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Our IEU MONITORING headlines today:

# EFSI

EIB takes Investment Plan for Europe well over half its target and approves first gender strategy

Earlier today the Board of the European Investment Bank approved more than EUR 10.5 billion of new financing for innovation, resource efficiency, education, water infrastructure and sustainable transport, as well as small business investment, across Europe and around the world. The approval of 26 new projects backed by the EFSI guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe brought the total related investment to over EUR 162 billion, well over half the EUR 315 billion target set for the end of 2018.
 
The shareholders of the European Investment Bank also approved the EIB Group’s first ever Gender Strategy that will strengthen the impact on gender equality of EIB lending and support for projects that increase the economic participation of women.
 
“At the end of a difficult year for Europe, the EIB Group has delivered on its challenging commitments. After little over a year since the start of the Investment Plan for Europe, we have financed projects that will mobilise well over 50% of the additional investment the plan is supposed to generate in three years. This is a tremendous success. We have done so while exceeding the EIB Group’s overall investment targets, in particular on SMEs, responding to local needs across Europe and beyond. We have also continued to contribute to innovation, and remained the single largest source of financing for climate action.” said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.
 
Empowering women to support sustainability around the world
The Board also approved the EIB Group’s Gender Strategy aimed at embedding gender equality in the Group’s activities. The strategy covers EIB lending, blending and advisory activity both inside and outside the European Union. The Gender Strategy will take effect in January 2017. It will support the protection of women’s and girls’ rights, enable the EIB to increase its positive impact on gender equality, and help focus support on projects that increase the participation of women in the labour market and economy.
 
Werner Hoyer said, “There is abundant evidence to show that gender equality and the economic empowerment of women leads to faster economic development, increased competitiveness, and more prosperous communities. That in turn helps to create to more efficient and effective businesses, better management of our natural resources and overall more socially cohesive and stable societies. I welcome this important decision by our board today. It will ensure the EU’s Bank has better tools at its disposal to address discrimination and boost inclusive growth by empowering women.“
 
Today’s approval was welcomed by the EC Commissioner in charge of gender equality and anti-discrimination policy, Věra Jourova who said: "The EU Bank and the European Investment Fund are taking an important step towards protecting women’s and girls’ rights and on operations that will empower women economically."
 
Following implementation of the new gender strategy the EIB will identify targeted investment opportunities that increase female participation and support economic empowerment, access to employment and support female entrepreneurs.
 
Strengthening innovation and research across Europe
Today’s board meeting approved EUR 1.2 billion for new investment to strengthen Europe’s knowledge economy. This included new investment to expand facilities at nine public universities across Greece, support for cutting edge neurology and genetics research in Cyprus, and to expand university research and teaching facilities in Rome.
 
The EIB also approved new corporate financing of innovation to improve medical technology in Germany, the use of membrane cells in Spain, and the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Italy.
 
Funding for innovation included initiatives to modernise food production and related innovation in Austria and Hungary, improving the health impact of dairy products in Finland, improving anti-allergy treatment in Denmark, and developing new steel products in France, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
 
Reducing energy use and improving energy infrastructure
Reflecting the European Investment Bank’s leading global role supporting climate related investment the bank’s shareholders approved new lending totalling EUR 1.9 billion to enable more efficient use of energy and other natural resources and energy.
 
Following today’s meeting the EIB expects to support new schemes that will improve the construction of energy efficient buildings in France, enhance the provision of energy efficient social housing in Scotland, expand district heating networks in Italy, back adaptation of municipal buildings in Romania to reduce energy use, and continue support for near-zero energy buildings in Sweden.
 
New projects to increase the provision of hydrogen buses in France, support small scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Germany and strengthen sustainable forestry in Ireland were also approved.
 
Recognising the need to address the security of energy supply across Europe and beyond the board also approved financing of a new electricity interconnector between Norway and Germany, investment in local electricity networks in Finland and improving gas distribution in Italy, Romania, Moldova and Northern Ireland.
 
Backing continued investment in crucial infrastructure
Across Europe significant investment is needed in key national and local infrastructure. Reflecting these specific needs the EIB board approved support for new investment in strategic infrastructure totalling EUR 3.3 billion. This includes new financing for sustainable transport in Spain and France, improvements to ports in Spain and Italy, backed new railway investment in Italy, Montenegro, Poland and Turkey and new roads in Poland.
 
Proposed new investment to improve water distribution in Hamburg, Romania and the Dutch province of Brabant were also supported.
 
Reflecting acute housing needs the board also backed plans to finance new social housing developments in Ireland, the United Kingdom and in Italy. New EIB financing will also improve agricultural storage and logistics facilities across Ukraine.
 
Ensuring that companies across Europe can expand
Recognising the crucial role played by small business to create jobs and grasp new opportunities the EIB board approved more than EUR 2.5 billion of new support for SME lending by local banks and financial institution partners.
 
