Commission welcomes the political agreement on the Common Provisions Regulation for shared management funds

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached last night between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) for shared management funds, including for the EU cohesion policy funds. This is the second file related to cohesion policy whose trilogue negotiations are concluded pending the final approval of the legal texts by the European Parliament Plenary and the Council.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I welcome the political agreement on the Common Provisions Regulation that sets out common provisions for eight shared management funds. Europeans everywhere are counting on almost 350 billion euro of cohesion policy resources to be directed as soon as possible to ensure a fair, cohesive and convergent recovery. The political agreement reached confirms that all the ‘cohesion institutional actors’ have done their part to ensure that cohesion policy funding can be disbursed on time. I encourage everyone else to continue moving in the right direction.

The CPR provides the policy framework necessary to ensure that shared management funds continue to fulfil the Treaty objective of promoting convergence and supporting the least developed parts of the EU. As the main legal basis for cohesion policy, the CPR ensures the means to address the emerging economic and social challenges through higher flexibility in terms of transferring resources and extended capacity to address future crises.

The main elements of the compromise include:

  • Channelling public investments at national, regional and local level towards a smarter, greener and more social Europe.
  • Enabling conditions to ensure that the investment environment for the EU support is well prepared upfront. Member States must meet these conditions to be able to invest EU funds and make the most of them. An example is the compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The partnership principle, implying close cooperation between European, national, regional and local levels, as an important element at all stages of the implementation of EU funding.
  • Higher flexibility is given for transfers within cohesion policy funds and also between regions, whilst protecting the allocations of the least developed ones.
  • Key EU co-financing rates are set at 85% for less developed regions (whose GDP is less than 75% of the EU-27 average), 60% for transition regions (whose GDP is between 75% and 90% of the EU average) and 40% for more developed regions (GDP over 90% of the EU average).
  • The de-commitment rule is fixed at n+3 also for 2021-2026. At the beginning of each programming period, funding is allocated to each programme. One-seventh of the funding is then committed to the programme each year. The n+3 rule means that these funds must be spent by the end of the third year after their commitment to the programme.
  • The allocation method takes into account GDP per capita, youth unemployment and migration.
  • Nearly 80 simplification measures, such as heavy reporting being replaced by an automatic and more frequent transmission of comprehensive data.Simplified rules will allow for a greater empowerment of local, urban and territorial authorities in the management of EU funds.

Next steps

On 10 November 2020, a political agreement was reached between the European Parliament, EU Member States in the Council as well as the Commission on the next long-term EU budget and NextGenerationEU. As a next step, the legal adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) Regulation, the NextGenerationEU regulation along with the amendment of the Own Resources Decision is now urgently needed. 

Once adopted, the EU’s long-term budget, coupled with the NextGenerationEU initiative, which is a temporary instrument designed to drive the recovery of Europe, will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget. A total of €1.8 trillion will help rebuild a post-coronavirus Europe. It will be a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.

Background

The CPR provides a joint legal framework for eight shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and, as new elements compared to 2014-2020, the Just Transition Fund, and financial rules for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Border Management and Visa Instrument and the Internal Security Fund. It no longer covers the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development, except for some provisions that could be applicable to that Fund (e.g. financial instruments, territorial development).

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