives indicated in Articles 4(1) and 23 (the ‘Employment and Social Innovation strand’) and for the part of the assistance which corresponds to the objectives indicated in Articles 4(1) and (3) and 26 (the ‘Health strand’).
Amendment 89
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4
Article 4
Article 4
Specific objectives
Specific objectives
1.  The ESF+ shall support the following specific objectives in the policy areas of employment, education, social inclusion and health and thereby also contributing to the policy objective for “A more social Europe - Implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights” set out in Article [4] of the [future CPR]:
1.  The ESF+ shall support the following specific objectives in the policy areas of employment, education, mobility, social inclusion, poverty eradication and health and thereby also contributing to the policy objective for “A more social Europe - Implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights” set out in Article [4] of the [future CPR]:
(i)  improving access to employment of all jobseekers, in particular youth and long-term unemployed, and of inactive people, promoting self-employment and the social economy;
(i)  improving access to quality employment and activation measures of all jobseekers, in particular specific measures for young people, especially though the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, long-term unemployed, economically inactive people and disadvantaged groups, with focus on persons furthest away from the labour market, promoting employment, self-employment, entrepreneurship and the social economy;
(ii)  modernising labour market institutions and services to assess and anticipate skills needs and ensure timely and tailor-made assistance and support to labour market matching, transitions and mobility;
(ii)  modernising labour market institutions and services to assess and anticipate skills needs and ensure timely and tailor-made assistance and support to labour market matching, transitions and mobility;
(iii)  promoting women’s labour market participation, a better work/life balance including access to childcare, a healthy and well–adapted working environment addressing health risks, adaptation of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change, and active and healthy ageing;
(iii)  promoting women’s labour market participation and career progression, promoting the principle of equal pay for equal work, a better work/life balance, with a special focus on single parents, including access to affordable, inclusive and quality childcare, early childhood education, eldercare, and other care services and support; and a healthy and well–adapted working environment addressing health and disease risks, adaptation of workers, professional reorientation, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change, and active and healthy ageing;
(iv)  improving the quality, effectiveness and labour market relevance of education and training systems, to support acquisition of key competences including digital skills;
(iv)  improving the quality, inclusiveness, effectiveness and labour market relevance of education and training systems, to support acquisition of key competences including entrepreneurial and digital skills and recognising non-formal and informal learning, to promote e-inclusion and facilitate the transition from education to work, in order to reflect social and economic requirements;
(v)  promoting equal access to and completion of, quality and inclusive education and training, in particular for disadvantaged groups, from early childhood education and care through general and vocational education and training, and to tertiary level, as well as adult education and learning, including facilitating learning mobility for all;
(v)  promoting equal access to and completion of, high quality, affordable and inclusive education and training, in particular for disadvantaged groups and carers, from early childhood education and care through general and vocational education and training, and to tertiary level, as well as adult education and learning, addressing early school leaving, promoting the introduction of dual-training systems, apprenticeships, learning mobility for all and accessibility for persons with disabilities;
(vi)  promoting lifelong learning, notably flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all taking into account digital skills, better anticipating change and new skills requirements based on labour market needs, facilitating career transitions and promoting professional mobility;
(vi)  promoting lifelong learning, notably flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all taking into account entrepreneurial and digital skills, better anticipating change and new skills requirements based on labour market needs, facilitating career transitions and promoting professional mobility and full participation in society;
(vii)  fostering active inclusion with a view to promoting equal opportunities and active participation, and improving employability;
(vii)  fostering active inclusion with a view to promoting equal opportunities, non-discrimination and active participation, and improving employability, in particular for disadvantaged groups;
(viii)  promoting socio-economic integration of third country nationals and of marginalised communities such as the Roma;
(viii)  promoting long-term socio-economic integration of third country nationals, including migrants;
(viiia) fighting discrimination against and promoting the socio-economic integration of marginalised communities such as Roma;
(ix)  enhancing the equal and timely access to quality, sustainable and affordable services; modernising social protection systems, including promoting access to social protection; improving accessibility, effectiveness and resilience of healthcare systems and long-term care services;
(ix)  enhancing the equal and timely access to quality, sustainable, accessible and affordable services, including services for access to housing and person-centred healthcare and related care; modernising social security institutions, public employment services, social protection and social inclusion systems, including promoting access to equal social protection, with a particular focus on children and disadvantages groups and the most deprived people; improving accessibility including for persons with disabilities, effectiveness and resilience of healthcare systems and long-term care services;
(ixa)  increasing the accessibility for persons with disabilities with a view to improving their inclusion in employment, education and training;
(x)  promoting social integration of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, including the most deprived and children;
(x)  promoting social integration of people experiencing or at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion, including the most deprived and children;
(xi)  addressing material deprivation through food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived, including accompanying measures.
(xi)  addressing material deprivation through food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived, including accompanying measures, aiming to ensure their social inclusion, with an emphasis on children in vulnerable situations.
2.  Through the actions implemented under the ESF+ strand under shared management to achieve the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1, the ESF+ shall also contribute to the other policy objectives listed in Article [4] of [the future CPR], in particular those related to:
2.  Through the actions implemented under the ESF+ strand under shared management to achieve the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1, the ESF+ aims to contribute to other policy objectives listed in Article [4] of [the future CPR], in particular those related to:
1.  a smarter Europe through the development of skills for smart specialisation, skills for key enabling technologies, industrial transition, sectorial cooperation on skills and entrepreneurship, the training of researchers, networking activities and partnerships between higher education institutions, vocational and educational training (VET) institutions, research and technological centres and enterprises and clusters, support to micro, small and medium sized enterprises and the social economy;
1.  a smarter Europe through the development of skills for smart specialisation, skills for key enabling technologies, industrial transition, sectorial cooperation on skills and entrepreneurship, the training of researchers, networking activities and partnerships between higher education institutions, vocational and educational training (VET) institutions, research and technological centres, medical and healthcare centres and enterprises and clusters, support to micro, small and medium sized enterprises and the social economy taking into account social economy laws and frameworks established in the Member States;
2.  a greener, low carbon Europe through the improvement of education and training systems necessary for the adaptation of skills and qualifications, the upskilling of all, including the labour force, the creation of new jobs in sectors related to the environment, climate and energy, and the bioeconomy.
2.  a greener, low carbon Europe through the improvement of education and training systems necessary for the adaptation of skills and qualifications, awareness raising among the population about sustainable development and lifestyles, the upskilling of all, including the labour force, the creation of new jobs in sectors related to the environment, climate and energy, circular economy and the bioeconomy;
2a.  a Union that is closer to citizens through poverty reduction and social inclusion measures taking into account the specificities of urban, rural and coastal regions in view of tackling the socioeconomic inequalities in cities and regions;
2b.  under the Employment and Social Innovation Strand, the ESF+ shall support the development, implementation monitoring and evaluation of the Union’s instruments, policies and relevant law and promote evidence-based policy making, social innovation and social progress in partnership with the social partners, civil society organisations and public and private bodies (specific objective 1); it shall promote workers’ voluntary geographical mobility on a fair basis and boost employment opportunities (specific objective 2); it shall promote employment and social inclusion by increasing the availability and accessibility of microfinance for micro-enterprises and social economy enterprises, in particular for vulnerable people (specific objective 3);
3.  Under the Health strand, the ESF+ shall support health promotion and disease prevention, contribute to effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems, make healthcare safer, reduce health inequalities, protect citizens from cross-border health threats, and support EU health legislation.
3.  under the Health strand, the ESF+ shall contribute to a high level of human health protection and disease prevention, including through the promotion of physical activity and promotion of health education, contribute to effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems, make healthcare safer, reduce health inequalities, increase life expectancy at birth, protect citizens from cross-border health threats, foster disease prevention and early diagnosis, and health promotion throughout the lifetime and strengthen and support EU health-related legislation, including in the area of environmental health, and fostering Health in all Union policies. The Union’s health policy shall be guided by Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to ensure that the Union and Member States reach the targets of SDG 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
Amendment 90
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5
Article 5
Article 5
Budget
Budget
1.  The total financial envelope for the ESF+ for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 101 174 000 000 in current prices.
1.  The total financial envelope for the ESF+ for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 106 781 000 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 120 457 000 000 in current prices).
2.  The part of the financial envelope for the ESF+ strand under shared management under the Investment for Jobs and Growth goal shall be EUR 100 000 000 000 in current prices or EUR 88 646 194 590 in 2018 prices of which EUR 200 000 000 in current prices or EUR 175 000 000 in 2018 prices shall be allocated for transnational cooperation supporting innovative solutions as referred to in Article 23(i) and EUR 400 000 000 in current prices or EUR 376 928 934 in 2018 prices as additional funding to the outermost regions identified in Article 349 TFEU and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession.
2.  The part of the financial envelope for the ESF+ strand under shared management under the Investment for Jobs and Growth goal shall be EUR 105 686 000 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 119 222 000 000 in current prices) of which EUR 200 000 000 in current prices or EUR 175 000 000 in 2018 prices shall be allocated for transnational cooperation supporting innovative solutions as referred to in Article 23(i), EUR 5 900 000 000 shall be allocated for measures falling under the European Child Guarantee referred to in Article 10a, and EUR 400 000 000 in current prices or EUR 376 928 934 in 2018 prices as additional funding to the outermost regions identified in Article 349 TFEU and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession.
3.  The financial envelope for the Employment and Social Innovation strand and the Health strand for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 1 174 000 000 in current prices.
3.  The financial envelope for the Employment and Social Innovation strand and the Health strand for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 1 095 000 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 1 234 000 000 in current prices).
4.  The indicative distribution of the amount referred in paragraph 3 shall be:
4.  The indicative distribution of the amount referred in paragraph 3 shall be:
(a)  EUR 761 000 000 for the implementation of the Employment and Social Innovation strand;
(a)  EUR 675 000 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 761 000 000 in current prices) for the implementation of the Employment and Social Innovation strand;
(b)  EUR 413 000 000 for the implementation of the Health strand.
(b)  EUR 420 000 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 473 000 000 in current prices; or 0,36 % of the MFF 2021-2027) for the implementation of the Health strand.
5.  The amounts referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 may also be used for technical and administrative assistance for the implementation of the programmes, such as preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities including corporate information technology systems.
5.  The amounts referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 may also be used for technical and administrative assistance for the implementation of the programmes, such as preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities including corporate information technology systems.
Amendment 91
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6
Article 6
Article 6
Equality between men and women and equal opportunities, and non-discrimination
Gender equality and equal opportunities, and non-discrimination
1.  All programmes implemented under the ESF+ strand under shared management, as well as the operations supported by the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands shall ensure equality between men and women throughout their preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. They shall also promote equal opportunities for all, without discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation throughout their preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
1.  All programmes implemented under the ESF+ shall ensure gender equality throughout their preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. They shall also support specific actions aimed at increasing the participation of women in working life and their professional development as well as conciliation between working and personal life, promote equal opportunities for all, without discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability or health condition, age or sexual orientation, including the accessibility to persons with disabilities also in terms of ICT, throughout their preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, thereby enhancing social inclusion and reducing inequalities.
2.  The Member States and the Commission shall also support specific targeted actions to promote the principles referred to in paragraph 1 within any of the objectives of the ESF+, including the transition from residential/institutional care to family and community-based care.
2.  The Member States and the Commission shall also support specific targeted actions to promote the principles referred to in paragraph 1 within any of the objectives of the ESF+, including the transition from institutional care to family and community-based care and improving universal accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Amendment 92
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7
Article 7
Article 7
Consistency and thematic concentration
Consistency and thematic concentration
1.  Member States shall concentrate the ESF+ resources under shared management on interventions that address the challenges identified in their national reform programmes, in the European Semester as well as in the relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article 121(2) TFEU and Article 148(4) TFEU, and take into account principles and rights set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
1.  Member States shall concentrate the ESF+ resources under shared management on interventions that address the challenges identified in their national reform programmes, in the European Semester as well as in the relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article 121(2) TFEU and Article 148(4) TFEU, and take into account principles and rights set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Social Scoreboard under the European Semester and regional specificities thereby contributing to the goals of the Union set out in Article 174 TFEU as regards to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion and that are fully in line with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Member States and, where appropriate the Commission, shall foster synergies and ensure coordination, complementarity and coherence between the ESF+ and other Union funds, programmes and instruments such as Erasmus, the Asylum and Migration Fund and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument, both in the planning phase and during implementation. Member States and, where appropriate the Commission, shall optimise mechanisms for coordination to avoid duplication of effort and ensure close cooperation between those responsible for implementation to deliver coherent and streamlined support actions.
Member States and, where appropriate the Commission, shall foster synergies and ensure coordination, complementarity and coherence between the ESF+ and other Union funds, programmes and instruments such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, InvestEU, Creative Europe, the Rights and Values Instrument, Erasmus, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the post-2020 EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument, both in the planning phase and during implementation. Member States and, where appropriate the Commission, shall optimise mechanisms for coordination to avoid duplication of effort and ensure close cooperation between those Managing Authorities responsible for implementation to deliver integrated approaches, coherent and streamlined support actions.
2.  Member States shall allocate an appropriate amount of their ESF+ resources under shared management to address challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article 121(2) TFEU and Article 148(4) TFEU and in the European Semester falling within the scope of the ESF+ as set out in Article 4.
2.  Member States shall allocate an appropriate amount of their ESF+ resources under shared management to address challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations adopted in accordance with Article121(2) TFEU and Article 148(4) TFEU and in the European Semester falling within the scope of the ESF+ as set out in Article 4.
3.  Member States shall allocate at least 25% of their ESF+ resources under shared management to the specific objectives for the social inclusion policy area set out in points (vii) to (xi) of Article 4(1), including the promotion of the socio-economic integration of third country nationals.
3.  Member States shall allocate at least 27% of their ESF+ resources under shared management to the specific objectives for the social inclusion policy area set out in points (vii) to (x) of Article 4(1), including the promotion of the socio-economic integration of third country nationals.
3a.  Within the specific objectives for the social inclusion policy area set out in points (vii) to (x) of Article 4(1), Member States shall allocate at least 5 % of their ESF+ resources under shared management to targeted actions aiming at implementing the European Child Guarantee, in order to contribute to children’s equal access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition.
4.  Member States shall allocate at least 2% of their ESF+ resources under shared management to the specific objective of addressing material deprivation set out in point (xi) of Article 4(1).
4.  In addition to the minimum allocation of at least 27 % of the ESF+ resources under shared management to the specific objectives set out in points (vii) to (x) of Article 4(1), Member States shall allocate at least 3% of their ESF+ resources under shared management to the specific objective of addressing social inclusion of the most deprived and/or material deprivation set out in points (x) and (xi) of Article 4(1).
In duly justified cases, the resources allocated to the specific objective set out in point (x) of Article 4(1) and targeting the most deprived may be taken into account for verifying compliance with the minimum allocation of at least 2% set out in the first subparagraph of this paragraph.
5.  Member States having a rate of young people aged 15 to 29 not in employment, education or training above the Union average in 2019 on the basis of Eurostat data, shall allocate at least 10% of their ESF+ resources under shared management for the years 2021 to 2025 to targeted actions and structural reforms to support youth employment and school-to-work transition, pathways to reintegrate into education or training and second chance education, in particular in the context of implementing Youth Guarantee schemes.
5.  Member States shall allocate at least 3% of their ESF+ resources under shared management to targeted actions and structural reforms to support youth employment and school-to-work transition, pathways to reintegrate into education or training and second chance education, in particular in the context of implementing Youth Guarantee schemes.
Member States having a rate of young people aged 15 to 29 not in employment, education or training (NEET) above the Union average in 2019 or where the NEET rate is above 15 % on the basis of Eurostat data, shall allocate at least 15 % of their ESF+ resources under shared management for the years 2021 to 2025 in the programming period to the above mentioned actions and structural reform measures, paying special attention to those regions more affected taking into account the divergences between them.
When programming the ESF+ resources under shared management for 2026 and 2027 at mid-term in accordance with Article [14] of [the future CPR], Member States having a rate of young people aged 15 to 29 not in employment, education or training above the Union average in 2024 on the basis of Eurostat data, shall allocate at least 10% of their ESF+ resources under shared management for the years 2026 to 2027 to these actions.
When programming the ESF+ resources under shared management for 2026 and 2027 at mid-term in accordance with Article [14] of[the future CPR], Member States having a rate of young people aged 15 to 29 not in employment, education or training above the Union average in 2024 or where the NEET rate is above 15% on the basis of Eurostat data, shall allocate at least 15% of their ESF+ resources under shared management for the years 2026 to 2027 to these actions or structural reform measures.
Outermost regions meeting the conditions set out in the first and second subparagraphs shall allocate at least 15% of the ESF+ resources under shared management in their programmes to the targeted actions set out in the first subparagraph. This allocation shall be taken into account for verifying compliance with the minimum percentage at national level set out in the first and second subparagraphs.
Outermost regions meeting the conditions set out in the second and third subparagraphs shall allocate at least 15% of the ESF+ resources under shared management in their programmes to the targeted actions set out in the first subparagraph. This allocation shall be taken into account for verifying compliance with the minimum percentage at national level set out in the first and second subparagraphs. That allocation shall not replace funding necessary for infrastructure and development for outermost regions.
When implementing such actions, Member States shall give priority to inactive and long-term unemployed young people and put in place targeted outreach measures.
When implementing such actions, Member States shall give priority to inactive and long-term unemployed young people and put in place targeted outreach measures.
6.  Paragraphs 2 to 5 shall not apply to the specific additional allocation received by the outermost regions and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession.
6.  Paragraphs 2 to 5 shall not apply to the specific additional allocation received by the outermost regions and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession.
7.  Paragraphs 1 to 5 shall not apply to technical assistance.
7.  Paragraphs 1 to 5 shall not apply to technical assistance.
Amendment 93
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 a (new)
Article 7a
Respect for fundamental rights
Member States and the Commission shall ensure respect for fundamental rights and compliance with the Charter in the implementation of the funds.
Any cost incurrent for action that is not in line with the Charter shall not be eligible in accordance with Article 58(2) of the Common Provisions Regulation xx/xx and Delegated Regulation (EU) No 240/2014.
Amendment 94
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8
Article 8
Article 8
Partnership
Partnership
1.  Each Member State shall ensure adequate participation of social partners and civil society organisations in the delivery of employment, education and social inclusion policies supported by the ESF+ strand under shared management.
1.  In accordance with Article 6 of the [future CPR] and with the Delegated Regulation (EU) No 240/2014, each Member State shall ensure, in partnership with local and regional authorities, a meaningful participation of social partners, civil society organisations, equality bodies, national human rights institutions and other relevant or representative organisations in the programming and delivery of employment, education, non-discrimination and social inclusion policies and initiatives supported by the ESF+ strand under shared management. Such meaningful participation shall be inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.
2.  Member States shall allocate an appropriate amount of ESF+ resources under shared management in each programme for the capacity building of social partners and civil society organisations.
2.  Member States shall allocate at least 2% of ESF+ resources for the capacity building of social partners and civil society organisations at Union and national level in the form of training, networking measures, and strengthening of the social dialogue, and to activities jointly undertaken by the social partners.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9
Article 9
Article 9
Addressing material deprivation
Addressing material deprivation
The resources referred to in Article 7(4) shall be programmed under a dedicated priority or programme.
The resources referred to in Article 7(4) regarding social inclusion of the most deprived and/or material deprivation shall be programmed under a dedicated priority or programme. The co-financing rate for this priority or programme is set, at least, at 85%.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10
Article 10
Article 10
Support to youth employment
Support to youth employment
Support in accordance with Article 7(5) shall be programmed under a dedicated priority and it shall support the specific objective set out in point (i) of Article 4(1).
Support in accordance with Article 7(5) shall be programmed under a dedicated priority or programme and it shall support the specific objective set out in point (i) of Article 4(1).
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 a (new)
Article 10a
Support to the European Child Guarantee
Support in accordance with Article 7(3a) shall be programmed under a dedicated priority or programme reflecting the 2013 European Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children. It shall support for tackling child poverty and social exclusion within the specific objectives set out in points (vii) to (x) of Article 4(1).
Amendment 98
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11
Article 11
Article 11
Support to relevant country-specific recommendations
Support to relevant country-specific recommendations
The actions addressing the challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations and in the European Semester as referred to in Article 7(2) shall be programmed under one or more dedicated priorities.
The actions addressing the challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations and in the European Semester as referred to in Article 7(2) shall be programmed under any of the specific objectives referred to in Article 4(1). Member States shall ensure complementarity, coherence, coordination and synergies with the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Sufficient flexibility shall be ensured at Managing Authority level to identify priorities and areas for ESF+ investments in line with the specific local or regional challenges.
Amendment 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 a (new)
Article 11a
Integrated territorial development
1.  The ESF+ may support integrated territorial development within programmes under both goals referred to in Article 4(2) of Regulation (EU) 2018/xxxx [new CPR] in accordance with Chapter II of Title III of that Regulation [new CPR].
2.  Member States shall implement integrated territorial development, supported by the ESF+, exclusively through the forms referred to in Article [22] of Regulation (EU) 2018/xxxx [new CPR].
Amendment 100
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 b (new)
Article 11b
Transnational cooperation
1.  Member States may support transnational cooperation actions under a dedicated priority.
2.  Transnational cooperation actions may be programmed under any of the specific objectives set out in points (i) to (x) of Article 4(1).
3.  The maximum co-financing rate for this priority may be increased to 95% for the allocation of maximum 5% of the national ESF+ allocation under shared management to such priorities.
Amendment 101
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12
Article 12
Article 12
Scope
Scope
This Chapter applies to ESF+ support under points (i) to (x) of Article 4(1) when implemented under shared management (the ‘general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management’).
This Chapter applies to ESF+ support under points (i) to (x) of Article 4(1) when implemented under shared management (the ‘general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management’). In addition, Article 13 also applies to ESF+ support under point (xi) of Article 4(1).
Amendment 102
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13
Article 13
Article 13
Innovative actions
Social innovative actions
1.  Member States shall support actions of social innovation and social experimentations, or strengthen bottom-up approaches based on partnerships involving public authorities, the private sector, and civil society such as the Local Action Groups designing and implementing community-led local development strategies.
1.  Member States shall support actions of social innovation and/or social experimentations, including those with a socio-cultural component, using bottom-up approaches based on partnerships involving public authorities, the social partners, social economy enterprises, the private sector, and civil society.
1a.  Member States shall identify, either in their operational programmes or at a later stage during implementation, fields for social innovation and social experimentations that correspond to the Member States' specific needs.
2.  Member States may support the upscaling of innovative approaches tested on a small-scale (social experimentations) developed under the Employment and Social Innovation strand and other Union programmes.
2.  Member States may support the upscaling of innovative approaches tested on a small-scale (social innovation and social experimentations, including those with a socio-cultural component) developed under the Employment and Social Innovation strand and other Union programmes.
3.  Innovative actions and approaches may be programmed under any of the specific objectives set out in points (i) to (x) of Article 4(1).
3.  Innovative actions and approaches may be programmed under any of the specific objectives set out in Article 4(1).
4.  Each Member State shall dedicate at least one priority to the implementation of paragraphs 1 or 2 or to both. The maximum co-financing rate for these priorities may be increased to 95% for the allocation of maximum 5% of the national ESF+ allocation under shared management to such priorities.
4.  Each Member State shall dedicate at least one priority to the implementation of paragraphs 1 or 2 or to both. The maximum co-financing rate for these priorities may be increased to 95% for the allocation of maximum 5% of the national ESF+ allocation under shared management.
Amendment 103
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14
Article 14
Article 14
Eligibility
Eligibility
1.  In addition to the costs referred to in Article [58] of [the future CPR], the following costs are not eligible under the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management:
1.  In addition to the costs referred to in Article [58] of [the future CPR], the following costs are not eligible under the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management:
(a)  the purchase of land and real estate, and the provision of infrastructure, and
(a)  the purchase of land and real estate, and the purchase of infrastructure, and
(b)  the purchase of furniture, equipment and vehicles except where the purchase is necessary for achieving the objective of the operation, or these items are fully depreciated, or the purchase of these items is the most economic option.
(b)  the purchase of furniture, equipment and vehicles except where the purchase is absolutely necessary for achieving the objective of the operation, or these items are fully depreciated, or the purchase of these items is the most economic option.
2.  Contributions in kind in the form of allowances or salaries disbursed by a third party for the benefit of the participants in an operation may be eligible for a contribution from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management provided that the contributions in kind are incurred in accordance with national rules, including accountancy rules, and do not exceed the cost borne by the third party.
2.  Contributions in kind in the form of allowances or salaries disbursed by a third party for the benefit of the participants in an operation may be eligible for a contribution from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management provided that the contributions in kind are incurred in accordance with national rules, including accountancy rules, and do not exceed the cost borne by the third party.
3.  The specific additional allocation received by the outermost regions and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession shall be used to support the achievement of the specific objectives set out in paragraph 1 of Article 4.
3.  The specific additional allocation received by the outermost regions and the NUTS level 2 regions fulfilling the criteria laid down in Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the 1994 Act of Accession shall be used to support the achievement of the specific objectives set out in paragraph 1 of Article 4.
4.  Direct staff costs shall be eligible for a contribution from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management provided that their level is not higher than 100% of the usual remuneration for the profession concerned in the Member State as demonstrated by Eurostat data.
4.  Direct staff costs shall be eligible for a contribution from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management. If a collective agreement applies, they shall be determined according to that agreement. If no collective agreement applies, their level shall not be higher than 100% of the usual remuneration for the profession or the specific expertise concerned in the Member State or region as demonstrated by relevant documentary justification provided by the respective Managing Authority and/or Eurostat data.
Amendment 104
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15
Article 15
Article 15
Indicators and reporting
Indicators and reporting
1.  Programmes benefitting from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management shall use common output and result indicators, as set out in Annex 1 to this Regulation to monitor progress in implementation. The programmes may also use programme-specific indicators.
1.  Programmes benefitting from the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management shall use common output and result indicators, as set out in Annex 1 or Annex IIa for actions targeting social inclusion of the most deprived within point (x) of Article 4(1), to this Regulation to monitor progress in implementation. The programmes may also use programme-specific indicators and action-specific indicators.
2.  The baseline for common and programme-specific output indicators shall be set at zero. Where relevant to the nature of the operations supported, cumulative quantified milestones and target values for those indicators shall be set in absolute numbers. The reported values for the output indicators shall be expressed in absolute numbers.
2.  The baseline for common and programme-specific output indicators shall be set at zero. Where relevant to the nature of the operations supported, cumulative quantified milestones and target values for those indicators shall be set in absolute numbers. The reported values for the output indicators shall be expressed in absolute numbers.
3.  The reference value for common and programme-specific result indicators for which a cumulative quantified milestone for 2024 and a target value for 2029 have been set, shall be fixed using the latest available data or other relevant sources of information. Targets for common result indicators shall be fixed in absolute numbers or as a percentage. Programme-specific result indicators and related targets may be expressed in quantitative or qualitative terms. The reported values on common result indicators shall be expressed in absolute numbers.
3.  The reference value for common and programme-specific result indicators for which a cumulative quantified milestone for 2024 and a target value for 2029 have been set, shall be fixed using the latest available data or other relevant sources of information. Targets for common result indicators shall be fixed in absolute numbers or as a percentage. Programme-specific result indicators and related targets may be expressed in quantitative or qualitative terms. The reported values on common result indicators shall be expressed in absolute numbers.
4.  Data on the indicators for participants shall only be transmitted when all data required under point (1a) of Annex 1 relating to that participant are available.
4.  Data on the indicators for participants shall only be transmitted when all data required under point (1a) of Annex 1 relating to that participant are available.
4a.  The data referred to in paragraph 3 shall include a gender impact assessment to monitor the implementation of the ESF+ programmes with regard to gender equality and be disaggregated by sex.
5.  Member States shall, when data are available in registers or equivalent sources, enable the Managing Authorities and other bodies entrusted with data collection necessary for the monitoring and the evaluation of the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management to obtain those data from data registers or equivalent sources, in accordance with points (c) and (e) of Article 6(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
5.  Member States may, when data are available in registers or equivalent sources, enable the Managing Authorities and other bodies entrusted with data collection necessary for the monitoring and the evaluation of the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management to obtain those data from data registers or equivalent sources, in accordance with points (c) and (e) of Article 6(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
6.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to amend the indicators in Annex I where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of programmes.
6.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to amend the indicators in Annex I and Annex IIa where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of programmes.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17
Article 17
Article 17
Principles
Principles
1.  The ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation may only be used to support the distribution of food and goods that are in conformity with the Union law on consumer product safety.
1.  The ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation may only be used to support the distribution of food and goods that are in conformity with the Union law on consumer product safety.
2.  Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food and/or the basic material assistance on the basis of objective criteria related to the needs of the most deprived persons. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste. Where appropriate, the choice of the type of food products to be distributed shall be made having considered their contribution to the balanced diet of the most deprived persons.
2.  Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food and/or the basic material assistance on the basis of objective criteria related to the needs of the most deprived persons. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste and single-use plastic. Where appropriate, the choice of the type of food products to be distributed shall be made having considered their contribution to the balanced diet of the most deprived persons.
The food and/or basic material assistance may be provided directly to the most deprived persons or indirectly through electronic vouchers or cards, provided that they can only be redeemed against food and/or basic material assistance as set out in Article 2(3).
The food and/or basic material assistance may be provided directly to the most deprived persons or indirectly through electronic vouchers or cards, provided that they can only be redeemed against food and/or basic material assistance as set out in Article 2(3) and are not replacing any existing social benefit.
The food provided for the most deprived persons may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products disposed of in accordance with Article 16(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the most deprived persons.
The food provided for the most deprived persons may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products disposed of in accordance with Article 16(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the most deprived persons.
Any amount derived from such a transaction shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, in addition to the amounts already available to the programme.
Any amount derived from such a transaction shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, in addition to the amounts already available to the programme.
3.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that aid provided in the framework of the ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation respects the dignity and prevents stigmatisation of the most deprived persons.
3.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that aid provided in the framework of the ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation respects the dignity and prevents stigmatisation of the most deprived persons.
4.  The delivery of food and/or material assistance may be complemented with re-orientation towards competent services and other accompanying measures aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons.
4.  The delivery of food and/or material assistance shall be complemented with re-orientation towards competent services and other accompanying measures aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons.
Amendment 106
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20
Article 20
Article 20
Eligibility of expenditure
Eligibility of expenditure
1.  The eligible costs of the ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation shall be:
1.  The eligible costs of the ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation shall be:
(a)  the costs of purchasing food and/or basic material assistance, including costs related to transporting food and/or basic material assistance to the beneficiaries delivering the food and/or basic material assistance to the end recipients;
(a)  the costs of purchasing food and/or basic material assistance, including costs related to transporting food and/or basic material assistance to the beneficiaries delivering the food and/or basic material assistance to the end recipients;
(b)  where the transport of the food and/or basic material assistance to the beneficiaries distributing them to the end recipients is not covered by point (a), the costs borne by the purchasing body related to transporting food and/or basic material assistance to the storage depots and/or the beneficiaries and storage costs at a flat-rate of 1% of the costs referred to in point (a) or, in duly justified cases, costs actually incurred and paid;
(b)  where the transport of the food and/or basic material assistance to the beneficiaries distributing them to the end recipients is not covered by point (a), the costs borne by the purchasing body related to transporting food and/or basic material assistance to the storage depots and/or the beneficiaries and storage costs at a flat-rate of 1% of the costs referred to in point (a) or, in duly justified cases, costs actually incurred and paid;
(c)  the administrative, transport and storage costs borne by the beneficiaries involved in the distribution of the food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived at a flat-rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a); or 5% of the costs of the value of the food products disposed of in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013
(c)  the administrative, transport and storage costs borne by the beneficiaries involved in the distribution of the food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived at a flat-rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a); or 5% of the costs of the value of the food products disposed of in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013
(d)  the cost of collection, transport, storage and distribution of food donations and directly related awareness raising activities;
(d)  the cost of collection, transport, storage and distribution of food donations and directly related awareness raising activities;
(e)  the costs of accompanying measures undertaken by or on behalf of beneficiaries and declared by the beneficiaries delivering the food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived persons at a flat- rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a).
(e)  the costs of accompanying measures undertaken by or on behalf of beneficiaries and declared by the beneficiaries delivering the food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived persons at a flat- rate of 5,5% of the costs referred to in point (a).
2.  A reduction of the eligible costs referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 because the body responsible for the purchase of food and/or basic material assistance did not comply with applicable law, shall not lead to a reduction of the eligible costs set out in points (c) and (e) of paragraph 1.
2.  A reduction of the eligible costs referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 because the body responsible for the purchase of food and/or basic material assistance did not comply with applicable law, shall not lead to a reduction of the eligible costs set out in points (c) and (e) of paragraph 1.
3.  The following costs shall not be eligible:
3.  The following costs shall not be eligible:
(a)  interest on debt;
(a)  interest on debt;
(b)  provision of infrastructure;
(b)  purchase of infrastructure;
(c)  costs of second-hand goods.
(c)  costs of second-hand goods of reduced quality.
Amendment 107
Proposal for a regulation
Article 21
Article 21
Article 21
Indicators and reporting
Indicators and reporting
1.  Priorities addressing material deprivation shall use common output and result indicators, as set out in Annex II to this Regulation to monitor progress in implementation. These programmes may also use programme-specific indicators.
1.  Priorities addressing material deprivation shall use common output and result indicators, as set out in Annex II to this Regulation to monitor progress in implementation. These programmes may also use programme-specific indicators.
2.  The reference values for common and programme-specific result indicators shall be established.
2.  The reference values for common and programme-specific result indicators shall be established. Reporting requirements shall be kept as simple as possible.
3.  By 30 June 2025 and 30 June 2028, Managing Authorities shall report to the Commission the results of a structured survey of the end recipients carried out during the previous year. This survey shall be based on the model which shall be established by the Commission by means of an implementing act.
3.  By 30 June 2025 and 30 June 2028, Managing Authorities shall report to the Commission the results of a structured anonymous survey of the end recipients carried out during the previous year and also focusing on their living conditions and the nature of their material deprivation. This survey shall be based on the model which shall be established by the Commission by means of an implementing act.
4.  The Commission shall adopt an implementing act establishing the model to be used for the structured survey of end recipients in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 39(2) in order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Article.
4.  The Commission shall adopt an implementing act establishing the model to be used for the structured survey of end recipients in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 39(2) in order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Article.
5.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to amend the indicators in Annex II where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of programmes.
5.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to amend the indicators in Annex II where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of programmes.
Amendment 108
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 1
Audit of operations may cover all stages of its implementation and all levels of the distribution chain, with the sole exception of control of the end recipients, unless a risk assessment establishes a specific risk of irregularity or fraud.
Audit of operations may cover all stages of its implementation and all levels of the distribution chain, with the sole exception of control of the end recipients, unless a risk assessment establishes a specific risk of irregularity or fraud. The audit of operations shall include more controls in the early stages of implementation so that in case of risk of fraud the funds may be re-directed to other projects.
Amendment 109
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23
Article 23
Article 23
Operational objectives
Operational objectives
The Employment and Social Innovation strand has the following operational objectives:
The Employment and Social Innovation strand has the following operational objectives:
a)  to develop high-quality comparative analytical knowledge in order to ensure that policies to achieve the specific objectives referred to in Article 4 are based on sound evidence and are relevant to needs, challenges and conditions in the associated countries;
