COUNCIL OFBrussels, 9 June 2010
THE EUROPEAN UNION
10638/1/10 REV 1
REGIO 40 FIN 232 CODEC 520
"I" ITEM NOTE
to: Committee of Permanent Representatives (part 2)
No Cion prop.: 6254/10 REGIO 7 FIN 46 CODEC 98
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning European Union financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (2007-2010)
-Letter to the European Parliament
1.The Commission submitted the above-mentioned proposal to the Council on 5 February 2010.
3.DE delegation maintains its reservation on formal final adoption of the Regulation by the
Council due to pending internal national procedures linked with the legal base of the proposal.
This does not, however, in this particular case, preclude the Committee of Permanent
Representatives from agreement at this stage to proceed with a letter to the European
Parliament confirming the political agreement on this proposal.
4.The European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development adopted its report on the
Commission proposal on 3 June 2010. The amendment adopted by the Committee follows the
text of the general approach agreed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives, as
5.It is therefore suggested that the Permanent Representatives Committee:
-confirms that the Presidency can indicate to the European Parliament that, should
the European Parliament adopt the amendment to the Commission proposal, as set
out in the Annex to the attached draft letter, the Commission proposal thus
amended would be acceptable to the Council.
Brussels, xx June 2010
Mrs Danuta HŁbner Chair, European Parliament Committee on Regional Development BRUSSELS
Subject: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning
European Union financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (2007- 2010)
Dear Mrs HŁbner,
Following the informal contacts with the European Parliament, a draft overall compromise package
with regard to the above-mentioned Commission proposal was agreed today by the Permanent
I am therefore now in a position to confirm that, should the European Parliament adopt the
amendments to the Commission proposal in the exact form as set out in the compromise package
contained in the Annex to this letter, the Council would, in accordance with Articles 294 and 352 of
the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and subject to necessary parliamentary
procedures in the Member States, adopt the proposed Regulation in the form of the text thus
amended subject, if necessary, to revision by the legal linguists of both institutions.
ANNEX TO ANNEX I
Proposal for a
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
concerning European Union financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 175
and Article 352 (1) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission1,
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions2,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee3,
After transmission of the proposal to the national Parliaments,
Acting in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 294 and in Article 352 (1) of the
(2) The Union, recognising that the objectives of the Fund are a reflection of those pursued by
itself, has provided financial contributions to the Fund from 1989. For the period 2005 to
2006 EUR 15 million was committed from the Community budget for each of the years
2005 and 2006 in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 177/2005 of 24 January
2005 on Community financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland4. That
Regulation expired on 31 December 2006.
(3) The assessments carried out in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 177/2005
have confirmed the need for further support for activities of the Fund, while continuing
reinforcing synergy of objectives and co-ordination with Structural Funds interventions, in
particular with the Special Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and
the Border Counties of Ireland (hereinafter "the PEACE programme") set up in accordance
with Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general
provisions on the Structural Funds5.
(4) The peace process in Northern Ireland requires a continuation of Union support to the Fund
beyond 31 December 2006. In recognition of the special effort for the peace process, the
PEACE programme has been allocated additional support from the Structural Funds for the
period 2007 to 2013 pursuant to paragraph 22 of Annex II to Council Regulation (EC) No
1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund,
(6) The main purpose of this Regulation is to support peace and reconciliation through a wider
range of activities than those covered by the Structural Funds, and which extend beyond the
scope of the Union policy on economic and social cohesion.
(7) The Union contributions to the Fund should take the form of financial contributions for the
years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, thus terminating at the same time as the life of the Fund.
(8) In allocating the Union contributions, the Fund should give priority to projects of a cross-
border or cross-community nature, in such a way as to complement the activities funded by
the PEACE programme for the period 2007 to 2010.
(9) In accordance with the Agreement, all financial contributors to the Fund participate as
observers at the meetings of the Board of the International Fund for Ireland.
