Stellungnahme des Ausschusses: Specific provisions for the 2014-2020 cooperation programmes supported by the European Neighbourhood Instrument and under the European territorial cooperation goal, following programme implementation disruption
- The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports the approach by the European Commission, Parliament and Council to do everything necessary for approving the foreseen regulation as soon as possible and urges getting it into force no later than in the beginning of November 2022.
- The EESC welcomes the fast action of the EU institutions and the needed flexibility in relation to running projects right after Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. Fast action was the only way to stay in line with EU values and principles.
- The EESC supports the aim to provide flexibility in amending the purpose of ongoing projects in order to reflect on the emerging needs by giving necessary flexibility to managing authorities and providing them with legal certainty that the projects are ran and pursued according to the rules and there will not be a lot of limitations as far as the audit is concerned. This is of special importance as the regulation will be applied retroactively from the beginning of the full scale war.
- The EESC reminds of the new realities in the last months of the war against Ukraine. With Ukraine’s EU candidate status and the growing need for reconstruction and preparation for the winter in Ukraine, even more flexibility in eligible activities and wider definition of cross-border/regional cooperation activities for ongoing and planned projects should be granted as foreseen in the proposed changes in the regulation.
- Considering the suspension of funding to authorities of the Russian Federation and Belarus and related suspension of cross-border cooperation with the Russian Federation and Belarus, the EESC advances the idea of doing everything possible for transferring funds initially intended for these cooperation programmes for cooperation with Ukraine.