This will build on the success of the existing trade finance facility in Greece and also support new SME lending in 15 European countries. Outside Europe new lending programmes will support private sector investment in Argentina, Ethiopia, Turkey and East Africa.
 
New EIB lending under the Investment Plan for Europe
New support for a total of 26 schemes, representing more than EUR 2.6 billion of new lending supported by the EU Budget guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe, were given the go-ahead. These included SME lending with local banks, sustainable transport, cross border electricity interconnection, corporate innovation and water investment. New lending backed by the joint EIB-European Commission EFSI guarantee will support investment in 22 EU member states and Norway.
 
The board meeting included representatives of the bank’s 28 EU member state shareholders, as well as the European Commission.
 
This week’s EIB board meeting follows a meeting of the EFSI Investment Committee, held on 8 December. It approved 26 transactions which the Investment Committee had cleared for financing under the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee from the EU Budget. Projects approved by the EFSI committee may be submitted to the next or future EIB board meetings.
 
Negotiations for the approved loans are expected to be finalised in the coming months. All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EU budget guarantee, need to receive approval of the EIB Board prior to loan contracts being finalised. Loans and guarantees approved by the Board of Directors will be finalised in cooperation with promoters and beneficiaries, and figures may vary.
 
 
Background information:
 
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
 
Overview of projects approved by the EIB Board:
www.eib.org/projects/pipeline/recently-approved/index.htm
 
Overview of projects approved by the EIB Board of Directors following positive assessment by the EFSI Investment Committee:
www.eib.org/efsi/index.htm
 
The EIB Group Gender Strategy will come into force in January 2017. A Gender Action Plan to implement the Strategy will be developed over the course of that same year, and will define specific milestones, prioritisation and phasing of activities across the Bank and the Fund.
 
The Gender Strategy seeks to increase the impact of the Group’s actions on gender equality by focusing on three strategic objectives, whilst recognising regional and sectoral specificities in the Group’s portfolio:
 
Ø Protect”:  To protect women’s rights and avoid doing harm or reinforcing pre-existing gender inequalities. This will be addressed through the systematic consideration of gender-specific needs, impacts, vulnerabilities and barriers in the EIB’s environmental and social due diligence, where experts would include attention to gendered impacts and gender-tailored mitigation measures. The EIB will require that its clients and promoters consider gender risks in the application of its standards, analysing the project’s gender dimensions, conducting gender-balanced stakeholder engagement and, where risks are identified, proposing alternative measures.
 
Ø “Impact”: To avoid gender discrimination in the ability to access the assets, benefits and opportunities generated by EIB Group operations, thus increasing the positive impact of EIB Group operations on gender equality. This would be achieved by applying a gender perspective in the EIB Group investment and/or project cycle and by working with willing clients and promoters that actively support the promotion of gender equality in the workplace, in job creation and in decision-making. Building the Group’s staff capacity and disseminating good practices will be essential. The establishment of dedicated technical assistance may be needed to support the design and implementation of projects with a high potential for positive gender equality impact.
 
Ø “Invest”: To reduce gender gaps in employment and promote women’s economic empowerment, relevant services across the EIB and EIF would work to identify relevant targeted investment opportunities and markets that increase women’s participation, on equal terms, in the economy and labour market, e.g. focusing on increasing women’s access to credit and financial services, and supporting female entrepreneurship. This will build on the EIB Group experience and existing products and should lead to the introduction of new and dedicated approaches.
 
Examples of how the EIB Group promotes female economic empowerment around the world:  

#investEU –KfW IPEX-Bank and EIB finanzieren Neubau eines Abschnitts der Autobahn A6 in Baden-Württemberg

  • PPP nach dem „A-Modell“
  • Vorhaben im Rahmen des Investitionsplans für Europa (Juncker-Plan)
 
Die KfW IPEX-Bank finanziert im Rahmen eines Konsortiums kommerzieller Banken und in Kooperation mit der Europäischen Investitionsbank (EIB) den Ausbau der Autobahn A6 zwischen Wiesloch/Rauenberg und dem Autobahndreieck Weinsberg. Von der Projektstrecke, die insgesamt 47,1 km umfasst, wird die Fahrbahn auf einer Länge von 25 km von vier auf sechs Spuren erweitert und damit ein berüchtigter Engpass auf einer der am stärksten befahrenen Ost-West-Achsen des Landes beseitigt. Das Vorhaben umfasst zudem auch den Neubau der Neckartalbrücke mit einer Spannlänge von 1.300 m.
 
Den Zuschlag für die Umsetzung dieses als Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) konzipierten Projekts hatte zuvor ein Bieterkonsortium um die Bauunternehmen HOCHTIEF, JOHANN BUNTE Bauunternehmung sowie dem Finanzinvestor DIF Infrastructure IV erhalten. Vorausgegangen war eine öffentliche Ausschreibung des Bundes, vertreten durch das Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart. Bei diesem PPP nach dem sogenannten A-Modell (Verfügbarkeitsmodell) leistet der Bund Zahlungen an den privaten Auftragnehmer gemäß der Befahrbarkeit der Fahrspuren.
 
