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9.6.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 175/7

II
(Preparatory Acts)

COMMISSION
Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) amending Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 laying down
general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European
networks

(98/C 175/07)

(Text with EEA relevance)

COM(1998) 172 final — 98/0101(SYN)

(Submitted by the Commission on 19 March 1998)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, (3)ÙWhereas provision should be made so that certain
projects related to more than one Member State, or
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European contributing strongly to the broader trans-European
Community, and in particular the third paragraph of interest, including those with an important environ-
Article 129d thereof, mental dimension, may receive an increased level of
support;

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,


(4)ÙWhereas it is desirable, in order to increase trans-
Having regard to the opinion of the Economical and parency and to meet expectations for projects or
Social Committee, groups of projects having important financial needs
for a long period, that indicative multiannual
programmes in specific sectors or fields should be
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the drawn up; whereas those programmes should
Regions, indicate the total amount of support which could be
allocated for a given period to such projects or
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in groups of projects, and decisions should be taken to
Article 189c of the Treaty, in cooperation with the grant financial aid when they conform to the
European Parliament, relevant indicative multiannual programmes;

(1)ÙWhereas experience with the application of Council


Regulation (EC) No 2236/95Ø(Î) has demonstrated (5)ÙWhereas it is necessary to specify that bodies
that a number of amendments need to be made directly concerned with projects or groups of
thereto; projects and submitting applications for financial
aid, if they are enterprises, may be either public or
private; whereas it is necessary to specify the date
(2)ÙWhereas Community financial participation
by which the agreement of the Member State(s)
provided for under that Regulation may exceed the
concerned on an application submitted under the
limit of 50Ø% for studies undertaken on the
Regulation is to reach the Commission;
initiative of the Commission; whereas it is necessary
to facilitate the financing of certain projects by
including, among the possible forms of aid,
contributions to the formation of risk capital; (6)ÙWhereas projects or groups of projects should be
whereas it is desirable to use the financial resources able to benefit from successive financial assistance
provided under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 in decisions;
order to maximise the contribution from private
finance;
(7)ÙWhereas financial aids granted should be cancelled
if the actions concerned have not been started by a
(Î)ÙOJ L 228, 23.9.1995, p. 1. given date;
C 175/8 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9.6.98

(8)ÙWhereas it is necessary to include the activities of (b) subsidies of the interest on loans granted by the
the European Investment Fund among the European Investment Bank or other public or
Community financial instruments with which action private financial bodies;
under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 is required to
be coordinated;
(c) contributions towards fees for guarantees for
(9)ÙWhereas the Commission should be able to require loans from the European Investment Fund or
beneficiaries to provide evaluations of projects other financial institutions;
supported under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 or
the necessary information to allow the Commission (d) direct grants to investments in duly justified
to undertake its own evaluation; cases;

(10)ÙWhereas it is necessary to specify the manner in


which beneficiaries should publicise Community (e) grants or risk-capital participation, for
contributions; investment funds or comparable financial under-
takings with a priority focus on providing risk
(11)ÙWhereas, throughout the transitional period from capital for trans-European network projects;
1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001, all references
to the euro should be read as references to the euro (f) Community assistance under points (a) to (d)
as a monetary unit as referred to in Council Regu- shall be combined where appropriate, in order to
lation (EC) No .Ø.Ø./98 of .Ø.Ø. 1998 [on the intro- maximise the stimulus provided by the budgetary
duction of the euro]; resources deployed, which shall be used in the
most economical way.
(12)ÙWhereas Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 should
therefore be amended accordingly;
2.ÚÙThe forms of Community aid referred to under
points (a) to (e) shall be used selectively to take
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
account of the specific characteristics of the various
types of network involved and to ensure that such
Article 1 aid does not cause distortions of competition
between undertakings in the sector concerned.
Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 is hereby amended as
follows:
3.ÚÙThe Commission shall seek to maximise the
1.ÙArticle 3 is deleted. multiplier effect of the financial resources provided
for by this Regulation by promoting recourse to
private sources of financing.’
2.ÙArticle 4 is replaced by the following:

