Procedure : 2015/2203(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0137/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0137/2016

Debates :

PV 27/04/2016 - 17
CRE 27/04/2016 - 17

Votes :

PV 28/04/2016 - 4.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0149

REPORT     
PDF 378kWORD 169k
12.4.2016
PE 571.494v02-00 A8-0137/2016

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014

(2015/2203(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Claudia Schmidt

 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 eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014

(2015/2203(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the financial statements and revenue and expenditure accounts for the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014 (COM(2015)0379 – C8‑0248/2015),

–  having regard to the financial information on the European Development Fund (COM(2015)0295),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on the activities funded by the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014, together with the Commission’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 2014, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendations of 12 February 2016 on discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the operations of the European Development Funds for the financial year 2014 (05219/2016 – C8-0036/2016, 05220/2016 – C8-0037/2016, 05223/2016 – C8-0038/2016, 05224/2016 – C8-0039/2016),

–  having regard to the Commission’s report on the follow-up to the discharge for the 2013 financial year (COM(2015)0505), and to the accompanying Commission staff working documents (SWD(2015)0194 and SWD(2015)0195),

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(3) and amended in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 22 June 2010(4),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union (‘Overseas Association Decision’)(5),

–  having regard to Article 33 of the Internal Agreement of 20 December 1995 between the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the financing and administration of the Community aid under the Second Financial Protocol to the fourth ACP-EC Convention(6),

–  having regard to Article 32 of the Internal Agreement of 18 September 2000 between Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the Financing and Administration of Community Aid under the Financial Protocol to the Partnership Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community and its Member States signed in Cotonou (Benin) on 23 June 2000 and the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the EC Treaty applies(7),

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Internal Agreement of 17 July 2006 between the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the financing of Community aid under the multiannual financial framework for the period 2008 to 2013 in accordance with the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement and on the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the EC Treaty applies(8),

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Internal Agreement of 24 and 26 June 2013 between the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, on the financing of European Union aid under the multiannual financial framework for the period 2014 to 2020 in accordance with the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and on the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union applies(9),

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

–  having regard to Article 74 of the Financial Regulation of 16 June 1998 applicable to development finance cooperation under the fourth ACP-EC Convention(10),

–  having regard to Article 119 of the Financial Regulation of 27 March 2003 applicable to the 9th European Development Fund(11),

–  having regard to Article 50 of Council Regulation (EC) No 215/2008 of 18 February 2008 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund(12),

–  having regard to Article 48 of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/323 on the financial regulation applicable to the 11th European Development Fund(13),

–  having regard to Rule 93 and the third indent of Rule 94 of, and Annex V to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0137/2016),

1.   Grants the Commission discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014;

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 Council, the Commission, the Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank, 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 eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014

(2015/2203(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the financial statements and revenue and expenditure accounts for the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014 (COM(2015)0379 – C8‑0248/2015),

–  having regard to the financial information on the European Development Fund (COM(2015)0295),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on the activities funded by the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014, together with the Commission’s replies(14),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(15) 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 2014, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendations of 12 February 2016 on discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the operations of the European Development Funds for the financial year 2014 (05219/2016 – C8-0036/2016, 05220/2016 – C8-0037/2016, 05223/2016 – C8-0038/2016, 05224/2016 – C8-0039/2016),

–  having regard to the Commission’s report on the follow-up to the discharge for the 2013 financial year (COM(2015)0505), and to the accompanying Commission staff working documents (SWD(2015)0194 and SWD(2015)0195),

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(16) and amended in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 22 June 2010(17),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union (‘Overseas Association Decision’)(18),

–  having regard to Article 33 of the Internal Agreement of 20 December 1995 between the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the financing and administration of the Community aid under the Second Financial Protocol to the fourth ACP-EC Convention(19),

–  having regard to Article 32 of the Internal Agreement of 18 September 2000 between Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the Financing and Administration of Community Aid under the Financial Protocol to the Partnership Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community and its Member States signed in Cotonou (Benin) on 23 June 2000 and the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the EC Treaty applies(20),

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Internal Agreement of 17 July 2006 between the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the financing of Community aid under the multiannual financial framework for the period 2008 to 2013 in accordance with the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement and on the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the EC Treaty applies(21),

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Internal Agreement of 24 and 26 June 2013 between the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of the European Union, meeting within the Council, on the financing of European Union aid under the multiannual financial framework for the period 2014 to 2020 in accordance with the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and on the allocation of financial assistance for the Overseas Countries and Territories to which Part Four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union applies(22),

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

–  having regard to Article 74 of the Financial Regulation of 16 June 1998 applicable to development finance cooperation under the fourth ACP-EC Convention(23),

–  having regard to Article 119 of the Financial Regulation of 27 March 2003 applicable to the 9th European Development Fund(24),

–  having regard to Article 50 of Council Regulation (EC) No 215/2008 of 18 February 2008 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund(25),

–  having regard to Article 48 of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/323 on the financial regulation applicable to the 11th European Development Fund(26),

–  having regard to Rule 93 and the third indent of Rule 94 of, and Annex V to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0137/2016),

1.  Notes that the final annual accounts of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds are shown in Table 2 of the Court of Auditors’ annual report;

2.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank, 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 of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014

(2015/2203(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014,

–  having regard to Rule 93 and the third indent of Rule 94 of, and Annex V to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0137/2016),