Das Vorhaben hat sich für den Juncker-Plan qualifiziert, bei dem EIB und Europäische Kommission Mittel zur Realisierung von Infrastrukturvorhaben zur Verfügung stellen, um die derzeitige Investitionsschwäche in Europa zu überwinden. Die KfW IPEX-Bank stellt ihre Tranche als Project Bond dar. Hierbei wird von der Projektgesellschaft eine Anleihe am Kapitalmarkt platziert.
 
Mit der Finanzierung, bei der die KfW IPEX-Bank die Rolle des Facility Agent übernimmt, unterstreicht die Bank ihr Engagement bei der Strukturierung von Finanzierungen für privatwirtschaftlich realisierte Infrastrukturvorhaben. „Wir freuen uns sehr, gemeinsam mit unseren geschätzten und erfahrenen Geschäftspartnern HOCHTIEF, JOHANN BUNTE Bauunternehmung und DIF an einem weiteren wichtigen deutschen PPP mitwirken zu können.“ kommentiert Christian K. Murach, Mitglied der Geschäftsführung der KfW IPEX-Bank, den Geschäftsabschluss. „Mit diesem Instrument kann die Liquidität privater Investoren unter Einbindung des Mittelstandes optimal für die Erneuerung und den Ausbau öffentlicher Infrastruktur nutzbar gemacht werden. In Deutschland kommt PPP bislang nur vereinzelt zum Einsatz, in vielen anderen Ländern ist es eine übliche, langjährig bewährte und erfolgreiche Beschaffungsvariante für große öffentliche Infrastrukturvorhaben.“
 
Das Gesamtprojektvolumen beläuft sich auf rund 1,3 Mrd. EUR, davon rund 600 Mio. EUR reine Baukosten. Mit dem Bau soll zum Jahresanfang 2017 begonnen werden. Die Bauzeit ist auf 5,5 Jahre veranschlagt, wobei der Abschnitt bei Heilbronn bereits zur 2019 dort stattfindenden Bundesgartenschau abgeschlossen sein soll. Das Projekt umfasst neben dem Neubau auch Betrieb und Instandhaltung des gesamten Streckenabschnitts von 47,1 km. Die Konzession hat eine Laufzeit von 30 Jahren.
 
 
Hintergrundinformationen:
 
Die Europäische Investitionsbank (EIB) ist die Institution der Europäischen Union für langfristige Finanzierungen. Ihre Anteilseigner sind die Mitgliedstaaten der EU. Die EIB vergibt langfristige Finanzierungsmittel für solide Projekte, die den Zielen der EU entsprechen.
 
 
Der Investitionsplan für Europa
 
Die EU-Staats- und Regierungschefs haben im Dezember 2014 entschieden, in Europa eine Investitionsoffensive im Volumen von 315 Milliarden Euro zu starten. Die EU-Staaten reagieren mit der Initiative auf die anhaltende Investitions- und Innovationsschwäche in der Gemeinschaft. Die EIB übernimmt in der Investitionsoffensive eine zentrale Rolle. Durch Garantien, die aus dem „Europäischen Fonds für Strategische Investitionen“ (EFSI) stammen, wird die EU-Bank in die Lage versetzt, mehr Risiko in Projekten zu übernehmen, damit private Geldgeber in diese Projekte einsteigen. Bislang wurden mit Hilfe von EFSI knapp 400 Transaktionen angestoßen, die Gesamtinvestitionen von mehr als 150 Milliarden Euro auslösen werden. Flankiert wird EFSI von einem neuen Beratungsdienst EIAH, der es öffentlichen und privaten Projektbetreibern ermöglicht, ihre Investitionsvorhaben professioneller zu strukturieren. Darüber hinaus sieht die Investitionsoffensive vor, das Regulierungsumfeld in Europa investitionsfreundlicher zu gestalten, besonders in den Bereichen Digital, Energie und Kapitalmarkt.
 

EU advisory programme supports establishment of Advisory Platform for Bulgarian project promoters and public authorities

Link

13 December 2016

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Bulgaria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out their cooperation in the context of the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), which will support Bulgaria’s establishment of an Advisory Platform to strengthen advisory support to local project promoters and public authorities.

Local presence is what we strive for. Being closer to the client helps us better serve customers’ needs. In this case we are reinforcing our presence in Bulgaria to help develop viable projects, with the ultimate aim of boosting investment,” said EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, in charge of EIB Advisory Services and lending operations in Bulgaria.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Broadening the network of advisory services available to support project promoters is a key feature of our proposal to extend and strengthen the EFSI. The Commission welcomes today's agreement in Luxembourg as another positive step in the EIB's efforts to expand its local outreach in Member States, which should allow it to further leverage local knowledge to facilitate investment in Bulgaria."

