May 16 2017

European Parliament asking questions

***UPDATE 26 June 2017: The EC and Council have now answered the MEPs: EC’s answer; Council’s answer.***

Three MEPs have co-signed a question to the Council and one to the European Commission on NER300. The MEPs are Tomasz Piotr Poręba (Poland ECR), Ruža Tomašić (Croatia ECR), Davor Škrlec (Croatia Verts/ALE). The questions were put on 7 April. The addressee must reply within six weeks (18 May).

To the Commission (E-002587-17):

NER 300 has awarded EUR 2.1 billion to projects, but the Commission has communicated little on how the scheme has functioned. There have been ad hoc presentations by the Commission at stakeholder conferences, as well as one before Parliament (ITRE hearing on 27 Nov 2013), and some information is made available in the impact assessment of Phase 4 of the EU Emissions Trading System (SWD(2015)0135).

Now that a successor scheme, the ETS Innovation Fund (NER 400) is being set up, likely to be even bigger and with wider scope, it is all the more important to report comprehensively on how NER 300 operated and whether it met its goal of hastening the commercialisation of innovative technology.

The Commission is therefore asked whether it is prepared to publish, at the earliest opportunity,

  • a report on the lessons learned in the implementation of NER 300, disclosing which projects are not going ahead;
  • the report on the verification of Eligibility Criteria Assessment, containing details of the innovative nature of the projects supported, or, if necessary to avoid the release of confidential information, a summary or redacted version of this report?

To the Council (E-002588-17):

not co-signed by Ruža Tomašić

The Climate Change Committee will soon be invited to mandate the Commission to change the NER 300 Decision. The changes aim at finding alternative uses for money that had been awarded to projects now known not to be going ahead. These are projects from the first call for NER 300 funding, launched in 2010.

In the light of the above, does the Council agree that it would be judicious to keep some of the money readily available to address possible successful challenges by project sponsors or their hosting Member States on the size of their awards, and, in consequence, that not all money should be committed to new uses?