(10) It is vital to ensure proper co-ordination between the activities of the Fund and those
financed under the Structural Funds provided for by Article 175 of the Treaty, in particular
the PEACE programme.
(11) A financial reference amount, within the meaning of Point 38 of the Interinstitutional
Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the
Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management7 should be inserted in
(14) The Union support will contribute to reinforcing solidarity between the Member States and
between their peoples.
(15) Assistance from the Fund should be regarded as effective only in so far as it brings about
sustainable economic and social improvement and is not used as a substitute for other public
or private expenditure.
(16) Council Regulation (EC) No 1968/2006 of 21 December 2006 concerning Community
financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (2007 to 2010)8 established the
financial reference amount for the implementation of the Fund for the period 2007 to 2010.
(17) In its judgement of 3 September 2009 in Case C-166/07 (European Parliament v Council
and Commission)9 the Court of Justice of the European Communities annulled Regulation
(EC) No 1968/2006 as it was based only on Article 308 of the Treaty establishing the
European Community, ruling that both the third paragraph of Article 159 of the Treaty
establishing the European Community and Article 308 of the Treaty establishing the
European Community were the appropriate legal basis. However, the Court also ruled that
the effects of Regulation (EC) No 1968/2006 were maintained until the entry into force,
within a reasonable period, of a new regulation adopted on an appropriate legal basis and
that the annulment of Regulation (EC) No 1968/2006 must not affect the validity of
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
The financial reference amount for the implementation of the International Fund for Ireland
(hereinafter "the Fund") for the period 2007-2010 shall be EUR 60 million.
Annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limit of the
The contributions shall be used by the Fund in accordance with the Agreement of 18 September
1986 between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the International Fund for Ireland (hereinafter "the
In allocating the contributions the Fund shall give priority to projects of a cross-border or cross-
community nature, in such a way as to complement the activities financed by the Structural Funds,
and especially those of the PEACE programme operating in Northern Ireland and the Border
Counties of Ireland (hereinafter "the PEACE Programme").
The contributions shall be used in such a way as to bring about sustainable economic and social
improvement in the areas concerned. It shall not be used as a substitute for other public and private
The Commission shall, in co-operation with the Board of the Fund, determine appropriate publicity
and information procedures in order to publicise the Union contributions to the projects financed by
By 30 June 2008 at the latest, the Fund shall submit to the Commission its strategy for the closure
of the activities of the Fund, including:
(a) an action plan with projected payments and a foreseen winding up date;
(b) a de-commitment procedure;
(c) the treatment of any residual amounts and interest received at the closure of the Fund.
Subsequent payments to the Fund are conditional on the Commission's approval of the closure
strategy. If the strategy for closure is not submitted by 30 June 2008, payments to the Fund shall be
interrupted until the strategy is received.
1.The Commission shall administer the contributions.
2.Before paying out an instalment the Commission shall carry out an assessment of the Fund's
financial needs on the basis of the Fund's cash balance at the time scheduled for each payment. If
following that assessment, the Fund's financial needs do not justify payment of one of those
instalments, the payment concerned shall be suspended. The Commission shall review that decision
on the basis of new information provided by the Fund and shall continue payments as soon as they
are considered justified.
A contribution from the Fund may be allocated to an operation which receives or is due to receive
financial assistance under a Structural Funds intervention, only if the sum of that financial
assistance plus 40% of the contribution from the Fund does not exceed 75% of the operation's total
A final report shall be submitted to the Commission six months before the winding up date foreseen
in the strategy for closure referred in point (a) of the first paragraph of Article 6 or six months after
the last Union payment, whichever happens first, and shall include all the necessary information
that enables the Commission to evaluate the implementation of the assistance and the attainment of
This Regulation shall enter into force on the [...] day following that of its publication in the Official
Journal of the European Union.
Article 6 shall apply from 1 January 2007.
This Regulation shall expire on 31 December 2010.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, [...]
For the European Parliament For the Council
The President The President