Procedure : 2014/2132(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0103/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0103/2015

Debates :

PV 28/04/2015 - 16
CRE 28/04/2015 - 16

Votes :

PV 29/04/2015 - 10.54
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0163

REPORT     
PDF 179kWORD 81k
31.3.2015
PE 541.309v02-00 A8-0103/2015

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2132(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Ryszard Czarnecki

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2132(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the final annual accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013,

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013, together with the Joint Undertaking’s replies(1),

–       having regard to the statement of assurance(2) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2013, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 17 February 2015 on discharge to be given to the joint undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2013 (05306/2015 – C8‑0049/2015),

–       having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(3),

–       having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(4), and in particular Article 209 thereof,

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 74/2008 of 20 December 2007 on the establishment of the ‘ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking’ to implement a Joint Technology Initiative in Embedded Computing Systems(5),

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 561/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the ECSEL Joint Undertaking(6), and in particular Article 1(2) and Article 12 thereof,

–       having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(7),

–       having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 110/2014 of 30 September 2013 on the model financial regulation for public-private partnership bodies referred to in Article 209 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(8),

–       having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0103/2015),

1.      Postpones its decision on granting the Executive Director of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking’s budget for the financial year 2013;

2.      Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.      Instructs its President to forward this decision and the resolution forming an integral part of it to the Executive Director of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the closure of the accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2132(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the final annual accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013,

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013, together with the Joint Undertaking’s replies(9),

–       having regard to the statement of assurance(10) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2013, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 17 February 2015 on discharge to be given to the joint undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2013 (05306/2015 – C8‑0049/2015),

–       having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(11),

–       having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(12), and in particular Article 209 thereof,

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 74/2008 of 20 December 2007 on the establishment of the ‘ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking’ to implement a Joint Technology Initiative in Embedded Computing Systems(13),

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 561/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the ECSEL Joint Undertaking(14), and in particular Article 1(2) and Article 12 thereof,

–       having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(15),

–       having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 110/2014 of 30 September 2013 on the model financial regulation for public-private partnership bodies referred to in Article 209 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16),

–       having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0103/2015),

1.      Postpones the closure of the accounts of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013;

2.      Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget for the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2132(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013,

–       having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0103/2015),

A.     whereas the Artemis Joint Undertaking ("the Joint Undertaking") was set up in December 2007 for a period of 10 years to define and implement a “Research Agenda” for the development of key technologies for embedded computing systems across different application areas in order to strengthen Union competitiveness and sustainability and to allow for the emergence of new markets and societal applications,

B.     whereas the Joint Undertaking started to work autonomously in October 2009,

C.     whereas the maximum contribution for the period of 10 years from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 420 000 000 to be paid from the budget of the Seventh Research Framework Programme,

D.     whereas financial contributions from ARTEMIS Member States should amount in total to at least 1,8 times the Union's financial contribution and the in-kind contribution of research and development organisations participating in projects over the duration of the Joint Undertaking shall be equal to or greater than the contribution of public authorities.

E.     whereas the ARTEMIS and ENIAC Joint Undertakings were merged to create the Electronic Components and Systems for European leadership Joint Technology Initiative (ECSEL JTI) which has started its activity in June 2014 and will run for 10 years,

F.     whereas the Court of Auditors’ report for the financial year 2013 has been produced on a going-concern principle,

Budgetary and Financial Management

1.      Notes that the Court of Auditors ("the Court") stated that the 2013 annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking fairly present, in all material respects, its financial position as of 31 December 2013 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year-end, in accordance with the provisions of its Financial Rules;

2.      Takes note that the Joint Undertaking's ex post audit strategy which was adopted on 25 November 2010 has been modified on 20 February 2013; ascertains from the Court's report that with the modifications made in 2013, the strategy is a key tool for assessing the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions;

3.      Notes that according to the Court's report, payments made in 2013 relating to certificates of acceptance of costs issued by the national funding authorities ("NFAs") of the Member States amounted to EUR 11 700 000, which accounts for 57 % of the total operational payments;

