Procedure : 2014/2134(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0112/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0112/2015

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 29/04/2015 - 10.57
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0166

REPORT     
PDF 173kWORD 77k
31.3.2015
PE 541.306v02-00 A8-0112/2015

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2134(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 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2134(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the final annual accounts of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013,

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 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 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking(5),

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 559/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 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 (A8-0112/2015),

1.      Grants the Executive Director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 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 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 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 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2134(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the final annual accounts of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013,

–       having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 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 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking(13),

–       having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 559/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 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 (A8-0112/2015),

1.      Approves the closure of the accounts of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013;

2.      Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 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 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2013

(2014/2134(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 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 (A8-0112/2015),

A.     whereas the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking ("the Joint Undertaking") was set up in May 2008 as a public-private partnership by Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 for a period until 31 December 2017 to focus on developing market applications and hence facilitating additional industrial efforts towards a rapid deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies,

B.     whereas the Members of the Joint Undertaking are the Union, represented by the Commission, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative Industry Grouping ("the Industry Grouping") and the Research Grouping N.ERGHY ("the Research Grouping"),

C.     whereas the maximum contribution for the entire period from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 470 000 000 to be paid from the budget of the Seventh Framework Programme, of which the proportion earmarked for running costs must not exceed EUR 20 000 000,

D.     whereas the Industry Grouping are expected to contribute 50 % of the running costs and the Research Grouping should contribute one twelfth of the running costs and both should contribute to operational costs through in-kind contributions at least equal to the financial contribution of the Union,

Budget and financial management

1.      Notes that the Court of Auditors ("the Court") stated that the 2013 annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking 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 then ended, in accordance with the provisions of its Financial Rules;

2.      Notes, furthermore, that the Joint Undertaking's final budget for the financial year 2013 included commitment appropriations of EUR 74,5 million and payment appropriations of EUR 69,7 million; notes, moreover, that the utilisation rates for commitment and payment appropriations were 98,9 % and 56,7 % respectively; acknowledges that the level of payment appropriations is lower than the previous year, a fact which is determined by the postponement of funding of three projects;

Calls for proposals

3.      Points out that as of 31 December 2013, the Joint Undertaking programme consisted of 130 grant agreements resulting from five annual calls which took place between 2008 and 2012; notes that these grants total EUR 365 million, amounting to 81 % of the maximum Union contribution to the Joint Undertaking for research activities of EUR 452,5 million;

4.     Notes that 23 further grant agreements were signed from the 2013-1 call, as well as an additional two grants from the launching of the 2013-2 call for the amounts of EUR 75 200 000 and EUR 7 000 000 respectively;

5.      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 methodology for assessing, together with an assessment by the Commission;

Legal Framework

6.      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; acknowledges that the Financial Rules of the Joint Undertaking have been amended in order to reflect these changes on 30 June 2014;

7.      Notes the Joint Statement by the 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;

8.      Calls on 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 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking starting activity;

Internal control systems

9.      Notes that the Joint Undertaking's Internal Audit Capability, in accordance with the Commissions Internal Audit Service/Internal Audit Capability strategic plan for the Joint Undertaking for 2011-2013, has carried out one audit on "Grant Management-negotiation, contracting and prefinancing" during 2013, as well as performing other assurance and consultancy services;

10.    Observes with concern that the Final Report on "Grant Management" noted the need to reduce the "Time to Grant" and "Time to Close Negotiations" and the need to clarify some aspects of the Joint Undertaking's procedure for "Financial Viability Checks"; acknowledges the development of an action plan to address these recommendations, as well as taking into account the impact of the new legal environment and rules under Horizon 2020 and calls on the Joint Undertaking to inform the discharge authority of the results of its implementation;

11.    Takes note that the Joint Undertaking, along with ARTEMIS, Clean Sky, Eniac and IMI Joint Undertakings, was the subject of an IT risk assessment of the common IT infrastructure performed by the Commission’s Internal Audit Service;

12.    Acknowledges the specific measures put in place by the Joint Undertaking in order to prevent conflicts of interest in respect of its three key stakeholders: Governing Board members, experts and employees such as a clear definition of conflict of interest with a database of all related information and process for managing them; notes that the written procedure regarding the specific measures was submitted to the Governing Board in November 2014; acknowledges that the Commission requested to postpone the adoption of the specific measures in order to provide a harmonised template for the measures given the horizontal nature of the subject; calls on the Joint Undertaking to swiftly proceed with the adoption of these specific measures;

13.    Points out that between November 2012 and May 2013, the Commission's second interim evaluation of the Joint Undertaking was carried out; notes that the report contains several recommendations, such as assigning of more resources to operations through the sharing of administrative functions with other Joint Undertakings and/or returning them to the Commission's services as well as a sharper focus on the research strategy for the continuation of the Joint Undertaking in Horizon 2020 in accordance with the three main principles (alignment with EU policies, areas where Europe has or can achieve leadership, adaptation to the changing needs of the sector) and strengthening of the capacity for change; acknowledges that an action plan is being revised by the Joint Undertaking in order to address these aspects;

Monitoring and Reporting

14.    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 in 2013 the Joint Undertaking has increased its own capacity to monitor and report research results of its projects and to assess the achievement of its programme through the hiring of a Knowledge Management and Policy officer; notes the introduction of a new IT tool which helps with the analysis and synthesis of the results of finished projects and reporting the first public foreground deliverables arising from complex projects on its website;

15.    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;

16.    Acknowledges the Joint Undertaking’s efforts to examine the possibility of using the Commission’s IT system for monitoring purposes related to the protection, dissemination and transfer of research results as well as to develop its reporting on results, in line with the comments included in the 2012 Commission Annual Progress Report on the Activities of the Joint Undertakings(19);

17.    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:

21

6

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, 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

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

Laura Ferrara

(1)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 67

(2)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 68

(3)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(5)

OJ L 153, 12.6.2008, p. 1.

(6)

OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 108.

(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. 67

(10)

OJ C 452, 16.12.2014, p. 68

(11)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(12)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(13)

OJ L 153, 12.6.2008, p. 1.

(14)

OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 108.

(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)

(19)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the activities of the Joint Technology Initiative Joint Undertakings in 2012 (SWD(2013) 539 final)

Legal notice