A.  whereas successive European Development Funds (EDFs), funded by Member States, constitute the main cooperation instruments for delivering Union aid for development cooperation to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and overseas countries and territories (OCTs);

B.  whereas the overarching objective of the Cotonou agreement focuses on reducing and eventually eradicating poverty for 2020;

C.  whereas sustainability and progressive economic integration became pivotal principles of the development policy and instruments within the Cotonou partnership;

D.  whereas the fact that the spending in 2014 was made under the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th EDFs, with payments still executed under the 8th EDF opened in 1995, hinders the overall level of transparency and efficiency of the operations;

E.  whereas the Council adopted, in December 2013, a bridging facility to ensure the availability of funds between January 2014 and the entry into force of the 11th EDF with transitional resources amounting EUR 1 616 million;

F.  whereas EDF funding is managed both by the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the Commission solely accountable for the management of funds and operations within the discharge procedure;

G.  whereas the Union has a strong record of international cooperation in tackling global challenges and providing development support in many parts of the world;

H.  whereas there is a need to redefine the way global actors and institutions work together, by defining new forms of momentum and modus operandi, in particular so as to better deliver results on commitments related to Union external policies;

I.  whereas the Union’s external interventions are channelled through international organisations which either implement Union funds or cofinance projects together with the Union including challenges in terms of oversight and governance;

J.  whereas the prevailing operating environment in ACP countries comprises a high-level inherent risk exposure with political instability and security issues and weak institutional and administrative environment;

K.  whereas the level and nature of the Union's engagement must be differentiated and conditional, depending on measurable progress in various fields such as democratisation, human rights, good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, the rule of law, transparency and the fight against corruption;

L.  whereas a regular and thorough political dialogue is key to ensure partners' greater ownership and the adjustment of policy objectives;

M.  whereas budget support presents important risks related to the partner country capacity to use the funds allocated appropriately with a potential impact on the commonly-agreed objectives and also brings with it, in particular, a number of transparency, accountability and good financial management related challenges;

N.  Whereas illicit financial flows resulting from corruption, tax evasion or money laundering schemes hinder partner countries' efforts to mobilise domestic revenues and undermines their opportunity for growth and the alleviation of poverty;

O.  whereas it is of fundamental importance to expand Union visibility and credibility as well as to promote Union values in all Union interventions;

P.  whereas the 'budgetisation' of the EDF, consisting of its incorporation into the Union budget structure, remains a priority for Parliament; whereas the inclusion of the EDF in the general budget would allow Parliament to have a say in the setting up and allocation of EDF funding whilst also enhancing policy coherence and democratic scrutiny;

Statement of Assurance

Financial and project implementation in 2014

1.  Acknowledges the low level of commitments in 2014 with EUR 621 million compared to previous years with EUR 3 923 million in 2013 and EUR 3 163 million for 2012, this being related to the late entry into force of the 11th EDF and the limited transitional resources available under the bridging facility, i.e. EUR 1616 million; notes moreover the very high level of payments with EUR 3 516 million compared to EUR 2 963 million for 2013 thanks to the EUR 595 million from the bridging facility affected to budget support disbursements and advances for operations under the African Peace Facility in the Central African Republic and Somalia;

2.  Is deeply concerned that the Court's estimated error rate for EDF expenditures has increased for three years in a row, from 2012 to 2014, from 3,0 to 3,8 %; underlines that this error rate is still substantially lower than the error rates of Union expenditures managed by Member States;

3.  Expresses concern that the Commission had sufficient information to prevent, detect and correct the quantifiable errors before validating and accepting the expenditure, which would have resulted in an error rate up to 2,3 percentage points lower, bringing it below the materiality threshold of 2%; notes that most of the errors stem from non-compliance with procurement rules; supports the Court's recommendation that ex-ante controls be improved;

4.  Welcomes the efforts carried out by EuropeAid to decrease the high level of outstanding commitments (often referred to by the French term reste à liquider) from EUR 12,5 billion at 31 December 2013 to EUR 9,7 billion at 31 December 2014, representing a decrease of 23%; points out, however, that further efforts are needed; notes also EuropAid’s efforts to reduce old pre-financing (46% achieved, with a 25% target) and old unspent commitments (51,24% achieved, with a 25% target) as well as the number of open expired contracts (15,52% achieved, with a 15% target) but with less satisfactory progress for expired contracts under the EDFs where 25% of all EDF contracts are open expired contracts with an aggregate total value of EUR 3,8 billion; encourages the Commission to continue its efforts to shorten the average project implementation period;

Risks related to regularity

5.  Takes note of the multiplicity of delivery modes used for the implementation of the EDFs with centralised direct management (representing 38 % of payments made in 2014, of which 22 % of the total concerned budget support), with indirect management accounting for the remaining 62 % (broken down as follows: 32 % through international organisations, 25 % through third countries and 5 % with national bodies of the Member States); acknowledges the wide geographical coverage (79 countries) as well as the complexity of the implementing rules and procedures at stake, such as the processes for tendering and awarding contracts;

6.  Notes that in two areas of budget support and cooperation with international organisations, and particularly with Union contributions to United Nations multi-donor projects, the nature of the instruments and payment conditions limit the extent to which transactions are prone to errors;

