Malta’s absorption to EU funds still low at 33% [ VIDEO ]


 

 – onenews: Friday, 7th December, 2012

Malta’s absorption to EU funds still low at 33%

 

Labour MEP Edward Scicluna has called for improved management of EU funds, after revealing that up till the end of 2012 only 33% of Malta’s funds had been spent in capital projects.

Malta has up until 2015 to fully implement its €840 million in EU funds under the ERDF, cohesion and ESF instruments allocated for the 2007-2013 financial framework.

“Up until now, Malta has only absorbed €278 million – or 33% – of these funds, €80 million of which are advance payments,” Scicluna said.

“Within the next three years Malta must absorb €600 million of these funds, but this requires better management of these funds.”

Scicluna said that a reply from a PQ he submitted to the European Commission showed that Malta had a slower implementation of projects on the ground, although it had one of the highest allocation rates of EU funds.

“I know of cases where EU funds have been lost… and this is down to the fact that funds must be administered more carefully. Funds can be lost through bad management and a lack of skill. Labour will morally back the government to get more funds,” Scicluna said.

According to EU data seen by MaltaToday, Malta’s unclaimed European Social Funds [opens PDF] are at 74% of the total 2007-2013 allocation.

In its reaction, the government said Malta showed “a good performance” in the implementation of cohesion funds, as stated in a reply by the European Commission to Scicluna’s PQ of 8 October 2012, with 80% of available funds allocated to specific projects.

“Indeed, this is amongst the highest absorption rates of Member States. It should be noted that the figure of 33% quoted by MEP Scicluna actually refers to the funds reimbursed by the Commission to Malta so far. Requests for payments are sent by Malta on a continuous basis and, in fact, the amount requested by Malta on the programmes to date stands at 37% with the next request expected to be sent to the Commission by year end,” the government said.

The bulk of payments for projects are paid at the completion of the projects. This is a common and standard practice in line with EU rules.

“If one were to take the status of payments of the previous (2004-2006) Programme at the same time of implementation ( which would be end of 2006), the payment rate paid by the Commission stood at 30%. Malta has managed to maintain and actually improve this rate in the current period with a Programme which is 10 times larger than the previous one and which for the first time has a number of major projects which are by their very nature more complex to implement,” the government said.

Malta managed to absorb all the funds under the previous period.

“The government is monitoring closely the current programme to ensure that steady progress continues to be made. One should note that NO funds have been lost and none are at risk at this stage, while payments on the Programmes can be made until the end of 2015, which can be checked and claimed by Malta even after this date.”

 

 

– maltatoday : Friday, 7th December, 2012

 

JUST A THIRD OF 2007-2013 EU FUNDS ALREADY PAID OUT 

Just 33.1% of EU funds available to Malta under the 2007-2013 financial framework have actually been paid out, MEP Edward Scicluna revealed.

The MEP obtained this information through a parliamentary question he posed to the European Commission.

In his reply, Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn noted that Malta “shows a good performance in the implementation of cohesion policy, with 80% of available funds allocated to specific projects.”

But the Commissioner did point out that there was a “slight delay in the financial absorption of funds compared to the EU average,” attributing this primarily to the slower implementation of projects.

A total of €840 million had been allocated to Malta under the 2007-2013 financial framework, through the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.

The ERDF accounted for more than half – €444 million to be exact – of the total allocation. But just €144 million (32.5%) were paid out by 31 October, 2012.

A total of €284 million were allocated under the Cohesion Fund, of which €103 million (36.4%) had been paid out. The ESF accounted for the remaining €112 million, of which €31 million (28%) had been paid out.

All in all, therefore, €278 million in funds have been absorbed by Malta so far, amounting to 33.1% of the total. But €80 million of these are in the form of advance payments, which have to be returned if the projects are not implemented.

In his reaction to the figures, Prof. Scicluna stressed that the funds allocated under the 2007-2013 framework have to be spent by 2015. This leaves €562 million – €642 million if advance payments are excluded – in funds that have to be secured in just over two years.

He noted that although the government has claimed that Malta is one of the best performers as far as the utilisation of EU funds is concerned, the reality is considerably different. He added that past budgets have consistently shown that capital expenditure fell behind predictions.

The MEP – who is contesting the next general election – said that whoever is elected to government next year has to absorb over €600 million after the present government only managed to secure €200 million in six years.

 

 

– independent : Friday, 7th December, 2012

 

 

Malta assorbiet biss 33% tal-fondi Ewropej

 

F’sitt snin, Malta assorbiet biss 33% tal-Fondi Ewropej allokati lilha.

Dan żvelah l-Ewro Parlamentari Laburista l-Professur Edward Scicluna f’konferenza tal-aħbarijiet.

Edward Scicluna kkwota t-tweġiba tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea għall-mistoqsija tiegħu, fejn b’kollox minn €855 miljun allokati, Malta assorbiet biss €198 miljun, filwaqt li €80 miljun oħra ġew depożitati, iżda jkolljom jingħataw lura f’każ li l-proġetti ma jsirux. Dan kollu jammonta biss għal 33%.

