Permanent Representatives Committee approves compromise on Cohesion package

29 October 2013, Last updated at, 18:36 EET
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

The Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER II) on October 29 in Brussels has approved the final compromise text based on the results of the negotiations last week with the European Parliament on the outstanding political issues of Cohesion policy legislative package which could constitute part of the overall agreement.

“The agreement on the Cohesion policy package is very important because citizens expect from us decisions unlocking more than 300 billion euros for the new generation programmes. The Lithuanian Presidency has always prioritized initiatives for growth and the Cohesion legislative package is one of the most essential parts of the multiannual EU budget for 2014–2020,” said chair of the COREPER ambassador Raimundas Karoblis.

The compromise resolves last outstanding issues in four areas: macroeconomic conditionalities, performance reserve, co-financing rates and pre-financing levels. 

In the area of macroeconomic conditionalities, although all the main elements of the concept were retained, the compromise clarified the application of the socio-economic (unemployment rate, poverty rate, contraction of the GDP) and other (programme cycle) factors determining the scope and level of suspensions, as requested by the European Parliament. It was decided to limit the suspension of payments in the corrective arm subject to the overall ceiling of 50 per cent and agreed that the European Parliament will be involved in the process of implementation of macro-economic conditionalities through structured dialogue procedure.

For the sake of the compromise, the performance reserve was reduced from 7 per cent to 6 per cent. To mitigate the pressure on the payment profile, the calculation methodology of pre-financing was modified, while maintaining the overall level of pre-financing during the period. As a compromise, the co-financing was increased for additional allocations for the outermost regions and Cyprus.

The Presidency was mandated by the COREPER to inform the European Parliament that the compromise text put on the table could constitute a part of an overall agreement between the two institutions.

If the Parliament approves this compromise, the final validation steps of the Cohesion policy legislative package could start, which means that all the regulations forming the Cohesion policy package could enter into force from the January 1, 2014. 

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