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Document 52003PC0603

Proposal for a Council Decision amending Decision 2000/24/EC to take into account the enlargement of the European Union and the EU's Wider Europe - New Neighbourhood policy

/* COM/2003/0603 final - CNS 2003/0232 */

52003PC0603

Proposal for a Council Decision amending Decision 2000/24/EC to take into account the enlargement of the European Union and the EU's Wider Europe - New Neighbourhood policy /* COM/2003/0603 final - CNS 2003/0232 */


Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION amending Decision 2000/24/EC to take into account the enlargement of the European Union and the EU's Wider Europe - New Neighbourhood policy

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

This proposal deals with the revision for the remainder of the mandate period of the Community budget guarantee to the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the loans it grants from its own resources in various non-member countries. The modifications are proposed following the mid-term review carried out in accordance with Article 1 of the Council Decision 2000/24/EC [1], as amended.

[1] OJ L 9, 13.1.2000, p. 24

The current overall ceiling of the credits opened is equivalent to EUR 19 460 million, broken down as follows:

- Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC) [2] // EUR 9 280 million

[2] including the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)

- Mediterranean countries (MED) // EUR 6 425 million

- Latin America and Asia (ALA) // EUR 2 480 million

- Republic of South Africa (RSA) // EUR 825 million

- EC/Turkey Customs Union Special Action Programme (Turkey SAP) // EUR 450 million

In addition, the Community guarantee covering the special earthquake facility for Turkey under Decision 1999/786/EC [3] (TERRA) has taken the form of an extension of the global guarantee under the Decision 2000/24/EC. The ceiling of credits for TERRA amounts to EUR 600 million. The total current ceiling amounts therefore to EUR 20 060 million.

[3] OJ L 308, 3.12.1999, p. 35

The projected utilisation of the different regional envelopes for the remaining period of the mandate, derived from the Corporate Operational Plan (COP) approved by the Bank's Board of Directors in December 2002, points to a total volume of guaranteed lending that is slightly above the overall ceiling of the mandate. Taking into account these projections, on the one hand, and the evolution of Community external policy priorities, on the other, the Commission proposes the following amendments:

1. A new geographical distribution of the current mandate volume within the present ceiling of EUR 19 460 million [4]

[4] excluding TERRA (EUR 600 million).

Specifically, it is proposed:

- to restructure the current Central and Eastern Countries envelope to cover Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Western Balkans [5] (a new South Eastern Neighbours envelope), in accordance with the agreement in Copenhagen to finance pre-accession support for Turkey from 2004 from the heading "pre-accession strategy" of the Financial Perspective. An amount of EUR 2 085 million would be transferred to this new envelope from the Mediterranean envelope. This amount is consistent with Turkey's share in the MED mandate up to end 2002. The ceiling for this new envelope would amount to EUR 9 185 million.

[5] Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

- to redefine the new lending envelope for MED to take into account the foreseen lending under FEMIP following the March 2002 Barcelona Council and in line with the "Wider Europe" initiative [6]. After the transfer of Turkey, the revised ceiling for MED would amount to EUR 6 520 million.

[6] Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament COM (2003) 104 final.

2. A limited geographical extension of the mandate, to Russia and the WNIS

The Commission's Communication on "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood" foresees a progressive and targeted extension of EIB's general lending mandate to Russia, Ukraine, Moldova (and eventually Belarus), in close collaboration with the EBRD and other relevant IFIs. Extending EIB's activities would be designed to reward reform efforts undertaken by the new neighbours. The extension would reflect the political importance of the region to the EU, as well as the need for enhanced investment in infrastructure that could be fostered by EIB projects. In the case of Russia, lending would as well build on the experience gained from the present lending mandate in support to environmental projects in the Baltic Sea basin of Russia. EIB lending would be activated on a country-by-country basis, subject to appropriate reform efforts in each of the countries concerned as demonstrated by the endorsement of jointly agreed Action Plans. Nevertheless, concerning Russia, the extension would apply as such to projects currently eligible under Council Decision 2001/777/EC [7], as soon as the EUR 100 million ceiling of the Decision has been reached.

[7] OJ L 292, 9.11.2001, p. 41.

Given the time needed for implementation, it is only realistic to foresee a small amount for the period up to 2006. The initial lending envelope would amount to EUR 300 million in total for the countries concerned.

The EUR 300 million envisaged for this new group of countries would be additional to the overall ceiling established by Council Decision 2000/24/EC for the current set of regions. But it should be subject to the same rules as the general mandate and fall within the blanket guarantee coverage of 65% applied to the whole mandate.

Proposed revised ceilings

(EUR million)

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3. A revised definition of political risk

Since the adoption of the Council Decision 2000/24/EC in 1999, the experience of the EIB has shown that the increased lending in the framework of private public partnerships (or similar) necessitates extending the definition of the political risk, to cover cases involving breach of certain contracts (e.g. concession or off-take agreements) by the host government (or local public authorities) and a subsequent failure to enforce an arbitration award or like against the host government. Therefore, it is proposed to extend the political risk cover to breach of contract in combination with denial of justice.

