Council Adopts Measures to Boost Impact of Cohesion Policy
The Council of the European Union adopted on the 5th of December 2013 the regulation facilitating the use of Structural and Cohesion funds for the current programming period, which has already been approved by the European Parliament (late November) and the European Commission. The regulation aims to decrease the impact of the current economic crisis.
Regulation provides for two vital measures.
The first one is the increase of co-financing rates by 10% above the usual co-financing rates, to a maximum of 95%. This will apply to Cyprus, Greece, Ireland1 and Portugal (i.e., countries under EU’s financial assistance) until the end of 2015. The top-ups will not increase the total appropriations for those countries.
The second measure is that Romania and Slovakia will have one year more time to use the commitments made in 2011 and 2012, meaning that these commitments can be used until the end of 2014 and 2015 respectively (n+3 rule). The purpose is to improve the absorption of the EU funds in Romania and Slovakia, as well as to reduce the risk of automatic de-commitment of funds from the current programming period.
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1Depending on when Ireland would exit its adjustment programme