European Commission

EC proposal to lift the suspension of commitments from the Cohesion Fund for Hungary

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council decision to lift the suspension of commitments from the Cohesion Fund for Hungary, after concluding that the country has taken the necessary action to correct its excessive deficit, in line with the Council Recommendation of 13 March 2012. More specifically, the Commission has concluded in its assessment that the 2012 budget deficit target of 2.5% of GDP is expected to be reached and the 2013 budget deficit is expected to be well below the 3% of GDP reference value, despite the slight weakening of the macroeconomic environment, as indicated by the Commission in its 2012 spring forecast. Source: European Commission

Commissioner Hahn agrees with Spanish authorities to accelerate payments for Cohesion Fund projects

On 21 May, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn reached an agreement with Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro in Madrid to accelerate payments for the closure of Cohesion Fund projects. This will release up to 939 million EUR which can be paid quicker to beneficiaries of environmental and transport projects, already completed. Furthermore the reprogramming of the current Cohesion Policy programmes was discussed in order to bring them in line with the Europe 2020 strategy on growth and jobs.

Exchange of views with Commissioner J. Hahn and with Danish Minister N. Wammen

On its meeting of 29 May 2012 the Committee on Regional Development will hold an exchange of views on the latest developments concerning the Legislative Package for Cohesion Policy with Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner on Regional Policy and an exchange of views on the state of play of the Danish Presidency of the Council of the EU with Mr Nicolai Wammen, Minister for European Affairs.

The exchange of views with the Commissioner is scheduled for 11.00-12.30. The exchange of view with Mr. Wammen is scheduled for 17:30-18:30.

ECA: EU Commission partially successful in correcting and improving Member States' management and control systems for Structural Funds

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) audit was mainly carried out on the basis of a review of 40 programmes in which significant management and control deficiencies had been identified. It aimed at assessing whether the Commission dealt in a satisfactory way with deficiencies identified in the Member States' management and control systems. The ECA concludes in its special report (No. 3/2012) that the Commission takes appropriate corrective actions when deficiencies in Member States' systems are identified, but the process to implementation is lengthy. The Commission had some success in ensuring that financial corrections were correctly applied, but was less successful in obtaining assurance that its actions led to improvements in Member States’ management and control systems

ECA finds that Structural and Cohesion Fund investments in transport infrastructure in seaports effective in only 11 out of the 27 projects

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) assessed the objectives and outputs of 27 randomly selected transport infrastructure projects in seaports which were co-financed between 2000 and 2006 through the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund. The Court found that only 11 out of the 27 projects were effective in supporting transport policy objectives. In addition, some constructions had not been completed, some were not in use and others will need considerable further investment before they can be put into effective use. The Court’s report puts forward various reasons to explain these findings and makes recommendations to address the shortcomings noted so as to improve future EU-spending in seaports.


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