Pellegrini: Halting of EU Funds Standard Procedure

Vice-premier for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 20 (TASR) – The relevant governing bodies are working hard on removing shortcomings in the drawing of EU funds and the payments, halted at the moment, are expected to be released, Office of Vice-premier for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini said on Wednesday.

The office noted that the situation concerns some operational programmes (OPs) from the previous programme period (2007-13), and this has been known since March.

Halting of payments is a thing that has occurred several times during the programme period. When the identified problems were removed, the payments were always unblocked and properly paid,” stated Pellegrini’s office. It’s allegedly a standard procedure, with the European Commission actually providing scope to the concerned member country and its governing bodies to adopt corrective measures, and the payments are then unblocked. The measures also serve to prevent similar shortcomings from taking place in the future, the office pointed out.

Pellegrini’s office further stressed that the Commission has paid 92.7 percent of the allocated €11.5 billion to Slovakia in the aforementioned programme period. This ratio exceeds the EU average, as well as the level of drawing by the Czech Republic and Hungary, for example.

Brussels has halted payments in the following OPs: Health Care (€13.34 million), Bratislava Region (€11.4 million), Research and Development (€9.05 million), Cross Border Cooperation between Slovakia and the Czech Republic (€12.17 million) and Society Informatisation. The amount of unpaid funds for the latter programme hasn’t been specified by Pellegrini’s office. Nonetheless, it was stated that Government Office, which is the governing body in this OP, is engaged in intense talks with the Commission on the issue.