Reliability of the accounts

7.  Welcomes the Court's opinion that the final annual accounts of the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th European Development Funds for the year 2014 present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the EDFs as of 31 December 2014, and that the results of their operations, their cash flows and the changes in net assets for the year then ended are in accordance with the provisions of the EDF financial regulations and with accounting rules based on internationally accepted accounting standards for the public sector;

8.  Is deeply concerned, as in previous years, that in the case of pre-financing payments over EUR 750 000, authorising officers in sub-delegations still do not systematically comply with the rule which requires the Commission to recover interest on an annual basis (EUR 2,5 million in 2014 compared to EUR 5,7 million in 2013) and that the amount of interest revenue disclosed in the accounts is partly based on estimates; calls on the Commission Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO) to strictly monitor authorising officers by sub-delegation; regrets also that the interest earned on pre-financing between EUR 250 000 and 750 000 has still not been recognised as a source of financial revenue in the financial statements;

9.  Notes that EUR 83,3 million have been recovered in 2014 representing 2,3 % of the total amount of EUR 3,58 billion paid for EDF in 2014; stresses, however, that these recoveries also pertain to the 8th, 9th and 10th EDF and the recovery rate therefore varies greatly;

Legality and regularity of the transactions underlying the accounts

10.  Welcomes the Court’s opinion, according to which revenue underlying the accounts for the year 2014 is legal and regular in all material aspects;

11.  Expresses concern at the Court's assessment of the legality and regularity of payments, which are materially affected by error, and at the fact that supervisory and control systems at EuropeAid’s Headquarters and Union delegations are assessed as only being partially effective in ensuring the legality and regularity of payments; is concerned by the results of the sampling of payments transactions which revealed that 54 among 165 payments (33 %) were affected by error;

12.  Regrets that according to the Court's estimation in its annual report, the most likely error rate for expenditure transactions from the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th EDFs is 3,8 %, which indicates a second consecutive increase compared to 2013 (3,4 %) and to 2012 (3%);

13.  Regrets that non-compliance with procurement rules by beneficiaries and the absence of supporting documents for expenditure are still the two main causes of errors, representing 63% of the estimated error rate; considers it indispensable that consistent attention be devoted to the development of internal financial and control know-how, and calls for absolute transparency to be shown as regards beneficiaries and subcontractors;

14.  Regrets that out of the 133 payment transactions checked by the Court, 34 were affected by quantifiable error, and that 19 % of the 34 were related to expenditure not incurred, which might be evidence of fraudulent activity;

15.  Expresses concern that the Commission had sufficient information to prevent, detect and correct the quantifiable errors before validating and accepting the expenditure, and that using the information available would have resulted in an error rate 2,3 percentage points lower than that actually achieved; expects DG DEVCO to be more rigorous in the running of its overall control system and in its use of the information available;

16.  Welcomes the entry into force of the anti-fraud strategy in 2014 and requests a focus on and development of anti-fraud mechanisms and an improvement in the transparency of the EDFs financing;

Supervision of operations and reinforcement of the management assurance

17.  Notes that out of the 133 payment transactions related to projects, 52 (or 39 %) were affected by error of which 34 (65 %) were quantifiable errors; deplores that 14 of these 34 transactions were final transactions that went through all ex ante checks; reiterates its concern about the unsatisfactory performance and recurrent weaknesses of ex ante checks;

18.  Reiterates its call to the Commission to pay regular attention to the quality and adequacy of the ex ante controls that it performs, especially given the volatile political and operational environment;

19.  Acknowledges that the residual error rate (RER) for 2014 is estimated at 2,81 % (EUR 205,7 million); takes note of the fact that this method of estimation was held by the Court to be an appropriate methodology, providing useful information on areas in which the implementation of control should be further enhanced, as well as providing sufficient evidence that the RER is material;

20.  Reiterates Parliament's stance that it would be useful to clearly identify which activity-based budgeting or sectors of intervention present the most weaknesses and errors and the highest level of vulnerability; asks DG DEVCO to undertake the necessary analysis in order to be able to present it as soon as possible in the annual activity report;

21.  Considers it necessary that the cost of controls is kept reasonable and that information related to the cost-effectiveness of controls is refined, such as information on errors detected and corrected as a result of external audits and the Commission's own checks and the inclusion of all types of direct costs or indicators of the cost-effectiveness of controls to avoid accumulation of unnecessary control layers;

22.  Takes the view that, in that context, account needs to be taken of the appropriate balance between control and responsibility, along with that between oversight and attractiveness of Union funding;

23.  Welcomes the launch of the EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework to measure results in relation to strategic development objectives; considers it of utmost importance to continuously track the impact of a project throughout its life cycle or the impact of budget support and to develop adequate reporting of project results;

24.  Underlines the importance of continuously improving the impact assessment of development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects funded through Union external financial instruments; emphasises the need for an in-depth, accurate and global analysis of the different monitoring and reporting arrangements to avoid any mismanagement, lack of transparency and misappropriation of Union funds;

25.  Calls strongly on the Commission, as in previous years, to further enforce the accountability of Union delegations staffed by the European External Action Service (EEAS); believes that this should be done in addition to the preparation of the external assistance management reports (EAMR), which are drawn up and signed by the heads of Union delegations;

26.   Points out that heads of Union delegations should be clearly reminded of their duties and their management and oversight responsibilities in the management assurance related to their delegation portfolio of operations (key management processes, control management, adequate understanding and assessment of the key performance indicators); stresses that a clear balance between political and management duties must be found;