Prof Scicluna qal li t-€855 miljun allokati għal Malta għandhom jintefqu sal-2015, jew inkella nitilfuhom.

Semma’ kif minkejja li l-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi jgħid li Malta hija fost l-ogħla pajjiżi fl-użu tal-fondi Ewropej, ir-realtà hija ferm differenti meta wieħed jara kemm minn dawn il-fondi ġew assorbiti fil-kaxxa ta’ Malta. Huwa kkwota mid-diskorsi tal-Budget tal-aħħar snin li juru li b’mod konsistenti kien hemm infieq iktar baxx milli previst fin-nefqa kapitali marbuta mal-fondi Ewropej.

L-Ewro Parlamentari Laburista talab lill-Gvern jagħti spjegazzjoni u jserraħ moħħ il-familji Maltin u Għawdxin li m’hemmx biżà li pajjiżna jitlef il-fondi tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Saħaq li Gvern Ġdid, ikun min ikun, irid jassorbi €600 miljun f’sentejn meta f’sitt snin assorbejna biss €200 miljun.

Qal li anke l-Awditur Ġenerali fir-Rapport tiegħu jgħid li m’għandniex problemi biex nonfqu l-flus, iżda l-problema tiġi biex il-flus jintefqu bil-għaqal.

Edward Scicluna temm jgħid li l-Partit Laburista qed joffri t-tama lill-familji, għaliex jemmen li Malta għandha l-potenzjal, iżda jrid ikollna l-għaqal biex nassorbu dawn il-fondi.

 

 

– Partit Laburista : Friday, 7th December, 2012

Il-fondi Ewropej allokati lil Malta fl-aħħar sitt snin

UZATI BISS 33%


Il-Membru Parlamentari Ewropew Laburista l-Professur Edward Scicluna appella lill-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi biex ikun ċar u jserraħ moħħ il-familji Maltin u Għawdxin li mhemmx biża’ li pajjiżna jitlef miljuni ta’ ewro f’fondi tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Dan wara li stqarr li, f’sitt snin, Malta assorbiet biss 33% tal-fondi Ewropej allokati lilha.
Il-Professur Scicluna żvela dan f’konfe­ren­za tal-aħbarijiet ilbieraħ fiċ-Ċentru Nazzjona­li Laburista. Hu qal li r-risposta tal-Gvern għal mistoqsija parla­mentari kienet bla sens, “anzi fqira ħafna”, u meta pprova jfittex fuq il-websajt tal-Gvern stess dwar dawn il-fondi mhux biss ma sab xejn, iżda dan is-sit ilu s-snin ma jkun aġġornat.
Għaldaqstant, qal il-Professur Scicluna, huwa għamel mistqosijiet Parlamentari fil-Parlament Ewropew. Waqt il-konferenza tal-aħbarijiet l-MEP Scicluna kkwota t-tweġiba tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea għall-mistoqsija tiegħu. Il-Kummissjoni qalet li b’kollox minn €855 miljun allokati, Malta assorbiet biss €198 miljun, filwaqt li €80 miljun oħrajn ġew depożitati, iżda jkollhom jingħataw lura f’każ li l-proġetti ma jsirux. Dan kollu jammonta biss għal 33%.
Edward Scicluna qal li t-€855 miljun allokati għal Malta għandhom jintefqu sal-2015, jew inkella nitilfuhom. Semma’ kif minkejja li l-Prim Ministru Lawrence Gonzi jgħid li Malta hija fost l-ogħla pajjiżi fl-użu tal-fondi Ewro­pej, ir-realtà hija ferm diffe­renti meta wieħed jara kemm minn dawn il-fondi ġew as­sorbiti fil-kaxxa ta’ Malta.
Huwa kkwota mid-diskorsi tal-Baġit tal-aħħar snin li juru li b’mod konsistenti kien hemm infiq iktar baxx milli previst fin-nefqa kapitali marbuta mal-fondi Ewropej.
L-Ewro Parlamentari Laburista talab lill-Gvern jagħti spjegazzjoni u jserraħ moħħ il-familji Maltin u Għawdxin li m’hemmx biżà li pajjiżna jitlef il-fondi tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Saħaq li Gvern ġdid, ikun min ikun, irid jassorbi €600 miljun f’sentejn meta f’sitt snin assorbejna biss €200 miljun.
Huwa qal li anke l-Awditur Ġenerali fir-Rapport tiegħu jgħid li m’għandniex problemi biex nonfqu l-flus, iżda l-problema tiġi biex il-flus jintefqu bil-għaqal.
Edward Scicluna temm jgħid li l-Partit Laburista qed joffri t-tama lill-familji, għa­x jemmen li Malta għandha l-potenzjal, iżda jrid ikollna l-għaqal biex nassorbu dawn ­il-fondi.
“L-għaqal jiswa l-flus,” temm jgħid il-Professur Scic­luna.

 

 

– l-orizzont: Is-Sibt, 8 ta’ Diċembru, 2012

 

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