2003/0232 (CNS)

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION amending Decision 2000/24/EC to take into account the enlargement of the European Union and the EU's Wider Europe - New Neighbourhood policy

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 308 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [8],

[8] OJ C , , p. .

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament [9],

[9] OJ C , , p. .

Whereas:

(1) The Accession Treaties signed on 16 April 2003 are due to enter into force on 1 May 2004.

(2) The report [10] prepared by the Commission in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 1(1) of Council Decision 2000/24/EC of 22 December 1999 granting a Community guarantee to the European Investment Bank against losses under loans for projects outside the Community (Central and Eastern Europe, Mediterranean countries, Latin America and Asia and the Republic of South Africa) [11] concludes that some amendments to that Decision are appropriate, in particular in view of the enlargement of the European Union.

[10] COM(2003)[...].

[11] OJ L 9, 13.1.2000, p. 24. Decision as last amended by Decision 2001/778/EC (OJ L 292, 9.11.2001, p. 43).

(3) The Copenhagen European Council of 12 and 13 December 2002 concluded that pre-accession support for Turkey will from 2004 be financed under the budget heading "pre-accession expenditure".

(4) A conditional extension of the general lending mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to Russia and the Western New Independent States (WNIS) should be envisaged to support the policy based on the Commission Communication "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours" [12].

[12] COM (2003)104

(5) The lending of the EIB under Council Decision 2001/777/EC of 6 November 2001 granting a Community guarantee to the European Investment Bank against losses under a special lending action for selected environmental projects in the Baltic Sea basin of Russia under the Northern Dimension [13] is approaching the ceiling.

[13] OJ L 292, 9.11.2001, p. 41.

(6) Since the adoption of Decision 2000/24/EC, the experience of the EIB on the changing practices in the field of investment protection guarantees has shown the need to review the scope of the political risks covered by the Community guarantee.

(7) Under the risk-sharing scheme the budgetary guarantee should cover in addition to political risks arising from currency non transfer, expropriation, war or civil disturbance those arising from denial of justice upon breach of certain contracts by the third country government or other authorities.

(8) The financial perspective for the period 2000 to 2006 according to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure [14] envisages a ceiling for the loan guarantee reserve in the Community budget of EUR 200 million per annum.

[14] OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.

(9) Decision 2000/24/EC should therefore be amended accordingly.

(10) The Treaty does not provide, for the adoption of this Decision, powers other than those under Article 308,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Decision 2000/24/EC is amended as follows:

(1) Article 1 is amended as follows:

(a) paragraph 1 is amended as follows:

(i) the first subparagraph is replaced by the following:

"The Community shall grant the European Investment Bank (EIB) a global guarantee in respect of all payments not received by it but due in respect of credits opened, in accordance with its usual criteria, and in support of the Community's relevant external policy objectives, for investment projects carried out in the South-eastern Neighbours, the Mediterranean countries, Latin America and Asia, Republic of South Africa and Russia and Western New Independent States (WNIS)."

(ii) in the second subparagraph, the second sentence is replaced by the following:

"The overall ceiling of the credits opened shall be equivalent to EUR 19 760 million, broken down as follows:

- South-eastern Neighbours:

EUR 9 185 million,

- Mediterranean countries:

EUR 6 520 million,

- Latin America and Asia:

EUR 2 480 million,

- Republic of South Africa:

EUR 825 million,

- Special action supporting the consolidation and intensification of the EC-Turkey Customs Union:

EUR 450 million,

- Russia and Western New Independent States (WNIS):

EUR 300 million;

and shall be used by 31 January 2007 at the latest. The credits already signed shall be taken into account as a deduction from the regional ceilings. However, the effectiveness of the ceiling for Russia and the Western New Independent States (WNIS) shall be subject to these countries fulfilling specific conditions laid down by the Commission in accordance with the Commission communication "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours". The Commission shall authorise the release of the ceiling for Russia and the WNIS on a country by country basis. Nevertheless, concerning Russia, projects fulfilling the criteria specified in Article 2(3) of Council Decision 2001/777/EC shall be eligible as soon as the EUR 100 million ceiling of the Decision has been reached."

(b) paragraph 2 is amended as follows:

(i) the first indent is replaced by the following:

"- South-eastern Neighbours: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey;"

(ii) in the second indent the words "Cyprus", "Malta" and "Turkey" are deleted.

(iii) the following indent is added:

"- Russia and the Western New Independent States (WNIS): Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine."

(2) In Article 2, the following subparagraph is added:

"The Commission shall report on the application of this Decision by 31 July 2006 at the latest."

Article 2

This Decision shall take effect on 1 May 2004.

Done at Brussels,

For the Council

The President

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