27.  Believes that the heads of Union delegations should be provided, in the general guidelines, with clear guidance on the definition of reservations, their components, the elements to be considered for the issuance of a reservation (the level of the financial and reputational risks, the operational weaknesses, internal and external constraints identified) and the related impact on the management of funding and payments operations; recalls that a reservation should clearly identify the process suffering from recurrent or temporary weaknesses and the functioning, adequacy and performance of the set of internal control standards;

28.  Calls on EuropeAid to provide a general overview and analysis in its annual activity report to get more visibility on the achievements of the Union delegations and to ensure sufficient quality, consistency and homogeneity in the formulated replies by the heads of delegation;

29.  Believes it is important to identify trends based on management information and key performance indicators to adjust programming cycles and to improve overall sectoral performance of Union development aid;

30.  Calls on EuropeAid and the EEAS to reinforce the supervision of the heads of delegations in their capacity as authorising officers by Sub-Delegation for the Commission with a view to increasing their accountability by providing qualitative, comprehensive and exhaustive reporting in addition to the accurate information contained in the annual activity report;

Implementing the new development policy framework and related challenges

31.  Welcomes the renewed and extended development agenda by 2030, with the adoption of seventeen sustainable development goals with 169 associated targets, constituting a real and comprehensive step up for the development policy;

32.  Calls for a higher level of ambition in the strategy, management and accountability of EDF funds; emphasises that there is an opportunity to optimise all EDF activities' resilience by reinforcing the economic and financial efficiency criteria and by identifying gains in efficiency and effectiveness, reflected in the management performance; considers that the preparation of needs assessments is an efficient preliminary stage towards ensuring final effectiveness of the Union funding;

33.  Underlines the fact that policy coherence for development (PCD) is a requirement enshrined in the Treaty; notes that this implies that expenditure in all relevant policy areas should be in line with development cooperation objectives and that adverse effects should be prevented and stopped; believes that assessment of expenditure from a PCD perspective should therefore become a regular element in the preparation, monitoring, reporting, evaluation and auditing of expenditure in all relevant policy areas, including trade, agriculture and fisheries policy;

34.  Invites the Commission to review and fine-tune the link between policy strategy and coordination among donors for the various existing aid instruments, in particular as regards budget support, blending operations and the management of projects; takes the view that private sector investments and private capital flows are key drivers towards sustainable development, along with the shaping of institutional capacity and solid governance systems to increase transparency, reduce corruption and to stem tax evasion;

35.  Emphasises that development is not possible without peace and peace is not possible without development; in this regard, points out that human rights, good governance, peace and democracy building should be prioritised under development policy and that activities related to fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) on peace and justice should become one of the focal sectors of National Indicative Programmes (NIP) within development cooperation; emphasises moreover that annual reporting on results in attaining SDG 16 targets should be required from the Union's partners on the basis of reliable and mutually-agreed indicators;

36.  Calls on the Commission to take into account Parliament's concerns and comments regarding draft NIPs, and to reflect Parliament's conclusions in the final NIPs; calls for the putting in place of formal scrutiny powers in relation to the EDF, possibly through an interinstitutional agreement of a binding nature under Article 295 of the Treaty;

Overseeing of Union trust funds and blending facilities

37.  Welcomes the intention to disburse funds more quickly and flexibly in emergency situations, and to bring together various sources of funding in order to address all aspects of any crises; welcomes the creation of the EU emergency trust fund for Africa and its funding allocation (amounting to EUR 1,8 billion) with the aim of enabling a comprehensive response to the refugees crisis and of addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa;

38.  Welcomes the creation of the Bêkou EU Trust Fund and its contribution to the international response to the crisis in the Central African Republic; calls for Member States to become more involved in order to ensure that this fund becomes fully operational;

39.  Welcomes the creation of the Madad EU Trust Fund for dealing with consequences of the conflict in Syria and of the emergency trust fund for Africa; calls on the Member States to raise their financial engagement in all of the EU trust funds;

40.  Stresses that the Commission should not divert appropriations from the objectives and principles of the basic acts, and believes that any channelling of appropriations through the trust fund should not be at the expense of the EDF and the long-term Union policies;

41.  Acknowledges the added value of pooling a large number of national contributions at Union level in addition to substantial contributions from the external financing instruments and the EDF; urges the Member States, however, to effectively match the Union contribution rather than provide the minimum required to obtain voting rights;

42.  Notes that trust funds are part of an ad hoc response which shows that the EDF, the Union budget and the Multiannual Financial Framework lack the resources and flexibility needed for a rapid and comprehensive approach to major crises; deplores the fact that they result in the bypassing of the budgetary authority and the undermining of the unity of the budget;

43.  Acknowledges the close link between development and migration policies, which is of the utmost importance in Union-ACP relations; considers it necessary, in that context, for the Union to further reflect on the coherence, value for money and best articulation of such trust-fund activities with other existing bilateral development policies and instruments;

44.  Believes also that particular attention should be paid to the effectiveness and political governance of trust funds and in particular the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, as well as to a lack of guarantees and oversight of the final use of the allocated funds;

45.  Emphasises the importance of sufficient control mechanisms to ensure political scrutiny of budget implementation in the context of the discharge procedure; urges the Commission to take immediate steps to increase the involvement of the budgetary and budgetary control authority and to better align the trust funds and other mechanisms with the budgetary norm, in particular by making them appear in the Union budget;