a)  to develop high-quality comparative analytical knowledge in order to ensure that policies to achieve the specific objectives referred to in Article 4 are based on sound evidence and are relevant to needs, challenges and conditions in the associated countries;
b)  to facilitate effective and inclusive information-sharing, mutual learning, peer reviews and dialogue on policies in the fields referred to in Article 4 in order to assist the associated countries in taking appropriate policy measures;
b)  to facilitate effective and inclusive information-sharing, mutual learning, peer reviews and dialogue on policies in the fields referred to in Article 4 in order to assist the associated countries in taking appropriate policy measures;
c)  to support social experimentations in the fields referred to in Article 4 and build up the stakeholders' capacity to implement, transfer or upscale the tested social policy innovations;
c)  to support social experimentations in the fields referred to in Article 4 and build up the stakeholders' capacity to prepare, design and implement, transfer or upscale the tested social policy innovations with a special focus on promoting the scaling up of local projects developed by cities, local and regional authorities, social partners, civil society organisations and socio-economic actors in the field of reception and social inclusion and integration of third-country nationals;
d)  to provide specific support services to employers and job-seekers with a view to the development of integrated European labour markets, ranging from pre-recruitment preparation to post-placement assistance to fill vacancies in certain sectors, professions, countries, border regions or for particular groups (e.g. vulnerable people);
d)  to develop and provide specific support services to employers and job-seekers with a view to the development of integrated European labour markets, ranging from pre-recruitment preparation to post-placement assistance to fill vacancies in certain sectors, professions, countries, border regions or for particular groups (e.g. people in vulnerable situations);
(da)  to support cross-border partnerships between public employment services, civil society and social partners to promote a cross-border labour market and cross-border mobility with adequate conditions;
(db)  to support the provision of EURES services for the recruitment and placing of workers in quality and sustainable employment through the clearance of job vacancies and applications, including through cross-border partnerships;
dc)  to facilitate the voluntary geographical mobility of workers with adequate social conditions and increase employment opportunities through the development of high-quality and inclusive labour markets in the Union, which are open and accessible to all, while respecting workers' rights throughout the Union;
e)  to support the development of the market eco-system related to the provision of microfinance for micro-enterprises in start-up and development phases, in particular those that employ vulnerable people;
e)  to support the development of the market eco-system related to the provision of microfinance, as well as its availability and accessibility for micro-enterprises social economy enterprises and vulnerable people in start-up and development phases, in particular those that employ people in vulnerable situations including disadvantage groups;
f)  to support networking at Union level and dialogue with and among relevant stakeholders in the fields referred to in Article 4 and contribute to build up the institutional capacity of these stakeholders, including the public employment services (PES), social security institutions, microfinance institutions and institutions providing finance to social enterprises and social economy;
f)  to support networking at Union level and dialogue with and among relevant stakeholders in the fields referred to in Article 4 and contribute to build up the institutional capacity of involved stakeholders, including the public employment services (PES), social security institutions, civil society, microfinance institutions and institutions providing finance to social economy enterprises and social economy;
g)  to support the development of social enterprises and the emergence of a social investment market, facilitating public and private interactions and the participation of foundations and philanthropic actors in that market;
g)  to support the development of social economy enterprises and the emergence of a social investment market, facilitating public and private interactions and the participation of foundations and philanthropic actors in that market;
h)  to provide guidance for the development of social infrastructure (including housing, child care and education and training, health care and long term care) needed for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights;
h)  to provide guidance for the development of social infrastructure (including housing, early childhood education and care, eldercare, accessibility requirements and transition from institutional to family and community-based care services including accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities, child care and education and training, health care and long term care) needed for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights;
i)  to support transnational cooperation to accelerate the transfer of, and to facilitate the scaling of, innovative solutions, in particular for the areas of employment, skills and social inclusion, across Europe.
i)  to support transnational cooperation to accelerate the transfer of, and to facilitate the scaling of, innovative solutions, in particular for the areas combating poverty, employment, skills and social inclusion, across Europe.
j)  to support the implementation of relevant international social and labour standards in the context of harnessing globalisation and the external dimension of Union policies in the fields referred to in Article 4.
j)  to support the implementation of relevant international social and labour standards in the context of harnessing globalisation and the external dimension of Union policies in the fields referred to in Article 4.
Amendment 110
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 a (new)
Article 23a
Thematic concentration and funding
The part of the ESF+ financial envelope for the Employment and Social Innovation Strand referred to in Article 5(4)(a) shall be allocated over the whole period to the specific objectives set out in Article 4(2b) according to the following indicative percentages:
(a)  55% to the specific objective 1;
(b)  18% to the specific objective 2;
(c)  18% to the specific objective 3.
Amendment 111
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24
Article 24
Article 24
Eligible actions
Eligible actions
1.  Only actions pursuing the objectives referred to in Article 3 and 4 shall be eligible for funding.
1.  Only actions pursuing the objectives referred to in Article 3 and 4 shall be eligible for funding.
2.  The Employment and Social Innovation strand may support the following actions:
2.  The Employment and Social Innovation strand may support the following actions:
(a)  Analytical activities, including in relation to third countries, in particular:
(a)  Analytical activities, including in relation to third countries, in particular:
(i)  surveys, studies, statistical data, methodologies, classifications, micro-simulations, indicators, support to European-level observatories and benchmarks;
(i)  surveys, studies, statistical data, methodologies, classifications, micro-simulations, indicators, support to European-level observatories and benchmarks;
(ii)  social experimentations evaluating social innovations;
(ii)  social experimentations evaluating social innovations;
(iii)  monitoring and assessment of the transposition and application of Union law;
(iii)  monitoring and assessment of the transposition and application of Union law;
(b)  Policy implementation, in particular:
(b)  Policy implementation, in particular:
(i)  cross-border partnerships and support services in cross-border regions;
(i)  cross-border partnerships and support services in cross-border regions;
(ii)  an EU-wide labour targeted mobility scheme at Union level to fill job vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified;
(ii)  an EU-wide labour targeted mobility scheme at Union level to fill job vacancies where labour market shortcomings have been identified;
(iii)  support to microfinance and social enterprises, including through blending operations such as asymmetric risk sharing or reducing transaction costs, as well as support to the development of social infrastructure and skills;
(iii)  support to microfinance and social economy enterprises, including through blending operations such as asymmetric risk sharing or reducing transaction costs, as well as support to the development of social infrastructure and skills;
(iv)  support to transnational cooperation and partnership with a view to transferring and upscaling innovative solutions;
(iv)  support to transnational cooperation and partnership with a view to transferring and upscaling innovative solutions;
(c)  Capacity building, in particular:
(c)  Capacity building, in particular:
(i)  of networks at Union level related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(i)  of networks at Union level related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(ii)  of national contact points providing guidance, information and assistance related the implementation of the strand;
(ii)  of national contact points providing guidance, information and assistance related the implementation of the strand;
(iii)  of participating countries administrations, social security institutions and employment services responsible for promoting labour mobility, of microfinance institutions and of institutions providing finance to social enterprises or other social investment actors, as well as networking;
(iii)  of participating countries administrations, social security institutions and employment services responsible for promoting labour mobility, of microfinance institutions and of institutions providing finance to social economy enterprises or other social investment actors, as well as networking;
(iv)  of stakeholders in view of transnational cooperation;
(iv)  of the social partners and stakeholders in view of transnational cooperation;
(d)  Communication and dissemination activities, in particular:
(d)  Communication and dissemination activities, in particular:
(i)  mutual learning through exchange of good practices, innovative approaches, results of analytical activities, peer reviews, and benchmarking;
(i)  mutual learning through exchange of good practices, innovative approaches, results of analytical activities, peer reviews, and benchmarking;
(ii)  guides, reports, informative material and media coverage of initiatives related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(ii)  guides, reports, informative material and media coverage of initiatives related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(iii)  information systems disseminating evidence related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(iii)  information systems disseminating evidence related to the fields referred to in Article 4(1);
(iv)  Council Presidency events, conferences and seminars.
(iv)  technical and administrative assistance for the implementation of the work programme, such as preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities including information technology systems.
Amendment 112
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  Any legal entity created under Union law or any international organisation.
(b)  Any legal entity created under Union law or relevant international organisation;
Amendment 113
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 a (new)
Article 25a
Governance
1.  The Commission shall consult stakeholders within the Union, in particular social partners and civil society organisations, on the employment and social innovation work programmes, their priorities and strategic orientation and their implementation.
2.  The Commission shall establish the necessary links with the Employment Committee, the Social Protection Committee, the Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work, the Group of Directors-General for Industrial Relations and the Advisory Committee on Freedom of Movement of Workers in order to ensure that they are regularly and appropriately informed of progress in implementing these programmes. The Commission shall also inform other committees dealing with policies, instruments and actions of relevance to the Employment and Social innovation Strand.
Amendment 114
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point –a (new)
(-a)   Support a Union public health strategy aiming to:
(i)  support Member States in their efforts to protect and enhance public health; and
(ii)  advance the Union's mission in health in accordance with Article 168 TFEU, which stipulates that a high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities.
Amendment 115
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point a – introductory part
(a)  Strengthen crisis-preparedness, management and response in the Union to protect citizens against cross-border health threats.
(a)  Strengthen crisis-preparedness, management and response in the Union to address cross-border health threats
Amendment 116
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point a – point iv a (new)
(iva)   Well-designed public health interventions for reducing the burden and impact of infection and preventable infectious diseases
Amendment 117
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point a – point iv b (new)
(ivb)   Support the development of skills and tools for effective risk communication
Amendment 118
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point i
(i)  Invest in health promotion and disease prevention.
(i)  Invest in health promotion and disease prevention, including through health literacy and education programmes, and through the promotion of physical activity
Amendment 119
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point i a (new)
(ia)  Invest in early diagnosis and screening
Amendment 120
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point ii
(ii)  Support the digital transformation of health and care
(ii)  Support the digital transformation of health and care that address the needs and concerns of patients and citizens, in particular by establishing links to programmes that support media literacy and digital skills
Amendment 121
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point ii a (new)
(iia)   Promote digital public services in areas such as health
Amendment 122
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point ii b (new)
(iib)   Strengthen the security and quality of health information
Amendment 123
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point ii
(ii)  Support the development of a sustainable Union health information system
(ii)  Support the development of a sustainable, transparent and accessible Union health information system, whilst ensuring protection of private data.
(In the COM proposal the numbering of the points in Article 26, point b is not correct, there are two points numbered as (ii))
Amendment 124
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point iii
(iii)  Support Member States with knowledge transfer useful for the national reform processes for more effective, accessible and resilient health systems and better health promotion and disease prevention addressing, in particular, the challenges identified in the European Semester.
(iii)  Support Member States with knowledge transfer and implementation support useful for the national reform processes for more effective, accessible, resilient, non-discriminatory, inclusive and equitable health systems tackling social inequalities, and better health promotion and disease prevention addressing, in particular, the challenges identified in the European Semester. This also includes supporting high-quality national registries that shall also deliver comparable data.
Amendment 125
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point iv a (new)
(iva)   Support the transition towards person-centred care, proximity health and social services, and community-based integrated care, in particular promoting organizational models based on interprofessional teamwork and multi-stakeholders networking
Amendment 126
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point iv b (new)
(ivb)   Ensure the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in the above actions, at Union and/or national level as appropriate
Amendment 127
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point b – point iv c (new)
(ivc)   Develop and implement tools and strategies to prevent and tackle health inequalities and to promote social inclusion, citizen empowerment and community participation
Amendment 128
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point c – point i
(i)  support the implementation of the legislation on medicinal products and medical devices
(i)  Support the implementation of the legislation on medicinal products, access to such products throughout the Union and medical devices
Amendment 129
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point c – point vi
(vi)  Support to the Commission' scientific committees on "Consumer Safety" and on "Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks"
(vi)  Support the development of Health in All Policies and establish processes by which health implications can be considered and taken into account in all policies
Amendment 130
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point c a (new)
(ca)   Support the monitoring of, implementation of, and strengthen, other Union law and policies with health implications so as to help ensure a high level of protection of human health, including but not limited to those relating to:
(i)  air pollution
(ii)  endocrine disruptors and other chemicals with harmful properties
(iii)  pesticide residues in food, water and air
(iv)  food and food labelling, including on transfatty acids, alcohol labelling, additives and food contact materials
Amendment 131
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point d – point ii
(ii)  Support the development of cooperation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in preparation of new harmonised rules
(ii)  Support the development of cooperation on and capacity-building in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in preparation of new harmonised rules
Amendment 132
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point d – point iii a (new)
(iiia)   Support the implementation of programmes and best practices on sexual and reproductive health education and campaigns for young people
Amendment 133
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point d – point iii b (new)
(iiib)   Support Union-level civil society organisations working on health and health related issues
Amendment 134
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point d – point iii c (new)
(iiic)  Support the creation of a Steering Board for Health for implementing the actions under the Health strand
Amendment 135
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 1
1.  Only actions pursuing the objectives referred to in Articles 3 and 26 are eligible for funding.
1.  Only actions related to health pursuing the objectives referred to in Articles 3, 4 and 26 are eligible for funding.
Amendment 136
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point a – point i a (new)
(ia)   activities designed to monitor the cumulative health impacts of environmental risk factors, including those arising from contaminants in food, water, air and other sources;
Amendment 137
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point a – point i b (new)
(ib)   activities monitoring the health impacts of Union law, such as pharmacovigilance and similar;
Amendment 138
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point a – subparagraph 1 a (new)
The results of analytical activities, once finalised, shall be made publicly available.
Amendment 139
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point b – point i
(i)  cross-border collaboration and partnerships, including in cross-border regions;
(i)  cross-border collaboration and partnerships, including in cross-border regions and including in relation to air pollution and other cross-border environmental contamination;
Amendment 140
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point c – point i
(i)  through transfer, adaptation and roll-out of best practices with established Union level added value between Member States;
(i)  through exchange, transfer, adaptation and roll-out of best practices with established Union level added value between Member States;
Amendment 141
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point c – point ii
(ii)  of EU-level networks related to the fields referred to in Article 26;
(ii)  of EU-level networks related to the fields referred to in Article 26, in a continuous and sustainable way, ensuring the presence of an active civil society at Union level;
Amendment 142
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2 – point c – point iv
(iv)  of national contact points providing guidance, information and assistance related the implementation of the programme;
(iv)  of regional, subnational and national contact points providing guidance, information and assistance related the implementation of the programme;
Amendment 143
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 1
The Commission shall consult the health authorities of the Member States in the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases or in other relevant Commission expert group or similar entities on the work plans established for the Health strand and its priorities and strategic orientations and its implementation, and also on the health policy perspective of other policies and support mechanisms, thus increasing their overall coordination and added value.
The Commission shall consult the health authorities of the Member States in the Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases or in other relevant Commission expert group or similar entities such as professional bodies in the health sector, on the annual work plans established for the Health strand and its priorities and strategic orientations and its implementation, and also on the health policy perspective of other policies and support mechanisms, thus increasing their overall coordination and added value. Strong political leadership and adequate governance structure dedicated to health will ensure that health protection and promotion is guaranteed across all Commission portfolios, according to Article 168(1) TFEU.
Amendment 144
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 a (new)
Article 29a
Steering Board for Health
1.  The Commission shall establish a Steering Board for Health (‘the Steering Board’) for implementing the actions under the Health strand.
2.  The Steering Board shall focus on creating synergies between the Health strand and other programmes where a health dimension is integrated, through coordination and cooperation, promoting patients and society engagement, and providing scientific advice and recommendations. Those actions shall provide value oriented health actions, sustainability, better health solutions, foster access and reduce health inequalities. 
3.  The Steering Board shall provide a comprehensive strategy and steering in developing the work plans under the Health strand. 
4.  The Steering Board shall be an independent stakeholder group, composed of actors from relevant sectors in the field of public health, wellbeing and social protection, with participation of representatives of regions and local health authorities, patient representatives and citizens. 
5.  The Steering Board shall be composed of 15 to 20 high level individuals drawn from across disciplines and activities referred to in paragraph 4. The members of the Steering Board shall be appointed by the Commission, following an open call for nominations or for expression of interests or both. 
6.  The Chair of the Steering Board  shall be appointed by the Commission from among its members. 
7.  The Steering Board shall: 
(i)  provide input to annual work plans for the Health strand, following a proposal from the Commission;
(ii)  elaborate a blueprint for steering coordination and cooperation between the Health strand and other programmes where health dimension is integrated.
The blueprint shall facilitate ensuring visibility and coordination of all the existing financial mechanisms relevant to health, and shall help steering coordination and cooperation. 
Amendment 145
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 b (new)
Article 29b
International cooperation
The Commission shall develop cooperation with relevant international organisations such as the United Nations and its specialised agencies, in particular the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as with the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to implement the Health strand, in order to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of actions at Union and international level.
Amendment 146
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31
Article 31
Article 31
Forms of EU funding and methods of implementation
Forms of EU funding and methods of implementation
1.  The Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, in particular grants, prizes, procurement and voluntary payments to International Organisations of which the Union is a member or in whose work it participates.
1.  The Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, in particular grants, prizes, procurement, contributions, and voluntary payments to International Organisations of which the Union is a member or in whose work it participates.
2.  The Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands shall be implemented directly as provided for by the Financial Regulation or indirectly with bodies referred to in Article [61(1)(c)] of the Financial Regulation.
2.  The Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands shall be implemented directly as provided for by the Financial Regulation or indirectly with bodies referred to in Article [61(1)(c)] of the Financial Regulation.
When awarding grants, the evaluation committee referred to in article [150] of the Financial Regulation may be composed of external experts.
When awarding grants, the evaluation committee referred to in article [150] of the Financial Regulation may be composed of external experts.
3.  Blending operations under the Employment and Social Innovation strand shall be implemented in accordance with the [InvestEU regulation] and Title X of the Financial Regulation.
3.  Blending operations under the Employment and Social Innovation strand shall be implemented in accordance with the [InvestEU regulation] and Title X of the Financial Regulation.
4.  Under the Health strand, direct grants may be awarded without a call for proposals to fund actions having a clear Union added value co-financed by the competent authorities that are responsible for health in the Member States or in the third countries associated to the Programme, or by public sector bodies and non-governmental bodies, acting individually or as a network, mandated by those competent authorities.
4.  Under the Health strand, direct grants may be awarded without a call for proposals to fund actions having a clear Union added value co-financed by the competent authorities that are responsible for health in the Member States or in the third countries associated to the Programme, or by public sector bodies and non-governmental bodies, acting individually or as a network, mandated by those competent authorities.
5.  Under the Health strand, direct grants may be awarded without a call for proposals to European Reference Networks that are approved as Networks by the Board of Member States of the European Reference Networks, following the approval procedure set out in Commission Implementing Decision 2014/287/EU of 10 March 2014 setting out criteria for establishing and evaluating European Reference Networks and their Members and for facilitating the exchange of information and expertise on establishing and evaluating such Networks.
5.  Under the Health strand, direct grants may be awarded without a call for proposals to European Reference Networks that are approved as Networks by the Board of Member States of the European Reference Networks, following the approval procedure set out in Commission Implementing Decision 2014/287/EU of 10 March 2014 setting out criteria for establishing and evaluating European Reference Networks and their Members and for facilitating the exchange of information and expertise on establishing and evaluating such Networks.
Amendment 147
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32
Article 32
Article 32
Work programme and coordination
Work programme and coordination
The Employment and Social Innovation strand and Health strand shall be implemented by work programmes referred to in Article [108] of Financial Regulation. Work programmes shall set out, where applicable, the overall amount reserved for blending operations.
The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 in order to supplement the Employment and Social Innovation strand and the Health strand by establishing work programmes as referred to in Article [108] of Financial Regulation. Those work programmes shall set out, where applicable, the overall amount reserved for blending operations.
The Commission shall foster synergies and ensure effective coordination between the Health strand of ESF+ and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument.
The Commission shall foster synergies and ensure effective coordination between the Health strand of ESF+ and the Reform Support Programme, including the Reform Delivery Tool and the Technical Support Instrument.
Amendment 148
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33
Article 33
Article 33
Monitoring and reporting
Monitoring and reporting
1.  Indicators to monitor implementation and progress of the strands towards the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Article 4 and the operational objectives set out in Articles 23 and 26 shall be set.
1.  Indicators to monitor implementation and progress of the strands towards the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Article 4 and the operational objectives set out in Articles 23 and 26 shall be set.
2.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring implementation of the strands and results are collected efficiently, effectively and in a timely fashion. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds and, where relevant, Member States.
2.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring implementation of the strands and results are collected efficiently, effectively and in a timely fashion. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds and, where relevant, Member States.
3.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to supplement or amend the indicators in Annex III where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of the strands.
3.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 38 to supplement or amend the indicators in Annexes II b and III where considered necessary to ensure effective assessment of progress in the implementation of the strands.
3a.  With a view to regular monitoring of the strands and to making any adjustments needed to their policy and funding priorities, the Commission shall draw up an initial qualitative and quantitative monitoring report covering the first year, followed by three reports covering consecutive two-year periods and shall submit those reports to the European Parliament and the Council. The reports shall also be submitted, for information, to the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The reports shall include the results of the strands and the extent to which the principles of equality between women and men and gender mainstreaming have been applied, as well as how anti-discrimination considerations, including accessibility issues, have been addressed through their activities. The reports shall be made available to the public in order to enhance the transparency of the strands.
Amendment 149
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35
Article 35
Article 35
Evaluation
Evaluation
1.  Evaluations shall be carried out in a sufficiently timely manner to feed into the decision-making process.
1.  Evaluations shall be carried out in a sufficiently timely manner to feed into the decision-making process.
2.  The interim evaluation of the strands may be performed once there is sufficient information available about their implementation, but not later than four years after the start of the implementation of the strands.
2.  By 31 December 2024, the Commission shall carry out a mid-term evaluation of the strands in order to:
(a)  measure, on a qualitative and quantitative basis, progress made in meeting the objectives of the strand;
(b)  address the social environment within the Union and any major changes introduced by Union law;
(c)  determine whether the resources of the strands have been used efficiently and to assess its Union added value.
The results of that mid-term evaluation shall be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council.
3.  At the end of the implementation period, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article 5, a final evaluation of the strands shall be carried out by the Commission.
3.  At the end of the implementation period, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article 5, a final evaluation of the strands shall be carried out by the Commission.
4.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
4.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
Amendment 150
Proposal for a regulation
Article 37
Article 37
Article 37
Information, communication and publicity
Information, communication and publicity
1.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding (in particular when promoting the actions and their results), by providing coherent, effective and targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.
1.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding (in particular when promoting the actions and their results), by providing coherent, effective and targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.
2.  The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands, and their actions and results. Financial resources allocated to the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Articles 4, 23 and 26.
2.  The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands, and their actions and results. Financial resources allocated to the Employment and Social Innovation and Health strands shall also contribute to the communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Articles 4, 23 and 26.
Amendment 151
Proposal for a regulation
Article 38
Article 38
Article 38
Exercise of the delegation
Exercise of the delegation
1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.
1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 15(6), Article 21(5) and Article 33(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from date of entry into force of this Regulation.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 15(6), Article 21(5), Article 32 and Article 33(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from date of entry into force of this Regulation.
3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 15(6), Article 21(5) and Article 33(3)may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 15(6), Article 21(5), Article 32 and Article 33(3)may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
4.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 201628 .
4.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 201628 .
5.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.
5.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.
6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 15(6), Article 21(5) and Article 33(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.
6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 15(6), Article 21(5), Article 32 and Article 33(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.
_________________________________
_________________________________
28.OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 13.
28.   OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 13.
Amendment 152
Proposal for a regulation
Article 40
Article 40
Article 40
Committee under Article 163 TFEU
Committee under Article 163 TFEU
1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee set up under Article 163 TFEU (the ‘ESF+ Committee’).
1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee set up under Article 163 TFEU (the ‘ESF+ Committee’).
2.  Each Member State shall appoint one government representative, one representative of the workers' organisations, one representative of the employers' organisations and one alternate for each member for a maximum period of seven years. In the absence of a member, the alternate shall be automatically entitled to take part in the proceedings.
2.  Each Member State shall appoint one government representative, one representative of the workers' organisations, one representative of the employers' organisations, one representative of civil society, one representative of the equality bodies or other independent human rights institutions in accordance with point (c) of Article 6(1) of [the future CPR] and one alternate for each member for a maximum period of seven years. In the absence of a member, the alternate shall be automatically entitled to take part in the proceedings.
3.  The ESF+ Committee shall include one representative from each of the organisations representing workers' organisations and employers' organisations at Union level.
3.  The ESF+ Committee shall include one representative from each of the organisations representing workers' organisations, employers' organisations and civil society organisations at Union level.
3a.  The ESF+ Committee may invite representatives of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.
3b.  Gender balance and appropriate representation of minority and other excluded groups in the ESF+ Committee shall be safeguarded.
4.  The ESF+ Committee shall be consulted on the planned use of technical assistance in the case of support from the ESF+ strand under shared management, as well as on other issues having an impact on the implementation of strategies at Union level relevant to the ESF+;
4.  The ESF+ Committee shall be consulted on the planned use of technical assistance in the case of support from the ESF+ strand under shared management, as well as on other issues having an impact on the implementation of strategies at Union level relevant to the ESF+;
5.  The ESF+ Committee may deliver opinions on:
5.  The ESF+ Committee may deliver opinions on:
(a)  questions related to the ESF+ contribution to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, including country-specific recommendations and semester-related priorities (national reform programmes, etc.);
(a)  questions related to the ESF+ contribution to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, including country-specific recommendations and semester-related priorities (national reform programmes, etc.);
(b)  issues concerning the [future CPR] relevant for the ESF+;
(b)  issues concerning the [future CPR] relevant for the ESF+;
(c)  questions related to the ESF+ referred to it by the Commission other than those referred to in paragraph 4.
(c)  questions related to the ESF+ referred to it by the Commission other than those referred to in paragraph 4.
The opinions of the ESF+ Committee shall be adopted by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast, and shall be communicated to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, for information. The Commission shall inform the ESF+ Committee of the manner in which it has taken account of its opinions.
The opinions of the ESF+ Committee shall be adopted by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast, and shall be communicated to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, for information. The Commission shall inform the ESF+ Committee in writing of the manner in which it has taken account of its opinions.
6.  The ESF+ Committee may set up working groups for each of the strands of the ESF+.
6.  The ESF+ Committee may set up working groups for each of the strands of the ESF+.
Amendment 153
Proposal for a regulation
Annex I
ANNEX I1
ANNEX I1
Common indicators for the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management
Common indicators for the general support of the ESF+ strand under shared management
All personal data are to be broken down by gender (female, male, 'non binary'). If certain results are not possible, data for those results do not have to be collected and reported.
All personal data are to be broken down by gender (female, male, 'non binary'). If certain results are not available, data for those results do not have to be collected and reported. Sensitive personal data can be surveyed anonymously.
(1)  Common output indicators related to operations targeting people:
(1)  Common output indicators related to operations targeting people:
(1a)  Common output indicators for participants
(1a)  Common output indicators for participants
–  The common output indicators for participants are:
–  The common output indicators for participants are:
–  unemployed, including long-term unemployed*,
–  unemployed, including long-term unemployed*,
–  long-term unemployed*,
–  long-term unemployed*,
–  inactive*,
–  inactive*,
–  employed, including self-employed*,
–  employed, including self-employed*,
–  not in education or training (NEET)*,
–  below 30 years of age *,
–  children below 18 years of age *,
–  young people between 18-29 years of age *,
–  above 54 years of age*,
–  above 54 years of age*,
–  with lower secondary education or less (ISCED 0-2)*,
–  with lower secondary education or less (ISCED 0-2)*,
–  with upper secondary (ISCED 3) or post-secondary education (ISCED 4)*,
–  with upper secondary (ISCED 3) or post-secondary education (ISCED 4)*,
–  with tertiary education (ISCED 5 to 8)*.
–  with tertiary education (ISCED 5 to 8)*.
The total number of participants is to be calculated automatically on the basis of the common output indicators relating to employment status.
The total number of participants is to be calculated automatically on the basis of the common output indicators relating to employment status.
(1b)  Other common output indicators
(1b)  Other common output indicators
If data for these indicators is not collected from data registers, values on these indicators can be determined based on informed estimates by the beneficiary.
If data for these indicators is not collected from data registers, values on these indicators can be determined based on informed estimates by the beneficiary. Data is always provided by participants on a voluntary basis.
–  participants with disabilities**,
–  participants with disabilities**,
–  participants below 18 years of age*,
–  third country nationals*,
–  third country nationals*,
–  participants with a foreign background*,
–  participants with a foreign background*,
–  minorities (including marginalised communities such as the Roma)**,
–  minorities (other than from the Roma community)**,
–  participants from the Roma community**
–  homeless or affected by housing exclusion*,
–  homeless or affected by housing exclusion*,
–  participants from rural areas*.
–  participants from rural areas*
–  participants from geographical areas with high levels of poverty and social exclusion*,
–  participants transitioning from institutional to family and community based care**.
(2)  Common output indicators for entities are:
(2)  Common output indicators for entities are:
–  number of supported public administrations or public services at national, regional or local level,
–  number of supported public administrations or public services at national, regional or local level,
–  number of supported micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (including cooperative enterprises, social enterprises).
–  number of supported micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (including cooperative enterprises, social enterprises).
(3)  The common immediate result indicators for participants are:
(3)  The common immediate result indicators for participants are:
–  participants engaged in job searching upon leaving*,
–  participants engaged in job searching upon leaving*,
–  participants in education or training upon leaving*,
–  participants in education or training upon leaving*,
–  participants gaining a qualification upon leaving*,
–  participants gaining a qualification upon leaving*,
–  participants gaining a qualification upon leaving*,
–  participants gaining a qualification upon leaving*,
(4)  Common longer-term result indicators for participants:
(4)  Common longer-term result indicators for participants:
–  participants in employment, including self-employment, six months after leaving*,
–  participants in employment, including self-employment, six and twelve months after leaving*,
–  participants with an improved labour market situation six months after leaving*,
–  participants with an improved labour market situation six and twelve months after leaving*,
As a minimum requirement, these data are to be collected based on a representative sample of participants within each specific objective. Internal validity of the sample is to be ensured in such a way that the data can be generalised at the level of the specific objective.
As a minimum requirement, these data are to be collected based on a representative sample of participants within each specific objective. Internal validity of the sample is to be ensured in such a way that the data can be generalised at the level of the specific objective.
________________________________
__________________________________
1 Data reported under the indicators marked with * are personal data according to Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
1 Data reported under the indicators marked with * are personal data according to Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
Data reported under the indicators marked with ** are a special category of data according to Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
Data reported under the indicators marked with ** are a special category of data according to Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
Amendment 154
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II
ANNEX II
ANNEX II
Common indicators for ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation
Common indicators for ESF+ support for addressing material deprivation
(1)  Output indicators
(1)  Output indicators
(a)  Total monetary value of distributed food and goods.
(a)  Total monetary value of distributed food and goods.
(i)  total value of the food support;
(i)  total value of the food support;
(ia)  total monetary value of food for children;
(ia)  total monetary value of food for children;
(ib)  total monetary value of food for the homeless;
(ib)  total monetary value of food for the homeless;
(ic)  total monetary value of food for other target groups.
(ic)  total monetary value of food for other target groups.
(ii)  total value of goods distributed
(ii)  total value of goods distributed
(iia)  total monetary value of goods for children;
(iia)  total monetary value of goods for children;
(iib)  total monetary value of goods for the homeless;
(iib)  total monetary value of goods for the homeless;
(iic)  total monetary value of goods for other target groups.
(iic)  total monetary value of goods for other target groups.
(b)  Total quantity of food support distributed (tons).
(b)  Total quantity of food support distributed (tons).
Thereof2:
Thereof2:
(a)  share of food for which only transport, distribution and storage were paid for by the programme (in %);
(a)  share of food for which only transport, distribution and storage were paid for by the programme (in %);
(b)  proportion of the ESF+ co-financed food products in the total volume of food distributed the beneficiaries (in %)
(b)  proportion of the ESF+ co-financed food products in the total volume of food distributed the beneficiaries (in %)
(3)  Common result indicators3
(3)  Common result indicators3
Number of the end recipients receiving food support
Number of the end recipients receiving food support
–  Number of children below 18 years of age
–  Number of children below 18 years of age,
–  Number of youths aged 18-29 years;
–  Number of youths aged 18-29 years,
–  Number of end recipients above 54 years of age,
–  Number of end recipients above 54 years of age,
–  Number of end recipients with disabilities,
–  Number of end recipients with disabilities,
–  Number of third country nationals;
–  Number of third country nationals
–  Number of end recipients with a foreign background and minorities (including marginalised communities such as the Roma),
–  Number of end recipients with a foreign background and minorities (other than from the Roma community),
–  participants from the Roma community,
–  Number of homeless end recipients or end-recipients affected by housing exclusion.
–  Number of homeless end recipients or end-recipients affected by housing exclusion.
Number of the end recipients receiving material support
Number of the end recipients receiving material support
–  Number of children below 18 years of age,
–  Number of children below 18 years of age,
–  Number of youths aged 18-29 years,
–  Number of youths aged 18-29 years,
–  Number of end recipients above 54 years of age,
–  Number of end recipients above 54 years of age,
–  Number of end recipients with disabilities,
–  Number of end recipients with disabilities,
–  Number of third country nationals,
–  Number of third country nationals,
–  Number of end recipients with a foreign background and minorities (including marginalised communities such as the Roma),
–  Number of end recipients with a foreign background and minorities (other than from the Roma community),
–  participants from the Roma community,
–  Number of homeless end recipient or end recipients affected by housing exclusion
–  Number of homeless end recipient or end recipients affected by housing exclusion
_________________________________
_________________________________
2 Values on these indicators shall be determined based on the informed estimation by the beneficiaries
2 Values on these indicators shall be determined based on the informed estimation by the beneficiaries
3 Ibid
3 Ibid
Amendment 155
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II a (new)
ANNEX IIa
Common indicators for ESF+ support for promoting social inclusion for the most deprived people
Output indicators
(1)  Total number of people who receive help towards social inclusion.
Of which:
(a)  number of children aged 15 or younger;
(b)  number of persons aged 65 or older;
(c)  number of women;
(d)  number of people with a foreign background and minorities (other than from the Roma community);
(e)  participants from the Roma community;
(f)  number of homeless people.
Amendment 156
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II b (new)
ANNEX IIb
Indicators for the Employment and Social Innovation Strand
1.  Level of declared gain of better understanding of Union policies and legislation
(1)  Number of analytical activities,
(2)  Number of mutual learning, awareness and dissemination activities,
(3)  Support for main actors
2.  Level of active collaboration and partnership between government institutions of the Union, Member States and associated countries
(1)  Number of analytical activities,
(2)  Number of mutual learning, awareness and dissemination activities,
(3)  Support for main actors
3.  Declared use of social policy innovation in the implementation of social CSRs and the results of social policy experimentation for policy making
(1)  Number of analytical activities,
(2)  Number of mutual learning, awareness and dissemination activities,
(3)  Support for main actors
4.  Number of visits of the EURES platform
5.  Number of youth job placements achieved or supported under the Preparatory Action Your First EURES Job (YfEJ) as well as under Targeted Mobility Schemes
6.  Number of individual personal contacts of EURES advisers with jobseekers, job changers and employers
7.  Number of businesses created or consolidated that have benefitted from Union support
8.  Proportion of beneficiaries that have created or further developed a business with Union microfinance that are unemployed or belonging to disadvantaged groups
Amendment 157
Proposal for a regulation
Annex III – point 2
2.  Number of health technology joint clinical assessments
2.  Number of beneficiaries (professionals, citizens, patients) affected by the results of the programme
Amendment 158
Proposal for a regulation
Annex III – point 3
3.  Number of best practices transferred
3.  Number of health technology joint clinical assessments
Amendment 159
Proposal for a regulation
Annex III – point 4
4.  Degree of use of the results of the programme in national health policy as measured by a "before and after" questionnaire
4.  Number of best practices transferred
Amendment 160
Proposal for a regulation
Annex III – point 4 a (new)
4a.   Degree of use of the results of the programme in regional and national health policies or tools as measured by validated methods

