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C 187 E/42 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 3.7.

2001

(2001/C 187 E/044) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3762/00


by Giovanni Pittella (PSE) to the Commission

(4 December 2000)

Subject: Additionality principle

The additionality principle, one of the basic rules governing the use of the Structural Funds, prohibits
regional authorities and national governments from using Community resources as a substitute that
dispenses them from their obligations to overcome regional imbalances and inequalities in development.

Only if European, national, and regional measures operate in synergy will it be possible to pursue
a comprehensive, effective policy to promote cohesion and growth in the different parts of the Union.

The spirit and the letter of the additionality principle have not always been observed in the past, although
it is only fair to recognise that almost all national, regional, and local authorities have taken an
extraordinary qualitative leap forward and, in overall terms, improved the effectiveness of the operations
financed in part by European resources.

Stricter procedures need to be laid down to ensure compliance with the additionality principle and
incorporated into the implementing provisions for Community support frameworks and single program-
ming documents.

Authorities should be punished if they fail to observe the additionality principle.

Can the Commission, and specifically its President, Mr Romano Prodi, say what steps the Community will
take to deal with the points set out above?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(26 January 2001)

On a Commission proposal the Council simplified verification of compliance with the additionality
principle during the 2000-2006 programming period. Changes were made in both certain procedural
rules and the monitoring timetable. Before launching the new programming the Commission drew up
a working document setting out uniform criteria for use in additionality verification for Objective 1 and
Objectives 2 and 3. This document is being sent to the Honourable Member and Parliament’s Secretariat.

Article 11 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on
the Structural Funds (1) requires verification for additionality at mid-term (before 31 December 2003) and
before 31 December 2005. The Commission will inform Parliament of the situation following each
exercise.

The above Regulation does not include any specific penalty for failure to meet the additionality
requirement. When it was adopted the Member States were strongly opposed to this. Article 11 does
however impose obligations on Member States: no Community support framework (CSF) or single
programming document (SPD) can be approved by the Commission unless an ex ante additionality
verification has been carried out. The Commission has also when approving CSFs and SPDs stipulated
that it will not approve mid-term reprogramming that includes assignment of the performance reserve
unless the Member State has sent the data required for the mid-term additionality verification.

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999.