46.  Reiterates the call for regular reporting to Parliament on the use of the blending facilities and results to allow Parliament to exercise its power of scrutiny, namely on the assessment of management capacities and added value;

47.  Stresses that any new financial instruments and blended financial instruments should remain in line with the overarching objectives of Union development policy and focus on areas where added value and strategic impact are the highest;

48.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a robust, transparent and accountable framework, which ensures alignment with development effectiveness principles and development objectives in all blending programmes, and to ensure that its development additionally is guaranteed, as recommended by the Court of Auditors’ Special Report No 16/2014 entitled "The effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial-institution loans to support EU external policies";

49.  Takes into consideration that the bulk of funding has so far come from the Union's budget and the EDF and that Member State contributions to the trust funds have, to date, been relatively low; urges Member States to match the Union budget and EDF contributions to the trust funds;

Performance of the ACP Investment Facility managed by the EIB

50.  Recalls that the funds allocated to the investment facility from the ninth and tenth EDFs amounted to EUR 3 185,5 million for ACP and OCTs with a replenishment of EUR 500 million under the 11th EDF through the Impact Financing Envelope which will allow it to take even more risks for even more development, through 'impact investing';

51.  Welcomes the first EIB report in 2014 on the results of its external operations and the use of the 3 Pillar Assessment Framework (3PA) and the Results Measurement (ReM) Framework by the EIB for the ex ante assessment of expected results from investment projects; believes, however, that ex ante and ex post analyses need to be improved further in order to allow not only for economic indicators, but also for environmental protection and sustainable development criteria;

52.  Invites the EIB to give decisive priority to the long-term effect of investments and their contribution to sustainability;

53.  Encourages the EIB to further support local private sector development as a key driver of sustainability, to support basic social and economic infrastructure of immediate interest for the beneficiaries as well as the search for new local and regional partners in the specific domain of micro-finance; invites the EIB to increase additionality through better justification of the use of the funds;

54.  Welcomes the Court of Auditors' Special Report No 14/2015 entitled "The ACP Investment Facility: does it provide added value?" as a positive example of follow-up by the Court of the 2012 and 2013 discharge procedure, in the course of which Parliament asked for a special report on the performance and alignment with Union development policies and objectives of EIB external-lending activities before the mid-term review of the EIB’s external mandate and the mid-term review of the investment facility;

55.  Considers the audit of the ACP Investment Facility to be an example of good practice in terms of cooperation and collaborative scrutiny between Parliament and the Court; believes that this audit report is a stepping stone as it is the first audit carried out by the Court in this specific area; deplores the fact that the investment facility does not fall within the scope of the Court’s annual statement of assurance audit;

56.  Acknowledges the audit's conclusions regarding the coherence of the ACP Investment Facility with the Union development policy objectives and its catalytic effect; welcomes the good cooperation between the EIB and the Commission in prospecting for and selecting projects; regrets that the added value delivered by the ACP Investment Facility could not be identified more precisely; invites the Court therefore, in future special reports, to give more concrete examples and to single out some projects to better illustrate its conclusions and recommendations;

57.  Calls for a systematic disclosure of the ACP Investment Facility on-lending agreements and access to the board decisions and steering documents;

58.  Believes that it is crucial for the EIB to continuously invest time in due diligence policy combined with results assessment tools in order to get a better knowledge of the profile of financial intermediaries and beneficiaries and to also better evaluate the impact of projects on final beneficiaries;

59.  Believes that there should be no Union taxpayers' money that is not subject to Parliament's discharge; therefore reiterates and strongly believes that the ACP Investment Facility managed by the EIB on behalf of the Union should be subject to Parliament's discharge procedure as the investment facility is financed by Union taxpayers' money;

60.  Notes that the Tripartite Agreement mentioned in Article 287(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union governing cooperation between the EIB, the Commission and the Court with respect to the modes for controls exercised by the Court on the EIB's activity in managing Union funds and Member States' funds was renewed in 2015; reiterates Parliament's stance, which is to update the remit of the Court in this respect by including any new EIB financial instruments involving public funds from the Union or the EDF;

61.  Encourages the EIB to develop and deploy the necessary comprehensive approach in response to the severe challenges generated by the flow of migrants to Europe, including enhanced operations in countries of origin of such flows as well as in countries which border directly on countries of origin;

Managing budget support

62.  Notes that the total payments for budget support in 2014 represent EUR 794 million; observes also from the 32 transactions on budget support activities reviewed by the Court that only two were affected by quantifiable errors of minor impact;

63.  Recalls that budget support, as a mode of bilateral cooperation, presents recurrent fiduciary risks related to the partners' effectiveness and risk of corruption and fraud; asks for a close monitoring and thorough policy dialogue between the Union and the partner countries regarding objectives, progress towards agreed results, performance indicators and a systemic risk analysis and risk mitigation strategy;

64.  Believes that the focus should be put on progress in public finance management, budgetary transparency and macro conditionality in partner countries in order to optimise the capacity development and the monitoring of results attained;

Cooperation with international organisations

65.  Notes that the payments in 2014 from EDFs for projects implemented by international organisations amounted to EUR 908,6 million;

66.  Calls on the relevant Union and UN institutions to respect and implement fully the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA); asks the Commission to report to Parliament on the implementation of FAFA and the related guidelines, to identify areas that need improvement and to make relevant proposals in that regard;

