Procedure : 2014/2135(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0104/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0104/2015

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 29/04/2015 - 10.56
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0165

REPORT     
PDF 184kWORD 81k
31.3.2015
PE 541.307v02-00 A8-0104/2015

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

(2014/2135(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 ENIAC Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2135(DEC))

The European Parliament,

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

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the ENIAC 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 72/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the ENIAC Joint Undertaking(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 (A8-0104/2015),

1.      Postpones its decision on granting the Executive Director of the ECSEL Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the ENIAC 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 ENIAC Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2135(DEC))

The European Parliament,

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

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the ENIAC 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 72/2008 of 20 December 2007 setting up the ENIAC Joint Undertaking(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 (A8-0104/2015),

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

(2014/2135(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the ENIAC 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 (A8-0104/2015),

A. whereas the ENIAC Joint Undertaking ("the Joint Undertaking") was set up on 20 December 2007 for a period of 10 years to define and implement a “research agenda” for the development of key competences for nanoelectronics across different application areas,

B.  whereas the Joint Undertaking was granted its financial autonomy in July 2010,

C.  whereas the founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the Union, represented by the Commission, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Association for European Nanoelectronics Activities (AENEAS),

D. whereas the maximum contribution for the period of 10 years from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 450 000 000, to be paid from the budget of the Seventh Research Framework Programme,

E.  whereas AENEAS is to make a maximum contribution of EUR 30 000 000 to the Joint Undertaking's running costs and the Member States are to make in-kind contributions to the running costs and to provide financial contributions of at least 1,8 times the Union contribution,

F.  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,

G.  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"), in its report on the Joint Undertaking's annual accounts for the financial year 2013 (“the Court’s report”), stated that the Joint Undertaking's annual accounts present fairly, 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 and the accounting rules adopted by the Commission's Accounting Officer;

2.  Is deeply concerned that the Court issued a qualified opinion, for a third consecutive year, on the legality and regularity of the transactions underlying the annual accounts, on the grounds of not being able to conclude whether or not the ex post audit strategy, which relies heavily on the National Funding Authorities (NFAs) auditing project cost claims, provides sufficient assurance with respect to the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions; considers that the qualified opinion put into question the willingness of the Joint Undertaking to be effective and efficient according to the principle of ''value for money''; urges therefore the Joint Undertaking to report to the discharge authority on its strategy to change swiftly those current practices;

3.  Notes that the Court considers the information available on the implementation of the Joint Undertaking’s ex post audit strategy as insufficient for it to conclude whether this key control tool is functioning effectively; reiterates its call for the Court, through its independent audits, to provide the discharge authority with its own opinion on the legality and the regularity of the transactions underlying the Joint Undertaking's annual accounts;

4.  Recalls that the Joint Undertaking adopted an ex post audit strategy in 2010 and that its implementation started in 2011; notes that the audit of project cost claims has been delegated to the NFAs of the Member States; takes note that the Joint Undertaking's ex post audit strategy relies on the NFAs to audit project cost claims;

5.  Notes furthermore that the Joint Undertaking carried out a limited review of cost claims in 2012 that concluded that the error rate in the programme is below 2 %; notes the Court's opinion that the exercise did not include any audits and did not provide assurance as to the regularity of the cost claims reviewed;

6.  Acknowledges from the Joint Undertaking that 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 opinion of the Court on its outcome; points out that difficulties may arise on the boundary between the 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;

7.  Takes note that the Joint Undertaking's operational budget for 2013 initially included commitment appropriations of EUR 115 600 000 and payment appropriations of EUR 59 700 000; notes that the Governing Board adopted an amending budget at the year-end, increasing commitment appropriations to EUR 170 000 000 and decreasing payment appropriations to EUR 36 100 000 and resulting in an implementation rate for operational commitment appropriations of 100 % and 95 % for payment appropriations;

8.  Is concerned that there is limited information available regarding the evaluation of the Member States' and AENEAS' contributions corresponding to the actual level of Union 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;

9.  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;

Internal control systems

10. Acknowledges that the Commission's Internal Audit Service (IAS) audited the adequacy and effectiveness of the Grant Management process in 2013, reaching the conclusion that the procedures in place are providing reasonable assurances; notes that the report includes a number of recommendations, the main two of them concerning the setting up of a documented process for selecting experts and control over access rights having been addressed by the Joint Undertaking;

11. Takes note that the Joint Undertaking, along with Clean Sky, Artemis, FCH and IMI Joint Undertakings, was the subject of an IT Risk Assessment performed by the IAS on the common IT infrastructure they share; notes from the report the need to formalise IT security policies as well as the need to include detailed procedures in future contracts with IT service providers;

12. Takes note that the Seventh Framework Programme Decision 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;

13. Acknowledges that between September 2012 and February 2013, the Commission carried out its Second Interim Evaluation in order to assess the Joint Undertaking and the ARTEMIS 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; recalls that the measures concern the efficiency of project reviews, measures to be taken to improve the match of the project portfolio to strategic Union aims and the appropriate metrics for measuring the impact and success of its projects;

Calls for proposals

14. Acknowledges that the last two calls for proposals were launched in 2013 and enabled the Joint Undertaking to use the remaining EUR 170 000 000;

Legal Framework

15. 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 Joint Undertaking's financial rules have not been amended to take into account the model financial regulation because of the merger into the ECSEL Joint Undertaking;

16. Notes the Joint Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission(17) and the subsequent political agreement reached on the separate discharge for Joint Undertakings under Article 209 of the Financial Regulation;

17. 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 ECSEL Joint Undertaking starting activity;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

18. Acknowledges that the Joint Undertaking has taken comprehensive measures to prevent conflicts of interest and has published them on its website; notes from the Court's report that further improvements should be considered such as setting up a database to include all information concerning conflicts of interest;

19. Calls on the Joint Undertaking to inform the discharge authority about the progress of the database concerning conflicts of interest;

20. 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

10

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. 26.

(2)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 27.

(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. 21.

(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. 26.

(10)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 27.

(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. 21.

(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.

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