The Advisory Platform, which is planned to be established with the EIB support by end-March 2017, aims at supporting project promoters in the identification, preparation, structuring and implementation of strategic projects. The Platform will focus in particular on SMEs and mid-caps addressing companies’ difficulties in scaling up and supporting their access to relevant financial instruments.

Cooperation between the EIAH and Bulgaria started at the end of 2015 with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bulgarian Development Bank as a partner of the EIAH network of National Promotional Institutions. The EIB already delivers a number of advisory services in Bulgaria, particularly supporting the preparation and implementation of projects and financial instruments co-financed by the EU funds. 

The European Investment Advisory Hub is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank under the Investment Plan for Europe. The Hub provides access to a number of advisory and technical assistance programmes and initiatives, also through its network of partner institutions. Project promoters, public authorities and private companies can receive technical support to help get their projects off the ground, make them investment-ready, gain advice on suitable funding sources, and access a unique range of technical and financial expertise.

In order to enhance the Investment Plan going forward, the Commission has proposed to strengthen local provision of support through the Advisory Hub and to provide targeted local assistance across the EU. Today’s announcement demonstrates how this approach is being put into action.   

Background information

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments so far are expected to mobilise EUR 154 billion in total investments across 27 Member States and to support almost 377 000 SMEs. On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed extending the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.

Website: Investment Plan for Europe
 

Investment Plan for Europe - Curetis obtains EIB debt financing totaling up to EUR 25 million to further expand its diagnostic platform

Link

13 December 2016

Curetis N.V., a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today announced that the EIB granted Curetis a EUR 25 million senior, unsecured loan. The financing is the first growth capital loan under the European Growth Finance Facility (EGFF), launched in November 2016. It is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is an essential pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE), under which the EIB and the European Commission are working as strategic partners to support investments and bring back jobs and growth to Europe.

The debt facility features typical market interest rates with more than half of the interest payments deferred into the repayment at maturity. The funding can be drawn in up to five tranches within the next 24 months; each tranche is to be repaid upon maturity five years after draw-down. The flexible terms allow Curetis to fund up to 50% of its expected medium-term R&D project requirements (incl. R&D staff costs, external R&D operating expenses, corresponding capital expenditures for R&D etc.) and will enable Curetis to fund the strategic expansion and enhancement of its Unyvero Platform and products.

Specifically, the funds will allow the further development and validation of complementary technology assets and corresponding IP and the funding of clinical trials. In addition, the funds will support the integration of the recently acquired GEAR database and assets.

“We are proud to get the support of the EIB,” said Dr. Oliver Schacht, CEO of Curetis. “The funding will allow us to further expand our leading position in molecular diagnostics by integrating complementary know-how and assets into our proprietary Unyvero Platform. Moreover, we will be able to significantly accelerate our R&D activities and develop a broader pipeline of applications for our Unyvero platform."

EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle, responsible for Germany and innovation in the EU Bank, emphasized: “This transaction demonstrates EIB´s firm commitment to support early-stage and fast-growing companies in Europe. Supporting R&D is one of the EIB’s key goals, and small midcaps like Curetis are instrumental for Europe’s knowledge economy, as they pursue innovation-intensive businesses and employ highly qualified people. Most importantly, this investment will contribute to accelerating the development and market launch of new diagnostics tests, helping to improve the diagnosis and survival rates of critically ill patients in Europe as well as to counteract increasing antibiotic resistance.”

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The EFSI is playing a crucial role in ensuring that innovative smaller businesses have access to the finance they need to fund their research activities. Curetis is undertaking cutting-edge research on advanced diagnostics. The EFSI can help firms like Curetis reach the next level, while ensuring that Europe maintains its status as a centre of innovate healthcare product development."

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The Investment Plan for Europe

In December 2014, the EU Heads of State or Government decided to launch a EUR 315bn investment offensive. With this initiative, the EU Member States are addressing the continued lack of investment and innovation within the Union. The EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, is playing a vital role in this investment drive. Through guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB Group is able to take on a higher share of project risk, encouraging private finance providers to participate in the projects. Up to now, nearly 400 operations have been mounted with EFSI support, which are expected to mobilize a total investment of more than EUR 150bn. EFSI is supported by a new advisory service, the European Investment Advisory Hub, which will enable public and private project operators to structure their investment projects more professionally. The investment offensive also aims to make the regulatory environment in the EU more conducive to investment, especially in the digital, energy and capital market sectors.

About Curetis

Founded in 2007, Curetis is a molecular diagnostics company which focuses on the development and commercialization of reliable, fast and cost-effective products for diagnosing severe infectious diseases. The diagnostic solutions of Curetis enable rapid multi-parameter pathogen and antibiotic resistance marker detection in only a few hours, a process that today can take up to days or even weeks with other techniques.

