The Bundesrat

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the Just Transition Fund

Scrutiny details

Subsidiarity deadline: 30/07/2020
Scrutiny Information

Scrutiny date: 13/03/2020

Subsidiarity Concern:

No Important information to exchange

No Veto

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  Political Dialogue

13/03/2020 | Scrutiny results - COM20200022

The Bundesrat welcomes the Commission's initiative supporting regions financially with the Just Transition Fund (JTF), that will be most affected by the changes necessary for a climate-neutral economy by 2050. As in Germany the regions that will be hit the most by economic and social side effects of the transition towards climate neutrality are those regions that are currently preparing the phasing out of coal mining, the Bundesrat calls to ensure that these regions can profit from funding of the JTF.

Given the fact that the Commission has amended its proposal on the Regulation laying down common provisions on EU-funds of the cohesion policy in order to include the JTF, the Bundesrat calls on the Commission to ensure the financing of the JTF will not be to the disadvantage of established EU-cohesion funds. The proposal is presented at a moment, when negotiations on the future MFF as well as on operational programmes (OPs) have already quite advanced. Additional requirements will not contribute to an on-time start of the funding period starting in 2021. Therefore, JTF-negotiations need to be conducted with high priority and should be finished ahead of the start of the new funding period. OPs are in the Bundesrat’s view the most important tools in strategic steering within one region. Hence, it is important to ensure a smooth interaction of JTF with other funds like EFRE and ESF+. The idea of the Commission that regions shall submit exhaustive lists of projects already when submitting territorial plans (cf. art. 7 para. 2 of the proposal) is neither appropriate nor feasible.

The Bundesrat clearly objects to the provision foreseen in article 6 para. 2 of the proposal, stipulating an obligatory and und unilateral transfer of money from EFRE and ESF+ towards JTF. Such transfer is going to reduce flexibility of the financial planning of new funds considerably, especially for economically underdeveloped regions, that will not profit from JTF-funding. Transfers from EFRE towards JTF seem to be difficult also in the context of the latest MFF-negotiation box from December 2019, as the required quota of 30 % for the political goal 2 (“A more greener Europe”) and the JTF-leverage will limit flexibility and individual requirements of financing in regions by EFRE.

In the Bundesrat’s view, the allocation of funds should be more transparent. Therefore, it calls on the Commission to revise Annex I of the proposal. The Bundesrat states that JTF will create a system for programming, administration and control, as well as monitoring and reporting, which will lead to heavy additional administrative burden which do not correspond to the funding of JTF itself. Such requirements will lead to considerable delay of the execution of the funds. Instead, the Bundesrat suggests including JTF-funding in the general system of administration, reporting and control of EFRE and ESF+ funds. Thus would only require an adjustment of duration of EFRE and ESF+ projects. An additional, annual meeting with the Commission on the implementation of JTF would become obsolete.

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