Greece: fast-tracking over €35 billion in EU funding for jobs and growth
Parliament votes on Tuesday on a set of specific, one-off measures aimed at boosting the effective use of €35 billion earmarked for Greece for the EU 2014-2020 budget. This includes €20 billion from the European structural and investment funds and €15 billion from agricultural funds.
Iskra Mihaylova (ALDE, BG), the rapporteur and the chair of the regional development committee, wants the proposal to be adopted unchanged, as a matter of urgency. Her report has already been backed, almost unanimously and with no amendments, by the regional development committee. The Council also seems ready to approve the Comission's initial proposal if it is adopted unchanged by Parliament. Nonetheless, MEPs are still free under Parliament's rules to table amendments before the plenary vote.
These specific measures, if adopted, would:
- remove the need for national co-financing by increasing the EU contribution rate to 100% (this measure concerns the investments started in the 2007-2013 programming period);
- make available the total amount, including pre-financing and interim payments, immediately (for the same period); the last 5% of EU payments would normally be held back until 2017;
- increase by 7% the level of initial pre-financing available for cohesion policy programmes for the 2014-2020 period; this could make an additional €1 billion available.
These steps are justified by the unique situation in Greece, where the financial crisis has led to persistently negative growth and to serious liquidity problems. Public funds are lacking in particular for much-needed investment to boost growth and job creation.
The measures have to be adopted by the Council as well as by Parliament before they can enter into force. The Greek authorities will have to establish a mechanism to guarantee that the additional amounts made available under the period 2007-2013 are fully used for the beneficiaries and operations under the programmes.
Procedure:ordinary legislative procedure (co-decision)
Debate: Monday, 5 October
Vote: Tuesday, 6 October