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Future of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation

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The European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) was established in 2006 by Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006. Thanks to this instrument, public entities from several Member States can come together and create a structure which has legal personality under European law. The EGTC is an important tool of “cross-border cooperation” which is part of Objective 3 of the current Cohesion Policy. Since 2006, 26 EGTC have been created (Source: EGTC Platform, Committee of the Regions).

Negotiations for the new programming period 2014-2020: an opportunity to revise the EGTC legislation

The European Parliament and the Council have been discussing the Commission’s proposal to set up a new framework for the EGTC instrument. Published in October 2011, the main modifications put forward in the Commission’s proposal are: the possibility for public undertakings and Member States to become members of an EGTC; changes in the content of the EGTC conventions; a simplification of the approval process; and adaptations to the Lisbon Treaty.

The Committee of the Regions asked for improvements in the proposal

The Committee of the Regions (CoR), which is responsible for keeping the register of EGTCs and running the EGTC Platform, published its latest opinion on the issue in February. The CoR welcomes the proposal from the Commission. Nevertheless, the CoR calls for more clarity regarding the criteria for approval of EGTCs. It also defends the speeding up of the inclusion of undertakings dealing with operations of services of general economic interest. Moreover, the CoR points to the fact that the idea of listing the national, regional and local laws that will apply to EGTC on a fixed convention would be counter-productive.

The CoR also demands the application of the new provisions to existing EGTCs and not only to those created after the implementation of the revised Regulation.

The CoR also calls for rapid adoption of the text without awaiting the finalisation of discussions on the legislative package, since it has no real implications for the EU budget or the multi-annual financial framework (MFF). The rapid adoption of the text would foster the creation of EGTCs (which are waiting for the new legislation).

In the European Parliament [2011/0272(COD)]: Committee stage

Joachim Zeller (EPP, DE) presented his report on the Commission proposal in the REGI committee meeting on 29 May. The draft report takes into account most of the points that have been raised by the CoR such as the inclusion of undertakings entrusted with the operation of services of general economic interest, or the impossibility to list the range of national and local laws that will apply to the EGTC. The report will be voted in the next REGI meeting on 11 July 2012.

Library Keysource on EGTC provides more information:

Library Keysource on the Future of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation / A. RICHERT , S. IONESCU, 30 May 2012

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