Apr 25 2016

Money spread evenly to all countries?

Small member states, in particular, speak up in favour of maintaining the rules of NER300 that limited the amount of projects a single country could be awarded.

NER300’s rules related to spreading projects between countries were very soft. While it is true that Article 8 (4) stipulated “at least one […] project shall be funded within one Member State”, this was on condition that that project had already been selected as a winning project by the usual mechanisms of proposal evaluation. The rule was therefore redundant.

In favour of spreading the money
between many countries
Keen to allow the concentration of projects

Member States:

  • Hinted at in the European Council’s 23-24 Oct 2014 Conclusions, “Investment projects in all Member States, including small-scale projects, will be eligible”.
  • Stated in the MSR Decision reached between the European Parliament and Council, which was published in the Official Journal on 6 Oct 2015, “… with projects in all Member States including small-scale projects…”
  • Spelt out in the public consultation closing March 2015:
    • Estonia: “Estonia also believes that the new fund should still follow the principle of even geographic allocation of the available financing”
    • Czech Republic: “Also, regional distribution of beneficial projects among Member States should be promoted so that ideally every Member State has at least one project selected.” [Remark: NER300 contained this rule (see introductory paragraphs) but with a caveat that rendered it inoperable. The Czech Republic did not protest at its weak implementation.]
    • Anonymous member state: “The aspect of geographical balance in selection of projects should be strengthened.”
  • Stated at the Environment Council 26 Oct 2015: Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia
  • Fortum and Svebio both say, “There should not be any earmarking between Member States,” with Svebio adding, “The selection of projects should be solely based on their merits.”
  • Projekt21plus says, “For serious progress in innovation and in reaching a lower level of emissions, it should be free how many projects are supported by the new NER400 programme, even at the risk of concentrating several projects just in a few number of Member States.”
Stakeholders:

  • CEEP: “Countries with GDP below 60% of the EU average, should be given priority in access to such funds.” [Remark: This will be the explicit aim of a parallel ETS funding scheme, the Modernisation Fund, detailed in proposed new Articles 10c and 10d of the ETS]

The Impact Assessment says, “[The minimum of three projects per Member State] could be maintained or adjusted to 4 projects per Member State, dependent on other design features such as the maximum funding rate and the resulting total number of projects. This element will be subject to a future implementing measure and will be assessed in this context.”