Procedure : 2014/2079(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0269/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0269/2015

Debates :

PV 26/10/2015 - 18
CRE 26/10/2015 - 18

Votes :

PV 27/10/2015 - 5.14
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0373

SECOND REPORT     
PDF 348kWORD 78k
29.9.2015
PE 560.695v02-00 A8-0269/2015

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, Section II – European Council and Council

(2014/2079(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 general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, Section II – European Council and Council

(2014/2079(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013(1),

–  having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2013 (COM(2014)0510 – C8‑0148/2014)(2),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2013, together with the institutions’ replies(3),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(4) 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 its decision of 29 April 2015(5) postponing the discharge decision for the financial year 2013, and the accompanying resolution,

–  having regard to Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 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(6),

–  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(7), and in particular Articles 55, 99, 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

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

–  having regard to the second report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0269/2015),

1.  Refuses to grant the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Council and of the Council 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 European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European External Action Service, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, Section II – European Council and Council

(2014/2079(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, Section II – European Council and Council,

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

–  having regard to the second report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0269/2015),

A.  whereas all Union institutions ought to be transparent and fully accountable to the citizens of the Union for the funds entrusted to them as Union institutions;

B.  whereas the European Council and the Council, as Union institutions, should be subject to democratic accountability towards the citizens of the Union as far as they are beneficiaries of the general budget of the European Union;

C.  whereas Parliament is the sole directly elected body among the Union institutions and has responsibility to grant discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union;

1.  Emphasises Parliament's role specified in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in respect of the budget discharge;

2.  Points out that under Article 335 TFEU, "[…] the Union shall be represented by each of the institutions, by virtue of their administrative autonomy, in matters relating to their respective operation" and that, accordingly, taking into account Article 55 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (the Financial Regulation), the institutions are individually responsible for the implementation of their budgets;

3.  Emphasises the role of Parliament and of other institutions within the discharge procedure as governed by the provisions of the Financial Regulation, in particular Articles 164, 165 and 166 thereof;

4.  Notes that under Rule 94 of its Rules of Procedure, "the provisions governing the procedure for granting discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget shall likewise apply to the procedure for granting discharge to [...] the persons responsible for the implementation of the budgets of other institutions and bodies of the European Union such as the Council (as regards its activity as executive) […]";

5.  Regrets that the Council did not provide any explanation on the increasing underspending and carryovers of commitments in their 2013 budget;

Pending issues

6.  Reminds the Council of Parliament's call for progress reports on building projects and a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred to date;

7.  Urges the Council to provide a thorough written explanation detailing the total amount of appropriations used in the purchase of the 'Residence Palace' building, the budget items from which those appropriations were drawn, the instalments that have been paid thus far and the instalments that remain to be paid;

8.  Reiterates its call on the Council to provide information on its process of administrative modernisation, in particular on the concrete implementing measures of that process and on the anticipated impact on the Council's budget;

9.  Regrets the difficulties repeatedly encountered in the discharge procedures to date, which were due to a lack of cooperation from the Council; points out that Parliament refused to grant discharge to the Secretary-General of the Council in relation to the financial years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 for the reasons set out in its resolutions of 10 May 2011(8), 25 October 2011(9), 10 May 2012(10), 23 October 2012(11), 17 April 2013(12), 9 October 2013(13), 3 April 2014(14) and 23 October 2014(15) and postponed its decision on granting the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in relation to the financial year 2013 for the reasons set out in its resolution of 29 April 2015;

10.  Insists that an effective budgetary control exercise requires cooperation between Parliament and the Council as set out in its resolution of 29 April 2015; confirms that Parliament is unable to make an informed decision on granting discharge;

11.  Reminds the Council of the Commission's views, expressed in its letter of 23 January 2014, that all institutions are fully part of the follow-up process to the observations made by Parliament in the discharge exercise and that all institutions should cooperate to ensure the smooth functioning of the discharge procedure;

12.  Notes that the Commission stated in the abovementioned letter that it will not oversee the implementation of the budget of the other institutions and that giving a response to questions addressed to another institution would infringe the autonomy of that institution to implement its own section of the budget;

13.  Regrets that the Council continues to fail to provide answers to Parliament's questions; recalls the conclusions of the Parliament workshop on Parliament's Right to Grant Discharge to the Council held on 27 September 2012, at which the legal and academic experts largely agreed on the Parliament's right to information; in this respect refers to the third subparagraph of Article 15(3) TFEU which stipulates that each institution, body, office or agency shall ensure that its proceedings are transparent;

14.  Insists that the expenditure of the Council must be scrutinised in the same way as that of other institutions and that the fundamental elements of such scrutiny have been laid down in its discharge resolutions of the past years;

15.  Emphasises Parliament's prerogative to grant discharge pursuant to Articles 316, 317 and 319 TFEU, in line with current interpretation and practice, namely to grant discharge to each heading of the budget individually in order to maintain transparency and democratic accountability towards Union taxpayers;

16.  Takes the view that Council's failure to submit the requested documents to Parliament above all undermines the right of citizens of the Union to information and transparency and is becoming a cause for concern, reflecting as it does a certain democratic deficit within the Union institutions;

17.  Believes that it is necessary to consider different possibilities to update the rules on granting discharge laid down in the TFEU;

18.  Considers that satisfactory cooperation between Parliament, the European Council and the Council as a result of an open and formal dialogue procedure can be a positive sign to be sent to the citizens of the Union.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Louis Aliot, Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Rina Ronja Kari, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Monica Macovei, Dan Nica, Georgi Pirinski, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Igor Šoltes, Bart Staes, Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan, Anders Primdahl Vistisen

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Karin Kadenbach, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Markus Pieper, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche, Patricija Šulin

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

Raymond Finch

(1)

OJ L 66, 8.3.2013.

(2)

OJ C 403, 13.11.2014, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 398, 12.11.2014, p. 1.

(4)

OJ C 403, 13.11.2014, p. 128.

(5)

Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2015)0122.

(6)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(7)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(8)

  OJ L 250, 27.9.2011, p. 25.

(9)

  OJ L 313, 26.11.2011, p. 13.

(10)

  OJ L 286, 17.10.2012, p. 23.

(11)

  OJ L 350, 20.12.2012, p. 71.

(12)

  OJ L 308, 16.11.2013, p. 22.

(13)

  OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 97.

(14)

  OJ L 266, 5.9.2014, p. 26.

(15)

  OJ L 334, 21.11.2014, p. 95.

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