To date, Curetis has raised EUR 44.3 million in an IPO on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels and private equity funds of over EUR 63.5 million. Furthermore, Curetis has entered into a debt financing facility with EIB for up to EUR 25 million. The company is based in Holzgerlingen near Stuttgart, Germany. Curetis has signed collaboration agreements with Heraeus Medical and Cempra Inc. as well as several international distribution agreements covering many countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
 

EU Commission Answer - EFSI and its further development in Member States - P-008542/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : P-008542/2016 
 
9 December 2016
E-007969/2016
Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are implemented in shared management with Member States via national or regional programmes, based on needs assessments tailored to the target areas. Partnership agreements and programmes include actions to achieve the reduction of administrative burden. Therefore, a broad range of rules for ESIF are decided at national or regional level.

For the 2014-2020 period, participatory elements of ESIF were strengthened, i.e. by mainstreaming the CLLD approach(1) and reinforcing the partnership principle(2).

Furthermore, the current regulations provide for a number of simplification mechanisms that reduce red tape, including for local and regional authorities. These include simplified costs options (SCOs), flat rates for projects generating net revenue, and up-stream support for project preparation(3). In addition, the Commission adopted a proposal(4) to further increase flexibility, extending SCOs, reducing barriers to Financial Instruments programming and facilitating the combination of ESIF with the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

All the elements above should provide for easier access to the funds. The Commission monitors ESIF policy implementation and promotes good practices, including proper application of the partnership principle.

 
(1)   Community-Lead Local Development (CLLD): Article 32 of Regulation 1303/2013
(2) Legal basis: Article 5 of Regulation 1303/2013. The partnership principle ensures stakeholder involvement into the decision making process, allowing regional and local authorities to monitor all stages of implementation.
(3) Support provided by provided by JASPERS.
(4) In the context of the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework. Many of the proposed amendments follow recommendations by the High Level Group (HLG) on Monitoring Simplification for Beneficiaries, which was set up by the Commission to identify possible simplification measures.
Last updated: 13 December 2016

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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EU Commission Answer - EFSI for social infrastructures - E-007190/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-007190/2016 

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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# ESIF

EU Commission Answer - On facilitating the access of regional and local authorities to European Structural and Investment Funds - E-007969/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-007969/2016 
 
9 December 2016
E-007969/2016
Answer given by Ms Creţu on behalf of the Commission

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are implemented in shared management with Member States via national or regional programmes, based on needs assessments tailored to the target areas. Partnership agreements and programmes include actions to achieve the reduction of administrative burden. Therefore, a broad range of rules for ESIF are decided at national or regional level.

For the 2014-2020 period, participatory elements of ESIF were strengthened, i.e. by mainstreaming the CLLD approach(1) and reinforcing the partnership principle(2).

Furthermore, the current regulations provide for a number of simplification mechanisms that reduce red tape, including for local and regional authorities. These include simplified costs options (SCOs), flat rates for projects generating net revenue, and up-stream support for project preparation(3). In addition, the Commission adopted a proposal(4) to further increase flexibility, extending SCOs, reducing barriers to Financial Instruments programming and facilitating the combination of ESIF with the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

All the elements above should provide for easier access to the funds. The Commission monitors ESIF policy implementation and promotes good practices, including proper application of the partnership principle.

 
(1) Community-Lead Local Development (CLLD): Article 32 of Regulation 1303/2013
(2) Legal basis: Article 5 of Regulation 1303/2013. The partnership principle ensures stakeholder involvement into the decision making process, allowing regional and local authorities to monitor all stages of implementation.
(3)   Support provided by provided by JASPERS.
(4) In the context of the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework. Many of the proposed amendments follow recommendations by the High Level Group (HLG) on Monitoring Simplification for Beneficiaries, which was set up by the Commission to identify possible simplification measures.
Last updated: 13 December 2016

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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EU Commission Answer - Cohesion policy funds - E-007459/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-007459/2016 

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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EU Commission Answer - Discrimination on the basis of language regarding ERDF aid in Catalonia (Spain) - P-007264/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : P-007264/2016 

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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# DG RTD

EU Commission Answer - Partnership for Research and Innovation - E-007998/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-007998/2016 
 
9 December 2016
E-007998/2016
Answer given by Mr Moedas on behalf of the Commission

Croatia is welcome as a Participating State in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA). Croatia is not considered as a Participating State in the Commission proposal(1) because there is no commitment from the Croatian authorities to be linked to the initiative.

However, within the interinstitutional process, there may be adjustments to be considered regarding Participating States in PRIMA.

This is the case for other countries, such as Germany and Jordan, which are not in the proposal of the Commission under negotiation but have already committed to joining the initiative.

 
(1) COM(2016)662, 18/10/2016
Last updated: 13 December 2016
Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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# HORIZON 2020

ALLEA: European academy networks launch Horizon 2020-funded SAPEA project: Science Advice for Policy by European Academies

On 13 December 2016, Presidents of the five European academy networks that make up the SAPEA project consortium joined the Director-General for Research and Innovation, Dr Robert-Jan Smits, for the official launch of SAPEA in Brussels. More than 100 academies across Europe will contribute to the European Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), which provides independent, transdisciplinary and evidence-based scientific advice to the European Commission.