(1)The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0461/2018).


Specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) supported by the European Regional Development Fund and external financing instruments (COM(2018)0374 – C8-0229/2018 – 2018/0199(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2019)0021A8-0470/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1
(1)  Article 176 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ('TFEU') provides that the European Regional Development Fund ('ERDF') is intended to help to redress the main regional imbalances in the Union. Under that Article and the second and third paragraphs of Article 174 of the TFEU, the ERDF is to contribute to reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and to reducing the backwardness of the least favoured regions, among which particular attention is to be paid to certain categories of regions, among which cross-border regions are explicitly listed.
(1)  Article 176 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ('TFEU') provides that the European Regional Development Fund ('ERDF') is intended to help to redress the main regional imbalances in the Union. Under that Article and the second and third paragraphs of Article 174 of the TFEU, the ERDF is to contribute to reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and to reducing the backwardness of the least favoured regions, rural areas, areas affected by an industrial transition, areas with a low population density, islands and mountain regions.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  Regulation (EU) [new CPR] of the European Parliament and of the Council21 sets out provisions common to the ERDF and certain other funds and Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] of the European Parliament and of the Council22 sets out provisions concerning the specific objectives and the scope of the ERDF support. It is now necessary to adopt specific provisions in relation to the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) where one or more Member States cooperate across borders with regard to effective programming including provisions on technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation, communication, eligibility, management and control, as well as financial management.
(2)  Regulation (EU) [new CPR] of the European Parliament and of the Council21 sets out provisions common to the ERDF and certain other funds and Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] of the European Parliament and of the Council22 sets out provisions concerning the specific objectives and the scope of the ERDF support. It is now necessary to adopt specific provisions in relation to the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) where one or more Member States and their regions cooperate across borders with regard to effective programming including provisions on technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation, communication, eligibility, management and control, as well as financial management.
_________________
_________________
21 [Reference]
21 [Reference]
22 [Reference]
22 [Reference]
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3
(3)  In order to support the harmonious development of the Union's territory at different levels, the ERDF should support cross-border cooperation, transnational cooperation, maritime cooperation, outermost regions’ cooperation and interregional cooperation under the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg).
(3)  In order to support a cooperative and harmonious development of the Union's territory at different levels and to reduce existing disparities, the ERDF should support cross-border cooperation, transnational cooperation, maritime cooperation, outermost regions’ cooperation and interregional cooperation under the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg). In the process, the principles of multi-level governance and partnership should be taken into account, and place-based approaches should be strengthened.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3 a (new)
(3 a)  The different components of Interreg should contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as described in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  The cross-border cooperation component should aim to tackle common challenges identified jointly in the border regions, and to exploit the untapped growth potential in border areas as evidenced in the Communication of the Commission 'Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions’23 ('Border Regions Communication'). Consequently, the cross-border component should be limited to cooperation on land borders and cross-border cooperation on maritime borders should be integrated into the transnational component.
(4)  The cross-border cooperation component should aim to tackle common challenges identified jointly in the border regions, and to exploit the untapped growth potential in border areas as evidenced in the Communication of the Commission 'Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions’23 ('Border Regions Communication'). Therefore, the cross-border component should include cooperation on both land or maritime borders, without prejudice to the new component for outermost regions cooperation.
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23 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament 'Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions' - COM(2017)0534, 20.9.2017.
23 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament 'Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions' - COM(2017)0534, 20.9.2017.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  The cross-border cooperation component should also involve cooperation between one or more Member States and one or more countries or other territories outside the Union. Covering internal and external cross-border cooperation under this Regulation should result in a major simplification and streamlining of applicable provisions for the programme authorities in the Member States and for the partner authorities and beneficiaries outside the Union compared to the programming period 2014-2020.
(5)  The cross-border cooperation component should also involve cooperation between one or more Member States or their regions, and one or more countries or regions, or other territories outside the Union. Covering internal and external cross-border cooperation under this Regulation should result in a major simplification and streamlining of applicable provisions for the programme authorities in the Member States and for the partner authorities and beneficiaries outside the Union compared to the programming period 2014-2020.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  The transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation component should aim to strengthen cooperation by means of actions conducive to integrated territorial development linked to the Union's cohesion policy priorities, and should also include maritime cross-border cooperation. Transnational cooperation should cover larger territories on the mainland of the Union, whereas maritime cooperation should cover territories around sea-basins and integrate cross-border cooperation on maritime borders during the programming period 2014-2020. Maximum flexibility should be given to continue implementing previous maritime cross-border cooperation within a larger maritime cooperation framework, in particular by defining the territory covered, the specific objectives for such cooperation, the requirements for a project partnership and the setting-up of sub-programmes and specific steering committees.
(6)  The transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation component should aim to strengthen cooperation by means of actions conducive to integrated territorial development linked to the Union's cohesion policy priorities, in full respect of subsidiarity. Transnational cooperation should cover larger transnational territories and, where appropriate, territories around sea-basins that extend geographically beyond those covered by cross-border programmes.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  Based on the experience with cross-border and transnational cooperation during the programming period 2014-2020 in outermost regions, where the combination of both components within a single programme per cooperation area has not brought about sufficient simplification for programme authorities and beneficiaries, a specific outermost regions’ component should be established in order to enable outermost regions to cooperate with their neighbouring countries and territories in the most effective and simple way.
(7)  Based on the experience with cross-border and transnational cooperation during the programming period 2014-2020 in outermost regions, where the combination of both components within a single programme per cooperation area has not brought about sufficient simplification for programme authorities and beneficiaries, a specific additional outermost regions’ component should be established in order to enable outermost regions to cooperate with third countries, overseas countries and territories (OCTs), or regional integration and cooperation organisations in the most effective and simple way that takes into account their individual characteristics.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8
(8)  Based on the experience with the interregional cooperation programmes under Interreg and the lack of such cooperation within programmes under the Investment for jobs and growth goal during the programming period 2014-2020, the interregional cooperation component should focus more specifically on boosting the effectiveness of cohesion policy. That component should therefore be limited to two programmes, one to enable all kind of experience, innovative approaches and capacity building for programmes under both goals and to promote European groupings of territorial cooperation ('EGTCs') set up or to be set up pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council24 and one to improve the analysis of development trends. Project-based cooperation throughout the Union should be integrated into the new component on interregional innovation investments and closely linked to the implementation of the Communication from the Commission 'Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions: Strategies for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth'25 , in particular to support thematic smart specialisation platforms on fields such as energy, industrial modernisation or agrifood. Finally, integrated territorial development focusing on functional urban areas or urban areas should be concentrated within programmes under the Investment for jobs and growth goal and in one accompanying instrument, the ‘European Urban Initiative”. The two programmes under the interregional cooperation component should cover the whole Union and should also be open for the participation of third countries.
(8)  Based on the positive experience with the interregional cooperation programmes under Interreg, on the one hand, and the lack of such cooperation within programmes under the Investment for jobs and growth goal during the programming period 2014-2020, on the other, interregional cooperation, through the exchange of experience, the development of capacities for programmes under both goals (European territorial cooperation and Investment for growth and jobs) among cities and regions is an important component with a view to finding common solutions in the cohesion policy field and building lasting partnerships. Existing programmes and, in particular, promotion of project-based cooperation, including promoting European groupings of territorial cooperation (‘EGTCs’), as well as macro-regional strategies should therefore be continued.
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24 Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) (OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 19).
25 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions 'Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions: Strategies for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth' - COM(2017)0376, 18.7.2017.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8 a (new)
(8a)   The new initiative on interregional innovation investments should be based on smart specialisation, and used to support thematic smart specialisation platforms on fields such as energy, industrial modernisation, circular economy, social innovation, the environment or agrifood, and to help those involved in smart specialisation strategies to cluster together, in order to scale up innovation and bring innovative products, processes and ecosystems to the European market. The evidence suggests that a persistent systemic failure remains at the testing and validation stage of demonstration of new technologies (e.g. Key Enabling Techologies), especially when innovation is the result of the integration of complementary regional specialisations creating innovative value chains. That failure is particularly critical in the phase between piloting and full market uptake. In some strategic technology and industrial areas, SMEs cannot currently count on excellent and open, connected pan-European demonstration infrastructure. The programmes under the interregional cooperation initiative should cover the whole European Union and should also be open for the participation of OCTs, third countries, their regions, and regional integration and cooperation organisations, including the outermost neighbouring regions. Synergies between interregional innovation investments and other relevant EU programmes such as those under the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020, Digital Market Europe and the single market programme should be encouraged, as they will amplify the impact of investments and provide better value for citizens.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9
(9)  Objective criteria for designating eligible regions and areas should be established. To that end, the identification of eligible regions and areas at Union level should be based on the common system of classification of the regions established by Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council26 .
(9)  Common objective criteria for designating eligible regions and areas should be established. To that end, the identification of eligible regions and areas at Union level should be based on the common system of classification of the regions established by Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council26 .
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26 Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (OJ L 154, 21.6.2003, p. 1).
26 Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (OJ L 154, 21.6.2003, p. 1).
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  It is necessary to continue supporting or, as appropriate, to establish cooperation in all its dimensions with the Union's neighbouring third countries, as such cooperation is an important regional development policy tool and should benefit the regions of the Member States which border third countries. To that effect, the ERDF and the external financing instruments of the Union, IPA27 , NDICI28 and OCTP29 , should support programmes under cross-border cooperation, transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation, outermost regions’ cooperation and interregional cooperation. The support from the ERDF and from the external financing instruments of the Union should be based on reciprocity and proportionality. However, for IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC, the ERDF support should be complemented by at least equivalent amounts under IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC, subject to a maximum amount set out in the respective legal act, that is to say, up to 3 % of the financial envelope under IPA III and up to 4 % of the financial envelope of the Neighbourhood geographic programme under Article 4(2)(a) of the NDICI.
(10)  It is necessary to continue supporting or, as appropriate, to establish cooperation in all its dimensions with the Union's neighbouring third countries, as such cooperation is an important regional development policy tool and should benefit the regions of the Member States which border third countries. To that effect, the ERDF and the external financing instruments of the Union, IPA27 , NDICI28 and OCTP29 , should support programmes under cross-border cooperation, transnational cooperation, outermost regions’ cooperation and interregional cooperation. The support from the ERDF and from the external financing instruments of the Union should be based on reciprocity and proportionality. However, for IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC, the ERDF support should be complemented by at least equivalent amounts under IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC, subject to a maximum amount set out in the respective legal act.
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27 Regulation (EU) XXX establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (OJ L xx, p. y).
27 Regulation (EU) XXX establishing the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (OJ L xx, p. y).
28 Regulation (EU) XXX establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (OJ L xx, p. y).
28 Regulation (EU) XXX establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (OJ L xx, p. y).
29 Council Decision (EU) XXX on the association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with the European Inion including relations between the European Union on the one hand and Greenland and the Kingdom of Denmark on the other (OJ L xx, p. y).
29 Council Decision (EU) XXX on the association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with the European Inion including relations between the European Union on the one hand and Greenland and the Kingdom of Denmark on the other (OJ L xx, p. y).
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)
(10 a)   Particular attention should be paid to regions which become new external borders of the Union to ensure the adequate continuity of ongoing cooperation programmes.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  IPA III assistance should mainly focus on assisting the IPA beneficiaries to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reform the judiciary and public administration, respect fundamental rights and promote gender equality, tolerance, social inclusion and non-discrimination. IPA assistance should continue to support the efforts of the IPA beneficiaries to advance regional, macro-regional and cross-border cooperation as well as territorial development, including through the implementation of Union macro-regional strategies. In addition, IPA assistance should address security, migration and border management, ensuring access to international protection, sharing relevant information, enhancing border control and pursuing common efforts in the fight against irregular migration and migrant smuggling.
(11)  IPA III assistance should mainly focus on assisting the IPA beneficiaries to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reform the judiciary and public administration, respect fundamental rights and promote gender equality, tolerance, social inclusion and non-discrimination as well as regional and local development. IPA assistance should continue to support the efforts of the IPA beneficiaries to advance regional, macro-regional and cross-border cooperation as well as territorial development, including through the implementation of Union macro-regional strategies. In addition, IPA assistance should address security, migration and border management, ensuring access to international protection, sharing relevant information, enhancing border control and pursuing common efforts in the fight against irregular migration and migrant smuggling.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 12 a (new)
(12 a)  Developing synergies with Union external action and development programmes should also help to ensure maximum impact whilst fulfilling the principle of policy coherence for development as provided for by Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Achieving coherence across all Union policies is crucial for achieving the SDGs.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  In view of the specific situation of outmost regions of the Union, it is necessary to adopt measures concerning the conditions under which those regions may have access to structural funds. Consequently, certain provisions of this Regulation should be adapted to the specificities of the outermost regions in order to simplify and foster cooperation with their neighbors, while taking into account the Communication from the Commission 'A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions'31.
(14)  In view of the specific situation of outmost regions of the Union, it is necessary to adopt measures concerning the improvement of conditions under which those regions may have access to structural funds. Consequently, certain provisions of this Regulation should be adapted to the specificities of the outermost regions in order to simplify and foster their cooperation with third countries and OCTs, while taking into account the Communication from the Commission 'A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions'31.
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31 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank 'A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions', - COM(2017)0623, 24.10.2017.
31 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank 'A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions', - COM(2017)0623, 24.10.2017.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14 a (new)
(14 a)  This Regulation lays down the possibility of the OCTs to participate in Interreg programmes. The specificities and challenges of the OCTs should be taken into consideration in order to facilitate their effective access and participation.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15
(15)  It is necessary to set out the resources allocated to each of the different components of Interreg, including each Member State's share of the global amounts for the cross-border cooperation, the transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation, the outermost regions’ cooperation and the interregional cooperation, the potential available to Member States concerning flexibility between those components. Compared to the programming period 2014-2020, the share for cross-border cooperation should be reduced, while the share for transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation should be increased because of the integration of maritime cooperation, and a new outermost regions’ cooperation component should be created.
(15)  It is necessary to set out the resources allocated to each of the different components of Interreg, including each Member State's share of the global amounts for the cross-border cooperation, the transnational cooperation, the outermost regions’ cooperation and the interregional cooperation, the potential available to Member States concerning flexibility between those components. Given globalisation, cooperation aimed to boost investments in more jobs and growth and joint investments with other regions should, however, also be determined by the regions common characteristics and ambitions and not necessarily by borders, therefore sufficient additional funds for the new initiative on interregional innovation investments should be made available to respond to the global market condition.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 18
(18)  Within the context of the unique and specific circumstances on the island of Ireland, and with a view to supporting North-South cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement, a new 'PEACE PLUS' cross-border programme should continue and build on the work of previous programmes between the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Taking into account its practical importance, it is necessary to ensure that, where the programme is acting in support of peace and reconciliation, the ERDF should also contribute to promoting social, economic and regional stability in the regions concerned, in particular through actions to promote cohesion between communities. Given the specificities of the programme it should be managed in an integrated manner with the United Kingdom contribution being integrated into the programme as external assigned revenue. Furthermore, certain rules on the selection of operations in this Regulation should not apply to that programme in relation to operations in support of peace and reconciliation.
(18)  Within the context of the unique and specific circumstances on the island of Ireland, and with a view to supporting North-South cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement, a new 'PEACE PLUS' cross-border programme is to continue and build on the work of previous programmes between the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Taking into account its practical importance, it is necessary to ensure that, where the programme is acting in support of peace and reconciliation, the ERDF should also contribute to promoting social, economic and regional stability and cooperation in the regions concerned, in particular through actions to promote cohesion between communities. Given the specificities of the programme it should be managed in an integrated manner with the United Kingdom contribution being integrated into the programme as external assigned revenue. Furthermore, certain rules on the selection of operations in this Regulation should not apply to that programme in relation to operations in support of peace and reconciliation.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  The major part of the Union support should be concentrated on a limited number of policy objectives in order to maximise the impact of Interreg.
(20)  The major part of the Union support should be concentrated on a limited number of policy objectives in order to maximise the impact of Interreg. Synergies and complementarities between the components of INTERREG should be strengthened.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21
(21)  Provisions on the preparation, approval and amendment of Interreg programmes as well as on territorial development, on the selection of operations, on monitoring and evaluation, on the programme authorities, on audit of operations, and on transparency and communication should be adapted to the specificities of Interreg programmes compared to the provisions set out in Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
(21)  Provisions on the preparation, approval and amendment of Interreg programmes as well as on territorial development, on the selection of operations, on monitoring and evaluation, on the programme authorities, on audit of operations, and on transparency and communication should be adapted to the specificities of Interreg programmes compared to the provisions set out in Regulation (EU) [new CPR]. These specific provisions should be kept simple and clear in order to avoid gold-plating and additional administrative burdens for Member States and beneficiaries.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22
(22)  The provisions on the criteria for operations to be considered as genuinely joint and cooperative, on the partnership within an Interreg operation and on the obligations of the lead partner as set out during the programme period 2014-2020 should on be continued. However, Interreg partners should cooperate in all four dimensions (development, implementation, staffing and financing) and, under outermost regions’ cooperation, in three out of four, as it should be simpler to combine support from the ERDF and external financing instruments from the Union both on the level of programmes and operations.
(22)  The provisions on the criteria for operations to be considered as genuinely joint and cooperative, on the partnership within an Interreg operation and on the obligations of the lead partner as set out during the programme period 2014-2020 should be continued. Interreg partners should cooperate in development and implementation as well as staffing or financing, or both, and, under outermost regions’ cooperation, in three out of four, as it should be simpler to combine support from the ERDF and external financing instruments from the Union both on the level of programmes and operations.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 a (new)
(22 a)  Under cross-border cooperation programmes, people-to-people (P2P) and small-scale projects are an important and successful instrument for eliminating border and cross border obstacles, fostering contacts between people locally and, in so doing, bringing border regions and their citizens closer together. P2P projects and small-scale projects are carried out in many areas such as, inter alia, culture, sport, tourism, general education and vocational training, the economy, science, environmental protection and ecology, healthcare, transport and small-scale infrastructure projects, administrative cooperation and public-relations work. As also set forth in the opinion of the Committee of the Regions ‘People-to-people and small-scale projects in cross-border cooperation programmes’32, P2P projects and small-scale projects have high European added value and make a considerable contribution towards realising the overall objective of cross-border cooperation programmes.
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32 Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions ‘People-to-people and small-scale projects in cross-border cooperation programmes’ of 12 July 2017 (OJ C 342, 12.10.2017, p. 38).
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23
(23)  It is necessary to clarify the rules governing small project funds which have been implemented since Interreg has existed, but have never been covered by specific provisions. As also set out in the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions ‘People-to-people and small-scale projects in cross-border cooperation programmes’32 , such small project funds play an important role in building up trust between citizens and institutions, offer great European added value and contribute considerably to the overall objective of cross-border cooperation programmes by overcoming border obstacles and integrating border areas and their citizens. In order to simplify the management of the financing of small projects by the final recipients, who are often not used to applying for Union funds, the use of simplified cost options and of lump sums should be made obligatory below a certain threshold.
(23)  Since Interreg has existed, P2P projects and small-scale projects have been supported via small-project funds or similar instruments that have never been covered by specific provisions, making it necessary to clarify the rules governing those funds. In order to maintain the added value and advantages of P2P and small-scale projects, also with regard to local and regional development, and to simplify the management of the financing of small projects by the final recipients, who are often not used to applying for Union funds, the use of simplified cost options and of lump sums should be made obligatory below a certain threshold.
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32 Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions ‘People-to-people and small-scale projects in cross-border cooperation programmes’ of 12 July 2017 (OJ C 342, 12.10.2017, p. 38).
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 24
(24)  Due to the involvement of more than one Member State, and the resulting higher administrative costs, in particular in respect of controls and translation, the ceiling for technical assistance expenditure should be higher than that under the Investment for jobs and growth goal. In order to offset the higher administrative costs, Member States should be encouraged to reduce the administrative burden with regard to the implementation of joint projects wherever possible. In addition, Interreg programmes with limited Union support or external cross-border cooperation programmes should receive a certain minimum amount for technical assistance to ensure sufficient funding for effective technical assistance activities.
(24)  Due to the involvement of more than one Member State, and the resulting higher administrative costs, including for regional points of contact (or ‘antennae’), which are important points of contact for those proposing and implementing projects, and therefore function as a direct line to the joint secretariats or the relevant authorities, but in particular in respect of controls and translation, the ceiling for technical assistance expenditure should be higher than that under the Investment for jobs and growth goal. In order to offset the higher administrative costs, Member States should be encouraged to reduce the administrative burden with regard to the implementation of joint projects wherever possible. In addition, Interreg programmes with limited Union support or external cross-border cooperation programmes should receive a certain minimum amount for technical assistance to ensure sufficient funding for effective technical assistance activities.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25 a (new)
(25a)  In connection with reducing administrative burden, the Commission, Member States and regions should cooperate closely in order to be able to make use of the enhanced proportionate arrangements for the management and control system for an Interreg programme that are referred to in Article 77 of Regulation (EU) .../... [new CPR].
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27
(27)  Member States should be encouraged to assign the functions of the managing authority to an EGTC or to make such a grouping, like other cross-border legal bodies, responsible for managing a sub-programme, an integrated territorial investment or one or more small project funds, or to act as sole partner.
(27)  Member States should, where appropriate, delegate the functions of the managing authority to a new or, where applicable, an existing EGTC or to make such a grouping, like other cross-border legal bodies, responsible for managing a sub-programme, an integrated territorial investment, or to act as sole partner. Member States should enable regional and local authorities and other public bodies from different Member States to set up such cooperation groupings with a legal personality and should involve local and regional authorities in their functioning.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28
(28)  In order to continue the payment chain established for the programming period 2014-2020, i.e. from the Commission to the lead partner via the certifying authority, that payment chain should be continued under the accounting function. The Union support should be paid to the lead partner, unless this would result in double fees for conversion into euro and back into another currency or vice versa between the lead partner and the other partners.
(28)  In order to continue the payment chain established for the programming period 2014-2020, i.e. from the Commission to the lead partner via the certifying authority, that payment chain should be continued under the accounting function. The Union support should be paid to the lead partner, unless this would result in double fees for conversion into euro and back into another currency or vice versa between the lead partner and the other partners. If not otherwise specified, the lead partner should ensure that the other partners receive the total amount of the contribution from the respective Union fund in full and within the timeframe agreed by all partners and following the same procedure applied in respect of the lead partner.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29
(29)  Pursuant to Article [63(9)] of Regulation (EU, Euratom) [FR-Omnibus] sector-specific rules are to take account of the needs of European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg) programmes as regards, in particular the audit function. The provisions on the annual audit opinion, the annual control report and the audits of operations should therefore be simplified and adapted to those programmes involving more than one Member States.
(29)  Pursuant to Article [63(9)] of Regulation (EU, Euratom) [FR-Omnibus] sector-specific rules are to take account of the needs of European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg) programmes, as regards in particular the audit function. The provisions on the annual audit opinion, the annual control report and the audits of operations should therefore be simplified and adapted to those programmes involving more than one Member State.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30
(30)  A clear chain of financial liability in respect of recovery for irregularities should be established from sole or other partners via the lead partner and the managing authority to the Commission. Provision should be made for liability of Member States, third countries, partner countries or Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), where obtaining recovery from the sole or other or lead partner is not successful, meaning that the Member State reimburses the managing authority. Consequently, under Interreg programmes there is no scope for irrecoverable amounts on the level of beneficiaries. It is, however, necessary to clarify the rules, should a Member State, third country, partner country or OCT not reimburse the managing authority. The obligations of the lead partner for recovery should also be clarified. In particular, the managing authority should not be allowed to oblige the lead partner to launch a judicial procedure in a different country.
(30)  A clear chain of financial liability in respect of recovery for irregularities should be established from sole or other partners via the lead partner and the managing authority to the Commission. Provision should be made for liability of Member States, third countries, partner countries or Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), where obtaining recovery from the sole or other or lead partner is not successful, meaning that the Member State reimburses the managing authority. Consequently, under Interreg programmes there is no scope for irrecoverable amounts on the level of beneficiaries. It is necessary, however, to clarify the rules, should a Member State, third country, partner country or OCT not reimburse the managing authority. The obligations of the lead partner for recovery should also be clarified. Moreover, the procedures related to recoveries should be established and agreed by the monitoring committee. However, the managing authority should not be allowed to oblige the lead partner to launch a judicial procedure in a different country.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30 a (new)
(30 a)   It is appropriate to encourage financial discipline. At the same time, arrangements for decommitment of budgetary commitments should take into account the complexity of Interreg programmes and their implementation.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 32
(32)  Although Interreg programmes with the participation of third countries, partner countries or OCTs should be implemented under shared management, outermost regions’ cooperation may be implemented under indirect management. Specific rules should be set out how to implement those programmes as a whole or partially under indirect management.
(32)  Although Interreg programmes with the participation of third countries, partner countries or OCTs should be implemented under shared management, outermost regions’ cooperation may be implemented under indirect management. Specific rules should be set out on how to implement those programmes as a whole or partially under indirect management.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 35
(35)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the adoption or amendment of Interreg programmes, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. However, external cross-border cooperation programmes should respect, where applicable, Committee procedures established under Regulations (EU) [IPA III] and [NDICI] with regard to the first approval decision of those programmes.
(35)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the adoption or amendment of Interreg programmes, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. However, where applicable, external cross-border cooperation programmes should respect Committee procedures established under Regulations (EU) [IPA III] and [NDICI] with regard to the first approval decision of those programmes.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 36 a (new)
(36 a)  The promotion of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is a major priority of Union cohesion policy. Support for SMEs for costs incurred in ETC projects is already block-exempted under the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/20141a (General block exemption Regulation (GBER)). Special provisions in relation to regional aid for investments by undertakings of all sizes are also included in the Guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-20202a and in the regional aid section of the GBER. In the light of experience gained, aid for European Territorial Cooperation projects should only have limited effects on competition and trade between Member States, and thus the Commission should be able to declare that such aid is compatible with the internal market and that financing provided in support of ETC projects is able to be block-exempted.
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1a Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (OJ L 187, 26.6.2014, p. 1).
2a Guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-2020 (OJ C 209, 23.07.2013, p. 1).
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1
1.  This Regulation lays down rules for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) with a view to fostering cooperation between Member States inside the Union and between Member States and adjacent third countries, partner countries, other territories or overseas countries and territories ('OCTs') respectively.
1.  This Regulation lays down rules for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) with a view to fostering cooperation between Member States and their regions inside the Union and between Member States, their regions and third countries, partner countries, other territories or overseas countries and territories('OCTs'), or regional integration and cooperation organisations, or group of third countries forming part of a regional organisation, respectively.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 4
(4)  'cross-border legal body' means a legal body established under the laws of one of the participating countries in an Interreg programme provided that it is set up by territorial authorities or other bodies from at least two participating countries.
(4)  'cross-border legal body' means a legal body including a euroregion, established under the laws of one of the participating countries in an Interreg programme provided that it is set up by territorial authorities or other bodies from at least two participating countries.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 4 a (new)
(4 a)  ’regional integration and cooperation organisation’ means a group of Member States or regions in the same geographical area that aim to cooperate closely on issues of common interest.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – introductory part
(1)  cross-border cooperation between adjacent regions to promote integrated regional development (component 1):
(1)  cross-border cooperation between adjacent regions to promote integrated and harmonious regional development (component 1):
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – point a
(a)  internal cross-border cooperation between adjacent land border regions of two or more Member States or between adjacent land border regions of at least one Member State and one or more third countries listed in Article 4(3); or
(a)  internal cross-border cooperation between adjacent land or maritime border regions of two or more Member States or between adjacent land or maritime border regions of at least one Member State and one or more third countries listed in Article 4(3); or
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – point b – introductory part
(b)  external cross-border cooperation, between adjacent land border regions of at least one Member State and of one or more of the following:
(b)  external cross-border cooperation, between adjacent land or maritime border regions of at least one Member State and of one or more of the following:
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 2
(2)  transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation over larger transnational territories or around sea-basins, involving national, regional and local programme partners in Member States, third countries and partner countries and in Greenland, with a view to achieving a higher degree of territorial integration ('component 2'; where referring only to transnational cooperation: 'component 2A'; where referring only to maritime cooperation: 'component 2B');
(2)  transnational cooperation over larger transnational territories or around sea-basins, involving national, regional and local programme partners in Member States, third countries and partner countries and OCTs, with a view to achieving a higher degree of territorial integration ('component 2');
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 3
(3)  outermost regions' cooperation among themselves and with their neighbouring third or partner countries or OCTs, or several thereof, to facilitate their regional integration in their neighbourhood ('component 3');
(3)  outermost regions' cooperation among themselves and with their neighbouring third or partner countries or OCTs, or regional integration and cooperation organisations, or several thereof, to facilitate their regional integration and harmonious development in their neighbourhood ('component 3');
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a – point i a (new)
(i a)  the implementation of common interregional development projects;
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a – point i b (new)
(i b)  the development of capacities between partners throughout the Union in connection with:
Amendment 45
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a – point ii a (new)
(ii a)  the identification and dissemination of good practices with a view to their transfer principally to operational programmes under the Investment for growth and jobs goal;
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a – point ii b (new)
(ii b)  the exchange of experiences concerning the identification, transfer and dissemination of best practice on sustainable urban development, including linkages between urban and rural areas;
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a – point iii a (new)
(iii a)  the setting-up, functioning and use of the European Cross-Border Mechanism as referred to in Regulation (EU) .../... [new European Cross-Border Mechanism];
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 5
(5)  interregional innovation investments through the commercialisation and scaling up of interregional innovation projects having the potential to encourage the development of European value chains ('component 5').
deleted
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1
1.  For cross-border cooperation, the regions to be supported by the ERDF shall be the NUTS level 3 regions of the Union along all internal and external land borders with third countries or partner countries.
1.  For cross-border cooperation, the regions to be supported by the ERDF shall be the NUTS level 3 regions of the Union along all internal and external land or maritime borders with third countries or partner countries, without prejudice to potential adjustments to ensure the coherence and continuity of cooperation programme areas established for the 2014-2020 programming planning period.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2
2.  Regions on maritime borders which are connected over the sea by a fixed link shall also be supported under cross-border cooperation.
deleted
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 3
3.  Internal cross-border cooperation Interreg programmes may cover regions in Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom which are equivalent to NUTS level 3 regions as well as Liechtenstein, Andorra and Monaco.
3.  Internal cross-border cooperation Interreg programmes may cover regions in Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom which are equivalent to NUTS level 3 regions as well as Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 4
4.  For external cross-border cooperation, the regions to be supported by IPA III or NDICI shall be NUTS level 3 regions of the respective partner country or, in the absence of NUTS classification, equivalent areas along all land borders between Member States and partner countries eligible under IPA III or NDICI.
4.  For external cross-border cooperation, the regions to be supported by IPA III or NDICI shall be NUTS level 3 regions of the respective partner country or, in the absence of NUTS classification, equivalent areas along all land or maritime borders between Member States and partner countries eligible under IPA III or NDICI.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – title
5 Geographical coverage for transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation
Geographical coverage for transnational cooperation
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1
1.  For transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation, the regions to be supported by the ERDF shall be the NUTS level 2 regions of the Union covering contiguous functional areas, taking into account, where applicable, macro-regional strategies or sea basin strategies.
1.  For transnational cooperation, the regions to be supported by the ERDF shall be the NUTS level 2 regions of the Union covering contiguous functional areas, without prejudice to potential adjustments to ensure the coherence and continuity of such cooperation in larger coherent areas based on the 2014-2020 programming planning period and taking into account, where applicable, macro-regional strategies or sea basin strategies.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part
Transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation Interreg programmes may cover:
Transnational cooperation Interreg programmes may cover:
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point b
(b)  Greenland;
(b)  OCTs benefit from the support provided by the OCT programme;
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 3
3.  The regions, third countries or partner countries listed in paragraph 2 shall be NUTS level 2 regions or, in the absence of NUTS classification, equivalent areas.
3.  The regions, third countries, partner countries, or OCTs listed in paragraph 2 shall be NUTS level 2 regions or, in the absence of NUTS classification, equivalent areas.
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 2
2.  The outermost regions' Interreg programmes may cover neighbouring partner countries supported by the NDICI or OCTs supported by the OCTP, or both.
2.  The outermost regions' Interreg programmes may cover partner countries supported by the NDICI, OCTs supported by the OCTP, regional cooperation organisations, or a combination of two or all three of these.
Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – title
Geographical coverage for interregional cooperation and interregional innovation investments
Geographical coverage for interregional cooperation
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1
1.  For any component 4 Interreg programme or for interregional innovation investments under component 5, the entire territory of the Union shall be supported by the ERDF.
1.  For any component 4 Interreg programme the entire territory of the Union shall be supported by the ERDF including the outermost regions.
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 2
2.  Component 4 Interreg programmes may cover the whole or part of the third countries, partner countries, other territories or OCTs referred to in Articles 4, 5 and 6, whether or not they are supported by the external financing instruments of the Union.
2.  Component 4 Interreg programmes may cover the whole or part of the third countries, partner countries, other territories or OCTs referred to in Articles 4, 5 and 6, whether or not they are supported by the external financing instruments of the Union. Third countries may participate in those programmes, provided that they make a funding contribution in the form of externally allocated revenue.
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2
2.  The implementing act referred to in paragraph 1 shall also contain a list specifying those NUTS level 3 regions of the Union taken into account for the ERDF allocation for cross-border cooperation at all internal borders and those external borders covered by the external financing instruments of the Union as well as a list specifying those NUTS level 3 regions taken into account for allocation purposes under component 2B referred to in point (a) of Article 9(3).
2.  The implementing act referred to in paragraph 1 shall also contain a list specifying those NUTS level 3 regions of the Union taken into account for the ERDF allocation for cross-border cooperation at all internal borders and those external borders covered by the external financing instruments of the Union.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 3
3.  Regions of third or partner countries or territories outside the Union which do not receive supported from the ERDF or an external financing instrument of the Union shall also be mentioned in the list referred to in paragraph 1.
3.  Regions of third or partner countries or territories outside the Union which do not receive support from the ERDF or an external financing instrument of the Union shall also be mentioned in the list referred to in paragraph 1.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 1
1.  The ERDF resources for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) shall amount to EUR 8 430 000 000 of the global resources available for budgetary commitment from the ERDF, ESF+ and the Cohesion Fund for the 2021-2027 programming period and set out in Article [102(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
1.  Resources for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) shall amount to EUR 11 165 910 000 (2018 prices) of out the global resources available for budgetary commitment from the ERDF, ESF+ and the Cohesion Fund for the 2021-2027 programming period and set out in Article [103(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  The resources referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated as follows:
2.  EUR 10 195 910 000 (91,31 %) of the resources referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated as follows:
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  52.7 % (i.e., a total of EUR 4 440 000 000) for cross-border cooperation (component 1);
(a)  EUR 7 500 000 000 (67,16 %) for cross-border cooperation (component 1);
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  31.4 % (i.e., a total of EUR 2 649 900 000) for transnational cooperation and maritime cooperation (component 2);
(b)  EUR 1 973 600 880 (17,68 %) for transnational cooperation (component 2);
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  3.2 % (i.e., a total of EUR 270 100 000) for outermost regions' cooperation (component 3);
(c)  EUR 357 309 120 (3,2 %) for outermost regions' cooperation (component 3);
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point d
(d)  1.2 % (i.e., a total of EUR 100 000 000) for interregional cooperation (component 4);
(d)  EUR 365 000 000 (3,27%) for interregional cooperation (component 4);
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  11.5 % (i.e., a total of EUR 970 000 000) for interregional innovation investments (component 5).
deleted
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2 – point a
(a)  NUTS level 3 regions for component 1 and those NUTS level 3 regions for component 2B listed in the implementing act under Article 8(2);
(a)  NUTS level 3 regions for component 1 listed in the implementing act under Article 8(2);
Amendment 72
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2 – point b
(b)  NUTS level 2 regions for components 2A and 3.
(b)  NUTS level 2 regions for component 2.
Amendment 73
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2 – point b a (new)
(b a)  NUTS level 2 and 3 regions for component 3.
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5 a.  EUR 970 000 000 (8,69 %) of the resources referred to in paragraph 1 shall be allocated to the new initiative on interregional innovation investments as referred to in Article 15 a (new).
If by 31 December 2026, the Commission has not committed all of the available resources referred to in paragraph 1 on projects selected under that initiative, the remaining uncommitted balances shall be re-allocated prorata among components 1 to 4.
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
Support from the ERDF shall be granted to individual external cross-border Interreg programmes provided that equivalent amounts are provided by IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC under the relevant strategic programming document. That equivalence shall be subject to a maximum amount set out in the IPA III or NDICI legislative act.
Support from the ERDF shall be granted to individual external cross-border Interreg programmes provided that at least equivalent amounts are provided by IPA III CBC and NDICI CBC under the relevant strategic programming document. That contribution shall be subject to a maximum amount set out in the IPA III or NDICI legislative act.
Amendment 76
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point b
(b)  the Interreg programme cannot be implemented as planned due to problems in relations between the participating countries.
(b)  In duly justified cases, where the Interreg programme cannot be implemented as planned due to problems in relations between the participating countries.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1
With regard to a component 2 Interreg programme already approved by the Commission, the participation of a partner country or of Greenland shall be discontinued, if one of the situations set out in points (a) and (b) of the first subparagraph of paragraph 3 is fulfilled.
With regard to a component 2 Interreg programme already approved by the Commission, the participation of a partner country or of an OCT shall be discontinued, if one of the situations set out in points(a) and (b) of the first subparagraph of paragraph 3 is fulfilled.
Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2 – point a
(a)  that the Interreg programme be discontinued in total, in particular where the main joint development challenges thereof cannot be achieved without the participation of that partner country or of Greenland;
(a)  that the Interreg programme be discontinued in total, in particular where the main joint development challenges thereof cannot be achieved without the participation of that partner country or OCT;
Amendment 79
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2 – point c
(c)  that the Interreg programme continue without the participation of that partner country or of Greenland.
(c)  that the Interreg programme continue without the participation of that partner country or of an OCT.
Amendment 80
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 6
6.  Where a third country or partner country contributing to an Interreg programme with national resources, which do not constitute the national cofinancing of support from the ERDF or from an external financing instrument of the Union, reduces that contribution during the implementation of the Interreg programme, either globally or with regard to joint operations already selected and having received the document provided for in Article 22(6), the participating Member State or Member States shall request one of the options set out in the second subparagraph of paragraph 4.
6.  Where a third country, partner country or OCTs contributing to an Interreg programme with national resources, which do not constitute the national cofinancing of support from the ERDF or from an external financing instrument of the Union, reduces that contribution during the implementation of the Interreg programme, either globally or with regard to joint operations already selected and having received the document provided for in Article22(6), the participating Member State or Member States shall request one of the options set out in the second subparagraph of paragraph 4 of this Article.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13 – paragraph 1
The co-financing rate at the level of each Interreg programme shall be not higher than 70 %, unless, with regard to external cross-border or component 3 Interreg programmes, a higher percentage is fixed in Regulations (EU) [IPA III], [NDICI] or Council Decision (EU) [OCTP] respectively or in any act adopted thereunder.
The co-financing rate at the level of each Interreg programme shall be not higher than 80 %, unless, with regard to external cross-border or component 3 Interreg programmes, a higher percentage is fixed in Regulations (EU) [IPA III], [NDICI] or Council Decision (EU) [OCTP] respectively or in any act adopted thereunder.
Amendment 82
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 3 – introductory part
3.  In addition to the specific objectives for the ERDF as set out in Article [2] of Regulation (EU) [new ERDF], the ERDF and, where applicable, the external financing instruments of the Union may also contribute to the specific objectives under PO 4 as follows:
3.  In addition to the specific objectives for the ERDF as set out in Article [2] of Regulation (EU) [new ERDF], the ERDF and, where applicable, the external financing instruments of the Union shall also contribute to the specific objectives under PO 4 as follows:
