On Wednesday, October the 24th, the European Parliament has rejected the European Commission proposal of the pilot phase of the reform delivery tool for the period 2018-2020. The proposal would open possibilities for Member States to use the performance reserve of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This money, instead of contributing to existing programmes of cohesion policy, would be allocated to support structural reforms.
“We understand the added value of structural reforms in boosting innovation, investments and growth. The European Commission has recently increased the budget of the Structural Support Reform Programme by 80 million euro (248 million euro). The majority of the European Parliament supported this proposal and, by doing so, secured continuation of the tool in the coming years”, says Lambert van Nistelrooij, co- rapporteur of the SRSP.
The possibility to shift money from the cohesion performance reserve to structural reforms went too far. The proposal did not match the performance-orientation principle of Cohesion Policy 2014-2020. The performance reserve has to be allocated to the programmes and priorities which performed well and achieved their targets.
Moreover, the Commission will come forward with an alternative for a period post-2020, where there will be no link with a cohesion budget. This detachment mitigates the uncertainty that now threatened to occur.
Today, during the first reading in the Plenary Session, 666 MEPs agreed with my proposal to reject the Commission proposal and 74 were against.