‘Article 4 3.ÙThe following subparagraph is added to Article 5(3):

‘However in the case of projects related to more


Forms of aid
than one Member State, or contributing strongly to
the broader trans-European interest, including those
1.ÚÙCommunity aid for projects may take one or having an important environmental dimension, the
several of the following forms: total amount of Community aid under this Regu-
lation may reach 20Ø% of the total investment cost’.
(a)Ùco-financing of studies related to projects,
including preparatory, feasibility and evaluation
studies, and other technical support measures for 4.ÙThe following Article 5a is inserted:
these studies.

Community participation may in general not ‘Article 5a


exceed 50Ø% of the total cost of a study.
Indicative multiannual programme
In exceptional cases, at the initiative of the
Commission and with the consent of the
Member States concerned, Community partici- 1.ÚÙWithout prejudice to the application of
pation may exceed the limit of 50Ø%, in Article 6 and in order to improve the efficiency of
particular for studies undertaken at the initiative the Community’s action, the Commission may, in
of the Commission; accordance with the procedure set out in Article 17,
9.6.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 175/9

elaborate by sector an indicative multiannual Article 5a, and within the indicative financial allo-
programme for granting financial resources (here- cations provided for in that programme, decisions to
inafter called ‘‘programme’’) on the basis of the grant aid shall be taken in accordance with the
guidelines referred to in Article 129c of the Treaty. procedure specified in Article 17. The Commission
The programme shall reflect, inter alia, information shall notify its decision directly to the beneficiaries
provided by Member States. and to the Member States’.

2.ÚÙA programme may be composed of projects of


7.ÙArticle 11 is amended as follows:
common interest and/or coherent groups of projects
of common interest in specific fields having
substantial financial needs over a long period. (a)ÙParagraph 3 is replaced by the following:

3.ÚÙFor each project or group of projects referred ‘3.ÚÙBudgetary commitments shall be carried
to in paragraph 2 the Commission shall establish the out on the basis of decisions to grant aid taken
indicative global amounts for the granting of by the Commission. The commitment of the
financial aid for the programme’s time period. total amount of aid shall be made when the
Commission adopts the decision to grant aid’.
4.ÚÙThe programme shall serve as a reference for
the annual decisions allocating the Community (b) A new paragraph 3a is inserted as follows:
financial resources set out in this Regulation. It shall
be revised at mid-term or in the light of the effective
progress of the project(s) or group(s) of projects, in ‘3aÚÙNotwithstanding the provisions of
accordance with the procedure set out in Article 17. paragraph 3, for interventions for which the
The programme shall also give an indication of other responsible authority is a Member State, whose
sources of financing for the projects concerned, in duration is equal to or greater than two years
particular from other Community instruments and and for which Community aid exceeds ECU 25
the European Investment Bank.’ million, commitments shall be made annually.
The first commitment shall be made when the
Commission adopts the decision granting
5.ÙArticle 8 is replaced by the following: financial aid. Commitments in respect of
subsequent annual instalments shall be based on
the initial or revised financing plan for the
‘Article 8 project and shall normally be made at the
beginning of each budget year and no later than
Submission of applications for financial aid 1 March of the current year, based on the
expenditure forecasts for the project for that
year’.
Applications for financial aid shall be submitted to
the Commission by the Member State(s) concerned
or, with the agreement of the Member State(s), by (c) Paragraph 7 is replaced by the following:
the public or private undertakings or body directly
concerned. The Commission shall take note of the
agreement of the Member State(s) concerned no ‘7.ÚÙThe Commission shall determine, follow-
later than in the course of the procedure set out in ing the procedures set out in Article 17, the
Article 17’. procedures, timetable and amounts for payments
of interest-rate subsidies, guarantee premium
subsidies and support in the form of grants or
6.ÙArticle 10 is replaced by the following: risk capital participation, for investment funds or
comparable financial undertakings with a
priority focus on providing risk capital for trans-
‘Article 10 European network projects’.