Amendment 83
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 4 – point a – introductory part
(a)  under component 1 and 2B Interreg programmes:
(a)  under component 1 and 2 Interreg programmes:
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 4 – point a – point ii
(ii)  enhance efficient public administration by promoting legal and administrative cooperation and cooperation between citizens and institutions, in particular, with a view to resolving legal and other obstacles in border regions;
(ii)  enhance efficient public administration by promoting legal and administrative cooperation and cooperation between citizens, including people-to-people projects, civil society actors and institutions, in particular, with a view to resolving legal and other obstacles in border regions;
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 5
5.  Under external cross-border and component 2 and 3 Interreg programmes the ERDF and, where applicable, the external financing instruments of the Union shall also contribute to the external Interreg-specific objective 'a safer and more secure Europe', in particular by actions in the fields of border crossing management and mobility and migration management, including the protection of migrants.
5.  Under component 1, 2 and 3 Interreg programmes the ERDF and, where applicable, the external financing instruments of the Union may also contribute to the Interreg-specific objective 'a safer and more secure Europe', in particular by actions in the fields of border crossing management and mobility and migration management, including the protection, economic and social integration of migrants and refugees under international protection.
Amendment 86
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 2
2.  An additional 15% of the ERDF and, where applicable, of the external financing instruments of the Union allocations under priorities other than for technical assistance to each Interreg programme under components 1, 2 and 3, shall be allocated on the Interreg-specific objective of 'a better Interreg governance' or on the external Interreg-specific objective of 'a safer and more secure Europe'.
2.  Of the ERDF and, where applicable, of the external financing instruments of the Union allocations under priorities other than for technical assistance to each Interreg programme under components 1, 2 and 3, up to15 % shall be allocated on the Interreg-specific objective of 'a better Interreg governance' and up to 10 % may be allocated on the Interreg-specific objective of 'a safer and more secure Europe'.
Amendment 87
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 3
3.  Where a component 2A Interreg programme supports a macro-regional strategy, the total ERDF and, where applicable, the total external financing instruments of the Union allocations under priorities other than for technical assistance shall be programmed on the objectives of that strategy.
3.  Where a component 1 or 2 Interreg programme supports a macro-regional strategy or a sea-basin strategy, at least 80 % the ERDF and, where applicable, part of the external financing instruments of the Union allocations under priorities other than for technical assistance shall contribute to the objectives of that strategy.
Amendment 88
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 4
4.  Where a component 2B Interreg programme supports a macro-regional strategy or sea-basin strategy, at least 70% of the total ERDF and, where applicable, of the external financing instruments of the Union allocations under priorities other than for technical assistance shall be allocated on the objectives of that strategy.
deleted
Amendment 89
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 a (new)
Article 15 a
Interregional innovation investments
1.  The resources referred to in Article 9 (5 a) (new) shall be allocated to a new initiative on interregional innovation investments that is earmarked for:
(a)  the commercialisation and scaling up of common innovation projects that are likely to encourage the development of European value chains;
(b)  the bringing together of researchers, businesses, civil society organisations, and public administrations involved in smart specialisation and social innovation strategies at national or regional level;
(c)  pilot projects aimed at identifying or testing new development solutions at regional and local level which are based on smart specialisation strategies; or
(d)  sharing innovation experiences with the aim of benefiting from the experience gained in regional or local development.
2.  To maintain the European territorial cohesion principle, with an approximate equal share of financial resources, those investments shall focus on creating linkages between less developed regions with those in lead regions by increasing the capacity of regional innovation eco-systems in less developed regions to integrate in and move up the existing or emerging EU value as well as the capacity to participate in partnerships with other regions.
3.  The Commission shall implement those investments under direct or indirect management. It shall be supported by an expert group in defining a long-term work programme and related calls.
4.  The entire territory of the Union shall be supported by the ERDF for interregional innovation investments. Third countries may participate in those investments, provided that they make a funding contribution in the form of externally allocated revenue.
Amendment 90
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 1
1.  The European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) shall be implemented through Interreg programmes under shared management with the exception of component 3, which may be implemented as a whole or partially under indirect management, and of component 5 which shall be implemented under direct or indirect management.
1.  The European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) shall be implemented through Interreg programmes under shared management with the exception of component 3, which may be implemented as a whole or partially under indirect management after consulting stakeholders.
Amendment 91
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2
2.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries or OCTs, shall prepare an Interreg programme in accordance with the template set out in the Annex for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027.
2.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration and cooperation organisations shall prepare an Interreg programme in accordance with the template set out in the Annex for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027.
Amendment 92
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
The participating Member States shall prepare an Interreg programme in cooperation with the programme partners referred to in Article [6] of Regulation (EU) [the new CPR].
The participating Member States shall prepare an Interreg programme in cooperation with the programme partners referred to in Article [6] of Regulation (EU) [the new CPR]. In the preparation of the Interreg programmes, covering macro-regional or sea basin strategies, the Member States and the programme partners should take into account the thematic priorities of the relevant macro-regional and sea basins strategies and consult the relevant actors. An ex ante mechanism shall be set up by the Member States and the programme partners to ensure that all actors at macro-region and sea basin level, ETC programme authorities, regions and countries are brought together at the start of the programming period to decide jointly on the priorities for each programme. Those priorities shall be aligned with macro-regional or sea basin strategies’ Action Plans wherever relevant.
Amendment 93
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1
The Member State hosting the prospective managing authority, shall submit an Interreg programme to the Commission by [date of entry into force plus nine months;] on behalf of all participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries or OCTs.
The Member State hosting the prospective managing authority, shall submit one or more Interreg programmes to the Commission by [date of entry into force plus twelvemonths;] on behalf of all participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration and cooperation organisations.
Amendment 94
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2
However, an Interreg programme covering support from an external financing instrument of the Union shall be submitted by the Member State hosting the prospective managing authority no later than six months after the adoption by the Commission of the relevant strategic programming document under Article 10(1) or where required under the respective basic act of one or more of an external financing instrument of the Union.
However, an Interreg programme covering support from an external financing instrument of the Union shall be submitted by the Member State hosting the prospective managing authority no later than twelve months after the adoption by the Commission of the relevant strategic programming document under Article 10(1) or where required under the respective basic act of one or more of an external financing instrument of the Union.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 3
3.  In duly justified cases and in agreement with the Commission, in order to increase the efficiency of programme implementation and to achieve larger-scale operations, the Member State concerned may decide to transfer to Interreg programmes up to [x]% of the amount of the ERDF allocated to the corresponding programme under the Investment for jobs and growth goal for the same region. The amount transferred shall constitute a separate priority or separate priorities.
3.  In order to increase the efficiency of programme implementation and to achieve larger-scale operations, the Member State concerned may decide to transfer to Interreg programmes up to 20 % of the amount of the ERDF allocated to the corresponding programme under the Investment for jobs and growth goal for the same region. Each Member State shall inform the Commission in advance that it intends to make use of the transfer option, and shall give the Commission reasons for its decision. The amount transferred shall constitute a separate priority or separate priorities.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point b – introductory part
(b)  a summary of the main joint challenges, taking into account:
(b)  a summary of the main joint challenges, particularly taking into account:
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point b – point ii
(ii)  joint investment needs and complementarity with other forms of support;
(ii)  joint investment needs and complementarity with other forms of support and potential synergies to be achieved;
Amendment 98
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point b – point iii
(iii)  lessons learnt from past experience;
(iii)  lessons learnt from past experience and how they have been taken into account into the programme;
Amendment 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point c
(c)  a justification for the selected policy objectives and Interreg-specific objectives, corresponding priorities, specific objectives and the forms of support, addressing, where appropriate, missing links in cross-border infrastructure;
(c)  a justification for the selected policy objectives and Interreg-specific objectives, corresponding priorities, and addressing, where appropriate, missing links in cross-border infrastructure;
Amendment 100
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point e – point i
(i)  the related types of actions, including a list of planned operations of strategic importance, and their expected contribution to those specific objectives and to macro-regional strategies and sea-basin strategies, where appropriate;
(i)  the related types of actions, including a list of planned operations of strategic importance, and their expected contribution to those specific objectives and to macro-regional strategies and sea-basin strategies, where appropriate, respectively the set of criteria and the corresponding transparent selection criteria for such operation;
Amendment 101
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point e – point iii
(iii)  the main target groups;
deleted
Amendment 102
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4 – point e – point v
(v)  the planned use of financial instruments;
deleted
Amendment 103
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 5 – point a – point iii
(iii)  for component 2 Interreg programmes supported by OCTP concerning split per financing instrument ('ERDF' and 'OCTP Greenland');
(iii)  for component 2 Interreg programmes supported by OCTP concerning split per financing instrument ('ERDF' and 'OCTP');
Amendment 104
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 5 – point b
(b)  with regard to the table referred to in point (g)(ii) of paragraph 4, it shall include the amounts for the years 2021 to 2025 only.
deleted
Amendment 105
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 7 – point b
(b)  lay down the procedure for setting up the joint secretariat;
(b)  lay down the procedure for setting up the joint secretariat and, where applicable, supporting management structures in the Member States or third countries;
Amendment 106
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission shall assess each Interreg programme and its compliance with Regulation (EU) [new CPR], Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] and this Regulation and, in the case of support from an external financing instrument of the Union and where relevant, its consistency with the multi-annual strategy document under Article 10(1) or the relevant strategic programming framework under the respective basic act of one or more of those instruments.
1.  The Commission shall assess with full transparency each Interreg programme and its compliance with Regulation (EU) [new CPR], Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] and this Regulation and, in the case of support from an external financing instrument of the Union and where relevant, its consistency with the multi-annual strategy document under Article 10(1) of this Regulation or the relevant strategic programming framework under the respective basic act of one or more of those instruments.
Amendment 107
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 3
3.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third or partner countries or OCTs shall review the Interreg programme taking into account the observations made by the Commission.
3.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third or partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration and cooperation organisations shall review the Interreg programme taking into account the observations made by the Commission.
Amendment 108
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 4
4.  The Commission shall adopt a decision by means of an implementing act approving each Interreg programme no later than six months after the date of submission of that programme by the Member State hosting the prospective managing authority.
4.  The Commission shall adopt a decision by means of an implementing act approving each Interreg programme no later than three months after the date of submission of the revised version of that programme by the Member State hosting the prospective managing authority.
Amendment 109
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 1
1.  The Member State hosting the managing authority may submit a motivated request for an amendment of an Interreg programme together with the amended programme, setting out the expected impact of that amendment on the achievement of the objectives.
1.  Following consultation with the local and regional authorities and in compliance with Article 6 of Regulation (EU).../... [new CPR], the Member State hosting the managing authority may submit a motivated request for an amendment of an Interreg programme together with the amended programme, setting out the expected impact of that amendment on the achievement of the objectives.
Amendment 110
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission shall assess the compliance of the amendment with Regulation (EU) [new CPR], Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] and this Regulation and may make observations within three months of the submission of the amended programme.
2.  The Commission shall assess the compliance of the amendment with Regulation (EU) [new CPR], Regulation (EU) [new ERDF] and this Regulation and may make observations within one month of the submission of the amended programme.
Amendment 111
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 3
3.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries or OCTs shall review the amended programme and take into account the observations made by the Commission.
3.  The participating Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration and cooperation organisations shall review the amended programme and take into account the observations made by the Commission.
Amendment 112
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 4
4.  The Commission shall approve the amendment of a Interreg programme no later than six months after its submission by the Member State.
4.  The Commission shall approve the amendment of a Interreg programme no later than three months after its submission by the Member State.
Amendment 113
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1
The Member State may transfer during the programming period an amount of up to 5% of the initial allocation of a priority and no more than 3% of the programme budget to another priority of the same Interreg programme.
Following consultation with the local and regional authorities and in compliance with Article 6 of Regulation (EU).../... [new CPR], the Member State may transfer during the programming period an amount of up to 10 % of the initial allocation of a priority and no more than 5 % of the programme budget to another priority of the same Interreg programme.
Amendment 114
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2
That monitoring committee may set up one or, in particular in the case of sub-programmes, more steering committees which act under its responsibility for the selection of operations.
That monitoring committee may set up one or, in particular in the case of sub-programmes, more steering committees which act under its responsibility for the selection of operations. Steering committees shall apply the partnership principle as set out in Article 6 of Regulation (EU).../... [new CPR] and shall involve partners from all participating Member States.
Amendment 115
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 3
3.  The managing authority shall consult the Commission and take its comments into account prior to the initial submission of the selection criteria to the monitoring committee or, where applicable, the steering committee. The same shall apply for any subsequent changes to those criteria.
3.  The managing authority shall notify the Commission prior to the initial submission of the selection criteria to the monitoring committee or, where applicable, the steering committee. The same shall apply for any subsequent changes to those criteria.
Amendment 116
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 4 – introductory part
4.  In selecting operations, the monitoring committee or, where applicable, the steering committee shall:
4.  Before the monitoring committee or, where applicable, the steering committee selects operations, the managing authority shall:
Amendment 117
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 2
That document shall also set out the lead partner's obligations with regard to recoveries pursuant to Article 50. Those obligations shall be defined by the monitoring committee. However, a lead partner located in a different Member State, third country, partner country or OCT from the partner shall not be obliged to recover through a judicial procedure.
That document shall also set out the lead partner's obligations with regard to recoveries pursuant to Article 50. Procedures related to recoveries shall be defined and agreed by the monitoring committee. However, a lead partner located in a different Member State, third country, partner country or OCT from the partner shall not be obliged to recover through a judicial procedure.
Amendment 118
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
Operations selected under components 1, 2 and 3 shall involve actors from at least two participating countries, at least one of which shall be a beneficiary from a Member State.
Operations selected under components 1, 2 and 3 shall involve actors from at least two participating countries or OCTs, at least one of which shall be a beneficiary from a Member State.
Amendment 119
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 2
2.  An Interreg operation may be implemented in a single country, provided that the impact on and the benefits for the programme area are identified in the operation application.
2.  An Interreg operation may be implemented in a single country or OCT, provided that the impact on and the benefits for the programme area are identified in the operation application.
Amendment 120
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1
Partners shall cooperate in the development, implementation, staffing and financing of Interreg operations.
Partners shall cooperate in the development and implementation of Interreg operations, as well as in the staffing and/or financing thereof. An effort shall be made to limit the number of partners for each Interreg operation to no more than ten.
Amendment 121
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2
For Interreg operations under component 3 Interreg programmes, the partners from outermost regions and third countries, partner countries or OCTs shall be required to cooperate only in three of the four dimensions listed in the first subparagraph.
For Interreg operations under component 3 Interreg programmes, the partners from outermost regions and third countries, partner countries or OCTs shall be required to cooperate only in two of the four dimensions listed in the first subparagraph.
Amendment 122
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 1
A cross-border legal body or an EGTC may be the sole partner of an Interreg operation under component 1, 2 and 3 Interreg programmes, provided that the members thereof involve partners from at least two participating countries.
A cross-border legal body or an EGTC may be the sole partner of an Interreg operation under component 1, 2 and 3 Interreg programmes, provided that the members thereof involve partners from at least two participating countries or OCTs.
Amendment 123
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 7 – subparagraph 2
However, a sole partner may be registered in a Member State not participating in that programme, provided the conditions set out in Article 23 are satisfied.
deleted
Amendment 124
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
The contribution from the ERDF or, where applicable, an external financing instrument of the Union, to a small project fund within an Interreg programme shall not exceed EUR 20 000 000 or 15% of the total allocation of the Interreg programme, whichever is lower.
The total contribution from the ERDF or, where applicable, an external financing instrument of the Union, to one or more small project funds within an Interreg programme shall not exceed 20 % of the total allocation of the Interreg programme and shall, in the case of an Interreg programme for cross-border cooperation, be at least 3 % of the total allocation.
Amendment 125
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 2
2.  The beneficiary of a small project fund shall be a cross-border legal body or an EGTC.
2.  The beneficiary of a small project fund shall be a public or private law body, an entity with or without legal personality or a natural person, that is responsible for initiating or both initiating and implementing operations.
Amendment 126
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 5
5.  Staff and indirect costs generated at the level of the beneficiary for the management of the small project fund shall not exceed 20% of the total eligible cost of the respective small project fund.
5.  Staff and other direct costs corresponding to the cost categories in Articles 39 to 42, as well as indirect costs generated at the level of the beneficiary for the management of the small project fund or funds, shall not exceed 20 % of the total eligible cost of the respective small project fund or funds.
Amendment 127
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 1
Where the public contribution to a small project does not exceed EUR 100 000, the contribution from the ERDF or, where applicable, an external financing instrument of the Union shall take the form of unit costs or lump sums or include flat rates, except for projects for which the support constitutes State aid.
Where the public contribution to a small project does not exceed EUR 100 000, the contribution from the ERDF or, where applicable, an external financing instrument of the Union shall take the form of unit costs or lump sums or include flat rates.
Amendment 128
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
Where the total costs of each operation do not exceed EUR 100 000, the amount of support for one or more small projects may be set out on the basis of a draft budget which is established on a case-by-case basis and agreed ex ante by the body selecting the operation.
Amendment 129
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 2
2.  If not otherwise specified in the arrangements laid down pursuant to point (a) of paragraph 1 the lead partner shall ensure that the other partners receive the total amount of the contribution from the respective Union fund as quickly as possible and in full. No amount shall be deducted or withheld and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce that amount for the other partners.
2.  If not otherwise specified in the arrangements laid down pursuant to point (a) of paragraph 1 the lead partner shall ensure that the other partners receive the total amount of the contribution from the respective Union fund in full and within timeframe agreed by all partners and following the same procedure applied in respect of the lead partner. No amount shall be deducted or withheld and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce that amount for the other partners.
Amendment 130
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
Any beneficiary in a Member State, third country, partner country or OCT participating in an Interreg programme may be designated as the lead partner.
Any beneficiary in a Member State participating in an Interreg programme may be designated as the lead partner.
Amendment 131
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2
However, Member States, third countries, partner countries or OCTs participating in an Interreg programme may agree that a partner not receiving support from the ERDF or an external financing instrument of the Union may be designated as the lead partner.
deleted
Amendment 132
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 1
1.  Technical assistance to each Interreg programme shall be reimbursed as a flat rate by applying the percentages set out in paragraph 2 to the eligible expenditure included in each payment application pursuant to [points (a) or (c) of Article 85(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] as appropriate.
1.  Technical assistance to each Interreg programme shall be reimbursed as a flat rate by applying the percentages set out in paragraph 2 for 2021 and 2022 to the yearly instalments of the pre-financing pursuant to points (a) and (b) of Article 49(2) of this Regulation and then to the eligible expenditure included in each payment application pursuant to [points (a) or (c) of Article 85(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] as appropriate for subsequent years.
Amendment 133
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  for internal cross-border cooperation Interreg programmes supported by the ERDF: 6%;
(a)  for internal cross-border cooperation Interreg programmes supported by the ERDF: 7%;
Amendment 134
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  for component 2, 3 and 4 Interreg programmes, both for the ERDF and, where applicable, for the external financing instruments of the Union: 7%.
(c)  for component 2, 3 and 4 Interreg programmes, both for the ERDF and, where applicable, for the external financing instruments of the Union: 8 %.
Amendment 135
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 1
1.  The Member States and, where applicable, the third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in that programme shall set up, in agreement with the managing authority, a committee to monitor implementation of the respective Interreg programme ('monitoring committee') within three months of the date of notification to the Member States of the Commission decision adopting an Interreg programme,
1.  The Member States and, where applicable, the third countries, partner countries, OCTs or regional integration cooperation organisations participating in that programme shall set up, in agreement with the managing authority, a committee to monitor implementation of the respective Interreg programme ('monitoring committee') within three months of the date of notification to the Member States of the Commission decision adopting an Interreg programme,
Amendment 136
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2
2.  The monitoring committee shall be chaired by a representative of the Member State hosting the managing authority or of the managing authority.
deleted
Where the rules of procedure of the monitoring committee establish a rotating chair, the monitoring committee may be chaired by a representative of a third country, partner country or OCT, and co-chaired by a representative of the Member State or of the managing authority, and vice-versa.
Amendment 137
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 6
6.  The managing authority shall publish the rules of procedures of the monitoring committee and all the data and information shared with the monitoring committee on the website referred to in Article 35(2).
6.  The managing authority shall publish the rules of procedures of the monitoring committee, the summary of data and information as well as all the decisions shared with the monitoring committee on the website referred to in Article 35(2).
Amendment 138
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
The composition of the monitoring committee of each Interreg programme shall be agreed by the Member States and, where applicable, by the third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in that programme and shall ensure a balanced representation of the relevant authorities, intermediate bodies and representatives of the programme partners referred to in Article [6] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] from Member States, third countries, partner countries and OCTs.
The composition of the monitoring committee of each Interreg programme may be agreed by the Member States and, where applicable, by the third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in that programme and shall aim for a balanced representation of the relevant authorities, intermediate bodies and representatives of the programme partners referred to in Article [6] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] from Member States, third countries, partner countries and OCTs.
Amendment 139
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2
The composition of the monitoring committee shall take into account the number of participating Member States, third countries, partner countries and OCTs in the Interreg programme concerned.
deleted
Amendment 140
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3
The monitoring committee shall also include representatives of bodies jointly set up in the whole programme area or covering a part thereof, including EGTCs.
The monitoring committee shall also include representatives of regions and local governments as well as other bodies jointly set up in the whole programme area or covering a part thereof, including EGTCs.
Amendment 141
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 2
2.  The managing authority shall publish a list of the members of the monitoring committee on the website referred to in Article 35(2).
2.  The managing authority shall publish a list of authorities or bodies appointed as members of the monitoring committee on the website referred to in Article 35(2).
Amendment 142
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 3
3.  Representatives of the Commission shall participate in the work of the monitoring committee in an advisory capacity.
3.  Representatives of the Commission may participate in the work of the monitoring committee in an advisory capacity.
Amendment 143
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3 a.  Representatives of bodies established throughout the area of the programme or which cover a part of it, including EGTCs, may participate in the work of the monitoring committee in an advisory capacity.
Amendment 144
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point g
(g)  the progress in administrative capacity building for public institutions and beneficiaries, where relevant.
(g)  the progress in administrative capacity building for public institutions and beneficiaries, where relevant and propose any further support measures if necessary.
Amendment 145
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  the methodology and criteria used for the selection of operations, including any changes thereto, after consultation with the Commission pursuant to Article 22(2), without prejudice to [points (b), (c) and (d) of Article 27(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR];
(a)  the methodology and criteria used for the selection of operations, including any changes thereto, after notifying the Commission pursuant to Article 22(2) of this Regulation, without prejudice to [points (b), (c) and (d)of Article 27(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR];
Amendment 146
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  At the request of the Commission, the managing authority shall, within one month, provide the Commission with the information on the elements listed in Article 29(1):
2.  At the request of the Commission, the managing authority shall, within three months, provide the Commission with the information on the elements listed in Article 29(1):
Amendment 147
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
Each managing authority shall electronically transmit to the Commission cumulative data for the respective Interreg programme by 31 January, 31 March, 31 May, 31 July, 30 September and 30 November of each year in accordance with the template in Annex [VII] to Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
Each managing authority shall electronically transmit to the Commission data for the respective Interreg programme pursuant to point (a) of Article 31(2) of this Regulation by 31 January, 31 May and 30 September of each year as well as data pursuant to point (b) of Article 31(2) of this Regulation once a year in accordance with the template in Annex [VII] to Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
Amendment 148
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
The transmission of data shall be carried out using existing data-reporting systems insofar as those systems have proven to be reliable during the previous programming period.
Amendment 149
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  the values of output and result indicators for selected Interreg operations and values achieved by Interreg operations.
(b)  the values of output and result indicators for selected Interreg operations and values achieved by finalised Interreg operations.
Amendment 150
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33 – paragraph 1
1.  Common output and common result indicators, as set out in Annex [I] to Regulation (EU) [new ERDF], and, where necessary, programme-specific output and result indicators shall be used in accordance with Article [12(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], and point (d)(ii) of Article 17(3) and point (b) of Article 31(2) of this Regulation.
1.  Common output and common result indicators, asset out in Annex [I] to Regulation (EU) [new ERDF], which are found to be most suited to measure progress towards the goals of the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) programme, shall be used in accordance with Article[12(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], and point (e)(ii) of Article 17(4) and point (b) of Article 31(2) of this Regulation.
Amendment 151
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1 a.  Where necessary and in cases duly justified by the managing authority, programme-specific output and result indicators shall be used in addition to the indicators which were selected in accordance with the paragraph 1 .
Amendment 152
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 1
1.  The managing authority shall carry out evaluations of each Interreg programme. Each evaluation shall assess the programme’s effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value with the aim to improve the quality of the design and implementation of the respective Interreg programme.
1.  The managing authority shall carry out evaluations of each Interreg programme, no more than once a year. Each evaluation shall assess the programme’s effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value with the aim to improve the quality of the design and implementation of the respective Interreg programme.
Amendment 153
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 4
4.  The managing authority shall ensure the necessary procedures to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations.
4.  The managing authority aims to ensure the necessary procedures to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations.
Amendment 154
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35 – paragraph 3
3.  Article [44(2) to (7)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] on the responsibilities of the managing authority shall apply.
3.  Article [44(2) to (6)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] on the responsibilities of the managing authority shall apply.
Amendment 155
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 – point c
(c)  publicly displaying public plaques or billboards as soon as the physical implementation of an Interreg operation involving physical investment or the purchase of equipment starts, the total cost of which exceeds EUR 100 000;
(c)  publicly displaying public plaques or billboards as soon as the physical implementation of an Interreg operation involving physical investment or the purchase of equipment starts, the total cost of which exceeds EUR 50 000;
Amendment 156
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 – point d
(d)  for Interreg operations not falling under point (c), publicly displaying at least one printed or electronic display of a minimum size A3 with information about the Interreg operation highlighting the support from an Interreg fund;
(d)  for Interreg operations not falling under point (c), publicly displaying at least one printed and, where applicable, electronic display of a minimum size A2 with information about the Interreg operation highlighting the support from an Interreg fund;
Amendment 157
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 – point e
(e)  for operations of strategic importance and operations whose total cost exceed EUR 10 000 000 organising a communication event and involving the Commission and the responsible managing authority in a timely manner.
(e)  for operations of strategic importance and operations whose total cost exceed EUR 5 000 000 organising a communication event and involving the Commission and the responsible managing authority in a timely manner.
Amendment 158
Proposal for a regulation
Article 35 – paragraph 6
6.  Where the beneficiary does not comply with its obligations under Article [42] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] or paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the Member State shall apply a financial correction by cancelling up to 5% of the support from the Funds to the operation concerned.
6.  Where the beneficiary does not comply with its obligations under Article [42] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR] or paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, or does not remedy its omission in good time, the managing authority shall apply a financial correction by cancelling up to 5 % of the support from the Funds to the operation concerned.
Amendment 159
Proposal for a regulation
Article 38 – paragraph 3 – point c
(c)  as a flat rate in accordance with Article [50(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR].
(c)  direct staff costs of an operation may be calculated at a flat rate of up to 20 % of the direct costs other than the direct staff costs of that operation, without there being a requirement for the Member State to perform a calculation to determine the applicable rate.
Amendment 160
Proposal for a regulation
Article 38 – paragraph 5 – point a
(a)  dividing the monthly gross employment cost by the monthly working time fixed in the employment document expressed in hours; or
(a)  Dividing the latest documented monthly gross employment costs by the monthly working time of the person concerned in accordance with applicable law as referred to in the employment contract and paragraph 2 (b) of Article 50 of Regulation (EU) .../...[New CPR]; or
Amendment 161
Proposal for a regulation
Article 38 – paragraph 6
6.  As regards staff costs related to individuals who, according to the employment document, work on an hourly basis, such costs shall be eligible applying the number of hours actually worked on the operation to the hourly rate agreed in the employment document based on a working time registration system.
6.  As regards staff costs related to individuals who, according to the employment document, work on an hourly basis, such costs shall be eligible applying the number of hours actually worked on the operation to the hourly rate agreed in the employment document based on a working time registration system. If not yet included in the agreed hourly rate, salary costs as referred to under point (b) of Article 38 (2) may be added to that hourly rate, in line with applicable national law.
Amendment 162
Proposal for a regulation
Article 39 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
Office and administrative costs shall be limited to the following elements:
Office and administrative costs shall be limited to 15 % of total direct costs of an operation and to the following elements:
Amendment 163
Proposal for a regulation
Article 40 – paragraph 4
4.  Direct payment of expenditure for costs under this Article by an employee of the beneficiary shall be supported by a proof of reimbursement by the beneficiary to that employee.
4.  Direct payment of expenditure for costs under this Article by an employee of the beneficiary shall be supported by a proof of reimbursement by the beneficiary to that employee. That cost category may be used for the travel expenses of operation staff and other stakeholders for the purpose of implementation and promotion of the Interreg operation and Programme.
Amendment 164
Proposal for a regulation
Article 40 – paragraph 5
5.  Travel and accommodation costs of an operation may be calculated at a flat rate of up to 15 % of the direct costs other than the direct staff costs of that operation.
5.  Travel and accommodation costs of an operation may be calculated at a flat rate of up to 15 % of the direct costs of that operation.
Amendment 165
Proposal for a regulation
Article 41 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
External expertise and service costs shall be limited to the following services and expertise provided by a public or private law body or a natural person other than the beneficiary of the operation:
External expertise and service costs shall be composed but not limited to the following services and expertise provided by a public or private law body or a natural person other than the beneficiary, including all partners, of the operation:
Amendment 166
Proposal for a regulation
Article 41 – paragraph 1 – point o
(o)  travel and accommodation for external experts, speakers, chairpersons of meetings and service providers;
(o)  travel and accommodation for external experts;
Amendment 167
Proposal for a regulation
Article 42 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  Costs for equipment purchased, rented or leased by the beneficiary of the operation other than those covered by Article 39 shall be limited to the following:
1.  Costs for equipment purchased, rented or leased by the beneficiary of the operation other than those covered by Article 39 shall be composed but not limited to the following:
Amendment 168
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  purchase of land in accordance with [point (c) of Article 58(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR];
(a)  purchase of land in accordance with [point (b) of Article 58(1)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR];
Amendment 169
Proposal for a regulation
Article 44 – paragraph 1
1.  Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in an Interreg programme shall identify, for the purposes of Article [65] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], a single managing authority and a single audit authority.
1.  Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries, OCTs, and regional integration cooperation organisations participating in an Interreg programme shall identify, for the purposes of Article [65] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], a single managing authority and a single audit authority.
Amendment 170
Proposal for a regulation
Article 44 – paragraph 2
2.  The managing authority and the audit authority shall be located in the same Member State.
2.  The managing authority and the audit authority may be located in the same Member State.
Amendment 171
Proposal for a regulation
Article 44 – paragraph 5
5.  With regard to an Interreg programme under component 2B or under component 1 where the latter covers long borders with heterogenous development challenges and needs, Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in an Interreg programme may define sub-programme areas.
5.  With regard to an Interreg programme under component 1 where the latter covers long borders with heterogenous development challenges and needs, Member States and, where applicable, third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in an Interreg programme may define sub-programme areas.
Amendment 172
Proposal for a regulation
Article 44 – paragraph 6
6.  Where the managing authority identifies an intermediate body under an Interreg programme in accordance with Article [65(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], the intermediate body shall carry out those tasks in more than one participating Member State or, where applicable, third country, partner country or OCT.
6.  Where the managing authority identifies one or more intermediate bodies under an Interreg programme in accordance with Article [65(3)] of Regulation (EU) [new CPR], the intermediate body or bodies concerned shall carry out those tasks in more than one participating Member State, or in their respective Member States, or, where applicable, in more than one third country, partner country or OCT.
Amendment 173
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1 a.   By way of derogation from Article 87(2) of Regulation (EU) .../... [new CPR], the Commission shall reimburse as interim payments 100 % of the amounts included in the payment application which result from applying the cofinancing rate of the programme to the total eligible expenditure or to the public contribution, as appropriate.
Amendment 174
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 1 b (new)
1b.   Where the managing authority does not carry out verification under point (a) of Article 68(1) of Regulation (EU) .../... [new CPR] throughout the whole programme area, each Member State shall designate the body or person responsible for carrying out such verification in relation to beneficiaries on its territory.
Amendment 175
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 1 c (new)
1c.   By way of derogation from Article 92 of Regulation (EU) .../... [new CPR], Interreg programmes are not subject to the annual clearance of accounts. Accounts are cleared at the end of a programme, on the basis of the final performance report.
Amendment 176
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 7
7.  Where the global extrapolated error rate referred to in paragraph 6 is above 2% of the total expenditure declared for the Interreg programmes included in the population from which the common sample was selected, the Commission shall calculate a global residual error rate, taking account of financial corrections applied by the respective Interreg programme authorities for individual irregularities detected by the audits of operations selected pursuant to paragraph 1.
7.  Where the global extrapolated error rate referred to in paragraph 6 is above 3.5 % of the total expenditure declared for the Interreg programmes included in the population from which the common sample was selected, the Commission shall calculate a global residual error rate, taking account of financial corrections applied by the respective Interreg programme authorities for individual irregularities detected by the audits of operations selected pursuant to paragraph 1.
Amendment 177
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 8
8.  Where the global residual error rate referred to in paragraph 7 is above 2% of the expenditure declared for the Interreg programmes included in the population from which the common sample was selected, the Commission shall determine whether it is necessary to request the audit authority of a specific Interreg programme or a group of Interreg programmes most affected to carry out additional audit work in order to further evaluate the error rate and assess the required corrective measures for the Interreg programmes affected by the irregularities detected.
8.  Where the global residual error rate referred to in paragraph 7 is above 3.5 % of the expenditure declared for the Interreg programmes included in the population from which the common sample was selected, the Commission shall determine whether it is necessary to request the audit authority of a specific Interreg programme or a group of Interreg programmes most affected to carry out additional audit work in order to further evaluate the error rate and assess the required corrective measures for the Interreg programmes affected by the irregularities detected.
Amendment 178
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  2021: 1%;
(a)  2021: 3 %;
Amendment 179
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  2022: 1%;
(b)  2022: 2,25%;
Amendment 180
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  2023: 1%;
(c)  2023: 2,25%;
Amendment 181
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point d
(d)  2024: 1%;
(d)  2024: 2,25%;
Amendment 182
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  2025: 1%;
(e)  2025: 2,25%;
Amendment 183
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 2 – point f
(f)  2026: 1%.
(f)  2026: 2,25%.
Amendment 184
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
Where external cross-border Interreg programmes are supported by the ERDF and IPA III CBC or NDICI CBC, the pre-financing for all funds supporting such an Interreg programme shall be made in accordance with Regulation (EU) [IPA III] or [NDICI] or of any act adopted thereunder.
Where external Interreg programmes are supported by the ERDF and IPA III CBC or NDICI CBC, the pre-financing for all funds supporting such an Interreg programme shall be made in accordance with Regulation (EU) [IPA III] or [NDICI] or of any act adopted thereunder.
Amendment 185
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 3
The total amount paid as pre-financing shall be reimbursed to the Commission if no payment application under the cross-border Interreg programme is sent within 24 months of the date on which the Commission pays the first instalment of the pre-financing amount. Such reimbursement shall constitute internal assigned revenue and shall not reduce the support from the ERDF, IPA III CBC or NDICI CBC to the programme.
The total amount paid as pre-financing shall be reimbursed to the Commission if no payment application under the cross-border Interreg programme is sent within 36 months of the date on which the Commission pays the first instalment of the pre-financing amount. Such reimbursement shall constitute internal assigned revenue and shall not reduce the support from the ERDF, IPA III CBC or NDICI CBC to the programme.
Amendment 186
Proposal for a regulation
Chapter 8 – title
Participation of third countries or partner countries or OCTs in Interreg programmes under shared management
Participation of third countries or partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration or cooperation organisations in Interreg programmes under shared management
Amendment 187
Proposal for a regulation
Article 51 – paragraph 1
Chapters I to VII and Chapter X shall apply to the participation of third countries, partner countries and OCTs in Interreg programmes subject to the specific provisions set out in this Chapter.
Chapters I to VII and Chapter X shall apply to the participation of third countries, partner countries, OCTs, or regional integration or cooperation organisations in Interreg programmes subject to the specific provisions set out in this Chapter.
Amendment 188
Proposal for a regulation
Article 52 – paragraph 3
3.  Third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in an Interreg programme shall delegate staff to the joint secretariat of that programme or shall set up a branch office in its respective territory, or shall do both.
3.  Third countries, partner countries and OCTs participating in an Interreg programme may delegate staff to the joint secretariat programme or, in agreement with the managing authority, shall set up a branch office of the Joint Secretariat in its respective territory, or shall do both.
Amendment 189
Proposal for a regulation
Article 52 – paragraph 4
4.  The national authority or a body equivalent to the Interreg programme communication officer as provided for in Article 35(1), shall support the managing authority and partners in the respective third country, partner country or OCT with regard to the tasks provided for in Article 35(2) to (7).
4.  The national authority or a body equivalent to the Interreg programme communication officer as provided for in Article 35(1), may support the managing authority and partners in the respective third country, partner country or OCT with regard to the tasks provided for in Article 35(2) to (7).
Amendment 190
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 2
2.  Component 2 and 4 Interreg programmes combining contributions from the ERDF and from one or more external financing instrument of the Union shall be implemented under shared management both in the Member States and in any participating third country or partner country or, with regard to component 3, in any OCT, whether or not that OCT receives support under one or more external financing instruments of the Union.
2.  Component 2 and 4 Interreg programmes combining contributions from the ERDF and from one or more external financing instrument of the Union shall be implemented under shared management both in the Member States and in any participating third country, partner country, participating OCT or, with regard to component 3, in any OCT, whether or not that OCT receives support under one or more external financing instruments of the Union.
Amendment 191
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point a
a)  under shared management both in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT;
a)  under shared management both in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT or group of third countries forming part of a regional organisation;
Amendment 192
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point b
b)  under shared management only in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT with regard to ERDF expenditure outside the Union for one or more operations, whereas the contributions from one or more external financing instruments of the Union are managed under indirect management;
b)  under shared management only in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT, or group of third countries forming part of a regional organisation, with regard to ERDF expenditure outside the Union for one or more operations, whereas the contributions from one or more external financing instruments of the Union are managed under indirect management;
Amendment 193
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point c
c)  under indirect management both in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT.
c)  under indirect management both in the Member States and in any participating third country or OCT or group of third countries forming part of a regional organisation.
Amendment 194
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2
Where all or part of a component 3 Interreg programme is implemented under indirect management, Article 60 shall apply.
Where all or part of a component 3 Interreg programme is implemented under indirect management, a prior agreement between Member States and regions concerned is required and Article 60 shall apply.
Amendment 195
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3 a.   Joint calls for proposals mobilising funding from bilateral or multi-country NDICI programmes and ETC programmes may be launched if the respective managing authorities agree to do so. The content of the call shall specify its geographical scope, and its expected contribution to the objectives of the respective programmes. Managing authorities shall decide whether NDICI or ETC rules are applicable to the call. They may decide to appoint a lead managing authority responsible for the tasks of management and control related to the call.
Amendment 196
Proposal for a regulation
Article 55 – paragraph 3
3.  Where the selection of one or more large infrastructure projects is on the agenda of a monitoring committee or, where applicable, steering committee meeting, the managing authority shall transmit a concept note for each such project to the Commission at the latest two months before the date of the meeting. The concept note shall be a maximum of three pages and shall indicate the name, the location, the budget, the lead partner and the partners as well as the main objectives and deliverables thereof. If the concept note concerning one or more large infrastructure projects is not transmitted to the Commission by that deadline, the Commission may request that the chair of the monitoring committee or steering committee remove the projects concerned from the agenda of the meeting.
3.  Where the selection of one or more large infrastructure projects is on the agenda of a monitoring committee or, where applicable, steering committee meeting, the managing authority shall transmit a concept note for each such project to the Commission at the latest two months before the date of the meeting. The concept note shall be a maximum of five pages and shall indicate the name, the location, the budget, the lead partner and the partners as well as the main objectives and deliverables thereof, as well as including a credible business plan which demonstrates that the project or projects’ continuation is secure even without the provision of Interreg funds. If the concept note concerning one or more large infrastructure projects is not transmitted to the Commission by that deadline, the Commission may request that the chair of the monitoring committee or steering committee remove the projects concerned from the agenda of the meeting.
Amendment 197
Proposal for a regulation
Article 60 – paragraph 1
1.  Where part or all of a component 3 Interreg programme is implemented under indirect management pursuant to point (b) or (c) respectively of Article 53(3), implementation tasks shall be entrusted to one of the bodies listed in point [(c) of the first subparagraph of Article 62(1)] of Regulation (EU, Euratom) [FR-Omnibus], in particular to such a body located in the participating Member State, including the managing authority of the Interreg programme concerned.
1.  Where, after consulting stakeholders, part or all of a component 3 Interreg programme is implemented under indirect management pursuant to point (b) or (c) respectively of Article 53(3) of this Regulation, implementation tasks shall be entrusted to one of the bodies listed in point [(c) of the first subparagraph of Article 62(1)] of Regulation (EU, Euratom) [FR-Omnibus], in particular to such a body located in the participating Member State, including the managing authority of the Interreg programme concerned.
Amendment 198
Proposal for a regulation
Article 61
Article 61
deleted
Interregional innovation investments
At the initiative of the Commission, the ERDF may support interregional innovation investments, as set out in point 5 of Article 3, bringing together researchers, businesses, civil society and public administrations involved in smart specialisation strategies established at national or regional levels.
Amendment 199
Proposal for a regulation
Article 61 a (new)
Article 61 a
Exemption from reporting requirements under Article 108(3) TFEU
The Commission may declare that aid in favour of projects supported by EU European territorial cooperation are compatible with the internal market and are not subject to the notification requirements of Article 108(3) TFEU.