67.  Encourages the UN and relevant UN institutions to continue deepening their cooperation with the Union through continuous development of exhaustive monitoring and reporting systems; stresses that several types of reporting obligations and payment conditions from different international donors trigger a negative effect on aid effectiveness and efficiency; regrets that reporting to the Commission by its partner organisations entrusted with implementing the Union budget under indirect management is often incomplete or insufficiently results-oriented;

68.  Recalls that structured cooperation between the Union and the UN is the only efficient means of preventing ineffective use of funds and the overlapping of activities; acknowledges that channelling Union aid through the UN enables the Union to reach regions of the world that it might not be able to reach on its own;

69.  Insists on the need to achieve the highest level of transparency and institutional accountability at all levels by ensuring access to exhaustive and sound budgetary information and financial data to allow Parliament’s scrutiny; calls for an enhanced disclosure policy regarding intents, beneficiaries and funding with a view to achieving a better stewardship of Union money;

70.  Considers it fundamental to ensuring the Union's visibility, also as regards results ownership, especially in co-financed and multi-donor initiatives, that regular information is swiftly provided on the pooling of funds to ensure traceability of Union funds;

71.  Believes that, in light of the focus on the performance of Union aid, the results-oriented approach has to be improved through the introduction of a results accountability and measurement framework enabling the assessment of the soundness of projects in terms of economic and social sustainability and the evaluation of projects in terms of effectiveness and efficiency;

72.  Strongly encourages the setting of SMART objectives in the planning phase of any EU-financed operation; stresses that only by doing so will the ex-post evaluations of the outcomes and impacts achieved provide Parliament with a clear and reliable report;

Evaluation and results-oriented monitoring systems

73.  Is seriously concerned by the insufficient reliability of EuropeAid evaluation and results-oriented monitoring (ROM) systems, because of the inadequate level of supervision and monitoring of programme evaluation and also by the fact that EuropeAid cannot ensure that staff and financial resources are appropriate and efficiently allocated to the various evaluation activities;

74.  Welcomes the Court of Auditors' Special Report No 18/2014 entitled "EuropeAid’s evaluation and results-oriented monitoring systems"; invites DG DEVCO to urgently address the various weaknesses in its evaluation and monitoring systems pointed to in that Special Report specially those related to serious deficiencies of DG DEVCO's evaluation system; highlights the fact that a badly functioning evaluation system increases the risks of selecting projects lacking quality or which do not reach their objectives; notes, and is worried by, the diverging views between the Commission and the Court concerning reliable information on the effectiveness of budget support operations; believes that there is a link between a lack of staff in EU delegations and in DG DEVCO's evaluation unit and the problems highlighted by the Court; considers this to be an illustration of the detrimental consequences that staff reductions may have for the efficient functioning of Union programmes;

75.  Points out that it is indispensable to provide Parliament, as the budgetary control authority, with a clear view of the real extent to which the Union’s main objectives have been achieved;

76.  Recalls that external, objective and impartial feedback on the performance of Commission aid projects and programmes should be provided as part of the Commission’s commitment to quality assurance; considers that outcomes of the evaluations are key elements of the policy and political review process for adjusting strategic political objectives and for enhancing the overall coherence with other Union policies;

77.  Believes that investing in the analysis and aggregation of results provides not only an overall picture of trends but allows lessons to be drawn that strengthen the effectiveness of the evaluation processes, while also yielding better evidence for decision and policy-making;

78.  Considers that the sharing of knowledge by all means is crucial for developing not only a culture of evaluation but also, and primarily, an effective culture of performance;

79.  Considers transparency to be urgently necessary; calls on the Commission, therefore, using electronic means, to provide Parliament, annually, with a list in Excel format arranged according to (a) recipients, (b) countries, (c) receiving organisations, (d) grants less than EUR 1 million, (e) grants from EUR 1 million to EUR 3 million, ((f) grants from EUR 3 million to EUR 5 million, (g) grants from EUR 5 million to EUR 10 million, and (h) grants more than EUR 10 million;

Union support to timber-producing countries under the FLEGT Action Plan

80.  Considers the FLEGT initiative to be essential in improving forest governance, in keeping forests standing and in ensuring law enforcement, in particular by deploying all possible means inter alia voluntary partnership agreements or financial due diligence, in order to address the global issue of illegal logging and help to secure timber exports to the Union;

81.  Deplores, however, the cumulative shortcomings identified in the implementation phase of the FLEGT Action Plan and projects, which now require a thorough evaluation; strongly believes it is time, after allocating EUR 300 million over 2003-2013 for FLEGT-related support, to undertake a serious cost-benefits analysis of the FLEGT process for reducing illegal logging;

82.  Deplores the slow implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan, the late adoption of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council(27) (the Union timber regulation) and the slowness of the Commission to learn the lessons from the overall funding for FLEGT;

83.  Calls on the Commission to re-structure Union funding by moving away from multiple budgets and considering the use of a single, clearly defined budget;

84.  Recalls that the traceability of timber products through an operational legally established licensing system between the Union and timber exporting countries should be considered to be a continuing core objective, particularly in light of widespread corruption, poor law enforcement and insufficient assessment of the risk and of the constraints in projects;

ACP-EU Energy Facility support for renewable energy in East Africa

85.  Welcomes the fact that a preliminary feasibility analysis has become compulsory from the second call for proposals under the Energy Facility; emphasises that the preliminary study should be based on accurate and realistic scenarios and estimates of how the local community can be included in the implementation of the project to improve local ownership and project promotion;