Director-General Smits welcomed the launch of SAPEA: "Today's agreement with the five European Academy Networks will boost the Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism. It willallow it to tap into the Academies' broad knowledge across disciplines and regions in Europe. The Commission is looking forward to this new partnership with the Academies."

SAPEA Chairman and ALLEA President Professor Günter Stock voiced his appreciation that “the Commission has established a comprehensive system for providing independent and evidence-based scientific advice for EU policymaking. The five European academy organisations look forward to constructively working together with SAM’s High Level Group."

SAPEA combines the expertise of more than 100 academies across Europe, spanning the disciplines of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, and social sciences, with hundreds of Fellows respectively who will contribute to the work of SAM. The project will run over 4 years and is funded through a grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. SAPEA stands for “Science Advice for Policy by European Academies”.

The participating European academy networks include Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-CASE, and FEAM, which will aggregate their existing structures to advance international, transdisciplinary cooperation among academies in more than 40 European countries.
 

12 new FET Proactive projects defy the bounds of innovation - Horizon 2020 

The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme continues its journey towards scientific and technological breakthroughs with the funding of 12 new projects under Horizon 2020.

Date: 12/12/2016 - 10:18
 

Making state of the art sensors with children's toy putty and graphene - Horizon 2020

Graphene Flagship researchers from Trinity College Dublin in collaboration with the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at the University of Manchester, have used graphene to make the novelty children’s material Silly Putty® (polysilicone) conduct electricity. Using this conductive polymer they found that they were able to create extremely sensitive sensors.

Date: 12/12/2016 - 10:12
 

# ERC

EU awards €605 million to 314 outstanding researchers

Today, the European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Consolidator Grants to 314 top researchers from 39 nationalities in Europe. The funding, worth a total of €605 million will for instance advance new regenerative therapies for heart diseases, novel algorithms to make computer networks more resilient or our understanding how illicit markets work.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The European Research Council has been established to find the best quality in science, to cherish it and support it, making Europe a centre of international scientific excellence. The new grant winners have been awarded this competitive funding because they are top-notch scientists with truly ground-breaking ideas - investment in their success will pay back." 

The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with at least seven and up to 12 years of experience after their PhDs, and a scientific track record showing great promise. The research projects proposed by the new grantees cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, as well as social sciences and humanities (See more examples).

The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. More information is available online

 

Latest updates on ERC Grants

AGU’s Fall Meeting - ERC

Tuesday, 13 December 2016: 18:15 - 19:15ERC SESSION The European Research Council: Attractive Funding Opportunities for Individual ScientistsSession including presentations from ERC Scientific Officer Andreas Keil and ERC Scientific Council Member Barbara Romanowicz about the grant opportunities offered by the ERC about the implementing agreement with NSF.

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# EUREKA

Join the ITEA Digital Innovation Forum 2017

The EUREKA Cluster ITEA and ARTEMIS Industry Association are organising a brand-new international industry-driven event: the Digital Innovation Forum (DIF).

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# EACEA

EU-Abgeordnete Martina Michels (DIE LINKE): Mythos Kulturindustrie – ein versachlichter Anfang 

Straßburg, 13. Dezember 2016

Heute stimmte das Europäische Parlament einem Initiativbericht über eine 'kohärente Politik der EU für die Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft' zu, der noch vor den dringenden Debatten um die Kommissionsentwürfe zum Urheberrecht, zu entscheidenden Fragen dieses 'Sektors' Stellung nimmt. Es war der erste gemeinsame Bericht des Industrie- (ITRE) und des Kulturausschusses (CULT) ohne eine klassische Federführung. Beide Ausschüsse hatten dieselbe Verantwortung für den Bericht und tagten dazu auch mehrmals gemeinsam. Unsere BerichterstatterInnen in der Fraktion kamen zu unterschiedlichen Urteilen über den Bericht. Martina Michels war Schattenberichterstatterin für den Kulturausschuss und kommentierte die von ihr empfohlene Zustimmung:
 
"In der Kultur- und Kreativindustrie sind mehr Beschäftigte als im Automobilbau oder der chemischen Industrie beschäftigt. Viele Beschäftigte in prekären Jobs, viele Selbstständige, die engagiert arbeiten, bestimmen das Bild, was manch Zukunftsstrategen dazu veranlasst, diese Branchen als zukünftiges Modell eines modernen Arbeitsmarktes zu preisen. Ein strenges Urheberrecht, so der Traum dieser Zukunftsstrategen, könnte die Einkommen und die selbstverantwortete Vorsorge für soziale Sicherheit garantieren. Derartige Mythen bestimmen letztlich nicht den vorliegenden Bericht, der die Problemlagen realistisch und auch kritisch konstatiert. Selbst Hinweise auf den Gender Pay- und den Pension Gap, der auch diese Branchen sichtlich prägt, wurden in den Bericht aufgenommen. Zwar wurde unser Vorschlag eines Fair-Work-Siegels, das am Ende jede Musical-Aufführung oder jede Spiele-Software qualifiziert auszeichnen könnte, nicht aufgenommen. Doch gehören die Abschnitte zur Beschäftigungssituation insgesamt zu wichtigen Weichenstellungen des Berichtes, in denen sich auch dezidiert zu einer besseren Vertragsposition der Kreativen gegenüber den Rechteverwertungsgesellschaften bekannt wird.
 