(1)The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0470/2018).


Apportionment of tariff rate quotas included in the WTO schedule of the Union following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union ***I
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Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the apportionment of tariff rate quotas included in the WTO schedule of the Union following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 32/2000 (COM(2018)0312 – C8-0202/2018– 2018/0158(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0022A8-0361/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0312),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0202/2018),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 7 December 2018 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0361/2018),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Approves its statement annexed to this resolution which will be published in the L series of the Official Journal of the European Union together with the final legislative act;

3.  Takes note of the statement by the Commission annexed to this resolution which will be published in the L series of the Official Journal of the European Union together with the final legislative act;

4.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 16 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the apportionment of tariff rate quotas included in the WTO schedule of the Union following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union, and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 32/2000

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0158


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2019/216.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

European Parliament statement

European Parliament attaches great importance to being kept fully informed during the preparation of delegated acts and, in particular, to paragraph 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making, which provides that, in order to ensure equal access to all information, the European Parliament and Council shall receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts.

Commission statement

The Commission fully adheres to the principles of Better Regulation and to the commitments laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making. It will therefore endeavour to put forward a legislative proposal to the Council and to the European Parliament at the earliest opportunity, with a view to aligning Council Regulation (EC) No 32/2000 to the legal framework introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.


Union's authorisation procedure for pesticides
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European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2019 on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides (2018/2153(INI))
P8_TA(2019)0023A8-0475/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision of 6 February 2018 on setting up a Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides, its responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office(1),

–  having regard to Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the 7th General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020(2),

–  having regard to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC(3) (‘the Regulation’),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC(4),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006(5),

–  having regard to Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC(6),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(7),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) No 546/2011 of 10 June 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards uniform principles for evaluation and authorisation of plant protection products(8),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) No 283/2013 of 1 March 2013 setting out the data requirements for active substances(9),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2013 of 1 March 2013 setting out the data requirements for plant protection products(10),

–  having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1056 of 29 June 2016 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval period of the active substance glyphosate(11) and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1313 of 1 August 2016 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the conditions of approval of the active substance glyphosate(12),

–  having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2324 of 12 December 2017 renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011(13),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 13 April 2016(14) and of 24 October 2017(15) on the draft Commission implementing regulation renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 February 2017 on low-risk pesticides of biological origin(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2016 on enhancing innovation and economic development in future European farm management(17),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2016 on technological solutions for sustainable agriculture in the EU(18),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Plant Protection Products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(19),

–  having regard to the European Implementation Assessment on Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 and to its relevant annexes, as published by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) in April 2018,

–  having regard to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 23 November 2016 in Case C-442/14 Bayer CropScience SA-NV, Stichting De Bijenstichting v College voor de toelating van gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en biociden(20),

–  having regard to the decision of the European Ombudsman of 18 February 2016 in Case 12/2013/MDC on the practices of the Commission regarding the authorisation and placing on the market of plant protection products (pesticides),

–  having regard to the study ‘IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides’, published on 20 March 2015,

–  having regard to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ‘Conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate’(21), published on 12 November 2015, and its ‘Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the potential endocrine disrupting properties of glyphosate’(22), published on 7 September 2017,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on the classification of glyphosate, of 15 March 2017,

–  having regard to Scientific Opinion 5/2018 of the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) on the EU authorisation processes of plant protection products, of June 2018(23),

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 concerning statistics on pesticides (COM(2017)0109),

–  having regard to the implementation plan on increasing low-risk plant protection product availability and accelerating integrated pest management implementation in Member States, drawn up by the Expert Group on Sustainable Plant Protection and endorsed by the Council on 28 June 2016,

–  having regard to the report of the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, of 24 January 2017, on global pesticide use in agriculture and its impact on human rights,

–  having regard to Article 13 of the TFEU, which states that when formulating and implementing the Union’s policies, in particular concerning its internal market, full regard should be paid to the welfare requirements of animals, since animals are sentient beings,

–  having regard to Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes(24),

–  having regard to the Special Eurobarometer 442 survey of March 2016, which states that 89 % of EU citizens agree that the Union should do more to promote greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare internationally and 90 % of EU citizens agree that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards,

–  having regard to the fact that Parliament receives numerous petitions from concerned citizens exercising their rights under Articles 24 and 227 of the TFEU and Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, calling for an end to animal testing in Europe and worldwide and for the establishment of international animal welfare standards,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain (COM(2018)0179)(25),

–  having regard to the Commission’s ongoing REFIT evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides (A8-0475/2018),

General considerations

A.  whereas the purpose of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 (‘the Regulation’) is to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the placing on the market of plant protection products, while improving agricultural production;

B.  whereas the EU authorisation procedure for plant protection products is one of the most stringent in the world; whereas in the light of the concerns raised by several stakeholders about the assessment of glyphosate, the Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides (PEST) aims to identify areas that can be further improved with regard to the Union authorisation procedure for plant protection products, by providing recommendations that it considers to be necessary in order to ensure the achievement of a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment;

C.  whereas the precautionary principle is an overarching principle for Union policy, as laid down in Article 191 of the TFEU; whereas the Regulation, as provided for in Article 1(4) thereof, is underpinned by the precautionary principle; whereas the risk management decision, as provided for in Article 13(2), must comply with the conditions of the precautionary principle as laid down in Article 7(1) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002; whereas Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 provides that measures adopted on the basis of the precautionary principle must be proportionate;

D.  whereas concerns have been raised by several stakeholders about the assessment of glyphosate, in particular as to whether an independent, objective and transparent assessment has taken place, whether the classification criteria of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 have been properly applied, whether relevant guidance documents have been properly used and whether the approval criteria and the precautionary principle have been properly applied;

E.  whereas under Article 4(3) of the Regulation, a plant protection product, consequent on application consistent with good plant protection practice and having regard to realistic conditions of use, must, inter alia, have no immediate or delayed harmful effects on human health, including that of vulnerable groups, and must have no unacceptable effects on the environment;

F.  whereas the evaluation of the implementation of the Regulation has revealed that the objectives of protecting human and animal health and the environment are not being fully achieved and that improvements could be made in order to achieve all the objectives of the Regulation;

G.  whereas it is of the utmost importance to fully implement the Regulation in all Member States;

H.  whereas the work of the national competent authorities involved in the approval and authorisation processes is often delayed; whereas it has been found that national competent authorities involved in the approval and authorisation process are in some cases understaffed and underfunded; whereas in addition to delays to assessment work, the lack of resources risks impacting the quality of the assessments, for both active substances and plant protection products;

I.  whereas the independence of the risk assessment forms the basis for trust in the Regulation and in EU food law;

J.  whereas the decision-making process has been found to be lacking in transparency throughout the procedure, from lack of public access to the full studies and raw data through to the risk management stage;

K.  whereas the right of access to documents held by EU institutions, including EU agencies, is an important right, exceptions to which are to be interpreted narrowly; points to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, according to which transparency and access to documents contribute to greater legitimacy of EU agencies in the eyes of citizens and to ensuring EU agencies are more accountable to citizens in a democratic system(26);

L.  whereas Commission Regulation (EU) No 283/2013 setting out the data requirements for active substances should be regularly updated to take into account current scientific and technical knowledge; whereas the Commission Communication in the framework of the implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) No 283/2013 of 1 March 2013 setting out the data requirements for active substances(27) remains the most comprehensive source of guidance documents and test guidelines, although several of the documents listed may have been superseded and should be updated; whereas the methodologies used for the scientific assessment of active substances, in the form of guidance used by EFSA and Member States, do not always reflect the current state of scientific and technical knowledge as required by Article 4 of the Regulation; whereas some key tests are either not included in the risk assessment or recent scientific methods are missing (as in the cases of up-to-date ecotoxicological tests for soil organisms and assessment of environmental concentration and residues in dust, wind, air and water);

M.  whereas the updated bee guidance used by EFSA in its recent review of three neonicotinoids has not yet been formally adopted; whereas the guidance on soil organisms currently used by EFSA dates from 2002;

N.  whereas guidance translates the requirements of legislation into practical steps, explaining what must be done, while test guidelines specify the test protocols that must be followed for data generation, explaining how tests must be done;

O.  whereas the widespread use, and prophylactic use when inappropriate, of plant protection products is of concern;

P.  whereas the use of plant protection products for desiccation (i.e. the treatment of the actual crop plant prior to harvest in order to accelerate its ripening and facilitate its harvesting) is inappropriate;

Q.  whereas the use of plant protection products in areas used by the general public or by vulnerable groups is inappropriate;

R.  whereas according to the data compiled by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the EU used 368 588 tonnes of pesticides in 2016, accounting for 11,8 % of global consumption;

S.  whereas according to the FAO the use of pesticides in the EU has been on an upward trend since 2009; whereas the trend is, however, very different across Member States, ranging from a sharp increase in some of them to a steep fall in others; whereas the total volume of pesticide active substances sold in 16 EU Member States increased by 1,6 % from 2011 to 2016;

