Issue 25

July 2013

Changeovers in Presidency often mean one thing – that compromises progress between European Parliament and the Member States as negotiators seek to close down their differences on Commission proposals. This time it was no different and the final days of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Ministers saw “compromise” being the name of the game in sealing a range of funding and policy objectives between the European Parliament and representatives of the Member States.

European Parliament struck an agreement with Council of Ministers that will see at least €23bn from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the EU infrastructure fund that underpins European Cohesion Policy, go to energy efficiency and renewables projects from 2014 to 2020. The allocation is about 13% of the ERDF’s €175bn fund for the period 2014-20. More developed regions will have to invest at least 20% of their ERDF funds in low-carbon projects, poorer areas 12% and ‘transition regions’ no less than 15%.

EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik was at the headquarters of the European Investment Bank to discuss resource efficiency, green infrastructure and eco-innovation with EIB's President Werner Hoyer on the 18th June. Commissioner Potočnik underlined the crucial role of the Bank in financing resource efficiency, green technologies and the development of innovative financial instruments to support the environment. Water was though the main priority when the two met.