Zweitens gab es eine umfassende Debatte zur Definition der Branche. Sie enthält jetzt inhaltlich eine Orientierung an der UNESCO-Konvention für kulturelle Vielfalt und der entsprechenden UNESCO-Definition der Kultur- und Kreativindustrie, die die Wertschöpfung im kulturellen Sinn, den Beitrag der Kultur- und Kreativindustrie zum demokratischen Dialog der Gesellschaft sinngemäß einbindet. Damit sprengt die Definition die enge Rahmensetzung der Kommission, die mit ihrem strategischen Schwerpunkt zum Digitalen Binnenmarkt (DSM), die Digitalisierung zumeist nur als Fragestellung des europäischen Binnenmarktes und als Technologiefrage verkürzt. Ein diskutabler Definitionsansatz ermöglicht politische Vorstöße für effektivere Unterstützungsstrukturen, Fonds, Schutz und Förderung für diesen Sektor: für Investitionskredite, Netzwerkunterstützung, für Bildung und letztlich auch für eine qualifizierte Bewertung der realen Konflikte und eine Verbesserung der statistischen Basis zukünftiger politischer Konzepte. Eine Definition, so wie sie jetzt vorliegt, könnte politisch wertvoll sein, wenn wir gegen und in internationalen Handelsverhandlungen für Ausnahmen von kulturellen und medialen Diensten kämpfen.
 
Die Urheberrechtsdebatte zu den legislativen Kommissionsvorschlägen hat gerade erst begonnen. Da bleibt der Bericht, der ja noch vor den konkreten Kommissionsvorschlägen entstand, noch sehr allgemein und hinterlässt viel Interpretationsspielraum. Wir werden die angesprochenen Kämpfe um gute Entlohnung der Kreativen, aber auch um den Zugang in Bibliotheken, Archiven, in der Bildung usw. an anderer Stelle fortsetzen müssen."
 
Abschließend macht Martina Michels auf eine Schattenseite dieses Berichts aufmerksam: 

„Die undifferenzierten Hinweise zum Kampf gegen Produktpiraterie und Online-Piraterie können wir in Zukunft so nicht stehen lassen. Die Lösungen in den Kompromissen 12 und 13 sind absolut unbefriedigend und widersprechen selbst der Orientierung in den jüngsten Urheberrechtsvorschlägen der Kommission, die zwischen gewerblicher Piraterie und dem einmaligen Download durch individuelle NutzerInnen deutlich zu unterscheiden weiß. Einen Generalverdacht aller Nutzerinnen und Nutzer tragen wir nicht mit, schon gar nicht, wenn er missbraucht wird, um Nutzerdaten widerrechtlich nachzuverfolgen."
 
Dokumente und Hintergrundinformationen:

# GENDER ISSUES

EP Opinion - EU funds for gender equality - PE 592.269v02-00 - Committee on Budgets

OPINION on EU funds for gender equality

Committee on Budgets
Eider Gardiazabal Rubial

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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# EU REGISTERS

## EU COMMISSION

### DG REGIO

C(2016)8751/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision approving the financial contribution to the major project "The construction of Ostrów Wielkopolski bypass and Jarocin bypass within the S11" selected as part of the operational programme "Infrastructure and Environment for 2014-2020" in Poland

Document request
C(2016)8744/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2014) 749 concerning the major project "S. N. 106 Jonica – Megalot n.2 – Section 4 from the Interchange of Squillace to the Interchange of Simeri Crichi and works for the extension of the national road S.S. n. 280 Due Mari, from the Interchange San Sinato to the interchange Germaneto. Functional lots A, B e C", forming part of the operational programme "Calabria" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the Convergence objective in Italy

Document request
C(2016)8743/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2010)3055 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation and modernization of water and wastewater systems in Arad County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8735/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision concerning the major project "New Hospital San Marco" forming part of the operational programme "Sicilia 2007-2013", for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the Convergence objective in Italy

Document request
C(2016)8716/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2014) 5802 concerning the major project "Improvement/upgrading of Western Internal Ring Road of Thessaloniki from junction K16 (Lahanagora) to junction K5 (Papageorgiou Hospital) - Phase A", forming part of the operational programme "Macedonia - Thrace 2007-2013" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the Convergence objective in the region of Central Macedonia in Greece

