Budgetary support for structural reforms should be provided via the future ESIF programmes, based on careful consideration of the costs of reforms. What falls outside the remits of cohesion policy should be funded by loans, not grants
Ownership of structural reforms should be ensured
Possible territorial impacts of structural reforms should be carefully considered
Local and regional authorities should be involved in the design and implementation of the structural reforms addressed by the National Reform programmes
The proposed European Investment Protection Scheme could be a first step towards a stabilisation function, addressing asymmetric shocks when this becomes impossible for the Member States concerned. The Scheme should not overlap, but complement, existing instruments like the ESIF and the EFSI
The CoR welcomes the Commission proposal to to set up a credit line or guarantee as a fiscal backstop, in the context of the Banking Union, in case the Single Resolution Fund is not sufficient
On 25 June 2018, the EP REGI Committee adopted by majority voting (15 in favour, 3 against, 1 abstension) the report presented by Ms Ruža Tomašić (ECR/HR), approving the redoubling of the envelope of the Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020, provided this does not come at expenses of the EU cohesion policy.
On 24 October 2018, the European Parliament rejected the Commission proposal to amend the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) to allow the use of the performance reserve (6% of the resources allocated to the ERDF, ESF and CF under the Investment for Growth and Employment Objective, the EAFRD and the EAMP) to support structural reforms rather than to finance the'specific priorities' contained in the partnership agreements, and called on the Commission to withdraw it.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- agrees with the Commission that one of the main objectives of the support programme should be to improve administrative capacity at national, regional and local levels of government in requesting Member States;
- stresses that … the SRSP should become permanent after 2020 only upon a positive assessment of its results in 2017-2020;
- stresses that there are many obstacles to the proper planning and implementation of … structural reforms in the Member States, including lack of ownership, political and institutional complexity of reforms, possible negative impacts on social groups and territories, lack of fiscal room ... Generally, ownership at national level for the implementation of CSR is still considered insufficient and this is in part due to lack of full involvement of local and regional authorities in the process as partners;
- suggests that budgetary support for structural reforms to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion and falling within the remit of cohesion policy should be supported by means of the future ESIF programmes while respecting the principles of subsidiarity, partnership and multilevel governance instead of setting up a separate funding programme;
- stresses that a stabilisation function preserving public investment levels in difficult times from large asymmetric shocks is of the utmost importance for the local and regional authorities; believes that the proposed European Investment Protection Scheme could be a first step towards such a stabilisation function; stresses that the Scheme may prove of limited use for Member States with scant fiscal room, which may find it difficult to borrow in times of crisis.