OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017 to 2020 and amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) No 1305/2013

//OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017 to 2020 and amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) No 1305/2013

OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017 to 2020 and amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) No 1305/2013

European Parliament
2014-2019

Committee on Culture and Education

2015/0263(COD)
11.11.2016
OPINION
of the Committee on Culture and Education
for the Committee on Regional Development
on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017 to 2020 and amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) No 1305/2013
(COM(2015)0701 – C8-0373/2015 – 2015/0263(COD))
Rapporteur: Curzio Maltese

PA_Legam

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission proposal aims to establish a structural reform support programme which includes intervention in numerous areas, including education and training. Against a background in which intervention is geared to economic recovery, your rapporteur draws attention to the specific features of education, training, access to culture and to the cultural heritage, since the goals of these sectors cannot be determined by the economic objectives of the European Union.

As Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union also points out, education is a fundamental human right which everyone should be able to enjoy. It seeks the comprehensive development of the human dimension and, as pointed out by the EU ministers of education in the Paris Declaration of 17 March 2015, the ‘primary purpose of education is not only to develop knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes, but also to help young people to become active, responsible, open-minded members of society’. Your rapporteur considers it vital to support all measures which aim to improve systems and policies in the field of education, training and access to culture, which should be high-quality, public, free and universal. He therefore takes the view that the success of these policies cannot be measured through parameters which take into consideration the possible short-term economic impact.

In order to ensure that people can exercise their right to education in full, it has to be inclusive: every individual has to be able to have access to quality education, regardless of their social and economic background. In countries which have already received the technical assistance which the Commission has proposed to extend to all Member States, such as Greece and Cyprus, the economic adjustment programmes launched have repeatedly called for a reduction in spending on education and training, leading to the marginalisation of students from disadvantaged groups and thus undermining the guarantee of actual access to the right to education. This has been amply demonstrated also by a study carried out for the European Parliament, entitled ‘The impact of the crisis on fundamental rights across Member States of the EU’.

Your rapporteur expresses concern over the transfer of resources already allocated or committed to the sectors of education, training and culture to other Union funds and thus proposes that these funds be excluded from the programme’s financial envelope.

In addition, in keeping with the opinion expressed by the European Economic and Social Committee (ECO/398), your rapporteur stresses the importance of involving the social partners and all civil society stakeholders in the process of activating, supervising and monitoring the Structural Reform Support Programme.
AMENDMENTS
The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Regional Development, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Citation 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
Having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 13, 14 and 15 thereof,

Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(1) In accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health. In addition, as set out in Article 11 of the of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, environmental protection requirements must be integrated in the Union policies with a view to promoting sustainable development. (1) In accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health, taking into account the respect of cultural diversity. In addition, as set out in Article 11 of the of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, environmental protection requirements are to be integrated in the Union policies with a view to promoting sustainable development.

Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(7) Against this background, it is necessary to establish a Structural Reform Support Programme (‘the Programme’) with the objective of strengthening the capacity of Member States to prepare and implement growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds. The Programme is intended to contribute to the achievement of common goals towards obtaining economic recovery, job creation, boosting Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment in the real economy. (7) Against this background, it is necessary to establish a Structural Reform Support Programme (‘the Programme’) with the objective of strengthening the capacity of national and regional authorities to prepare and implement growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds. The Programme is intended to contribute to the achievement of common goals towards obtaining economic recovery, job creation, boosting Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating sustainable investment in the real economy.

Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(10) Further to a dialogue with the requesting Member State, including in the context of the European Semester, the Commission should analyse the request, taking into account the principles of transparency, equal treatment and sound financial management and determine the support to be provided based on urgency, breadth and depth of the problems as identified, support needs in respect of the policy areas envisaged, analysis of socioeconomic indicators, and the general administrative capacity of the Member State. The Commission should also, in close cooperation with the Member State concerned, identify the priority areas, the scope of the support measures to be provided and the global financial contribution for such support, taking into account the existing actions and measures financed by Union funds or other Union programmes. (10) Further to a dialogue with the requesting Member State, subject to the involvement context of the social partners and civil society, the Commission should analyse the request, taking into account the principles of subsidiarity, transparency, equal treatment and sound financial management and determine the support to be provided based on urgency, breadth and depth of the problems as identified, support needs in respect of the policy areas envisaged, analysis of socioeconomic indicators, and the general administrative capacity of the Member State. The Commission should also, in close cooperation with the Member State concerned, identify the priority areas, the scope of the support measures to be provided and the global financial contribution for such support, taking into account the existing actions and measures financed by Union funds or other Union programmes.

Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(10a) In accordance with Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, education is a fundamental human right and a common good. Therefore it needs to be high-quality, inclusive and access to all is required to be guaranteed. Consequently, the priority given to economic recovery has to be balanced with the need to give special attention to the sector of education. The function of education, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in particular with Article 26 thereof, is geared to the full development of the human personality; accordingly, its goals cannot be determined by the economic objectives of the Union alone. In order to create an appropriate socio-economic framework, fostering employability and improving access to education, support should not be measured exclusively in financial terms but also in terms of citizenship and personal development.

Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(13) The financial envelope of the Programme should consist of financial resources deducted from allocations for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission under Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council16 and Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 . In order to allow such deduction, it is necessary to amend those Regulations. (13) The financial envelope of the Programme should consist of financial resources deducted from allocations for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission under Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council16 and Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 . In order to allow such deduction, it is necessary to amend those Regulations. The financing of the Programme should not constitute a precedent for any future initiatives by the Commission to be financed from cohesion policy.
__________________ __________________
16 Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320). 16 Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320).
17 Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 487). 17 Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 487).

Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(17) In the event of unforeseen and duly justified grounds of urgency requiring immediate response, such as a serious disturbance in the economy or significant circumstances seriously affecting the economic or social conditions in a Member State going beyond its control, upon request of a Member State, the Commission should be able to adopt special measures, for a limited proportion of the annual work programme, in accordance with objectives and actions eligible under the Programme to support the national authorities in addressing the urgent needs. (17) In the event of unforeseen and duly justified grounds of urgency requiring immediate response, such as a serious disturbance in the economy or significant circumstances seriously affecting the economic or social conditions in a Member State going beyond its control, upon request of a Member State, the Commission should be able to adopt special measures, for a limited proportion of the annual work programme, in accordance with objectives and actions eligible under the Programme to support the local, regional and national authorities in addressing the urgent needs.
Justification
One of the key points of the EESC opinion stresses that the programme must be open to local and regional authorities, which must be directly involved in putting together the structural reform project in question, when concerned.

Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(20) To facilitate the evaluation of the Programme, a proper framework for monitoring the results achieved by the Programme should be put in place from the very beginning. A mid-term evaluation looking at the achievement of the objectives of the Programme, its efficiency and its added value at the European level should be carried out. A final evaluation should, in addition, deal with the long–term impact and the sustainability effects of the Programme. Those evaluations should be based on the indicators, measuring the effects of the Programme. (20) To facilitate the evaluation of the Programme, a proper framework for monitoring the results achieved by the Programme should be put in place from the very beginning. A mid-term evaluation looking at the achievement of the objectives of the Programme, its efficiency and its added value at the European level should be carried out. A final evaluation should, in addition, deal with the long–term impact and the sustainability effects of the Programme. Those evaluations should be based on the indicators, measuring the effects of the Programme. The implementation of the Programme should be subject to annual monitoring as well as to independent interim and ex-post evaluation on the basis of which the possible suspension after 2020 could be decided. Therefore, output indicators should be permitted to be added to the proposed set of indicators.

Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(21) In order to adapt the list of indicators measuring the achievement of the objectives of the Programme, in the light of experience during the implementation of the Programme, the power to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the amendment of the list. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council. (21) In order to adapt the list of indicators measuring the achievement of the objectives of the Programme, in the light of experience during the implementation of the Programme, the power to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the amendment of the list. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making. In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States’ experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(23) Since the objective of this Regulation, namely to contribute to the institutional, administrative and structural reforms in the Member States by providing support to national authorities for measures aimed at reforming institutions, governance, administration, economic and social sectors, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States alone, but can rather, by reason of their scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective, since the scope of the support would be mutually agreed with the Member State concerned. (23) Since the objective of this Regulation, namely to contribute to the institutional, administrative and structural reforms in the Member States by providing support to local, regional and national authorities for measures aimed at reforming institutions, governance, administration, economic and social sectors, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States alone, but can rather, by reason of their scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective, since the scope of the support would be mutually agreed with the Member State concerned.
Justification
One of the key points of the EESC opinion stresses that the programme must be open to local and regional authorities, which must be directly involved in putting together the structural reform project in question, when concerned.

Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. The Programme shall finance actions with European added value. To that effect, the Commission shall ensure that actions selected for funding are likely to produce results with European added value and shall monitor whether European added value is actually achieved. 1. The Programme shall finance actions with European added value. To that effect, the Commission shall ensure that actions selected for funding are likely to produce results with European added value and shall monitor whether European added value is actually achieved. Action should be closely monitored and feedback should be taken into account and implemented accordingly.
Justification
Some precision is needed on how and when the actions should be monitored before the interim and ex-post evaluation. This could be helpful to take the right decisions for the following actions and projects and bring the desired European added value.

Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(b) their complementarity and synergy with other Union programmes and policies at national, Union and international level; (b) their complementarity and synergy with other Union programmes and policies at national, regional, local, Union and international level;

Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(ea) the promotion of European values, in particular the solidarity which has been the base for all regional policies, including the empowerment of all citizens in regional and local decision-making processes.

Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2 – point e b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(eb) the promotion of intercultural dialogue through the education, training and creative sectors.

Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
The general objective of the Programme shall be to contribute to institutional, administrative and structural reforms in the Member States by providing support to national authorities for measures aimed at reforming institutions, governance, administration, economic and social sectors in response to economic and social challenges with a view to enhancing competitiveness, growth, jobs, and investment, in particular in the context of economic governance processes, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds. The general objective of the Programme shall be to contribute to institutional, administrative and structural reforms in the Member States by providing support to national, local and regional authorities for measures aimed at reforming institutions, governance, administration, economic and social sectors in response to economic and social challenges with a view to enhancing competitiveness, sustainable growth, jobs, investment and economic, social and territorial cohesion, including through assistance for the efficient and effective use of the Union funds.

Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. To achieve the general objective set out in Article 4, the Programme shall have the following specific objectives: 1. To achieve the general objective set out in Article 4, the Programme shall have the following specific objectives.
(a) to assist the initiatives of national authorities to design their reforms according to priorities, taking into account initial conditions and expected socio-economic impacts; (a) to assist the initiatives of national, regional and local authorities to design their reforms according to priorities, taking into account initial conditions and expected socio-economic impacts;
(b) to support the national authorities to enhance their capacity to formulate, develop and implement reform policies and strategies and pursue an integrated approach ensuring consistency between goals and means across sectors; (b) to support the national regional and local authorities to enhance their capacity to formulate, develop and implement reform policies and strategies and pursue an integrated approach ensuring consistency between goals and means across sectors;
(ba) to support competent authorities to improve systems and policies in the field of education, training and access to culture, which should be universal, of high quality, sustainable, inclusive, promote excellence, research and development at every level;
(c) to support the efforts of national authorities to define and implement appropriate processes and methodologies by taking into account good practices and lessons learned by other countries in addressing similar situations; (c) to support the efforts of national, regional and local authorities to define and implement appropriate processes and methodologies by taking into account good practices and lessons learned by other countries in addressing similar situations;
(d) to assist the national authorities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of human resources management, where appropriate, through definition of clear responsibilities and increase of professional knowledge and skills. (d) to assist the national, regional and local authorities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of human resources management, where appropriate, through definition of clear responsibilities and increase of professional knowledge and skills.
(da) to encourage the involvement of citizens in decision-making through consultations and to strengthen citizenship through participatory elements.
These objectives shall be pursued in close cooperation with Beneficiary Member States. These objectives shall be pursued upon the request of Beneficiary Member States and in close cooperation with them.
2. The specific objectives set out in paragraph 1 shall refer to policy areas related to competitiveness, growth, jobs and investment, in particular to the following: 2. The Member State shall, in consultation with its competent authorities, where applicable with its regional authorities, determine the policy areas it wishes to tackle in accordance with specific national and regional needs.
(a) public financial management, budget process, debt management and revenue administration;
(b) institutional reform and efficient and service-oriented functioning of public administration, effective rule of law, reform of the justice system and reinforcement of anti-fraud, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering;
(c) business environment, private sector development, investment, privatization processes, trade and foreign direct investment, competition and public procurement, sustainable sectoral development and support for innovation;
(d) education and training, labour market policies, social inclusion, social security and social welfare systems, public health and healthcare systems, asylum, migration and borders policies;
(e) policies for the agricultural sector and the sustainable development of rural areas;
(f) financial sector policies and access to finance.

Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(b) the provision of expert(s) (including resident experts), for a short or long period, to perform tasks in specific domains or to carry out operational activities, where necessary with interpretation, translation and cooperation support, administrative assistance and infrastructure and equipment facilities; (b) the provision of expert(s) (including resident experts), for a short or long period, to perform tasks in specific domains or to carry out operational activities, where necessary with interpretation, translation and cooperation support, administrative assistance and infrastructure and equipment facilities. Combining foreign with local experts can help maximize effectiveness, by making it easier to understand problems and design tailor-made solutions to the specific situation in the requesting Member States;

Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. A Member State wishing to receive support under the Programme shall submit a request for support to the Commission, identifying the policy areas and the priorities for support within the scope of the Programme as set out in Article 5(2). This request shall be submitted at the latest by 31 October of each calendar year. 1. A Member State wishing to receive support under the Programme shall submit, after consulting the social partners concerned and civil society, a request for support to the Commission, identifying the policy areas and the priorities for support within the scope of the Programme as set out in Article 5. This request shall be submitted at the latest by 31 October of each calendar year.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
2. Taking into account the principles of transparency, equal treatment and sound financial management, further to a dialogue with the Member State, including in the context of the European Semester, the Commission shall analyse the request for support referred to in paragraph 1 based on the urgency, breadth and depth of the problems identified, support needs in respect of the policy areas concerned, analysis of socioeconomic indicators and general administrative capacity of the Member State. Taking into account the existing actions and measures financed by Union funds or other Union programmes, the Commission in close cooperation with the Member State concerned shall identify the priority areas for support, the scope of the support measures to be provided and the global financial contribution for such support. 2. Taking into account the principles of subsidiarity, transparency, equal treatment and sound financial management, further to a dialogue with the Member State, including in the context of the European Semester, the Commission shall analyse the request for support referred to in paragraph 1 based on the urgency, breadth and depth of the problems identified, support needs in respect of the policy areas concerned, analysis of socioeconomic indicators and general administrative capacity of the Member State. Taking into account the existing actions and measures financed by Union funds or other Union programmes, the Commission in close cooperation with the Member State concerned shall identify the priority areas for support, the scope of the support measures to be provided and the global financial contribution for such support. The Programme shall remain voluntary for Member States and shall not involve compulsory and stigmatizing procedures.

Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 3 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
(c) the implementation of reforms by Member States, undertaken at their own initiative, notably to achieve sustainable investment, growth and job creation. (c) the implementation of reforms by Member States, undertaken at their own initiative, notably to achieve sustainable investment, growth, high quality education, research, training and job creation.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. The Commission may define the support envisaged for Beneficiary Member States in cooperation with other Member States, or international organisations. 1. The Commission may define the support envisaged for Beneficiary Member States in cooperation with other Member States, the social partners concerned, civil society or international organisations.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
2. The Beneficiary Member State, in coordination with the Commission, may enter into partnership with one or more other Member States which shall act as Reform Partners in respect of specific areas of reform. A Reform Partner shall, in coordination with the Commission, help formulate strategy, reform roadmaps, design high-quality assistance or oversee implementation of strategy and projects. 2. The Beneficiary Member State, in coordination with the Commission, may enter into partnership with one or more other Member States which shall act as Reform Partners in respect of specific areas of reform. A Reform Partner shall, in coordination with the Beneficiary Member State and the Commission, help formulate strategy, reform roadmaps, design high-quality assistance or oversee implementation of strategy and projects.

Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
3. The budgetary authority shall authorise the available annual appropriations within the limits of the Multiannual Financial Framework established by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013. 3. The budgetary authority shall authorise the available annual appropriations within the limits of the Multiannual Financial Framework established by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013, which shall guarantee appropriate resources in actions, plans, programmes and projects in education, training and culture.

Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. The Commission shall implement the Programme in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. 1. The Commission shall implement the Programme in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.
2. The measures of the Programme may be implemented either directly by the Commission or indirectly, by entities and persons other than Member States in accordance with Article 60 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. In particular, Union financial support for actions provided for in Article 6 of this Regulation shall take the form of: 2. The measures of the Programme may be implemented either directly by the Commission or indirectly, by entities and persons other than Member States in accordance with Article 60 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. In particular, Union financial support for actions provided for in Article 6 of this Regulation shall take the form of:
(d) grants (including grants to the Member States’ national authorities); (d) grants (including grants to the Member States’ local, regional and national authorities);
(e) public procurement contracts; (e) public procurement contracts;
(f) reimbursement of costs incurred by external experts; (f) reimbursement of costs incurred by external experts;
(g) contributions to trust funds; (g) contributions to trust funds;
(h) actions carried out in indirect management. (h) actions carried out in indirect management.
3. Grants may be awarded to Member States’ national authorities, the European Investment Bank group, international organisations, public and/or private bodies and entities legally established in any of the following: 3. Grants may be awarded to Member States’ local, regional and national authorities, the European Investment Bank group, international organisations, public and/or private bodies and entities legally established in any of the following:
(a) Member States; (a) Member States;
(b) European Free Trade Agreement countries which are party to the European Economic Area Agreement, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement. (b) European Free Trade Agreement countries which are party to the European Economic Area Agreement, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement.
The co-financing rate for grants shall be up to 100 % of the eligible costs, without prejudice to the principles of co-financing and no-profit. The co-financing rate for grants shall be up to 100 % of the eligible costs, without prejudice to the principles of co-financing and no-profit.
4. Support may also be provided by individual experts who may be invited to contribute to selected activities organised under the Programme wherever that is necessary for the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Articles 5. 4. Support may also be provided by individual experts who may be invited to contribute to selected activities organised under the Programme wherever that is necessary for the achievement of the specific objectives set out in Article 5 and a follow up to the monitoring activities/ procedures of their contribution should be duly envisaged.
5. In order to implement the Programme, the Commission shall adopt, by way of implementing acts, multi-annual work programmes. Multi-annual work programmes shall set out the policy objectives pursued through the envisaged support and the expected results, as well as funding priorities in the relevant policy areas. The multi-annual work programmes shall be further specified in annual work programmes, adopted by way of implementing acts, identifying the measures needed for their implementation, together with all the elements required by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. 5. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 16, with a view to supplementing this Regulation by establishing multi-annual work programmes. Multi-annual work programmes shall set out the policy objectives pursued through the envisaged support and the expected results, as well as funding priorities in the relevant policy areas. The multi-annual work programmes shall be further specified in annual work programmes, adopted by way of implementing acts, identifying the measures needed for their implementation, together with all the elements required by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.
5a. In order to plan the programmes, the relevant social partners and civil society be involved. The support activation process cannot be launched without consulting the relevant social partners and civil society.
6. To ensure timely availability of resources, the annual work programme may indicate that in the event of unforeseen and duly justified grounds of urgency requiring an immediate response, including a serious disturbance in the economy or significant circumstances seriously affecting the economic or social conditions in a Member State going beyond its control, the Commission may, on request by a Member State, adopt special measures in accordance with the objectives and actions defined in this Regulation to support the national authorities in addressing urgent needs. Such special measures may account only for a limited proportion of the annual work programme and shall not be subject to the conditions set out in Article 7. 6. To ensure timely availability of resources, the annual work programme may indicate that in the event of unforeseen and duly justified grounds of urgency requiring an immediate response, including a serious disturbance in the economy or significant circumstances seriously affecting the economic or social conditions in a Member State going beyond its control, the Commission may, on request by a Member State, adopt special measures in accordance with the objectives and actions defined in this Regulation to support the national regional and local authorities in addressing urgent needs. Such special measures may account only for a limited proportion of the annual work programme and shall not infringe point (ba) of Article 5 (1).

Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
The Commission and the Beneficiary Member States, within their respective responsibilities, shall foster synergies and ensure effective coordination between the Programme and other Union programmes and instruments, and in particular with measures financed by the Union funds. To this end, they shall: Without prejudice to point (ba) of Article 5 (1) the Commission and the Beneficiary Member States, within their respective responsibilities, shall foster synergies and ensure effective coordination between the Programme and other Union programmes and instruments, and in particular with measures financed by the Union funds. To this end, they shall:
(a) ensure complementarity and synergy between different instruments at Union and national levels, in particular in relation to measures financed by Union funds, both in the planning phase and during implementation; (a) ensure complementarity and synergy between different instruments at Union and national, regional and local levels, in particular in relation to measures financed by Union funds, both in the planning phase and during implementation;
(b) optimise mechanisms for coordination to avoid duplication of effort; (b) optimise mechanisms for coordination to avoid duplication of effort and cost;
(c) ensure close cooperation between those responsible for implementation at Union and national level to deliver coherent and streamlined support actions. (c) ensure close cooperation between those responsible for implementation at Union and national, regional and local level to deliver coherent and streamlined support actions.
The relevant multi-annual and annual work programmes may serve as the coordination framework, where support is envisaged in any of the areas referred to in Article 5(2). The relevant multi-annual and annual work programmes may serve as the coordination framework, where support is envisaged in any of the areas referred to in Article 5 and shall not infringe point (ba) of Article 5 (1).

Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
1. The Commission shall monitor the implementation of the actions financed by the Programme and measure the achievement of the specific objectives referred to in Article 5(1) in accordance with indicators set out in the Annex. 1. The Commission shall monitor the implementation of the actions financed by the Programme and measure the achievement of the specific objectives referred to in Article 5(1) in accordance with indicators set out in the Annex.
The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 16 concerning amendments to the list of indicators set out in the Annex. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 16 concerning amendments to the list of indicators set out in the Annex.
2. The Commission shall provide the European Parliament and the Council with an interim evaluation report, by mid of 2019, at the latest, and an ex-post evaluation report by end of December 2021. 2. The Commission shall provide the European Parliament and the Council with annual monitoring report and an interim evaluation report, by 31 December 2018, at the latest, and an ex-post evaluation report by end of December 2021.
3. The interim evaluation report shall include information on the achievement of the Programme’s objectives, the efficiency of the use of resources and the Programme’s European added value and assessment on whether funding in areas covered by the Programme needs to be adapted or extended after 2020. It shall also address the continued relevance of all objectives and actions. The ex-post evaluation report shall include information on the longer-term impact of the Programme. 3. The interim evaluation report shall include information on the achievement of the Programme’s objectives, the efficiency of the use of resources and the Programme’s European added value and assessment on whether funding in areas covered by the Programme needs to be adapted or extended after 2020. It shall also address the continued relevance of all objectives and actions. The ex-post evaluation report shall include information on the longer-term impact of the Programme and shall assess the Programme as a whole, both its weaknesses and its strengths.
3a. The implementation of the Programme shall be subject to annual monitoring as well as to independent interim and ex-post evaluation on the basis of which the possible suspension after 2020 could be decided. Therefore, output indicators maybe added to the proposed set of indicators.

Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of four years from 1 January 2017. 2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 12(5) and the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of four years from 1 January 2017.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
3. The delegation of power referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect on the day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force. 3. The delegation of power referred to in Article 12(5) and in the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect on the day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment
5. A delegated act adopted pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of the notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council. 5. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 12(5) and the second subparagraph of Article 15(1) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of the notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION
Title Establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017 to 2020
References COM(2015)0701 – C8-0373/2015 – 2015/0263(COD)
Committee responsible
Date announced in plenary REGI
2.12.2015
Opinion by
Date announced in plenary CULT
4.2.2016
Rapporteur
Date appointed Curzio Maltese
23.2.2016
Discussed in committee 20.6.2016
Date adopted 8.11.2016
Result of final vote +:
–:
0: 20
4
3
Members present for the final vote Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Silvia Costa, Mircea Diaconu, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Petra Kammerevert, Andrew Lewer, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Michaela Šojdrová, Yana Toom, Helga Trüpel, Julie Ward, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka
Substitutes present for the final vote Therese Comodini Cachia, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Emma McClarkin
Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote David Coburn, Ángela Vallina

2019-03-06T11:53:58+00:00November 11th, 2016|RAPPORTEUR|

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