T.  whereas until 2018, 493 active and basic substances have been approved;

U.  whereas the Commission report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009 highlights the deficiencies of statistics on pesticide use and the lack of knowledge about the use of specific active substances;

V.  whereas according to the 2016 European Union report on pesticide residues in food(28), published by EFSA in 2018, 96,2 % of the samples were within the limits permitted by EU legislation;

W.  whereas there is a lack of public knowledge about hazard and risk and acceptable and unacceptable hazards and risks, and about the level of compliance with maximum residue level (MRL) values across Europe;

X.  whereas authorisation decisions on newly developed active substances and plant protection products are invariably made under uncertainty regarding real-life impacts; whereas there is a lack of monitoring post-authorisation; whereas data are missing on exact quantities of each plant protection product applied, on the implementation and effectiveness of mitigation measures, and on the potential harmful effects on human and animal health and the environment;

Y.  whereas the lack of data concerns the real-life impacts of active substances, safeners, synergists and co-formulants and their metabolites, as well as formulations and mixtures of products; whereas, therefore, the full impact of pesticides on human and animal health as well as on the environment is not properly known;

Z.  whereas the pilot project ‘Environmental monitoring of pesticide use through honey bees’ has not been implemented yet, despite its inclusion in the Union budget for the financial years 2017 and 2018;

AA.  whereas one of the aims of the 7th General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 is for chemicals to be produced and used in ways that lead to the minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, and whereas there is still uncertainty about the full impacts on human health and the environment of the combined effects of different chemicals;

AB.  whereas Article 4(3) of the Regulation provides that plant protection products ‘shall have no immediate or delayed harmful effect on human health... taking into account known cumulative and synergistic effects where the scientific methods accepted by the Authority to assess such effects are available’; whereas Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 provides that ‘known cumulative and synergistic effects’ must be considered ‘when the methods to assess such effects are available’;

AC.  whereas such methodologies are now available and a pilot assessment, looking at the cumulative effects of exposure to pesticides in food on the human nervous and thyroid systems, is expected to be finalised by EFSA by the end of 2019;

AD.  whereas there is currently no legal obligation to test active substances for their developmental neurotoxicity (DNT), examples of which include causing autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia; whereas developmental toxicity and neurotoxicity studies are required and may trigger studies with ad hoc study design to address specific concerns; whereas in this context, EFSA is working on an ongoing project to develop non-animal alternatives for screening DNT effects;

AE.  whereas there is concern that the implementation of the Regulation, with regard to the use of animals in testing for hazard identification and risk assessment, is not in line with the 3Rs principle (replacement, reduction and refinement) of Directive 2010/63/EU on animal experiments, as Commission Regulations (EU) No 283/2013 and (EU) No 284/2013, as well as corresponding guidance, have not been updated since their adoption, despite the availability of validated alternative tests and technologies;

AF.  whereas testing for effects on human health involves the use of animals and therefore does not necessarily accurately predict human reactions;

AG.  whereas there is a need to speed up the development and validation of new non-animal methodologies that provide information on the underlying mechanisms of human toxicity, including the pathways that lead to adverse outcomes in humans;

AH.  whereas many third-country agricultural products have a lower level of protection of human and animal health and the environment with regard to the authorisation and use of plant protection products; whereas there is a need to ensure that the EU level of protection is not undermined by imports of agricultural products from third countries;

AI.  whereas illegally imported plant protection products are in circulation and use within the EU, posing a potential threat to public health and constituting unfair competition vis-à-vis plant protection products that are subject to an authorisation procedure in accordance with the current EU legislation;

Application for approval of active substances

AJ.  whereas concern in terms of transparency and conflicts of interest has been raised by several stakeholders about the right of applicants to choose the Rapporteur Member State (RMS) upon first application for approval of an active substance;

AK.  whereas concern in terms of transparency and conflicts of interest has furthermore been raised by several stakeholders over the fact that the RMS given responsibility by the Commission for the renewal of an assessment report may be the same one which did the initial draft assessment report;

AL.  whereas for new active substances, only 11 out of 28 Member States have been chosen as RMSs by applicants since the entry into force of the Regulation, which illustrates that there are significant differences concerning expertise and staffing;

AM.  whereas France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK have dealt with about 80 % of all dossiers; whereas Brexit will have a significant impact on the workload of other Member States;

AN.  whereas Article 8(1) of the Regulation requires the applicant to provide a summary dossier, which should include inter alia the summaries and results of tests and studies for each point of the data requirements, including an assessment of all information submitted;

AO.  whereas concern has been raised by several stakeholders concerning the evaluation approach as established by law, and in particular over who should produce the scientific studies and evidence for the evaluation of active substances, who should provide scientific peer-reviewed literature and who should assess the studies;

AP.  whereas Article 8(5) of the Regulation requires the applicant to add scientific peer-reviewed open literature on the active substance and its relevant metabolites to the dossier;

AQ.  whereas for new active substances, normally only data from regulatory studies generated by the applicant are available;

AR.  whereas risk assessment must be based on all relevant available scientific evidence; whereas scientific peer-reviewed open literature provides important complementary information to the studies based on Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) provided by applicants, and can include findings that alert evaluators to adverse effects that are not seen by standard testing;

AS.  whereas the principles of GLP have been developed by the OECD to ensure that a study was carried out as prescribed by a particular test method to prevent fraudulent practices; whereas the EU has adopted these principles through Directive 2004/10/EC, which requires Member States to ensure that laboratories carrying out safety studies on chemical products comply with the OECD Principles of GLP and with Directive 2004/9/EC, which lays down the obligation of Member States to designate the authorities responsible for GLP inspections in their territory;

AT.  whereas, as reported by the Commission in 2015, all Member States have transposed the GLP Directives and have established functioning national GLP compliance monitoring programmes;

AU.  whereas the OECD test guidelines ensure that research is reproducible, consistent and uniform and enable regulators to assess the quality and relevance of a study, to ensure the methodological validity of a study and to facilitate mutual acceptance of data among Member States;

Draft assessment by the Rapporteur Member State (RMS)

AV.  whereas pursuant to Article 11(2) of the Regulation ‘the rapporteur Member State shall make an independent, objective and transparent assessment in the light of current scientific and technical knowledge’;

AW.  whereas it has been found that different Member States, when acting as RMS, use different practices when it comes to referencing the applicant’s summaries of peer-reviewed literature; whereas it is a fundamental rule that any scientific work should clearly indicate statements made by others by using quotation marks;

AX.  whereas Parliament acknowledges the debate over the literature review in the risk assessment report on glyphosate by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR); whereas concerns have been raised by several stakeholders that important assessment elements in the draft risk assessment report on glyphosate were taken from the application, without being clearly indicated as references;

EFSA opinion on draft assessment reports and ECHA classification of active substances

AY.  whereas the credibility of the Union authorisation system for plant protection products strongly depends on public trust in EFSA, which provides the scientific opinions that are the basis for decisions with regard to food safety in Europe; whereas the decreasing public trust in EFSA is a concern;

AZ.  whereas currently about two thirds of national experts working for EFSA come from only six Member States;

BA.  whereas according to Article 4(1), second subparagraph of the Regulation, the assessment of the active substance must first establish whether the approval criteria set out in points 3.6.2 to 3.6.4 and 3.7 of Annex II are satisfied (= ‘cut-off criteria’); whereas one of these cut-off criteria concerns the classification of a substance as a carcinogen (category 1A or 1B) in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008;

BB.  whereas the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A) according to its nomenclature (equivalent to category 1B in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008); whereas after reviewing the available information, including the IARC assessment, EFSA and ECHA, the European agencies responsible for providing scientific assessments which form the basis for EU risk management decisions, concluded that no classification as carcinogenic was warranted pursuant to the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008;

BC.  whereas while IARC based its conclusion on published literature in accordance with its working principles, EFSA and ECHA additionally used unpublished studies submitted by the applicant according to Article 8 of the Regulation as the core basis of their evaluation and additionally had access to the relevant raw data;

BD.  whereas several other competent authorities around the world, including those of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, have subsequently finalised new assessments of glyphosate and concluded that it is not carcinogenic; whereas glyphosate is still under review by the US Environmental Protection Agency, whose draft ecological risk assessment clearly states that there is potential for effects on birds, mammals, and terrestrial and aquatic plants;

BE.  whereas, as shown by a comparison carried out by EFSA in 2017 of 54 pesticides that had been assessed under both the EU and IARC systems, in 14 cases the EU classification was more conservative (and thus stricter) than IARC, in 11 cases (glyphosate and 10 other active substances) less strict, and in 29 cases equivalent;

BF.  whereas concern has been and is still being raised by several stakeholders over the opinions by EFSA and ECHA concerning their conclusions in favour of not classifying glyphosate as carcinogenic;

BG.  whereas it was unfortunately not possible to resolve this controversy in the Special Committee;

BH.  whereas in October 2017, the Commission declared the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides’ admissible; whereas over one million citizens called on the Commission to propose to the Member States the introduction of a ban on the use of glyphosate, to reform the approval procedure for pesticides and to set mandatory reduction targets at EU level for the use of pesticides;

BI.  whereas the so-called Monsanto Papers and the recent judgment by the Superior Court of the State of California in case Dewayne Johnson v Monsanto (case No CGC-16-550128) and subsequent appeal have raised concerns about the independence and conflicts of interest in the evaluation process of glyphosate;

Commission approval of active substances

BJ.  whereas the Regulation lays down a six-month deadline for the Commission, from the EFSA conclusions to the presentation of a draft regulation;

BK.  whereas the decision to renew the approval of glyphosate did not contain legally binding risk mitigation measures at Union level; whereas the Commission decided to adopt a specific recommendation in the approval conditions that Member States, when granting authorisations for glyphosate-containing plant protection products, should pay particular attention to the risk to terrestrial vertebrates; whereas a high long-term risk was found for almost all uses of glyphosate for non-target terrestrial vertebrates, including mammals and birds;

BL.  whereas ECHA concluded that glyphosate causes serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects;

BM.  whereas it is not clear under what conditions the Commission and the Member States consider a risk to be unacceptable for the environment;

BN.  whereas the fact that the Commission, with the support of the Member States, approves active substances found by EFSA to pose high risks to the environment and biodiversity is a concern, given that according to Article 4(3)(e) of the Regulation a plant protection product must have no unacceptable effects on the environment;

BO.  whereas the European Ombudsman, in her decision in case 12/2013/MDC of 18 February 2016, stated that submission of confirmatory information should not concern data requirements which existed at the time of the submission of the application in relation to the assessment of risks to health and for which adequate guidance documents were available;

BP.  whereas confirmatory data are generally not subject to the same scientific scrutiny or assessment as data submitted in the original application as they are not subjected systematically to an EFSA peer review; whereas the European Ombudsman, in her 2016 decision, invited the Commission to consider whether, from now on, all confirmatory information should be systematically subject to an EFSA peer review and whether the guidance documents should be amended accordingly;

BQ.  whereas, based on the follow-up report submitted by the Commission in February 2018 with regard to ten active substances examined in the context of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the confirmatory data procedure has led to two active substances, haloxyfop-P and malathion, that would otherwise have been restricted, remaining on the market for an extended period of time;

BR.  whereas data gaps in the case of low-risk biological pesticides primarily occur because the data requirements are designed for chemical plant protection products, and are thus unsuitable for low-risk biological ones;

BS.  whereas despite the risks identified by EFSA in its conclusions on active substances, the Commission often leaves risk mitigation measures to the Member States, notwithstanding the possibility granted to it under the Regulation to impose them at EU level; whereas this approach was condemned by the European Ombudsman in her decision in case 12/2013/MDC;

BT.  whereas it is appropriate that Member States decide on risk management measures with regard to concerns that are specific to their situation;

BU.  whereas there is a lack of availability of low-risk plant protection products; whereas only ten substances are approved as low-risk active substances out of a total of almost 500 available on the EU market; whereas the lack of availability of low-risk plant protection products makes integrated pest management implementation and development more difficult; whereas this lack of availability is caused by the lengthy evaluation, authorisation and registration process;

BV.  whereas nowadays, advanced techniques such as precision farming and robotics may be used for the accurate monitoring and elimination of weeds or harmful insects at an early stage; whereas advanced techniques are still underdeveloped in the European Union and require the support of the Union and the Member States;

Authorisation of plant protection products by Member States

BW.  whereas plant protection products should be thoroughly assessed in accordance with current scientific and technical knowledge prior to their authorisation; whereas understaffing and/or underfunding may result in over-reliance on the assessment conducted for the approval of the active substances in the context of decisions for plant protection products;

BX.  whereas the procedure for authorisation of plant protection products, and in particular the data requirements for risk assessment, should take into account the actual use of plant protection products;

BY.  whereas, when granting authorisation to plant protection products, particular attention should continue to be paid to the risk for ‘vulnerable groups’; whereas the Regulation defines vulnerable groups as persons needing specific consideration when assessing the acute and chronic health effects of plant protection products; whereas these include pregnant and breastfeeding women, the unborn, infants and children, the elderly, and workers and residents subject to high pesticide exposure over the long term;

BZ.  whereas Article 25 of the Regulation requires safeners and synergists to be subject to the same approval procedure as active substances, for inclusion on a positive list; whereas the Commission has not yet approved any safeners or synergists;

CA.  whereas Article 27 of the Regulation requires the Commission to include, in Annex III, a negative list of unacceptable co-formulants; whereas the Commission has not yet adopted the negative list of co-formulants, but has stated its intention to do so by the end of 2018; whereas this delay is unacceptable in view of the impact of these substances; whereas certain Member States have developed their own negative lists of co-formulants, in the absence of such a list at Union level;

CB.  whereas the absence of these EU lists makes the thorough risk assessment of plant protection products more difficult;

CC.  whereas concern has been raised with regard to the zonal system, and in particular the delays in the procedure and the frequent full or partial re-evaluations of applications in the context of mutual recognition, arising from the differing national requirements of evaluation models of Member States in the same zone; whereas the aim of the procedure of mutual recognition by Member States was to simplify procedures and increase trust among the Member States; whereas the application of the mutual recognition procedure is regarded as an important tool to increase work sharing and ensure compliance with deadlines while guaranteeing optimum protection, and is important for the functioning of the internal market;

CD.  whereas the Commission is working on an IT system, the Plant Protection Products Application Management System (PPPAMS), which will be accessible to the public and will facilitate the mutual recognition system;

CE.  whereas there is currently no overview of all plant protection products authorised in the EU, as Member States are not obliged to systematically inform the Commission about their decisions on authorisation;

CF.  whereas Commission Regulation (EU) No 283/2013 requires studies on long-term toxicity to be carried out; whereas Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2013 currently requires toxicological studies on operator, bystander and resident, as well as worker exposure, several long-term and chronic toxicology studies for animals, and studies on fate and behaviour in soil, water and air, including route and degradation in air and transport via air, but not on the long-term toxicity of plant protection products;

CG.  whereas Member States are working on setting up a comparative assessment of plant protection products with substitution candidates; whereas the objective is to replace such products with safer plant protection products and non-chemical methods such as those defined in Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides(29);

CH.  whereas recent reports have highlighted significant declines in biodiversity with regard to birds and insects, in particular bees and other pollinators; whereas, in the last 27 years, a decline of over 75 % in total flying insect biomass in protected areas has been observed(30); whereas agricultural intensification (e.g. pesticide usage, year-round tillage, increased use of fertilisers and frequency of agronomic measures), which was not incorporated in that analysis, may form a plausible cause; whereas agricultural intensification has been associated with an overall decline in biodiversity in plants, insects, birds and other species; whereas biodiversity and robust ecosystems are of fundamental importance, particularly bees and other pollinating insects, to ensure a healthy and sustainable agricultural sector;

CI.  whereas the ban on all outdoor uses of three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam) is welcome; whereas these bans should not be undermined by undue Article 53 derogations;

CJ.  whereas other systemic plant protection products should be restricted as much as possible, including for seed treatment, if they pose a danger to human health and the environment;

CK.  whereas the use and identified cases of emergency authorisations granted under Article 53(2) of the Regulation are increasing within the EU; whereas some Member States use Article 53 significantly more than others; whereas the recent EFSA evaluation of the emergency authorisations of three neonicotinoids concluded that in some cases those authorisations were in line with the provisions set out in the legislation, while in other cases those conditions were not met;

CL.  whereas systematic delays in the authorisation processes could also lead to an increasing use of emergency authorisations; whereas recourse to Article 53 derogations for minor uses to address special situations other than actual emergencies is not viable or appropriate; whereas EFSA should investigate the effect of substitution as well as the availability of non-chemical methods;

CM.  whereas special attention should be given to plant protection products for minor uses, as there is currently little economic incentive for companies to develop such products;

CN.  whereas since the entry into force of the Regulation, the Commission has only once used the possibility to request an opinion from EFSA under Article 53(2);

General observations

1.  Considers that, although the EU has one of the most stringent systems in the world, both the Regulation as such and its implementation need to be improved for it to achieve its purpose;

2.  Takes note of the Commission’s ongoing REFIT evaluation of the Regulation;

3.  Stresses the importance of ensuring independent, objective and transparent scientific assessment of active substances and plant protection products;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to allocate sufficient resources and appropriate expertise to the assessment of active substances and plant protection products and to ensure independent, objective and transparent assessment in light of current scientific and technical knowledge;

5.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure full and uniform application of the hazard-based cut-off criteria for active substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic or toxic for reproduction, or that have endocrine-disrupting properties;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States in their role as risk managers to duly apply the precautionary principle when, following an assessment of the available information, the possibility of harmful effects on health is identified but scientific uncertainty persists, by adopting provisional risk management measures necessary to ensure a high level of protection of human health;

7.  Urges the Commission to communicate systematically on how this principle has been taken into account and how the risk management decision has been made;

8.  Welcomes the recommendation of the Scientific Advice Mechanism that the Commission facilitate a broader discussion throughout society in order to establish an EU-wide shared vision for sustainable food production, including the role of plant protection products therein; believes that such considerations should take into account, among other factors, quality, safety, availability and affordability of food for consumers, fair income for, and long-term sustainability of, agricultural production, climate change, and the short-term and long-term risks and benefits to human and animal health and the environment associated with different scenarios for the use of plant protection products, including integrated pest management and a non-use scenario;

9.  Considers that, within the EU system, greater attention should be paid to the widespread use, and prophylactic use when inappropriate, of plant protection products and the effects thereof on human health, animal health and the environment, as well as to the build-up of resistance in the target organism;

10.  Stresses the importance of full implementation of Directive 2009/128/EC, given its link to the authorisation system, in particular the provisions with regard to integrated pest management and adequate training for farmers therein; points out that Parliament’s ongoing work on this matter may be referred to for further details;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure consistency of purpose between the approval of active substances and authorisation of plant protection products under this Regulation and the purpose of Directive 2009/128/EC;

12.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to no longer approve active substances or plant protection products for desiccation;

13.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to no longer allow the use of plant protection products in areas used by the general public or by vulnerable groups, as defined in Article 12(a) of Directive 2009/128/EC;

14.  Calls on the Commission to introduce specific measures for the effective protection of vulnerable groups into the Regulation, in order to, without delay or derogation, put an end to the application of pesticides over long distances in the vicinity of schools, childcare facilities, playing fields, hospitals, maternity hospitals and care homes;

15.  Calls on the Commission to take the necessary action to ensure that sales statistics concerning pesticides are publicly available per active substance and per Member State, and that pesticide use statistics are further improved so as to provide full information for the environmental risk assessment as well as the comparative assessment under the Regulation;

16.  Calls for the creation of an effective post-market vigilance system to systematically monitor the real-life impacts of the use of plant protection products on human and animal health and on the environment as a whole, including in the long term; stresses that post-market vigilance for plant protection products should ensure effective data collection and communication among all stakeholders, and be transparent and publicly accessible; calls on EFSA and ECHA to develop harmonised guidelines for effective post-market vigilance in this field;

17.  Calls on the Commission to develop a standardised EU-wide IT platform or database to support the sharing of post-market monitoring data, and considers that post-market monitoring data and other available monitoring data should be used in the authorisation process;

18.  Calls on the Commission to accelerate the implementation of the pilot project ‘Environmental monitoring of pesticide use through honey bees’, which will, inter alia, allow the implementation of EU legislation in terms of pesticide application and authorisation to be evaluated;

19.  Calls on the Commission to conduct an epidemiological study on the real-life impacts of plant protection products on human health;

20.  Calls on the Commission to further develop and implement approaches to address the combination effects of chemicals by promoting integrated and coordinated assessment across all relevant EU laws;

21.  Welcomes EFSA’s ongoing project to model DNT effects, but considers this to be insufficient until there is a legal requirement for active substances and other pesticide components to be assessed for DNT effects as part of the authorisation process; calls, therefore, on the Commission to assess the options to ensure that active substances and other components in plant protection products are assessed for DNT effects, fully taking into account reliable animal-free human-focused mechanistic methods for DNT hazard assessment;

22.  Considers it essential that research and innovation continue to be developed in the Union, and therefore calls for Horizon Europe, other Union financial instruments and the Member States to provide sufficient funding to promote:

   (a) independent research on the effects of plant protection products on human and animal health, the environment and agricultural production;
   (b) research into alternatives to plant protection products, including non-chemical methods, and low-risk pesticides, with a view to presenting farmers with new solutions for sustainable agriculture, and research into agro-ecological and precision farming techniques with a view to minimising external input and optimising pest control in a targeted and sustainable manner;

23.  Calls on the Commission to consider the importance of a regulatory framework that encourages innovation and research in order to develop better and safer plant protection products and alternatives;

24.  Recalls that access to safe and efficient plant protection is essential to enable farmers to prevent naturally occurring food-borne contaminants such as carcinogenic mycotoxins, which put the safety of our food at risk;

25.  Points out that the crops and the soil and climate conditions in the Member States, and in particular in the outermost regions of the European Union, are very diverse and specific; calls for this diversity to be taken into account in the authorisation processes;

26.  Calls on EFSA and the Commission to improve their risk communication in order to inform the public in an appropriate, understandable and easily accessible way; considers that it is important to improve public knowledge about hazard and risk and acceptable and unacceptable hazards and risks, raise awareness of the level of compliance with MRL values across Europe and inform users of possible risk mitigation measures;

27.  Calls for full implementation of the 3Rs principle;

28.  Calls for the application of non-animal tests and technologies in the testing of active substances, safeners, synergists, other co-formulants and product formulations, and for the assessment of cumulative and mixture effects of active substances and plant protection products, wherever such tests and technologies are available;

29.  Calls for Commission Regulations (EU) No 283/2013 and (EU) No 284/2013 to be updated whenever validated alternative tests and technologies are available;

30.  Calls on the Commission to include scientific and technological developments for new approach methods in regulatory science with a view to improving the predictivity of regulatory testing and replacing the use of animals;

31.  Calls on the Commission to explore opportunities to require submission of relevant human data, for example data generated during clinical trials conducted during testing of medicinal products, to the open-access database envisaged in the ECHA/EFSA call for tender, so that human data can be used to validate non-animal methodologies under development;

32.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure effective controls of the agricultural products imported from third countries with a view to ensuring a high level of protection and a level playing field for European food production;

33.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to engage in increased efforts to stop the trade of illegal plant protection products, as these products undermine the objectives of Union legislation in this area;

Application for approval of active substances

34.  Calls on the Commission to propose amending the Regulation so as to empower it to adopt a work programme with regard to the designation of the RMS for applications for approvals, on the basis of criteria for an independent, objective and transparent assessment: expertise, resources, absence of conflict of interest, relevance for the product, technical capacity and ability to achieve scientifically robust and reliable outcomes within the given timeframe, together with a comprehensive peer review process and a stakeholder consultation, on lines similar to the system for re-approval of active substances;

35.  Calls on the Commission to allocate the evaluation of applications for renewal to a Member State other than that which was in charge of the previous evaluation(s), provided the necessary level of expertise and resources can be ensured;

36.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that only Member States that can guarantee a high quality of assessment and that have effective procedures for assessing conflicts of interest become RMSs;

37.  Calls on the Commission, with the support of EFSA, to carry out an assessment of the national reference laboratories attached to the competent authorities of the RMS concerned in order to ensure the same level of expertise for the RMS draft assessment report (DAR);

38.  Further calls on the Member States to responsibly carry out their auditing of GLP- certified laboratories, and calls on the Commission to create a Union verification system for Member State audits led by itself;

39.  Takes note of the Commission’s proposal on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain and thus welcomes the opportunity to improve the current situation in this respect;

40.  Considers it important that applicants should be required to register all regulatory studies that will be performed in a public register, and allow a comment period during which stakeholders are able to provide existing data to ensure all relevant information is taken into account; stresses that the provisions regarding the public register also include registration by the certified laboratory of the start and end dates of the study, and the publication of the control data, to be included in a register of historical controls, including the methodology of tests that will be performed, while respecting the protection of personal data; considers that only regulatory studies that have been registered may be submitted with an application;

41.  Stresses the need to require applicants to provide all studies to the RMS, including the raw data, in a machine-readable format;

42.  Calls for public access to be granted to the above studies, including all supporting data and information relating to applications for authorisation, in a machine-readable format and in their entirety in order to ensure transparency, thus allowing for timely independent scrutiny while protecting personal data and ensuring that those who requested the studies can only use them for non-commercial purposes, so as to safeguard the relevant intellectual property rights;

43.  Calls on the Commission to assess whether it would be appropriate to no longer require the applicant to provide scientific peer-reviewed open literature on the active substance and related formulations, instead assigning this task to the RMS, to be assisted by EFSA;

44.  Stresses that scientific peer-reviewed open literature, where available, should be given the equivalent weight in the assessment as GLP-based studies; considers that they are both valid as contributions to the assessment and should be weighted according to the relative quality of the studies and their relevance to the application under consideration;

45.  Calls on the Commission to assess whether it would be appropriate to no longer require the applicant to assess the data to be provided as part of the application, instead assigning this task to the RMS;

46.  Calls for an independent reassessment of the current rules for the literature review so as to ensure that all relevant studies are considered;

Draft assessment by the RMS

47.  Insists that the RMS should strictly apply Article 9 of the Regulation, so as to ensure that applications are complete before they are deemed admissible;

48.  Stresses that the assessment should include a thorough evaluation of the raw data, as well as data related to final product formulations as available at that stage of the evaluation; calls on the RMS to clearly demonstrate in the DAR that all studies have been properly checked for their relevance, scientific quality and validity, and if necessary to include further studies that were considered as not relevant by the applicant; points out that dismissing data reporting adverse effects should be based only on scientific evidence-based justification, for example the proper application of relevant OECD guidance documents;

49.  Calls on the Commission to assess how best to ensure that active substances are assessed on the basis of the most frequent uses, the most frequently used formulations, their dosage and relevant exposure scenarios;

50.  Calls for all assessments to be based on a systematic review of all available evidence and for full transparency regarding the use of ‘weight of evidence’;

51.  Recommends that the RMS should limit reproducing paragraphs to a minimum and only to justified and duly reported cases; insists that, as long as the assessment is made by the applicant, should passages be taken from the application dossier a clear distinction should be made between the assessment of the authority and the assessment of the applicant;

EFSA opinion on draft assessment reports and ECHA classification of active substances

52.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that key tests (e.g. up-to-date ecotoxicological tests for soil organisms, assessment of environmental concentration and residues in dust, wind, air and water, and tests addressing long-term toxic effects, in particular for vulnerable groups) and up-to-date scientific and technological developments in methods are included in the risk assessment;

53.  Calls on the Commission to duly update its overview on up-to-date guidance documents and test guidelines;

54.  Calls on the Commission to facilitate and enhance the completion of the harmonisation process regarding the data requirements and methodologies, in particular in the field of guidance documents on ecotoxicology and environmental fate and behaviour;

55.  Calls on the Commission to set maximum residue levels for soils and surface waters using, inter alia, the data collected through post-market environmental monitoring;

56.  Calls for MRLs for food and feed to be set sooner and with more efficiency, and for greater coherence to be ensured by standardising the assessment periods between the MRLs and approval or renewal;

57.  Calls for the data collected through post-market environmental monitoring to be used to verify the accuracy of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PECs) in environmental fate models;

58.  Calls on the Commission to propose amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 284/2013 to include data requirements regarding the long-term toxicity of the plant protection product and further routes of exposure, notably via wind and water erosion of soil, using up-to-date modelling;

59.  Calls on EFSA to regularly update its guidance documents in line with the most recent developments in all relevant fields, with a view to assessing the short- and long-term effects of residue levels of active substances, formulations and mixtures in surface waters, soil, wind and dust;

60.  Considers that the guidance documents should provide sufficiently clear orientations for risk assessors to guarantee a high quality assessment and ensure predictability and consistency for applicants;

61.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee), to adopt without delay any pending guidance, including the updated bee guidance used by EFSA in its recent review of three neonicotinoids;

62.  Calls on EFSA to further update the bee guidance independently of the adoption of the pending guidance to take into account other pollinator species as well as mixture effects and technical feasibility;

63.  Welcomes the pilot assessment on cumulative effects, and calls for its completion as planned by the end of 2018 and the rapid implementation thereafter of cumulative risk assessments as part of the authorisation process; calls for research in relation to other routes of exposure in addition to the nervous and thyroid systems to be prioritised and accelerated;

64.  Calls on EFSA, the Commission and the Member States to apply an extra safety factor when calculating the ‘safe’ doses of exposure, with a view to addressing potential mixture toxicity in cases of high remaining uncertainty which could not be decreased by additional tests of mixtures;

65.  Calls on EFSA and ECHA to increase the user-friendliness of the information provided on their websites and to facilitate data mining;

66.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that they are properly represented in EFSA by independent national experts; recommends that the Member States engage with EFSA in constructive ways;

67.  Recommends that scientific knowledge and capacity be secured by supporting, expanding and strengthening the expert network of EU agencies, Member State bodies, institutes and university research groups involved in risk assessments;

68.  Further recommends cooperation in international science networks with international experts, to support the scientific discussion and input in order to strengthen the international cooperation of the peer-review system, which leads to more internationally recognised results of high quality;

69.  Recommends to EFSA that it publish its opinions in peer-reviewed journals in order to intensify constructive discussion and incentivise and encourage more national experts and other scientists to participate in its work;

70.  Calls for EFSA and ECHA to be allocated sufficient funds in order to carry out their tasks in an independent, objective and transparent manner, so as to ensure a high level of protection of human and animal health and the environment, and also in view of the additional workload anticipated for those agencies;

71.  Highlights that the credibility of the plant protection product authorisation system strongly depends on public trust in European agencies; underlines that transparency in the scientific assessment process is important to maintain public trust; further welcomes EFSA’s continuous efforts to improve the system and the most recent update of its independence policy in June 2017, with a view to ensuring independence and the management of potential conflicts of interest;

72.  Calls on EFSA to ensure that all experts who participate in the assessment make a publicly available declaration of interests and to exclude the participation of experts with conflicts of interest from all stages of the peer review process;

73.  Proposes the establishment of an independent monitoring committee within EFSA, tasked with analysing potential conflicts of interest;

74.  Calls for adequate resources to be allocated to enable finalisation of landscape-scale post-market environmental monitoring and analysis, including monitoring of pesticide residues in soils and dust, the results of which should be shared with EFSA;

75.  Calls on EFSA to ensure that it has the necessary expertise to fully assess the availability and application of non-chemical methods;

76.  Calls on the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism to act on request as a mediator in scientific controversies concerning active substances;

77.  Calls on the Scientific Advice Mechanism to initiate a systematic review of all available studies concerning the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and glyphosate-based formulations with a view to assessing whether it would be justified to review the approval of glyphosate in accordance with Article 21 of the Regulation;

Commission approval of active substances

78.  Strongly regrets the numerous delays at Member State and Commission level before and after peer review by EFSA, in particular the delays in the assessment of substances that meet the cut-off criteria, and urges the RMSs and the Commission to meet their deadlines as laid down in the Regulation;

79.  Stresses the need to ensure political accountability for the adoption of implementing acts using the comitology procedure; expresses its concern at the lack of transparency in the PAFF Committee; calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase the overall transparency of the procedures, including by providing detailed minutes on the comitology discussions and the respective positions, in particular by explaining and justifying the PAFF Committee’s decisions and by making public the votes of the Member States;

80.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to endorse an independence policy and to ensure that Members of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed have no conflicts of interest;

81.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to strictly apply Article 4 of the Regulation and to adopt clear scientifically based criteria for what constitutes unacceptable effects on the environment, taking into account real-life exposure (acute and chronic) to multiple plant protection products;

