Main political goals:
to oppose the decision to move maritime cross-border cooperation from component 1 "cross border" to component 2 "transnational";
to defend the increase the budget for traditional territorial cooperation (components 1 and 4) to up to 3% of the cohesion budget and to establish an additionalspecific reserve of 0.3% of the cohesion budget for interregional innovation investments;
to oppose to reducing EU cofinancing rates from 85% to 70%.
**The CoR opinion on European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) had considerable impact on the final position of the REGI Committee, which took on board the proposal for a new Article on interregional innovation investments (III) that is separated from the traditional components. The CoR was thus the driver of a solution on the interregional innovation investments (III) that was not initially endorsed by any stakeholder. Despite the initial intentions in the EP to completely delete component 5 from ETC, the final position corresponds to the solution proposed by the CoR rapporteur. Both institutions adopted the position that the budget for ETC should represent 3% of the cohesion budget for components 1-4, with an additional 0.3% for III. There is also alignment on levels of co-financing, and on increased levels of pre-financing. Finally, the reintegration of maritime cooperation under component 1 and the maintenance of Interreg Europe, which have been demanded by many stakeholders, have also been supported by the CoR and the co-legislator.
The Report of the REGI Committee of the European Parliament on European Territorial Cooperation – Comparison with the CoR Opinion
Commission Proposal 29.05.2018
Opinion adopted in Plenary (CoR) 04.12.2018 Approved with 3 votes against
Vote in REGI Committee (EP) 03.12.2018 Approved unanimously
Vote in Plenary (EP) 16.01.2019 – 1st reading/single reading
16.01.2019 – Matter referred back to the committee
Overall assessment and key issues
The budget attributed globally is slightly higher than the opinion adopted by the Committee of the Regions, but the spirit is exactly the same: the solution 3% (components 1-4) + 0,3% (III). Naturally, this means that each component under the EP report receives slightly more money – but these are financial details.
The reservations shown by the EP concerning the III also coincide with those from the CoR: the III may be important, but they cannot be seen neither as a model for future reform of ETC (especially concerning direct management) nor as a cash reserve to benefit only a pre-determined group of regions.
There is also alignment on levels of co-financing, and on (probably even more important for organisations on the field, but less visible politically) increased levels of prefinancing.
There was also convergence in other, well publicized, but less controversial issues, such as the reintegration of maritime cooperation under component 1 and the maintenance of Interreg Europe.
The cooperation between the CoR and the EP teams was very good, with common work being developed since July.
Nevertheless, the most outstanding achievement from the CoR Rapporteur and her team was in being the drivers of a solution on the interregional innovation investments (III) that was not initially endorsed by hardly any stakeholder, and ending with it being the solution adopted both first by the CoR and later on by the EP.
Despite the initial intentions in the EP to completely delete component 5 from ETC and transferring it to the ERDF regulation, the final position lands exactly in what the CoR Rapporteur, Ms Maupertuis had proposed and the Committee endorsed – a new article 15 for interregional innovation investments (III) that is separated from the traditional components but still is saved from deletion.
Assessment of the Report of the REGI Committee of the European Parliament on specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg) supported by the European Regional Development Fund and external financing instruments
in view of the Plenary vote of January 2019
Reference Topic Comment
Recital 1 Enlarging the types of regions specifically mentioned In line with CoR position
Recital 3 Mention to cohesion, multi-level governance and partnership principles, and place-based approaches In line with CoR position
Recital 8 Maintenance of Interreg Europe In line with CoR position
Recitals 10a, 18 Support to regions that become external borders due to Brexit In line with CoR position
Recital 14a Support to OCT's In line with CoR position
Recital 21, 24, 25a, 30a Simplification, reduction of administrative burdens, avoidance of gold-platting and flexibility in management of funds In line with CoR position
Recital 22a, 23 Support to small and people-to-people projects In line with CoR position
Recital 27 Further roles to be given to EGTCs In line with CoR position
Recital 36a Financing provided in support of ETC projects is able to be block-exempted from state aid rules In line with CoR position
Article 2 Eligibility of Euroregions In line with CoR position
Article 3 • Maritime cooperation inside CB cooperation
• Capacity building, good practices
• Urban development
• Support to CBM
• Deletion of III All in line with CoR position (most of them coincide, those that don't, like the support to CBM, should constitute no problem for the CoR)
Article 9 Budget:
TOTAL: EUR 11 165 910 000
EUR 7 500 mil. for CB cooperation
EUR 1 973 mil. for transnational
EUR 357 mil. for outermost regions
EUR 365 mil. interregional cooperation
EUR 970 mil. for III (former Comp.5)
Total: 10 970 millions:
EUR 7 236 mil. for CB cooperation;
EUR 1 929 mil. for transnational
EUR 272 mil. for outermost regions;
EUR 563 mil. for interregional cooperation
EUR 970 mil. for III (former Comp.5)
Article 13 Co-financing rate: 80% (EC: 70%) CoR proposed to keep the current 85%
Article 14 Cooperation between citizens, including people-to-people projects, civil society actors and institutions to resolve obstacles in border regions No amendment, but in line with CoR position
Article 15 a Component 5 is transferred to a new article 15 This solution was first defended by CoR rapporteur, Mme Maupertuis and integrates the final opinion
Article 16 More relevance to macro-regional strategies In line with CoR position
Articles 19 and 28 Increased consultation of LRAs In line with CoR position
Article 24 Eligibility of OCTs and Euroregions In line with CoR position
Article 49 Prefinancing increased to 3% in the first year and 2,25% in subsequent years. CoR's position was more cautious, but the increase of prefinancing is the final goal.
Article 61 Deletion of mention to III Same amendment as CoR
Article 62a ETC projects are compatible with the internal market and are not subject to the notification requirements of Article 108(3) TFEU. Same amendment as CoR
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- sincerely welcomes the new regulation on European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) for the 2021 2027 programming period and is pleased that this founding policy of the EU is being made more visible through this dedicated regulation;
- regrets the Commission's proposal to reduce the ETC budget from 2.75% to 2.5% and is opposed to reducing EU co-financing rates from 85% to 70%;
- regrets that the budgets for both component 1 "cross-border cooperation" and component 4 on traditional "interregional cooperation" have been severely reduced;
- opposes the decision to move maritime cross-border cooperation from component 1 "cross border" to component 2 "transnational";
- endorses the CPR rapporteurs' proposal to increase the budget for traditional territorial cooperation (components 1 and 4) to up to 3% of the cohesion budget for interregional innovation investments, a new initiative which is of high added value;
- emphasises that, while interregional innovation investments must give priority to excellence, they must also boost territorial cohesion by helping less innovative regions to become involved in the drive to achieve European interregional innovation;
- considers that the Commission proposal in Annex XXII of the CPR is arbitrary in prioritising financing for border regions at least half of whose population lives less than 25 km from the border and entirely rejects it for that reason;