European Parliament backs Juncker Plan but says NO to transport budget cuts <

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015 / Gerelateerde tags: CEF EFSI 

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While the Council of Ministers (ECOFIN) agreed with the transfer of 10% of the CEF budget (18% of transport budget excl. Cohesion Fund) to EFSI, the European Parliament rejected it, confirming their opposition to financing EFSI with part of the Horizon 2020 and CEF budgets.

INE is happy to see the European Parliament rejects cuts to the transport budget which is essential to realise important infrastructure works in the coming years. To protect EU budget investments earmarked for research and transport, the European Parliament proposes the European Commission should find alternative resources to finance the guarantee fund. The fund should be gradually filled via the annual budgetary procedure until it reaches €8 billion by 2022. The guarantee itself should be "irrevocable and unconditional", so as to reassure investors.

Furthermore, projects financed or guaranteed by EFSI should be economically viable, reflect EU priorities, be ineligible for EU budget or European Investment Bank finance, and have a higher risk profile than those that could be financed by the European Investment Bank.

The European Parliament also wants to see greater control over leadership of new bodies. The fund’s investment committee should have 8 members to reflect the EU’s geographical diversity and provide the widest possible range of expertise. The European Parliament also wants to approve the committee and the proposed managing director, whom it is entitled to hear along with the chair of the steering board. The steering board should have 4 members. Finally, the European Parliament wants the fund’s operations to be audited by the European Court of Auditors and subject to an annual vetting by the European Parliament. To assess how well the investment plan does at macroeconomic level, MEPs would like to see a scoreboard.

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Negotiations with the Council start on 23/4 with the aim of establishing a compromise to be voted in plenary as a whole in June, so as to have the fund up and running by mid-2015, in line with the European Commission plan.

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