Magazine article Europe-East

Budget: Luxembourg Trims the Financial Perspective Plans Further

Magazine article Europe-East

Budget: Luxembourg Trims the Financial Perspective Plans Further

Article excerpt

Competitiveness.

For competitiveness for growth and employment, the Luxembourg Presidency now recommends just over 8% annual real growth compared to 2006 - instead of the earlier envelope of "between 8% and 11%". And, for the first time, it provides hard figures, as follows:

Cohesion.

For cohesion for growth and employment, it supplies no hard figures for commitment appropriations for the structural funds and the Cohesion Fund, but it does opt for the percentage of 0.37% of EU-27 GNI for economic and social cohesion, instead of the earlier envelope of 0.37%-0.38% and lower than the 0.41% requested by the Commission and the European Parliament.

On the allocation method for convergence regions, it formalises the earlier suggested percentages designed to reflect relative prosperity: 4.20% (instead of 4.0%-4.25%) for regions in member states whose level of GNI per capita is below 82% of the Community average; 3.36% (instead of 3.2%-3.4%) for regions in member states whose level of GNI per capita is between 82% and 99% of the Community average; and 2.52% (instead of 2.4%-2.55%) for regions in member states whose level of GNI per capita is over 99% of the Community average. And it selects euro 700 (instead of euro 300-700) per unemployed person.

On the allocation method for the Cohesion Fund, it specifies that the total theoretical financial envelope is obtained by multiplying average per capita aid intensity of 37.5 (instead of 35.8-38) euros by the eligible population.

The allocation method for the regional competitiveness and employment objective remains unchanged, but a qualification is added: "The share of each member state shall not however be less than two thirds of its share in 2006 of combined funding under Objectives 2 and 3."

On the allocation method for the territorial cooperation objective, the provisions on the cross-border component is qualified by the addition: "it being understood that aid intensity for regions along the former external terrestrial borders between the EU-15 and the EU-12 will be 20% higher than for the other regions concerned". And the shares of the cross-border, transnational and inter-regional components are modified to 75% (instead of 70%), 21% (instead of 25%), and 4% (instead of 5%).

Natural resources.

Under preservation and management of natural resources, the formulation has been modified to incorporate a tentative figure for imminent enlargement. It now reads: "The amounts for market-related expenditure and direct payments correspond to those agreed at the October 2002 European Council, expressed in 2004 constant prices, [and increased by [2] billion euros to take account of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania]."

The allocation for the new rural development instrument will be "[73-75] billion euros before modulation" in the new version, instead of euro 69-77 billion. …

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