4.      Observes with concern that the administrative agreements signed with the NFAs do not include practical arrangements for ex post audits, although the audit of project cost claims has been delegated to the NFAs;

5.      Notes that the ex post strategy adopted by the Joint Undertaking states that it must assess at least once a year whether the information sent by the NFAs provide sufficient assurance as to the regularity and legality of the executed transactions;

6.      Notes that according to the Court's report, the Joint Undertaking received audit reports from the NFAs covering approximately 46 % of the costs relating to completed projects; notes with concern that the Joint Undertaking did not assess the quality of those audits and that, by the end of March 2014, the Joint Undertaking had not received information on the audit strategies of seven out of 23 NFAs; notes moreover that the Joint Undertaking was therefore not in a position to assess whether ex post audits provide sufficient assurance as to the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions;

7.      Acknowledges from the Joint Undertaking that in addition to the improvements to its ex post audit strategy, an action plan was submitted which aims to remedy the deficiencies identified by the Court in its qualified opinion; acknowledges receipt from the Joint Undertaking of the last update with regard to the ex-post audit implementation in the Joint Undertaking; awaits the Court's opinion on the new formula proposed for the calculation of an estimated residual error rate in the Joint Undertaking’s transactions; notes that the implementation of the action plan commenced in 2014; looks forward to the successful implementation of the entire action plan as well as to the Court's opinion on its outcome; points out that difficulties may arise as to the boundaries between NFA's sovereign authority and the Joint Undertaking's authority; calls on the Joint Undertaking to provide a first interim evaluation report on the implementation of the action plan;

8.      Ascertains from the Court's report that the Joint Undertaking's initial 2013 budget included commitment appropriations amounting to EUR 68,9 million and was amended at the end of the year, thus reducing commitment appropriations to EUR 32,6 million; notes with concern that after the reduction, the utilisation rate of payment appropriations was only 69 %, while the utilisation rate for operational commitment appropriations was 99,4 %; the low budget implementation rate is mainly due to the lengthy and complex process for the financial closure of projects;

9.      Takes note that the maximum total budget of the Joint Undertaking, as per its establishing Regulation, amounts to EUR 410 million in order to cover the operational expenses; notes furthermore that the current amount of committed appropriations for the calls for proposals accounts for EUR 201 million, representing 49 % of the total budget;

10.    Is concerned that there is poor information regarding the evaluation of the Member States' and Research and Development organisations' contributions corresponding to the actual level of Union's payments; in line with the information received, the contribution of the Member States is under the level of 1,8 as requested by the Joint Undertaking’s statute; calls on the Joint Undertaking to submit a report to the discharge authority concerning the contributions of all members other than the Commission, including the application of the evaluation rules, together with an assessment by the Commission;

Legal Framework

11.    Takes into consideration that the new Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the Union was adopted on 25 October 2012 and took effect on 1 January 2013 while the model financial regulation for public-private partnership bodies referred to in Article 209 of the new Financial Regulation did not enter into force until 8 February 2014; notes that the financial rules of the Joint Undertaking have not been amended to reflect these changes because of the merger into ECSEL Joint Undertaking;

12.    Notes the Joint Statement by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission(17) and the subsequent political agreement reached on the separate discharge to be given by the Parliament upon recommendation of the Council, for Joint Undertakings under Article 209 of the Financial Regulation;

13.    Reiterates its demand to the Court to present a complete and appropriate financial assessment of rights and obligations of the Joint Undertaking for the period up to the date of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking starting activity;

Internal control systems

14.    Is concerned that the Joint Undertaking has not set up an internal audit capability as required by Article 6(2) of its establishing Regulation; notes moreover that although the mission charter of the Commission's Internal Audit Service (IAS) was adopted by the Governing Board on 25 November 2010, the financial rules of the Joint Undertaking have not been amended in order to include the provision of the model financial regulation referring to the powers of the IAS;

