On the occasion of its meeting on July 20th 2010, the European Commission adopted a legis- lative proposal to replace the existing Council regulation 1407/2002 (the „Coal regulation”) which is due to expire on December 31st 2010.
By agreeing to these essential features
the Commission has grossly disregarded the outcome of the related Impact Assessment carried out by its services. Instead, it followed a series of ill-placed arguments which demands the phasing–out of state aid after a limited period for reasons of principle. By doing so, the Commission deliberately put at risk the jobs of tens of thousands in the European coal sector and related industries. Consequently, in its press release issued August 9th 2010, FECER has highlighted that invaluable social and environmental objectives have been sacrificed for allegedly overriding reasons including competition and climate protection. No doubt, such a decision has all the ingredients to foster resentments vis-à-vis the European integration or at best voter fatigue, as shown during last year’s election of the European Parliament.
Having carefully reviewed the exchange of arguments between the political stakeholders across Europe on the above Commission proposal, FECER members call upon all European Union institutions engaged in finalising the revision of the „Coal regulation” – in particular Commission, Parliament and Council – to take into account the following:
However, if the European Union should place principles of regulatory policy above all other political objectives, this would have major consequences within its own realm, e. g. phasing- out of payments to the agricultural sector within a comparable period of time.
In conclusion, FECER is confident, that the EU institutions dealing with the revision of the „Coal regulation” in the weeks to come will be prudent enough to apply the principles of the Europe 2020 strategy in a careful and responsible manner which puts the objectives of job creation and preservation, respectively, on the top of the EU’s strategic agenda during the next decade.
Brussels, October 25th 2010