86.  Strongly underlines the fact that the link between feasibility of the project and social economic and environmental sustainability should be better established to ensure not only efficiency, coherence and visibility of the Energy Facility's investment projects but also effectiveness and broader results in the regions concerned;

87.  Considers that the monitoring of projects, especially those clearly in difficulty, and their associated risks should be regularly performed, and should be accompanied by rapid measures to mitigate such risks;

88.  Stresses the need to ensure that local stakeholders such as NGOs or local communities are involved over the whole life-span of the projects supported by the Energy Facility, from launch to post-completion, carefully considering the requirement for continued support to local capacity-building and to further improve local ownership so that the project is viable and sustainable after the funding period expires;

Union support in Haiti

89.  Recalls that 'state building' measures are at the centre of the Union's development strategy; takes the view that in any such crisis, due care has to be given to the soundness and operational effectiveness of the national governance framework for managing disaster risk reduction as a pre-condition for the success of the Union's intervention;

90.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the EEAS to inform Parliament of developments, in particular with regard to risk management and preparations to implement and achieve programme objectives in a post-disaster context;

Union support for the fight against torture and the abolition of death penalty

91.  Recalls that the respect of human rights and democracy constitute one of the corner-stones of the ACP-Union partnership; encourages the EEAS and the Commission to improve the capacity of Union delegations to deepen effectiveness and results and to impact culture in human rights and democracy policies;

92.  Believes that more joint programming and monitoring between the EEAS and the Commission on human rights issues should be pursued to make them more in line with local political and human-rights strategies;

93.  Points out, in this regard, that the systems for measuring impact are rather weak, which is due in part to unclear logical frameworks for projects which lack well-defined benchmarks and targets; calls on the Commission to clarify the logical framework requirements for the projects to increase their results and added value;

Shaping a new EU-ACP partnership

94.  Considers that the adoption of a new global framework on sustainable development goals has an impact on the overall functioning of the EDFs with the definition of clearer priorities and should also lead to further consideration of the current detailed financing arrangements in light of this extra-budgetary aspect; is of the opinion that the EDF can still achieve greater impact based on coherent performance indicators and more geographical coherence within groups of countries facing similar challenges;

95.  Strongly reiterates Parliament's call on the Council and Member States to proceed to the integration of the EDF in the Union's budget for the purpose of strengthening democratic scrutiny; requests that the Commission, namely the Task Force Post- Cotonou, inform Parliament of the state of play of discussions related to the replacement of the Cotonou agreement after 2020 and possible options;

The EDF in relation to the 2014-2016 migration crisis

96.  Acknowledges that development aid is used to reduce poverty in the poorest countries in the world and that the EDFs have so far achieved remarkable progress in ACP countries and in the OCTs;

97.  Is seriously concerned about the current flow of refugees, particularly because of the fact that, although the share of war refugees and asylum seekers is high, the share of economic migrants is steadily growing;

98.  Is of the opinion that development aid needs to be disbursed much more efficiently and that it needs to fulfil “added value” criteria; stresses that this is the only way to provide people with adequate living conditions and to avoid an increase in flows of economic migration;

99.  Stresses the fact that currently EUR 9 673 million from the current and all previous EDFs are locked in various stages of commitment such as outstanding commitments (or RAL, from the French reste à liquider), remainder to be contracted (or RACs, from the French reste à contracter) and outstanding payments (or RAP, from the French reste à payer); finds the following table highly illustrative:

EDF

Sum of RAL

Sum of RAC

Sum of RAP

8

36 291 173

15 067 281

21 223 892

9

754 545 794

298 932 156

455 613 639

10

8 195 173 994

3 072 710 058

5 122 463 936

11

565 263 991

429 067 226

136 196 765

Co-funding

121 744 226

14 408 394

107 335 833

Total

9 673 019 179

3 830 185 114

5 842 834 065

100.  Finds it worrying that the heads of Union-delegations in the ACPs and OCTs, under the responsibility of the EEAS, are in charge of overseeing 917 projects, of which 428 are delayed or have objectives that are in danger of not being achieved; finds it seriously worrying that the affected project value amounts to EUR 9 188 million;

101.  Calls for a lessons-learned approach regarding findings by Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control and underlines that a more targeted approach towards the use of EDF funds is necessary; therefore proposes the idea of a more flexible disbursement strategy in line with Union needs to master the migration crisis;

102.  Is of the opinion that one fourth of the 11th EDF's funds should be earmarked for migration crisis prevention and the management of already existing migration flows;

Follow-up to Parliament's resolution

103.  Calls upon the Court to include, in its next annual report, a review of the follow-up to Parliament's recommendations.

