The CoR opinion put forward 78 recommendations for legislative amendments in total. Following an analysis of the draft EP report by the COTER secretariat, which found out that the content of the draft EP report - despite the early and intensive contacts between the respective CoR political group secretariats and the assistants of the two EP co-rapporteurs - significantly differed from the draft CoR opinion, the political groups of the two CoR co-rapporteurs and the COTER secretariat took strong action on promoting the CoR position among key members of the REGI committee, in particular with regard to the 15 most critical legislative amendments.
These concerted efforts resulted in 240 out of 2200 amendments tabled in REGI that had the same or a similar wording as the CoR position. Consequently, the EP report adopted on 22 January 2019 in REGI took 35 CoR recommendations at least partially on board, including a number of key issues for the CoR. These were also confirmed at the vote in Plenary session, which also deleted the rules on macroeconomic conditionalities, thereby favourably changing a part of the CPR covered by three additional CoR amendments that hadn't been taken on board in the earlier REGI report. In many cases the EP text followed the exact wording of the CoR recommendations or rephrased them only slightly, so that the impact of the CoR opinion can be clearly validated.
In general, there is a large convergence between the CoR opinion on the Common Provisions Regulation and the EP position at first reading. The EP resolution is in particular in line with the CoR opinion on the reintroduction of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development into the Common Provisions Regulation, the emphasis on the principles of partnership and multilevel governance, including the clarification that the preparation and implementation of the programmes should take place at the appropriate territorial level, the financial allocation for the whole 2021-2027 period, and the maintenance of the n+3 rule. The EP also introduced a provision on a safety net, which implies that this would also apply to the regional level, which was a key request of the CoR opinion. Concerning the co-financing rates for the different categories of regions, the EP resolution is fully in line with the CoR opinion, with the exception of the co-financing rate for transition regions, where the EP requested a slightly lower increase than the CoR opinion (65% instead of 70%, compared to 55% in the initial EC proposal). On some key elements, the EP position is less ambitious than the CoR opinion (e.g. on the annual pre-financing rates), however, on other elements it goes beyond the requests of the CoR (e.g. on the possibility of transfers of resources to other Funds).
Concerning the position of the Council, the picture is less positive. The Council's partial negotiating mandates suggested in particular to significantly weaken the provisions of Articles 6, 7 and 9, which cover the elaboration of the Partnership Agreements for the Funds. Here the Council took the view that not all Member States should be obliged to draw up a Partnership Agreement, in particular those with only a small Cohesion Policy budget and/or a low number of programmes, whilst the Parliament calls for mandatory Partnership Agreements for all Member States, which is also the position of the European Committee of the Regions on that matter. The Council also suggested a weaker approach on integrated territorial development (Article 22), leaving it to the discretion of the Member State to use this instrument or not. Moreover, although Article 15 was not covered by the Council's partial mandates, it appears from the Council's revised draft negotiating box (Annex to Council document 10010/1/19 REV 1) that the Council is generally in favour of maintaining macroeconomic conditionality.
A comparison between the 52 CoR recommendations for legislative amendments that concern those provisions of the CPR covered by the Council's partial mandates shows that the impact of the CoR opinion on the Council position was limited: Only 10 recommendations for legislative amendments have been taken at least partially on board. In 8 other cases, the Council took a different approach, where the result could also be considered in line with the CoR position or at least as an improvement in comparison to the initial Commission proposal. 34 recommendations for legislative amendments have not been taken on board.