15.    Takes note that in 2013, the IAS performed an audit on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Joint Undertaking's internal control system with regard to management of experts; acknowledges from the audit conclusions that the current internal control system provides reasonable assurance for the achievement of the Joint Undertakings objectives as regards the management of experts; furthermore, notes that several important recommendations were made regarding the adoption of a comprehensive confidentiality policy as well as for the sensitivity of the programme officer's post and for the rules for the allocation of the workload for the remote evaluators;

16.    Acknowledges that the Joint Undertaking, along with the Clean Sky, ENIAC, FCH and IMI Joint Undertakings has been the subject of an IT risk assessment of their shared IT infrastructure performed by the IAS;

17     Acknowledges from the Court's report that the Disaster Recovery Plan for the Joint Undertaking's common IT infrastructure has not been approved; notes that the Joint Undertaking has taken measure at its own level in order to deal with emergency situations;

Conflicts of interest

18.    Notes with great concern that the Joint Undertaking failed to respect the 2014 recommendations of the discharge authority and did not adopt a comprehensive policy for the prevention and management of conflict of interests; reiterates the need for a clear definition of the concept of conflict of interest, which has to include the financial as well as the non-financial interest;

19.    Urges the Joint Undertaking to proceed to a rapid, complete and in-depth disclosure of CVs and declaration of interests by its Executive Director and members of the Governing Board by September 2015; requests as well the creation of a regularly updated database which includes all information related to conflicts of interest and a procedure to manage them along with a mechanism for dealing with breaches of the policy by September 2015;

20.    Calls upon the Joint Undertaking to adopt comprehensive policies for the management of conflict of interest situations such as divestment of the interest by the public official, recusal of the public official from involvement in an affected decision-making process, restriction of access by the affected public official to particular information, rearrangement of the public official's duties or resignation of the public official from their office;

21. As the Joint Undertaking has merged in 2014, the discharge authority calls on the ECSEL Joint Undertaking not to perpetuate the lack of a policy on management of conflicts of interest;

Monitoring and reporting of research results

22.    Takes note that the Seventh Framework Programme Decision(18) establishes a monitoring and reporting system related to the protection, dissemination and transfer of research results; ascertains that the Joint Undertaking has developed in this regard procedures in order to monitor the protection and dissemination of their research results at different project stages; note with concern from the Court's report the further need of development in order to fully meet the provisions of the Decision;

23.    Acknowledges that between September 2012 and February 2013, the Commission's Second Interim Evaluation was carried out assessing the Joint Undertaking together with the ENIAC Joint Undertaking in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and research quality; takes note that the report was issued in May 2013 and contained several recommendations for the Joint Undertaking; notes that these recommendations relate to the efficiency of project reviews, the improvement of the match of the project portfolio to strategic European aims and the appropriateness of the metrics for measuring the impact and success of its projects;

24     Calls on the Joint Undertaking to submit a report to the discharge authority on the social-economic benefits of the already completed projects; calls for that report to be submitted to the discharge authority together with an assessment by the Commission;

25.    Recalls that the discharge authority has previously requested the Court to draw up a special report on the capacity of the joint undertakings, together with their private partners, to ensure added value and efficient execution of Union research, technological development and demonstration programmes.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.3.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

12

0

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Inés Ayala Sender, Ryszard Czarnecki, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Ingeborg Gräßle, Rina Ronja Kari, Bernd Kölmel, Bogusław Liberadzki, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Monica Macovei, Fulvio Martusciello, Dan Nica, Georgi Pirinski, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Igor Šoltes, Bart Staes, Michael Theurer, Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Caterina Chinnici, Iris Hoffmann, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Andrey Novakov, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Laura Ferrara

(1)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 8.

(2)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 9.

(3)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(5)

OJ L 30, 4.2.2008, p. 52.

(6)

OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 152.

(7)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(8)

OJ L 38, 7.2.2014, p. 2.

(9)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 8.

(10)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 9.

(11)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(12)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(13)

OJ L 30, 4.2.2008, p. 52.

(14)

OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 152.

(15)

OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(16)

OJ L 38, 7.2.2014, p. 2.

(17)

OJ L 163, 29.5.2014, p. 21.

(18)

Article 7 of Decision No 1982/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) (OJ L 412, 30.12.2006, p. 6)

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