Document request
C(2016)8708/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commssion Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 6283 approving certain elements of the cooperation programme "Interreg V-A Greece-Bulgaria" for support from the European Regional Development Fund under the European territorial cooperation goal in Greece and Bulgaria

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C(2016)8694/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 5319 approving certain elements of the cooperation programme "Interreg V-A Greece – Cyprus" for support from the European Regional Development Fund under the European territorial cooperation goal in Greece and Cyprus

Document request
C(2016)8643/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 5444 approving the cross-border cooperation programme "Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria – Serbia" for the years 2014-2020 under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II)

Document request
C(2016)8642/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 5280 approving the cross-border cooperation programme "Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria – Turkey" for the years 2014-2020 under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II)

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C(2016)8638/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision concerning the major project "Optimisation of line section Praha Hostivař - Praha hl. n., Part I, Praha Hostivař Station PHASE I", forming part of the operational programme Transport for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in the Czech Republic

Document request
C(2016)8633/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 3297 approving certain elements of the operational programme “Transport” for support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Investment for growth and jobs goal in the Czech Republic and approving amendments to certain elements of the Partnership Agreement with Czech Republic

Document request
C(2016)8627/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Implementing Decision amending Implementing Decision C(2015) 5653 approving the cross-border cooperation programme "Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria- the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" for the years 2014-2020 under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II)

Document request
C(2016)8626/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 1612 concerning the major project "Extension and rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater infrastructure in Satu Mare County", forming part of the operational programme “Environment” for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8625/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 2978 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation and modernisation of water and sewerage systems in Prahova County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8624/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2013) 1272 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation of the Railway Bridges km 152+149 and km 165+817 on the Railway Section Bucharest – Constanta", forming part of the operational programme "Transport" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8623/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2012) 1284 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation and modernization of water supply and sewage system in Mehedinti County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8622/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2010) 1068 concerning the major project "Extension and modernisation of the water and wastewater infrastructure in Bistrita-Nasaud County", forming part of the operational programme for Union structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8621/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 9528 concerning the major project "Extension and rehabilitation of water and waste water infrastructure in Arges County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8619/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 1560 concerning the major project "Extension and rehabilitation of water and wastewater infrastructure in Mures County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8618/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 3260 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation of district heating system in Oradea municipality for 2009-2028 period in order to comply with environmental legislation and increasing the energy efficiency", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8617/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2014) 3401 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation of National Road DN56, section Craiova - Calafat", forming part of the operational programme "Transport" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8616/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2012) 9215 concerning the major project "Rehabilitation of water and waste water systems and WWTPs in Vaslui, Barlad, Husi and Negresti agglomerations in Vaslui County", forming part of the operational programme "Environment" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in Romania

Document request
C(2016)8590/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission decision amending Commission Decision C(2011) 2399 concerning the major project "Construction of the road section Potidea - Kassandreia of the road network serving Kassandra (Halkidiki Prefecture) – Phase I" forming part of the operational programme "Macedonia-Thrace 2007-2013" for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the Convergence objective in the region of Central Macedonia in Greece

Document request
C(2016)8562/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision concerning the major project "Optimization of the railway line Bystřice nad Olší – Český Těšín, 2nd part – the railway station Český Těšín", forming part of the operational programme Transport for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in the Czech Republic

Document request
C(2016)8561/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision concerning the major project "Plzeň railway junction, 1st construction – reconstruction of station head towards Praha", forming part of the operational programme Transport for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund under the Convergence objective in the Czech Republic

Document request
C(2016)8489/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision amending Commission Decision C(2014) 8167 concerning the major project "Metaponto - Sibari - Paola (Bivio S.Antonello): Fase prioritaria", forming part of the operational programme Reti e Mobilità for structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the Convergence objective in Italy

Document request
C(2016)8473/- REGIO (DG Regional and Urban Policy) 13/12/2016
  • Commission Decision correcting Commission Decision C(2016) 386 amending Decision C(2007) 6590 adopting the operational programme ‘South-East Europe’ for Community structural assistance from the European Regional Development Fund under the European territorial cooperation objective in Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, with the participation, under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and, under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine

Document request

### DG EAC

C(2016)8276/F1 EAC (DG Education and Culture) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION DECISION on the nomination by the Commission of three members of the panel for the European Capital of Culture action for the years 2017-2019 under Decision No 445/2014/EU

Document request

### DG RTD

C(2016)8759/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8759/- RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8758/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8758/- RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8756/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8756/- RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8750/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grants under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8750/- RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grants under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8710/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grants under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8668/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8663/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION on the award of grant(s) under Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

Document request
C(2016)8265/F1 RTD (DG Research and Innovation) 13/12/2016
  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION amending Implementing Decision C(2015)6776 as regards a grant to an identified beneficiary, types and description of actions and the indicative size of projects

Document request

### DG BUDG

## EU PARLIAMENT

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