Grant of financial aid


8.ÙThe introductory phrase to Article 12(1) is replaced
by the following:
The Commission shall decide to grant financial aid
under this Regulation according to its assessment of
the application in accordance with the selection ‘In order to gurarantee successful completion of
criteria. With the exception of decisions concerning projects financed by this Regulation, Member States
projects identified in the relevant indicative and the Commission, each in its field of competence,
multiannual programme established pursuant to shall take the necessary measures to:’
C 175/10 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9.6.98

9.ÙIn Article 13, the following paragraph 2a is inserted: had to the Community laws in force. The
Commission may also require the beneficiary to
‘2aÚÙExcept in cases duly justified to the provide a specific evaluation on projects or groups of
Commission, aids granted to projects which have not projects supported under this Regulation, or to
started within two years following the date of their provide it with the information and the assistance
expected start, as indicated in the decision granting required to evaluate such projects.
assistance, will be cancelled by the Commission’.
5.ÚÙMonitoring shall be carried out, where appro-
10.ÙArticle 14 is replaced by the following: priate, by reference to physical and financial
‘Article 14 indicators. The indicators shall relate to the specific
character of the projects and their objectives. They
Coordination shall be arranged in such a way as to show:
The Commission shall be responsible for coordi-
—Ùthe stage of the project reached in relation to the
nation and coherence between the projects and,
plan and the operational objectives originally laid
where necessary, the programmes referred to in
down,
Article 5a(1), undertaken under this Regulation and
projects undertaken with the help of contributions —Ùthe progress achieved on the management side
from the Community budget, the European and any related problems.
Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund
and other Community financial instruments’. 6.ÚÙIn vetting individual applications for assistance,
the Commission shall take into account the findings
11.ÙArticle 15 is replaced by the following: of appraisals and evaluations made in accordance
with this Article.
‘Article 15
Appraisal, monitoring and evaluation 7.ÚÙProcedures for evaluation and monitoring, as
provided in paragraphs 4 and 5, shall be established
1.ÚÙThe Member States and the Commission shall in the Decisions approving the projects and/or in the
ensure that the implementation of projects under this contractual provisions relating to the financial aid.’
Regulation is subject to effective monitoring and
evaluation. Projects may be adapted according to 12.ÙThe second sentence of Article 16(2) is replaced by
monitoring and evaluation results. the following:
2.ÚÙIn order to ensure that Community aid is used ‘They shall ensure, in particular in the case of infra-
efficiently, the Commission and the Member States structure works, that directly visible display panels
concerned shall systematically monitor progress with are erected bearing the Community logo and the
projects, where appropriate with the cooperation of expression ‘‘Trans-European networks’’. In the case
the European Investment Bank or other appropriate of studies and/or any other documents concerning a
bodies. project, they shall ensure that they carry the
Community logo’.
3.ÚÙOn receipt of an application for aid, and before
approving it, the Commission shall carry out an
appraisal in order to assess the project’s conformity 13.ÙThroughout the text, the term ‘ecu’ is replaced by
‘euro’.
with the conditions and criteria laid down in
Articles 5 and 6. Where necessary, the Commission
shall invite the European Investment Bank or other Article 2
appropriate bodies to contribute to this appraisal.
This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day
4.ÚÙThe Commission and the Member States shall following its publication in the Official Journal of the
assess the manner in which the projects and the European Communities.
programmes have been carried out and evaluate the
impact of their implementation, in order to assess Point 13 of Article 2 shall apply from 1 January 1999.
whether the original objectives can be, or have been,
achieved. This evaluation shall, inter alia, cover the This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and
impact of projects on the environment, regard being directly applicable in all Member States.