82.  Calls on the Commission to strictly limit the use of the confirmatory data procedure to its purpose as laid down in Article 6(f) of the Regulation, namely where new requirements are established during the evaluation process or as a result of new scientific and technical knowledge; considers that the protection of public health and the environment must take the highest priority, while at the same time applicants must be provided with reliable timelines for authorisation; stresses that complete dossiers are essential for active substance approvals; regrets that the derogation by confirmatory data procedure has led to at least two active substances that would otherwise have been restricted remaining on the market for an extended period of time;

83.  Calls on the Commission to amend the relevant guidance document so that confirmatory data would systematically be subject to a full EFSA peer review, as is the case with original data from the application;

84.  Calls on the Commission to include legally binding risk mitigation measures in the approval of active substances in order to deal with known risks posed by plant protection products, while supporting Member States in identifying risk mitigation measures relevant to their country-specific situation, taking into account the agronomic, climatic and environmental conditions in their territories;

85.  Calls also on the Commission to ensure that post-market monitoring will assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the implemented mitigation measures;

86.  Calls on the Commission to ensure full application of Article 25 of the Regulation so that safeners and synergists may only be used following their approval; stresses that the data requirements for approval of safeners and synergists should be the same as those required for active substances, and calls for the adoption of an implementing act pursuant to Article 25(3) of the Regulation;

87.  Calls on the Commission to adopt the first negative list of co-formulants pursuant to Article 27 of the Regulation by the end of 2018, together with criteria and a procedure to identify further ones; calls, to this end, for the integration of data required under REACH, the CLP Regulation and the Biocides Regulation, and of data collected by Member States during the formulation of their own negative list of co-formulants;

88.  Calls on the Commission, in accordance with its resolution of 15 February 2017 on low-risk pesticides of biological origin and its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Regulation, to submit a specific legislative proposal to amend the Regulation outside of the ongoing REFIT procedure, with a view to enabling a rigorous high-quality fast-track evaluation, authorisation and registration process;

89.  Calls on the Commission to improve transparency by establishing a webpage displaying the timeline and stages of the approval of each active substance, indicating the RMS, EFSA and ECHA decisions, PAFF Committee decisions, the duration of the licence and other relevant details;

Authorisation of plant protection products by Member States

90.  Calls on the Commission to undertake an in-depth assessment of the zonal system, with a view to assessing how best to ensure the proper harmonised scientific assessment of plant protection products while safeguarding the responsibilities of Member States for the authorisation, restriction or refusal thereof, and to revise the limitations for refusal of authorisation;

91.  Considers the mutual recognition procedure as vital for sharing the workload and facilitating compliance with deadlines; regrets the delays in the assessments by the Member States examining the applications for authorisation and implementation problems associated with the mutual recognition principle; calls on the Commission to work with Member States to improve the functioning of the zonal system; underlines that the full implementation of the existing legislation should have the aim of avoiding duplication of work and making new substances available to farmers without unnecessary delays;

92.  Urges the Member States to meet the deadlines for the evaluation of plant protection products and the provisions relating to mutual recognition, as laid down in the Regulation;

93.  Calls on EFSA to establish harmonised guidelines for the assessment of plant protection products and on the Commission subsequently to adopt them;

94.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that all plant protection products undergo proper assessments, including exposure scenarios, on the basis of data obtained for the plant protection product itself, and considers that extrapolation of data on plant protection products should not be done from data obtained on active substances, unless this is scientifically justified and confirmed as reliable by post-market monitoring;

95.  Calls on the Commission to submit a detailed report to Parliament within 2 years on the national practices of risk assessment and risk management of plant protection products;

96.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that any decision on the authorisation of plant protection products is based on a proper risk assessment of the real-life exposure, acute and chronic, of vulnerable groups, and for the corresponding EFSA Guidance to be amended accordingly;

97.  Stresses the need to require applicants to provide all studies to the Member State examining the application for authorisation, including the raw data, in a machine-readable format;

98.  Calls for public access to be granted to the above studies, including all supporting data and information relating to applications for authorisation, in a machine-readable format and in their entirety in order to ensure transparency, thus allowing for timely independent scrutiny while protecting personal data and ensuring that those who requested the studies can only use them for non-commercial purposes, so as to safeguard the relevant intellectual property rights;

99.  Calls on the Commission to assess whether it would be appropriate to make EFSA responsible for the risk assessment of plant protection products, while maintaining that the actual decision on the authorisation of plant protection products should take place at national level, in order to take account of country-specific situations;

100.  Urges the Member States to increase efficiency through greater zonal and inter-zonal coordination, in order to better share the workload and make the best use of each Member State’s resources, and to grant derogations under Article 53 of the Regulation only where existing requirements are strictly complied with;

101.  Considers that the system of inter-zonal mutual recognition must be improved;

102.  Calls on the Member States to better implement the authorisation procedures at national level in order to limit the derogations and extensions granted under Article 53 of the Regulation to actual emergency situations; calls on the Member States to strictly apply Article 53 of the Regulation, to only accept and examine completed applications for derogations, and to only submit completed notifications of derogations to the Commission and other Member States;

103.  Calls on the Commission to fully use its control rights under Article 53(2) and (3), in order to limit the derogations and extensions granted under Article 53 to justified emergency situations;

104.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that public consultation of relevant stakeholders is undertaken prior to the granting of any emergency authorisation under Article 53, without creating unnecessary delays in the granting of emergency authorisations and ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are informed in a timely manner whether the emergency authorisation is granted or refused;

105.  Calls on all Member States to publish the completed application forms they receive requesting an emergency authorisation under Article 53, whether the authorisation is granted or refused;

106.  Calls on the Commission to finalise methods to determine when certain derogations should be applied, if at all, in particular as regards ‘negligible exposure’ or ‘serious danger to plant health’;

107.  Calls on the Member States to inform each other, the Commission and the public concerning the authorisation and withdrawal of plant protection products, as well as mitigation measures, in order to ensure an EU-wide overview of plant protection products on the market and the risk management pertaining to them;

108.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve their data exchange on safer plant protection products which could replace plant protection products containing candidates for substitution, in order to facilitate the comparative assessment of plant protection products;

109.  Notes that research into copper usage in areas where it is used as part of long-standing practice shows that there are effects on the microbiology of the soil; agrees that copper should be seen as a transitional material used for plant protection purposes and that its use should be phased out as soon as better alternatives become available;

110.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the development and use of sustainable and ecological alternatives to plant protection products, integrated pest management measures and low-risk pesticides, as an important measure for reducing the adverse impacts of pest management; acknowledges the need for more research into and development of these products; calls on the Commission, therefore, to assess options to stimulate innovation in this field;

111.  Calls on the Commission to propose amending the Regulation in such a way that the use, but also the placing on the market, of low-risk plant protection products is made easier for operators on the procedural level; considers that clarification is needed, in particular, concerning the placing on the market of basic substances;

112.  Calls for transparent and fair access to active substances for SME-sector plant protection product formulators;

113.  Calls on the Commission to conduct an analysis of the impact of the requirements of current legislation regulating the authorisation and trade of plant protection products and biocidal products in terms of human resources and economic capabilities available to SME producers, and whenever changes are made to existing regulations; stresses that the results of such analyses must be made available for public consultation;

114.  Calls for a harmonised definition of ‘minor use’ in order to promote a level playing field, and recommends creating a single EU list of major crops;

115.  Calls on the Commission, EFSA and the Member States to ensure that all relevant stakeholders, including the public, are included in any stakeholder activities on pesticides, as provided for in Directive 2003/35/EC and the Aarhus Convention;

116.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the requirements in the Regulation for the prioritisation of non-chemical methods are properly implemented;

o
o   o

117.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 463, 21.12.2018, p. 73.
(2) As set up by Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171).
(3) OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 156, 25.6.2003, p. 17.
(7) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(8) OJ L 155, 11.6.2011, p. 127.
(9) OJ L 93, 3.4.2013, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 93, 3.4.2013, p. 85.
(11) OJ L 173, 30.6.2016, p. 52.
(12) OJ L 208, 2.8.2016, p. 1.
(13) OJ L 333, 15.12.2017, p. 10.
(14) OJ C 58, 15.2.2018, p. 102.
(15) OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 117.
(16) OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 184.
(17) OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 62.
(18) OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 51.
(19) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0356.
(20) Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 23 November 2016, Bayer CropScience SA-NV, Stichting De Bijenstichting v College voor de toelating van gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en biociden, C-442/14, ECLI:EU:C:2016:890.
(21) EFSA Journal 2015;13(11):4302.
(22) EFSA Journal 2017;15(9):4979.
(23) https://ec.europa.eu/research/sam/pdf/sam_ppp_report.pdf
(24) OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 33.
(25) Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain amending Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 [on general food law], Directive 2001/18/EC [on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs], Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 [on GM food and feed], Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 [on feed additives], Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 [on smoke flavourings], Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 [on food contact materials], Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 [on the common authorisation procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings], Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 [on plant protection products] and Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283 [on novel foods].
(26) See Case T-235/15, Pari Pharma GmbH v European Medicines Agency; see also Case T-729/15, MSD Animal Health Innovation GmbH and Intervet International BV v European Medicines Agency, and Case T-718/15, PTC Therapeutics International Ltd v European Medicines Agency.
(27) OJ C 95, 3.4.2013, p. 1.
(28) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5348
(29) OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 71.
(30) See Hallmann, C.A., Sorg, M., Jongejans, E., Siepel, H., Hofland, N., Schwan, H., et al. (2017) ‘More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas’. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0185809. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185809


Establishing a dedicated financial programme for decommissioning of nuclear facilities and management of radioactive waste *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a dedicated financial programme for decommissioning of nuclear facilities and management of radioactive waste, and repealing Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1368/2013 (COM(2018)0467 – C8-0314/2018 – 2018/0252(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0024A8-0441/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2018)0467),

–  having regard to Article 203 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0314/2018),

–  having regard to Rule 78c of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0441/2018),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  A dedicated spending financial programme can bring additional Union added value through becoming a benchmark within the Union for safely managing technological issues in nuclear decommissioning and disseminating knowledge. Such financial assistance should be provided on the basis of an ex ante evaluation identifying the specific needs and demonstrating the Union added value with the aim to support decommissioning of nuclear facilities and management of radioactive waste.
(2)  A dedicated spending financial programme can bring additional Union added value through becoming a benchmark within the Union for safely managing technological issues in nuclear decommissioning and disseminating knowledge. Such financial assistance should be provided on the basis of an ex ante evaluation identifying the specific needs and demonstrating the Union added value with the aim to support decommissioning of nuclear facilities and management of radioactive waste. Such financial assistance should not, however, set a defining precedent for the funding of future nuclear decommissioning at Union level. The initiative to undertake and finance the decommissioning of nuclear facilities should primarily remain the responsibility of the Member States.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15
(15)  The Programme should also ensure dissemination of knowledge on the decommissioning process in the Union, as such measures bring the greatest Union added value and contribute to the safety of the workers and the general public.
(15)  The Programme should also ensure dissemination of knowledge and the sharing of best practices and experiences gained between Member States with regard to the decommissioning process in the Union, as such measures bring the greatest Union added value and contribute to the safety of the workers and the general public, as well as to the protection of the environment.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15 a (new)
(15 a)  The JRC should lead a dedicated initiative to structure the gathering, development and sharing of knowledge in the field of decommissioning at Union level, without excluding international cooperation. The initiative should take into account multi-dimensional challenges, including research and innovation, standardisation, regulation, training and education, and industry.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 16
(16)  The decommissioning of the nuclear facilities covered by this Regulation should be carried out with recourse to the best available technical expertise, and with due regard to the nature and technological specifications of the installations to be decommissioned, in order to ensure safety and the highest possible efficiency, thus taking into account international best practices.
(16)  The decommissioning of the nuclear facilities covered by this Regulation should be carried out with recourse to the best available technical expertise, including from third countries, and with due regard to the nature and technological specifications of the installations to be decommissioned, in order to ensure safety and the highest possible efficiency, thus taking into account international best practices.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  Actions under the Kozloduy and Bohunice programmes should be conducted with a joint financial effort of the Union and Bulgaria and Slovakia respectively. A maximum Union co-financing threshold should be established in line with the co-financing practice established under the predecessor programmes.
(20)  Actions under the Kozloduy and Bohunice programmes should be conducted with a joint financial effort of the Union and Bulgaria and Slovakia. A minimum Union co-financing threshold should be established in line with the co-financing practice established under the predecessor programmes.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1
This Regulation establishes the Dedicated Financial Programme for the 'Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities and Management of Radioactive Waste' (the 'Programme'), with the focus on needs identified on a current basis. For the period of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, it will support Bulgaria and Slovakia to safely decommission their first generation nuclear reactors, and the implementation of the decommissioning process and management of radioactive waste of the Commission's own nuclear installations at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites.
This Regulation establishes the Dedicated Financial Programme for the 'Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities and Management of Radioactive Waste' (the 'Programme'), with the focus on needs identified on a current basis. For the period of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, it will support Bulgaria and Slovakia to safely decommission their nuclear reactors that have been prematurely shut down, and the implementation of the decommissioning process and management of radioactive waste of the Commission's own nuclear installations at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) sites, while ensuring the protection of workers, in particular as regards health impacts, the general public and the environment.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2
It lays down the objectives of the Programme, the budget for the period 2021 – 2027, the forms of the European Atomic Energy Community (the 'Community') funding and the rules for providing such funding.
It lays down the objectives of the Programme, the overall budget for the period 2021 – 2027, including the exact distribution of the amount among the three programmes, the forms of the European Atomic Energy Community (the 'Community') funding and the rules for providing such funding.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2
(2)  'decommissioning plan' means the document containing detailed information on the proposed decommissioning and covering the following: the selected decommissioning strategy; the schedule, type and sequence of decommissioning activities; the waste management strategy applied, including clearance; the proposed end state; the storage and disposal of the waste from decommissioning; the timeframe for decommissioning; the cost estimates for the completion of decommissioning; and the objectives, expected results, milestones, target dates, as well as the corresponding key performance indicators, including earned value based indicators. The plan is prepared by the nuclear facility license holder and is reflected in the multiannual work programmes of the Programme;
(2)  'decommissioning plan' means the document containing detailed information on the proposed decommissioning and covering the following: the selected decommissioning strategy; the schedule, type and sequence of decommissioning activities; the waste management strategy applied, including clearance, and the workers’ protection programme; the proposed end state; the storage and disposal of the waste from decommissioning; the timeframe for decommissioning; the cost estimates for the completion of decommissioning; and the objectives, expected results, milestones, target dates, as well as the corresponding key performance indicators, including earned value based indicators. The plan is prepared by the nuclear facility license holder and is reflected in the multiannual work programmes of the Programme;
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 5 a (new)
(5 a)   'third country' means a country that is not a Member State of the Union.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1
On the basis of the current needs for the period of 2021-2027 the Programme aims in particular to assist Bulgaria and Slovakia in implementing the Kozloduy decommissioning programme and the Bohunice decommissioning programme respectively, with specific emphasis on managing the radiological safety challenges thereof and to support the JRC decommissioning and waste management programme, whilst ensuring broad dissemination to all EU Member States of knowledge thereby generated on nuclear decommissioning.
On the basis of the current needs for the period of 2021-2027 the Programme aims in particular to assist Bulgaria and Slovakia in implementing the Kozloduy decommissioning programme and the Bohunice decommissioning programme respectively, with specific emphasis on managing the radiological safety challenges thereof and to support the JRC decommissioning and waste management programme, whilst ensuring broad dissemination to, and the sharing among, all Member States of knowledge and of best practices thereby generated on nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 – point c
(c)  to develop ties and exchanges among Union stakeholders on nuclear decommissioning, with a view to develop potential Union synergies.
(c)  to develop ties and exchanges among Union stakeholders, in particular the industry, on nuclear decommissioning and the management and disposal of radioactive waste, with a view to ensuring the dissemination of knowledge and exchanges of experiences in all relevant areas such as research and innovation, regulation, training and to develop potential Union synergies.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  The indicative distribution of the amount referred to in paragraph 1 shall be:
2.  The distribution of the amount referred to in paragraph 1 shall be:
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1
The Programme may finance eligible costs of an action up to the maximum rate as set out in Annexes I and II. The maximum Union co-financing rate applicable under the Kozloduy programme or the Bohunice programme shall be no higher than 50%. The remaining co-financing shall be provided by Bulgaria and Slovakia respectively.
The Programme may finance eligible costs of an action as set out in Annexes I and II. The minimum Union co-financing rate applicable under the Kozloduy programme or the Bohunice programme shall be no less than 50%. The remaining co-financing shall be provided by Bulgaria and Slovakia respectively.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Annex I – point 2
2.  Projects and activities funded in the period 2021-2027 are subject to a maximum EU co-financing rate set at 50%.
2.  Projects and activities funded in the period 2021-2027 are subject to a minimum Union co-financing rate set at 50%.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II – point 2
2.  Projects and activities funded in the period 2021-2027 are subject to a maximum EU co-financing rate set at 50%.
2.  Projects and activities funded in the period 2021-2027 are subject to a minimum Union co-financing rate set at 50%.

Implementation report on the trade pillar of the Association Agreement with Central America
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European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2019 on the implementation of the Trade Pillar of the Association Agreement with Central America (2018/2106(INI))
P8_TA(2019)0025A8-0459/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Part IV of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2012 on the draft Council Decision on the conclusion of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America, on the other(2), and its accompanying Interim Report(3),

–  having regard to the Commission’s Annual Reports of 18 March 2015, 18 February 2016 and 5 April 2017 on the implementation of Part IV of the EU-Central America Association Agreement (COM(2015)0131, COM(2016)0073 and COM(2017)0160 respectively),

–  having regard to its resolution of 31 May 2018 on the situation in Nicaragua(4) and to the Declaration on behalf of the EU by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Nicaragua of 2 October 2018,

–  having regard to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly resolutions on the governance of globalisation and on corporate social responsibility in the EU and in Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC), both adopted in Vienna on 20 September 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission’s report of 9 November 2017 entitled ‘Implementation of Free Trade Agreements – 1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016’ (SWD(2017)0364),

–  having regard to the European Economic and Social Committee opinion of 14 February 2018 on Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)(5),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 30 May 2018 on the ‘Annual report on the implementation of the Common Commercial Policy’(6) and of 25 October 2018 on ‘Harnessing Globalisation: Trade Aspects’(7),

–  having regard to the report of 14 June 2018 on the fourth meeting of the Association Committee;

–  having regard to the report of 13 June 2018 to the Civil Society Forum of the Fourth Meeting of the Board of Trade and Sustainable Development on the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union(8),

–  having regard to the summary of the discussion held during the joint meeting of the European and Central American Civil Society Advisory Groups of 16 June 2016(9),

–  having regard to the public hearings organised in the Committee on International Trade (INTA) on 20 June 2018, 15 March 2016 and 27 March 2012,

–  having regard to its recommendation of 13 December 2017 to the Council and the Commission following the inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion(10),

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment on the Occasion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0459/2018),

A.  whereas the Association Agreement (hereinafter ‘the Agreement’) between the EU and Central America was the first region-to-region association agreement concluded by the EU; whereas it is based on three complementary pillars, namely political dialogue, cooperation, and trade; whereas the trade pillar of the Agreement (Part IV) was quite broad and ambitious when it was negotiated, but retrospectively lacks updated provisions on, inter alia, gender and trade, digital trade and e-commerce, procurement, investment, anti-corruption or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);

B.  whereas the trade pillar of the Agreement has been provisionally applied for five years: since 1 August 2013 with Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, since 1 October 2013 with Costa Rica and El Salvador, and since 1 December 2013 with Guatemala;

C.  whereas the political dialogue and cooperation pillars have still not been applied as not all Member States have ratified the Agreement; whereas the non-application of these two pillars creates an imbalance between trade-related issues and political issues, namely the EU’s core values, such as promotion of democracy and human rights;

D.  whereas Central America is a relatively small market with almost 43 million inhabitants and accounts for 0,25 % of global GDP;

E.  whereas in the past 15 years Central American countries have been more open to trade than other countries with the same level of income; whereas, however, imports continue to be the main source of trade with other countries;

F.  whereas the most important market for Central America is the region itself, the Central American Common Market being the second largest trade partner for most countries in the region, accounting for 26 % of all exports;

G.  whereas the implementation of the EU’s trade agreements is a key priority for Parliament, the Council and the Commission in order to monitor, assess and calibrate the EU’s common commercial policy (CCP); whereas reporting on the implementation of the Agreement with Central America is a timely and useful contribution to the reflection on its possible modernisation;

H.  whereas there is now sufficient experience, data and statistical information to assess the implementation of the trade pillar of the Agreement; whereas Parliament’s resolution adopted on 11 December 2012 in parallel with its consent to the Agreement outlined the aims for the trade pillar and included suggestions on follow-up during its implementation(11), which are relevant for the ongoing analysis;

I.  whereas Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 16 May 2017(12) affirmed that the CCP is a values-based policy and that promoting sustainable development constitutes an integral part of the CCP;

J.  whereas the human rights situation in several Central American countries is worrying;

Main conclusions and recommendations

1.  Is of the opinion that the Agreement tries to meet one of its key initial aims as it intends to strengthen the process of regional integration among the Central American countries by supporting intra-regional institutions, cooperation and dialogues, contributing to the achievement of Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union, the universal UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, under the framework of the principle of Policy Coherence for Development as set out in Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), to the complementarity of their productive sectors, facilitating fair cross-border exchanges and fostering regional sustainable economic growth; reiterates that the Agreement contributes to consolidating the broader strategic dimension of the partnership between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC); considers it essential to ensure the full entry into force of the Agreement, which is pending internal ratification by some EU Member States(13), and the effective and adequate implementation of all the provisions of the trade pillar by both parties;

2.  Recalls the importance of strengthening bi-regional cooperation to preserve and reinforce the multilateral trade system, as an essential pillar to achieve the SDGs and to guarantee rules-based economic governance, ensuring fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable trade; recalls, in particular, its support for the WTO, stressing its role in creating economic stability and supporting growth and development, and calls on the parties to make use of the dialogue fostered by the Agreement to identify and develop joint strategies towards the necessary modernisation of the WTO;

3.  Underlines that Central America is one of the regions most affected by climate change and natural disasters, and therefore urges a most careful investigation into the relationship between change of land use due to liberalisation of investment and access to ownership, and the expansion of monocultures, into protection and access to water resources and fresh water and the need to maintain and/or develop respective public utilities, and into cooperation in the development of non-polluting public transport and energy systems;

4.  Highlights that the Agreement relies on a rules-based fair and predictable relationship which promotes a more secure economic environment between the trading partners built on the principles of sustainable development and respect for human rights and labour and environmental standards while upholding the rule of law and good governance, and underlines the need to come up with effective anti-corruption measures; considers that such predictability fosters economic growth, the exchange of goods, the provision of services, participation in public procurement, the attractiveness of investment, quality employment, and improved working conditions and living standards, even if the flows do not always evolve in a linear fashion;

5.  Calls on the Commission to deliver up-to-date comprehensive annual reports on the implementation of the Agreement as requested in the relevant implementing regulations; is of the opinion that the information included in the Report on Implementation of FTAs is not sufficient (SWD(2017)0364); notes that data on imports from Central America fluctuate a great deal, as exports concentrate on commodities, whose prices are based on the world market, or product parts in global value chains; strongly encourages the parties, with a view to adequately assessing the implementation of the Agreement, to take appropriate measures to improve the collection and provision of regular, up-to-date, comparable and reliable statistical data on the relevant sectors, including on trade in goods and services, investment and climate change, as well as on the degree of consolidation of SMEs’ activities, and to carry out evaluations on the basis of gender-disaggregated data; encourages both parties furthermore to monitor the implementation of internationally agreed standards for the fight against money laundering, as well as tax evasion and avoidance; reiterates its call on the Commission to update and create a common methodology for evaluating the implementation of its trade agreements more coherently;

6.  Welcomes the fact that trade flows between the parties have generally proven to be resilient despite an unfavourable international economic context; takes note that: EU exports have grown by 22 %, while imports from five Central American countries have increased by 18,3 %, that the main destination of EU exports to Central America is Costa Rica, followed by Panama and Guatemala, and that the main exporter of goods to the EU is Costa Rica, followed by Honduras and Guatemala; notes with concern the significant drop in 2015 of 40,4 % in exports from Costa Rica to the EU due to the relocation to South-East Asia of a major IT equipment producer, leading to an overall fall in imports from Central America of 16,8 %;

7.  Regrets that neither Central America nor the EU make full use of their granted tariff rate quotas (TRQs) and therefore calls for potential sectors to be identified where further exchanges should be encouraged; regrets that figures on preference utilisation rates are only available in Costa Rica; is concerned that only 16,6 % of eligible EU exports to Costa Rica benefited from the FTA, while the rate was 92 % for Costa Rican exports to the EU(14); recalls the key importance of making trade more inclusive and facilitating an appropriate integration of SMEs, and in particular small-scale farmers, into value chains; calls on the Commission in this regard to take active measures to increase knowledge and facilitate the use of opportunities created by the Agreement among European producers, particularly SMEs, with a view to increasing preference utilisation rates and the use of existing TRQs;

8.  Notes that the main products exported by Central America to the EU are still heavily concentrated in the primary sector and in relatively low value-added products such as textiles, coffee, sugar, car parts or shrimp, while the main products exported by the EU to Central America are machinery and appliances, products of the chemical or allied industries and transportation equipment; notes, however, that the Agreement is starting to contribute to the modernisation and diversification of exports from Central America with more value-added, such as needles, prosthetic devices and medical devices, and to an increase in exports of fair trade and organic certified products;

9.  Regrets that neither the Third Annual Report nor the Report on Implementation of the EU’s FTAs covering 2016 includes relevant data for evaluating investment flows; calls on the Commission to include such data in future reports;

10.  Takes note of the fact that the total EU trade in services with Central America decreased marginally and seems to be concentrated in Panama and Costa Rica, and calls on the Commission to provide further country-specific analysis by sectors;

11.  Acknowledges progress as regards sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), rules of origin (RoO) and technical barriers to trade (TBTs), and calls on the parties to enhance early warning and transparency and the exchange of information on internal legislation and procedures; notes that Central America is concerned about the EU’s new legal framework which could potentially hamper exports of palm oil; reiterates the need for timely information and more ex ante exchanges to allow the parties to anticipate and adapt to changing patterns and comply with internal legal requirements;

12.  Stresses that further progress needs to be made, for example on the problem of Costa Rica’s discriminatory taxes on imports of alcoholic beverages; is also concerned about pending issues related to effective protection of geographical indications (GIs), for example in Costa Rica (Manchego), Guatemala (Parmigiano) or Honduras (list of generics), and recommends that further efforts be made as regards compliance;

13.  Regrets the lack of a specific chapter on SMEs in the existing Agreement, and encourages the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Member States and Central America to include such a chapter in a future review of the Agreement; calls on the parties to place at the disposal of SMEs all the legal and administrative support and tools required for SMEs to engage in trade and investment under this agreement, to foster greater exchanges and to enhance participation in order to reap the benefits of the Agreement, including through active measures to foster the internationalisation of SMEs and the setting up of contact points and a specialised website for SMEs; reiterates its call for action to raise awareness of the Agreement, and the support available, among stakeholders, in particular SMEs in both regions; reiterates its call for the promotion of cooperation with appropriate technical and financial resources in strategic sectors for both regions;

14.  Emphasises that fair and transparent opening of public procurement markets in Central America is essential to ensure a level playing field for businesses; is concerned that procurement markets in Central America could be opened further at the central government and regional government level;

15.  Views intra-regional non-tariff measures to be a significant hindrance to investment in Central America; urges the Commission to ensure that Central American countries facilitate improved investment conditions and an improved local business environment for European investors that improves employment and infrastructure and addresses the significant development needs of the region;

16.  Insists on the effective implementation of the specific commitments related to trade and sustainable development (TSD) provisions, which are an integral part of the Agreement and are essential to the accomplishment of the objectives set; takes note that the Commission will, in 2019, and should in future, conduct an ex post evaluation of the Agreement, including its TSD chapter, involving independent experts; recalls that the TSD chapter provides for the establishment of domestic advisory groups (DAGs) or committees relevant for matters related to labour, the environment and sustainable development; welcomes, in particular, the fact that civil society advisory mechanisms are now established in all Central American countries; notes that serious concerns have been raised with regard to the independence of these advisory groups and their capacity to participate in some Central American countries; regrets, in this context, that the meetings of the Association Committee and Subcommittees and the Civil Society Dialogue Forum did not take place in 2017, and insists that meetings take place at least on an annual basis; calls on the parties to the Agreement to swiftly establish the mechanisms and the necessary financial means to strengthen the DAGs, ensuring independent representative civil society organisations, with balanced representation of stakeholders in order to participate appropriately; calls on the parties to the Agreement furthermore to put in place effective mechanisms for dialogue with the advisory groups as well as members of the different subcommittees, and to include them in the ex post evaluation processes planned for 2019; welcomes the recommendations made during the 3rd Joint Meeting of the EU and Central America's DAGs of 16 June 2016 and calls on the parties to implement them; recalls that the TSD chapter includes legally binding provisions to effectively implement labour, social and environmental protection standards; welcomes the fact that the Agreement has laid the path for a regular dialogue on the implementation of the shared commitments; notes that Parliament has encouraged the Commission to strengthen the monitoring, implementation and enforcement mechanisms of TSD chapters; therefore welcomes the Commission’s 15-point plan to make EU trade and sustainable development chapters more effective and recalls the need to continue its dialogue with the different actors involved, including Parliament, concerning an effective enforcement mechanism for the labour and environmental protection commitments included in trade agreements;

17.  Calls on the parties to review the Agreement to introduce a suitable and effective dispute settlement mechanism, including the consideration of, among various enforcement methods, sanctions as a deterrent to be used, as last resort, in the case of serious breaches, and enabling social partners and civil society to participate appropriately;

18.  Urges the EU and all Central American countries to ratify and fully implement the multilateral environmental agreements on fighting climate change, especially the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement; highlights the need to for the EU and Central America to step up cooperation in this regard;

19.  Takes note of the different country reports carried out by the ILO and of the challenges that still remain; calls on the Central American countries concerned to eradicate violence against trade unionists and indigenous peoples, and to take legislative measures to effectively implement ILO fundamental conventions on freedom of association, collective bargaining, non-discrimination, and child labour; stresses the importance of strengthening labour inspections and enhancing social dialogue;

20.  Asks the Commission for assurances that goods or parts of goods produced in export processing zones (EPZs) do not fall under the preferential tariffs of the Agreement, as EPZs are freed from having to comply with international labour law standards and national environmental laws; asks the Commission for concrete information on customs or other provisions applied to distinguish products coming from EPZs and hence not falling under tariff elimination;

21.  Recalls that the thresholds established under the Stabilisation Mechanism for Bananas, annexed to the Agreement and applicable until 2020, should not be exceeded, and that once this mechanism expires parties should continue to provide statistics, including on fair trade and organic produce; notes that in September 2018 Nicaragua and Guatemala exceeded their thresholds (349 % and 102 % respectively) and is concerned that this has consequences for European banana producers; recalls the Commission’s commitment to assess the situation of EU banana producers by 1 January 2019 at the latest and that, in the event of a serious deterioration of the market or the situation of EU banana producers, an extension of the validity of the mechanism may be envisaged; recalls that in the light of the Stabilisation Mechanism and safeguard clause introduced in the Agreement, more thorough and regular information on these market developments should be made available by the Commission, both to the European Parliament and the industrial sectors concerned;

22.  Stresses that recent political and economic developments involving violence, impunity, corruption, fragile justice systems and deficient rule of law in a number of Central America countries can also have economic implications that negatively affect the region as a whole and might lead to the destabilisation of the region; is particularly alarmed at and strongly condemns the current situation in Nicaragua; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to continue carefully monitoring the situation in Nicaragua and, if necessary, assess the potential measures to be taken in light of the Association Agreement; recalls that the democracy clause is an essential element of all of the Union’s agreements with third countries;

23.  Recalls the obligation of the EU, as enshrined in Article 8 of the TFEU, as well as the commitment by the EU and other signatories of the Buenos Aires Declaration on Gender and Trade, to mainstream gender equality into trade policy; calls on the parties to reinforce the gender focus of the Agreement and to promote and support the inclusion, in a future review, of a specific gender chapter;

24.  Urges Austria, Belgium and Greece to ratify the Agreement, and reiterates the importance of full application of the other parts of the Agreement, including cooperation as regards economic and trade development (Article 52 and others);

25.  Welcomes the fact that the parties are at last starting the administrative and institutional procedures to adopt the relevant protocol for the inclusion of Croatia in the Agreement;

o
o   o

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the Member States, the governments of the Central American countries and the EuroLat Assembly.

(1) OJ L 346, 15.12.2012, p. 3.
(2) OJ C 434, 23.12.2015, p. 181.
(3) Interim report of 8 November 2012 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America, on the other.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0238.
(5) OJ C 227, 28.6.2018, p. 27.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0230.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0439.
(8) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/july/tradoc_157150.pdf
(9) https://www.eesc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/resources/docs/en_joint-document_advisory-groups_16-june-2016_final.pdf
(10) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 132.
(11) Opinion of the Committee on International Trade of 19 September 2012 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other.
(12) ECLI:EU:C:2017:376.
(13) As of 10 September 2018, ratification is still pending by Austria, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Greece. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/documents-publications/treaties-agreements/agreement/?id=2012001
(14) Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council ‘Third Annual Report on the Implementation of Part IV of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other’ (COM(2017)0160).


Establishing the InvestEU Programme ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 16 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the InvestEU Programme (COM(2018)0439 – C8-0257/2018 – 2018/0229(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2019)0026A8-0482/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

AMENDMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT(2)
P8_TA(2019)0026A8-0482/2018
to the Commission proposal
P8_TA(2019)0026A8-0482/2018
---------------------------------------------------------
P8_TA(2019)0026A8-0482/2018

Proposal for a
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
establishing the InvestEU Programme

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 173 and the third paragraph of Article 175 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(3),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(4),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(-1)  The European Fund for Strategic Investments has proved to be a valuable tool for the mobilisation of private investments through the use of the EU guarantee and the own resources of the EIB Group.

(1)  With 1,8 % of EU GDP, down from 2,2 % in 2009, infrastructure investment activities in the Union in 2016 were about 20 % below investment rates before the global financial crisis. Thus, while a recovery in investment-to-GDP ratios in the Union can be observed, it remains below what might be expected in a strong recovery period and is insufficient to compensate years of underinvestment. More importantly, the current public and private investment levels and forecasts do not cover the Union’s structural investment for sustaining long-term growth needs in the face of technological change and global competitiveness, including for innovation, skills, infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises ('SMEs') and the need to address key societal challenges such as sustainability or population ageing. Consequently, continued support is necessary to address market failures and sub-optimal investment situations to reduce the investment gap in targeted sectors to achieve the Union's policy objectives.

(2)  Evaluations have underlined that the variety of financial instruments delivered under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework period has led to some overlaps. That variety has also produced complexity for intermediaries and final recipients who were confronted with different eligibility and reporting rules. Absence of compatible rules also hampered the combination of several Union funds although such combination would have been beneficial to support projects in need of different types of funding. Therefore, a single fund, the InvestEU Fund, should be set up in order to achieve a more efficiently functioning support to final recipients by integrating and simplifying the financial offer under a single budgetary guarantee scheme, thereby improving the impact of Union intervention while reducing the cost to the Union budget.

(3)  In the last years, the Union has adopted ambitious strategies to complete the Single Market and to stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs, such as the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Capital Markets Union, the Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Agenda for Culture, the Clean Energy for all Europeans package, the Union Action Plan for the Circular Economy, the Low-Emission Mobility Strategy, the ▌Space Strategy for Europe and the European Pillar of Social Rights. The InvestEU Fund should exploit and reinforce synergies between those mutually reinforcing strategies through providing support to investment and access to financing.

(4)  At Union level, the European Semester of economic policy coordination is the framework to identify national reform priorities and monitor their implementation. Member States, in cooperation with local and regional authorities, develop their own national multiannual investment strategies in support of those reform priorities. The strategies should be presented alongside the yearly National Reform Programmes as a way to outline and coordinate priority investment projects to be supported by national or Union funding, or by both. They should also serve to use Union funding in a coherent manner and to maximise the added value of the financial support to be received notably from the European Structural and Investment Funds, the European Investment Stabilisation Function and the InvestEU Fund, where relevant.

(5)  The InvestEU Fund should contribute to improving the competitiveness and socio-economic convergence of the Union, including in the field of innovation ▌, digitisation, the efficient use of resources in accordance with a circular economy, the sustainability and inclusiveness of the Union's economic growth and the social resilience ▌and integration of the Union capital markets, including solutions addressing their fragmentation and diversifying sources of financing for the Union enterprises. This would make the Union economy and the financial system more resilient and increase its capacity to react to cyclical downturns. To that end, the InvestEU Fund should support projects that are technically▌, economically and socially viable by providing a framework for the use of debt, risk sharing and equity instruments underpinned by a guarantee from the Union's budget and by financial contributions from implementing partners as relevant. It should be demand-driven while support under the InvestEU Fund should at the same time focus on providing strategic, long-term benefits in key areas of Union policy which would otherwise not be funded or be insufficiently funded, thereby contributing to meeting policy objectives of the Union.

(5a)  The Commission and the implementing partners should ensure that the InvestEU programme exploits all complementarities and synergies with grant financing and other actions under the policy areas it supports, in line with the objectives of other Union programmes, such as Horizon Europe, the Connecting Europe Facility, the Digital Europe Programme, the Single Market Programme, the European Space Programme, the European Social Fund+, Creative Europe and the Programme for Environment & Climate Action (LIFE).

(5b)  Cultural and creative sectors are resilient and fast growing sectors in the Union, generating both economic and cultural value from intellectual property and individual creativity. However, the intangible nature of their assets limits their access to private financing which is essential to invest, scale-up and compete at an international level. The dedicated guarantee facility created under Creative Europe has successfully strengthened the financial capacity and the competitiveness of cultural and creative companies. Therefore, the InvestEU Programme should continue to facilitate access to finance for SMEs and organisations from the cultural and creative sectors.

(6)  The InvestEU Fund should support investments in tangible and intangible assets, including cultural heritage, to foster sustainable and inclusive growth, investment and employment, and thereby contributing to improved well-being and fairer income distribution and greater economic, social and territorial cohesion in the Union. InvestEU-funded projects should meet Union social and environmental standards, such as respect for labour rights and climate-friendly energy usage and waste management. Intervention through the InvestEU Fund should complement Union support delivered through grants.

(7)  The Union endorsed the objectives set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement in 2015 as well as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. To achieve the agreed objectives, including those embedded in the environmental policies of the Union, action pursuing sustainable development is to be stepped up significantly. Therefore, the principles of sustainable development and safety should be the basis of the design of the InvestEU Fund, and fossil-fuel related investments should not be supported unless duly justified on the basis that the investment contributes to the objectives of the Energy Union.

(8)  The InvestEU Programme should contribute to building a sustainable finance system in the Union which supports the re-orientation of private capital towards social and sustainable investments in accordance with the objectives set out in the Commission Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth(5).

(8a)   In the spirit of fostering long-term financing and sustainable growth, long-term investments strategies of insurance companies should be encouraged through a revision of the solvency requirements on the contributions for financing investment projects backed by the EU Guarantee in the framework of the InvestEU programme. In order to align the incentives of insurers towards the Union's objective of long term sustainable growth and to remove obstacle to investments under the InvestEU programme, the Commission should therefore take into account this revision as part of the review referred to in Article 77f (3) of Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(6).

(9)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the InvestEU Programme will contribute to mainstream climate actions and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the Union budget expenditures supporting climate objectives over the MFF 2021-2027 period and an annual target of 30 % as soon as possible and at the latest by 2027. Actions under the InvestEU Programme are expected to contribute at least 40 % of the overall financial envelope of the InvestEU Programme to climate objectives. Relevant actions will be identified during the InvestEU Programme's preparation and implementation and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review processes.

(10)  The contribution of the InvestEU Fund to the achievement of the climate target and sectorial targets included in the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework will be tracked through an EU climate tracking system developed by the Commission in cooperation with implementing partners and using in an appropriate way the criteria established by [Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment(7)] for determining whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable. The InvestEU Programme should also contribute to the implementation of other dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

(11)  According to the 2018 Global Risks Report issued by the World Economic Forum, half of the ten most critical risks threatening the global economy relate to the environment. Such risks include air, soil, inland water and ocean pollution, extreme weather events, biodiversity losses and failures of climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Environmental principles are strongly embedded in the Treaties and many of the Union's policies. Therefore, the mainstreaming of environmental objectives should be promoted in the InvestEU Fund related operations. Environmental protection and related risk prevention and management should be integrated in the preparation and implementation of investments. The EU should also track its biodiversity-related and air pollution control-related expenditure in order to fulfil the reporting obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity and Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council(8) Investment allocated to environmentally sustainability objectives should therefore be tracked using common methodologies coherent with that developed under other Union programmes applying to climate, biodiversity and air pollution management in order to allow assessing the individual and combined impact of investments on the key components of the natural capital, including air, water, land and biodiversity.

(12)  Investment projects receiving substantial Union support, notably in the area of infrastructure, should be subject to sustainability proofing in accordance with guidance that should be developed by the Commission in close cooperation with the implementing partners under the InvestEU Programme after conducting open public consultations and, using in an appropriate way the criteria established by [Regulation on establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment] for determining whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable and coherently with the guidance developed for other programmes of the Union. In line with the principle of proportionality such guidance should include adequate provisions to avoid undue administrative burden and projects below a certain size as defined in the guidance should be excluded from the sustainability proofing.

(13)  Low infrastructure investment rates in the Union during the financial crisis undermined the Union's ability to boost sustainable growth, competitiveness and convergence. Sizeable investments in the European infrastructure, in particular with regard to interconnection and energy efficiency and to creating a Single European Transport Area, are fundamental to meet the Union's sustainability targets, including the Union’s commitments towards the SDGs, and the 2030 energy and climate targets. Accordingly, support from the InvestEU Fund should target investments into transport, energy, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, environmental, climate action, maritime and digital infrastructure, supporting, for example, development and deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The InvestEU Programme should prioritise areas that are under-invested, and in which additional investment is required, including sustainable mobility energy efficiency, and actions that contribute to the achievement of the 2030 and long-term climate and energy targets. To maximise the impact and the value added of Union financing support, it is appropriate to promote a streamlined investment process enabling visibility of the project pipeline and maximising synergies across relevant Union programmes in areas such as transport, energy and digitisation. Bearing in mind security threats, investment projects receiving Union support should take into account principles for the protection of citizens in public spaces. This should be complementary to the efforts made by other Union funds such as the European Regional Development Fund providing support for security components of investments in public spaces, transport, energy and other critical infrastructure.

(13a)   The InvestEU Programme should empower citizens and communities that want to invest in a more sustainable, decarbonised society, including energy transition. Whereas the [revised Renewables Directive] and [revised Electricity Directive] now acknowledge and provide support to renewable and citizens energy communities, and renewable self-consumers as essential actors in the Union’s energy transition, InvestEU should help facilitate the participation of those actors in the market. [Am. 3]

(13b)  The InvestEU Programme should contribute, where appropriate, to the objectives of the [revised Renewables Directive] and the [Governance Regulation], as well as promote energy efficiency in investment decisions. It should also contribute to the long-term building renovation strategy that Member States are required to establish under the [Energy Performance of Building Directive]. The Programme should strengthen the digital single market, and contribute to decreasing the digital divide while increasing coverage and connectivity across the Union.

(13c)   Ensuring the safety of road users is a huge challenge in the development of the transport sector, and the action being taken and investments being made are only helping to reduce the number of people dying or sustaining serious injuries on the roads to a limited extent. The InvestEU Programme should help to boost efforts to design and apply technologies that help to improve the safety of vehicles and road infrastructure.

(13d)   Genuine multimodality is an opportunity to create an efficient and environmentally friendly transport network that uses the maximum potential of all means of transport and generates synergy between them. The InvestEU Programme could become an important tool for supporting investment in multimodal transport hubs, which - in spite of their significant economic potential and business case - carry a significant risk for private investors.

(14)  Whereas the level of overall investment in the Union is increasing, investment in higher-risk activities such as research and innovation is still inadequate. Given the public funding of research and innovation activities drives productivity growth and is crucial to boost private research and innovation activities, the resulting underinvestment in research and innovation is damaging to the industrial and economic competitiveness of the Union and the quality of life of its citizens. The InvestEU Fund should provide the appropriate financial products to cover different stages in the innovation cycle and a wide range of stakeholders, in particular to allow the upscaling of and deployment of solutions at a commercial scale in the Union, in order to make such solutions competitive on world markets, and to promote Union excellence in sustainable technologies at a global level. In order to address the need to support investment in higher-risk activities such as research and innovation, it is essential that Horizon Europe, in particular the European Innovation Council (EIC), works in synergy with the financial products to be deployed under the InvestEU Programme. Additionally, innovative SMEs and start-ups face difficulties in access to finance, especially those focusing on intangible assets, hence the need for the EIC to work in close complementarity with the dedicated financial products under the InvestEU Programme to ensure a continuity of support for such SMEs. In that regard, the experience gained from the financial instruments deployed under Horizon 2020 such as InnovFin and the loan guarantee for SMEs under COSME should serve as a strong basis to deliver this targeted support.

(14a)  Tourism is an important sector of the Union economy and the InvestEU Programme should contribute to strengthening its long-term competitiveness by supporting actions aimed at a shift towards sustainable, innovative and digital tourism.

(15)  A significant effort is urgently needed to invest in and boost the digital transformation and to distribute the benefits of it to all Union citizens and businesses, in urban and rural areas. The strong policy framework of the Digital Single Market Strategy should now be matched by investment of a similar ambition, including in artificial intelligence in line with the Digital Europe Programme, particularly with regard to ethics, machine learning, internet of things, biotechnology and Fintech, which can increase efficiencies in mobilising capital for entrepreneurial ventures.

(16)  ▌SMEs represent over 99 % of businesses in the Union and their economic value is significant and crucial ▌. However, they face challenges when accessing finance because of their perceived high risk and lack of sufficient collateral. Additional challenges arise from the need for SMEs and social economy enterprises to stay competitive by engaging in digitisation, internationalisation, transformation in a logic of circular economy, innovation activities and skilling up their workforce. Moreover, compared to larger enterprises, they have access to a more limited set of financing sources: they typically do not issue bonds, have only limited access to stock exchanges or large institutional investors. The lack of access to capital for SMEs is also intensified by the comparative weakness of the private equity and venture capital industry in the Union. The challenge in accessing finance is even greater for those SMEs whose activities focus on intangible assets. SMEs in the Union rely heavily on banks and debt financing in the form of bank overdrafts, bank loans or leasing. Supporting SMEs that face the above challenges by simplifying their access to finance and providing more diversified sources of funding is necessary for increasing the ability of SMEs to finance their creation, growth, innovation and sustainable development, ensure their competitiveness, withstand economic downturns, and for making the economy and the financial system more resilient during economic downturn or shocks and capable of creating job and social well-being. This is also complementary to the initiatives already undertaken in the context of the Capital Markets Union. Programmes such as COSME have been important for SMEs in that they have facilitated access to finance in all phases of the lifecycle of SMEs, and this was added to by EFSI for which there was a quick SME uptake. The InvestEU Fund should therefore build on those successes and provide working capital and investment throughout the life cycle of a company, financing for leasing transactions and an opportunity to focus on specific, more targeted financial products.

(16a)   Undertakings providing services of general interest play an essential and strategic role in key sectors with large network industries (energy, water, waste, environment, postal services, transport and telecommunications), and in health, education and social services. The Union, by supporting these undertakings, safeguards the wellbeing of its citizens and democratic choices, inter alia concerning the quality of services.

(17)  As set out in the reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe(9) and the European Pillar of Social Rights(10) and the Union framework for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, building a more inclusive and fairer Union is a key priority for the Union to tackle inequality and foster social inclusion policies in Europe. Inequality of opportunities affects in particular access to education, training, culture, employment, health and social services. Investment in the social, skills and human capital-related economy, as well as in the integration of vulnerable populations in the society, can enhance economic opportunities, especially if coordinated at Union level. The InvestEU Fund should be used to support investment in education and training, including the re-skilling and upskilling of workers, inter alia in regions depending on a carbon intensive economy and affected by the structural transition to a low-carbon economy, help increase employment, in particular among the unskilled and long-term unemployed, and improve the situation with regard to gender equality, equal opportunities, intergenerational solidarity, the health and social services sector, social housing, homelessness, digital inclusiveness, community development, the role and place of young people in society as well as vulnerable people, including third country nationals. The InvestEU Programme should also contribute to the support of European culture and creativity. To counter the profound transformations of societies in the Union and of the labour market in the coming decade, it is necessary to invest in human capital, social infrastructure, sustainable and social finance, microfinance, social enterprise finance and new social economy business models, including social impact investment and social outcomes contracting. The InvestEU Programme should strengthen nascent social market eco-system, increasing the supply of and access to finance to micro- and social enterprises and social solidarity institutions, to meet the demand of those who need it the most. The report of the High-Level Task-Force on Investing in Social Infrastructure in Europe(11) has identified a total investment gap of at least EUR 1,5 trillion for the period between 2018 and 2030 in social infrastructure and services, including for education, training, health and housing, which call for support, including at the Union level. Therefore, the collective power of public, commercial and philanthropic capital, as well as support from alternative types of financial providers such as ethical, social and sustainable actors, and from foundations, should be harnessed to support the social market value chain development and a more resilient Union.

(18)  The InvestEU Fund should operate under four policy windows, mirroring the key Union policy priorities, namely sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation: SMEs; and social investment and skills.

(19)  Each policy window should be composed of two compartments, that is to say an EU compartment and a Member State compartment. The EU compartment should address Union-wide or Member State specific market failures or sub-optimal investment situations, including those relating to Union policy objectives. The Member State compartment should address market failures or suboptimal investment situations in one or several Member States. In addition, it should be possible for Member States to contribute to the Member State compartment in the form of guarantees or cash. The EU and Member State compartments should be used, where appropriate, in a complementary manner to support a financing or investment operation, including by combining support from both compartments. Regional authorities should be able to transfer into the InvestEU Fund via the Member States a share of the funds under shared management that they manage, which would be ring-fenced for InvestEU projects within the same region. Actions supported from the InvestEU Fund through either EU or Member State compartments should not duplicate or crowd out private financing or distort competition in the internal market.

(20)  The Member State compartment should be specifically designed to allow the use of funds under shared management to provision a guarantee issued by the Union. That possibility would increase the added value of the Union backed budgetary guarantee by providing it to a wider range of financial recipients and projects and diversifying the means of achieving the objectives of the funds under shared management, while ensuring a consistent risk management of the contingent liabilities by implementing the guarantee given by the Commission under indirect management. The Union should guarantee the financing and investment operations foreseen by the guarantee agreements concluded between the Commission and implementing partners under the Member State compartment, the Funds under shared management should provide the provisioning of the guarantee, following a provisioning rate determined by the Commission in agreement with the Member State based on the nature of the operations and the resulting expected losses, and the Member State and/or the implementing partners or private investors would assume losses above the expected losses by issuing a back-to-back guarantee in favour of the Union. Such arrangements should be concluded in a single contribution agreement with each Member State that voluntarily chooses such option. The contribution agreement should encompass the one or more specific guarantee agreements to be implemented within the Member State concerned. The setting out of the provisioning rate on a case by case basis requires a derogation from [Article 211(1)] of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No XXXX(12) (the 'Financial Regulation'). This design provides also a single set of rules for budgetary guarantees supported by funds managed centrally or by funds under shared management, which would facilitate their combination.

(21)  The InvestEU Fund should be open to contributions from third countries that are members of the European Free Trade Association, acceding countries, candidates and potential candidates, countries covered by the Neighbourhood policy and other countries, in accordance with the conditions laid down between the Union and those countries. This should allow continuing cooperating with the relevant countries, where appropriate, in particular in the fields of research and innovation as well as SMEs.

(22)  This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for other measures of the InvestEU Programme than the provisioning of the EU guarantee, which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of [reference to be updated as appropriate according to the new inter-institutional agreement: point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(13)], for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure.

(23)  The EU guarantee of EUR 40 817 500 000 (current prices) at Union level is expected to mobilise more than EUR 698 194 079 000 of additional investment across the Union and should be▌ allocated between the policy windows.

(23a)  Member States may contribute to the Member State compartment in the form of guarantees or cash. Without prejudice to the prerogatives of the Council in the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), one-off contributions by Member States in the form of guarantees or cash into the Member State compartment, or contributions either by a Member State or by national promotional banks classified in the general government sector or acting on behalf of a Member State into investment platforms, should in principle qualify as one-off measures within the meaning of Article 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97(14) and Article 3 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1467/97(15).

(24)  The EU guarantee underpinning the InvestEU Fund should be implemented indirectly by the Commission relying on implementing partners with outreach to final intermediaries, where applicable, and final recipients. The selection of the implementing partners should be transparent and free from any conflict of interest. A guarantee agreement allocating guarantee capacity from the InvestEU Fund should be concluded by the Commission with each implementing partner, to support its financing and investment operations meeting the InvestEU Fund objectives and eligibility criteria. The risk management of the guarantee should not hamper direct access to the guarantee by the implementing partners. Once the guarantee is granted under the EU compartment to implementing partners, they should be fully responsible for the whole investment process and the due diligence of the financing or investment operations. The InvestEU Fund should support projects that typically have a higher risk profile than the projects supported by normal operations of implementing partners and that could not have been carried out during the period in which the EU guarantee can be used, or not to the same extent, by implementing partners without InvestEU support.

(24a)  The InvestEU Fund should have an appropriate governance structure the function of which should be commensurate with its sole purpose of ensuring the appropriate use of the EU guarantee, in line with ensuring the political independence of investment decisions and, where applicable, the principle of the market-driven nature of the InvestEU Fund. That governance structure should be composed of a Steering Board, an Advisory Board and a fully independent Investment Committee. The Commission should assess the compatibility of investment and financing operations submitted by the implementing partners with Union law and policies whereas the decisions on financing and investment operations should ultimately be taken by an implementing partner. Gender balance should be ensured in the overall composition of the governance structure.

(25)  An Advisory Board consisting of representatives of the Commission, of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group, of the implementing partners and of representatives of Member States, of one expert for each of the four policy windows appointed by the European Economic and Social Committee and of an expert appointed by the Committee of the Regions should be established in order to exchange information and for exchanges on the take-up of the financial products deployed under the InvestEU Fund and to discuss on evolving needs and new products, including specific territorial market gaps.

(26)  The Steering Board should set the strategic orientations of the InvestEU Fund and the rules necessary for its functioning, and should set out the rules applicable to the operations with investment platforms. The Steering Board should be comprised of six members, as follows: three members appointed by the Commission, one member appointed by the European Investment Bank, one member appointed by the Advisory Board from amongst the representatives of the implementing partners, who should not be a representative of the EIB Group, and one expert appointed by the European Parliament, who should not seek or take instructions from Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, from any Member State government or from any other public or private body and should act in full independence. The expert should perform his or her duties impartially and in the interests of the InvestEU Fund. Detailed minutes of the Steering Board meetings should be published as soon as they have been approved by the Steering Board and the European Parliament should be immediately notified of their publication.

(27)  Before a project is submitted to the Investment Committee, a secretariat hosted by the Commission and answerable to the chairperson of the Investment Committee should check the completeness of the documentation provided by the implementing partners and assist the Commission in assessing the compatibility of investment and financing operations with Union law and policies. The secretariat should also assist the Steering Board.

(28)  An Investment Committee composed of independent experts should conclude on the granting of the support from the EU guarantee to financing and investment operations fulfilling the eligibility criteria, thereby providing external expertise in investment assessments in relation to projects. The Investment Committee should have different configurations to best cover different policy areas and sectors.

(29)  In selecting implementing partners for the deployment of the InvestEU Fund, the Commission should consider the counterpart's capacity to fulfil the objectives of the InvestEU Fund and to contribute to it, in order to ensure adequate geographical coverage and diversification, to crowd-in private investors and to provide sufficient risk diversification as well as new solutions to address market failures and sub-optimal investment situations, and ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion. Given its role under the Treaties, its capacity to operate in all Member States and the existing experience under the current financial instruments and the EFSI, the EIB Group should remain a privileged implementing partner under the InvestEU Fund's EU compartment. In addition to the EIB Group, national promotional banks or institutions should be able to offer a complementary financial product range given that their experience and capabilities at regional level could be beneficial for the maximisation of the impact of public funds on the whole territory of the Union, and to ensure a fair geographical balance of projects, contributing to reducing regional disparities. The rules on the participation of national promotional banks or institutions in the InvestEU Programme should take into account the principle of proportionality with regard to complexity, size and risk of the implementing partners concerned to ensure a level playing field for smaller and younger promotional banks or institutions. Moreover, it should be possible to have other international financial institutions as implementing partners, in particular when they present a comparative advantage in terms of specific expertise and experience in certain Member States. It should also be possible for other entities fulfilling the criteria laid down in the Financial Regulation to act as implementing partners.

(29a)  Investment platforms should, where appropriate, bring together co-investors, public authorities, experts, education, training and research institutions, the relevant social partners and representatives of the civil society and other relevant actors at Union, national and regional levels.

(30)  In order to ensure that interventions under the EU compartment of the InvestEU Fund focus on market failures and sub-optimal investment situations , but, at the same time, satisfy the objectives of best possible geographic outreach, the EU guarantee should be allocated to implementing partners, which alone or together with other implementing partners, can cover one or more Member States. In the latter case, contractual responsibility of implementing partners remains limited by their respective national mandates. With a view to promoting improved geographic diversification, dedicated regional investment platforms focused on interested groups of Member States may be established, combining the efforts and expertise of pillar-assessed financial institutions with national promotional banks with limited experience in the use of financial instruments. Such structures should be encouraged, including with available support from the InvestEU Advisory Hub. At least 75 % of the EU guarantee under the EU compartment should be allocated to the EIB Group. Amounts exceeding 75 % of the EU guarantee could be made available to the EIB Group in the event that national promotional banks or institutions cannot fully use the remaining share of the guarantee. Likewise, amounts exceeding 25 % of the EU guarantee could be made available to other implementing partners in the event that the EIB Group cannot fully use its share of the guarantee. National promotional banks or institutions could fully benefit from the EU guarantee also in case they decide to access to it through the EIB Group or the European Investment Fund.

(31)  The EU guarantee under the Member State compartment should be allocated to any implementing partner eligible according to [Article 62(1)(c)] of the [Financial Regulation], including national or regional promotional banks or institutions, the EIB, the European Investment Fund and other multilateral development banks. When selecting implementing partners under the Member State compartment, the Commission should take into account the proposals made by each Member State. In accordance with [Article 154] of the [Financial Regulation], the Commission must carry out an assessment of the rules and procedures of the implementing partner to ascertain that they provide a level of protection of the financial interest of the Union equivalent to the one provided by the Commission.

(32)  Financing and investment operations should ultimately be decided by an implementing partner in its own name, implemented in accordance with its internal rules and procedures and accounted for in its own financial statements. Therefore, the Commission should exclusively account for any financial liability arising from the EU guarantee and disclose the maximum guarantee amount, including all relevant information on the guarantee provided.

(33)  The InvestEU Fund should, where appropriate, allow for a smooth and efficient blending of grants or financial instruments, or both, funded by the Union budget or by other funds, such as the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Innovation Fund with that guarantee in situations where this is necessary to best underpin investments to address particular market failures or sub-optimal investment situations.

(34)  Projects submitted by implementing partners for support under the InvestEU Programme, which include blending with support from another Union programmes, should as a whole also be consistent with the objectives and eligibility criteria contained in the rules of the relevant Union programmes. The use of the EU guarantee should be decided under the rules of the InvestEU Programme.

(35)  The InvestEU Advisory Hub should support the development of a robust pipeline of investment projects in each policy window providing for the effective implementation of geographic diversification with a view to contributing to the Union objective of economic, social, and territorial cohesion and reducing regional disparities. The Advisory Hub should pay particular attention to the necessity of aggregating small projects and bundling them into larger portfolios. The Commission should sign agreements with the EIB Group and other implementing partners in order to designate them as Advisory Hub partners. The Commission, the EIB Group and the other implementing partners should cooperate closely with a view to ensuring efficiency, synergies and effective geographic coverage of support across the Union, taking into account the expertise and local capacity of local implementing partners, as well as existing structures, such as the European Investment Advisory Hub. In addition, a cross-sectoral component under the InvestEU Programme should be foreseen to ensure a single-entry point and cross-policy project development assistance for centrally managed Union programmes. [Am. 5]

(36)  In order to ensure a wide geographic outreach of the advisory services across the Union and to successfully leverage local knowledge about the InvestEU Fund, a local presence of the InvestEU Advisory Hub should be ensured, where needed, complementing existing support schemes and the presence of local partners, with a view to provide tangible, proactive, tailor-made assistance on the ground. In order to facilitate the provision of advisory support at local level and to ensure efficiency, synergies and effective geographic support coverage across the Union, the InvestEU Advisory Hub should cooperate with national promotional banks or institutions, and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as benefit from and make use of their expertise. In Member States where national promotional banks or institutions do not exist, the InvestEU Advisory Hub should provide, where appropriate, and at the request of the Member State concerned, proactive advisory support on the establishment of such a bank or institution.

(36a)  The InvestEU Advisory Hub should provide advisory support to small projects and projects for start-ups, especially when start-ups seek to protect their research and innovation investments by obtaining intellectual property (IP) titles, such as patents.

(37)  In the context of the InvestEU Fund, there is a need to provide project development and capacity building support to develop the organisational capacities and market making activities needed to originate quality projects. Moreover, the aim is to create the conditions for the expansion of the potential number of eligible recipients in nascent market and local segments, in particular where the small size of individual projects raises considerably the transaction cost at the project level, such as for the social finance ecosystem. The capacity building support should therefore be complementary and additional to actions undertaken under other Union programmes that cover a specific policy area. An effort should also be made to support the capacity building of potential project promoters, in particular local service provider organisations and authorities.

(38)  The InvestEU Portal should be established to provide for an easily accessible and user-friendly project database to promote visibility of investment projects searching for financing with enhanced focus on the provision of a possible pipeline of investment projects, compatible with Union law and policies, to the implementing partners.

(39)  Pursuant to paragraphs 22 and 23 of the Inter-institutional agreement for Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016(16), there is a need to evaluate the InvestEU Programme on the basis of information collected through specific monitoring requirements, while avoiding overregulation and administrative burdens, in particular on Member States. These requirements, where appropriate, can include measurable indicators, as a basis for evaluating the effects of the InvestEU Programme on the ground.

(40)  A solid monitoring framework, based on output, outcome and impact indicators should be implemented to track progress towards the Union's objectives. In order to ensure accountability to European citizens, the Commission and the Steering Board should report annually to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress, impact and operations of the InvestEU Programme.

(41)  Horizontal financial rules adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union apply to this Regulation. These rules are laid down in the Financial Regulation and determine in particular the procedure for establishing and implementing the budget through grants, procurement, prizes, indirect implementation, and provide for checks on the responsibility of financial actors. Rules adopted on the basis of Article 322 TFEU also concern the protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States, as the respect for the rule of law is an essential precondition for sound financial management and effective EU funding.

(42)  Regulation (EU, Euratom) No [the new FR] applies to InvestEU Programme. It lays down rules on the implementation of the Union budget, including the rules on budgetary guarantees.

(43)  In accordance with the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(17), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95(18), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(19) and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939(20), the financial interests of the Union are to be protected through proportionate measures, including the prevention, detection, correction and investigation of irregularities and fraud, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, the imposition of administrative sanctions. In particular, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 and Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out administrative investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) may investigate and prosecute fraud and other criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council(21). In accordance with the Financial Regulation, any person or entity receiving Union funds is to fully cooperate in the protection of the Union’s financial interests, to grant the necessary rights and access to the Commission, OLAF, the EPPO and the European Court of Auditors and to ensure that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights.

(44)  Third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes in the framework of the cooperation established under the EEA agreement, which provides for the implementation of the programmes by a decision under that agreement. Third countries may also participate on the basis of other legal instruments. A specific provision should be introduced in this Regulation to exclude off-shore companies and companies based in “non-cooperating” countries, and to grant the necessary rights for and access to the authorising officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) as well as the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences and guarantee the right of the Union to ensure financial management and to protect its financial interests.

(45)  Pursuant to [reference to be updated as appropriate according to a new decision on OCTs: Article 88 of Council Decision 2013/755/EU], persons and entities established in overseas countries and territories (OCTs) are eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of InvestEU Programme and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant OCT is linked.

(46)  In order to supplement the non-essential elem