22.2.2016

OPINION of the Committee on Development

for the Committee on Budgetary Control

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh European Development Funds for the financial year 2014

(2015/2203(DEC))

Rapporteur: Doru-Claudian Frunzulică

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that Union development aid expenditures often take place in very challenging environments which increase the difficulties when it comes to project implementation, evaluations and expenditure controls; development aid is therefore more error prone than other Union policy areas;

2.  Notes that the Court of Auditors' estimated error rate for European Development Fund (EDF) expenditures has increased from 3.4 to 3.8 % between 2013 and 2014; underlines that this error rate is still substantially lower than the error rates of Union expenditures managed by Member States;

3.  Notes that most of the errors stem from non-compliance with procurement rules and that according to the Court of Auditors better ex-ante project controls from the Commission could have significantly reduced the error rate; supports the Court of Auditors' recommendation to improve ex-ante controls;

4.  Stresses that External Assistance Management Reports by EU delegations constitute snap shots as concerns the implementation of Union external aid projects and can therefore not be considered as final project evaluations; warns therefore against premature and biased conclusions as to the general effectiveness of Union aid policies;

5.  Welcomes the Court of Auditors' Special Report 18/2014 on EuropeAid's Evaluation and Results Oriented Monitoring Systems; invites DG DEVCO to urgently address the various weaknesses in its evaluation and monitoring systems pointed to in the Court of Auditors' Special Report specially those related to serious deficiencies of DG DEVCO's evaluation system; highlights that a badly functioning evaluation system increases the risks of selecting projects lacking quality or which do not reach their objectives; notes and is worried by the diverging views between the Commission and the Court of Auditors when it comes to reliable information on the effectiveness of budget support operations; believes that there is a link between a lack of staff in EU delegations and in DG DEVCO's evaluation unit and the problems highlighted by the Court of Auditors; considers this to be an illustration of the detrimental consequences staff reductions may have for the efficient functioning of Union programmes;

6.  Welcomes the Court of Auditors' Special Report n°14/2015 on the ACP Investment Facility; is pleased that the Court of Auditors comes to the conclusion that the Investment Facility has a clear added value;

7.  Welcomes the creation of the Bêkou EU trust fund and its contribution to the international response to the crisis in the Central African Republic; calls for Member States to become more involved in order to render this fund fully operational;

8.  Welcomes the creation of the Madad EU trust fund for dealing with consequences of the conflict in Syria and of the emergency trust fund for Africa; calls on the Member States to raise their financial engagement in all of the EU trust funds;

9.  Acknowledges high expectations from the Union's development policy that it should help solve the refugee crisis; in this regard, emphasises that efforts should be focused on addressing the root causes of the migration crises; human rights abuses, lawlessness, corruption, poverty, hunger, rather than solely diverting substantial EDF and DCI funds to migration related activities, as well as to military activities, of unclear or doubtful sustainable development value, as well as to climate action; fully recognises the complex nature of many challenges and the need for multifaceted and complementary response actions, and therefore the need to clarify existing funding arrangements, identify other, complementary sources of financing and respect international commitments, as well as existing internal legal provisions, in order to meet these new global challenges; calls, therefore, for funds to be established to combat climate change whose sources should include financial transaction taxes and carbon taxes on international air and sea travel;

10.  Welcomes that much of the Union's development assistance is provided as budget support; calls, where the conditions are meet, for budget support to be provided as an instrument to enable each country to decide its own priorities and to take full charge of its own development; welcomes the evidence in the Court of Auditors' Annual Report that overall, the conditions for the choice of this implementation modality are well respected by the Commission; recalls that ODA delivered through budget support programmes has a proven-track record on performance on Development Effectiveness Principles as it boosts partner countries' ownership and country systems; recalls that budget support can deliver real results from increases in public expenditure and expanded service delivery to improved pro-poor outcomes; recalls that budget support is effective because, if delivered well, it can respond directly to the finance needs of recipient countries using their own systems and development indicators and that can help strengthen government institutions and build the domestic transparency and accountability that reduces corruption;

11.  Underlines the importance of continuously improving the impact assessment of development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects funded through Union external financial instruments; emphasises the need for an in-depth, accurate and global analysis of the different monitoring and reporting arrangements to avoid any mismanagement, lack of transparency and misappropriation of Union funds;

12.  Emphasises that development is not possible without peace and peace is not possible without development; in this regard, points out that human rights, good governance, peace and democracy building should be prioritised under the development policy and that activities related to fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) on peace and justice should become one of the focal sectors of National Indicative Programmes (NIP) within development cooperation, and annual reporting on results in attaining SDG 16 targets should be required from our partners on the basis of reliable and mutually-agreed indicators;

13.  Calls on the Commission to take into account Parliament's concerns and comments regarding draft National Indicative Programs (NIPs), and to reflect Parliament's conclusions in the final NIPs; calls for the putting in place of formal scrutiny powers in relation to the EDF, possibly through an interinstitutional agreement of a binding nature under Article 295 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

14.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a robust, transparent and accountable framework which ensures alignment with development effectiveness principles and development objectives in all blending programmes to ensure its development additionally is guaranteed, as recommended by the Court of Auditors’ special report "The effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans to support EU external policies";

15.  Underlines that policy coherence for development (PCD) is a requirement enshrined in the treaty; notes that this implies that expenditure in all relevant policy areas should be in line with objectives of development cooperation and that adverse effects must be prevented and stopped; believes that assessment of expenditure from a PCD perspective should therefore become a regular element in the preparation, monitoring, reporting, evaluation and auditing of expenditure in all relevant policy areas, including trade, agriculture and fisheries policy.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

17.2.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Louis Aliot, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Nirj Deva, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Nathan Gill, Charles Goerens, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Stelios Kouloglou, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Maurice Ponga, Cristian Dan Preda, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Elly Schlein, Pedro Silva Pereira, Davor Ivo Stier, Paavo Väyrynen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Rainer Wieland, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Jan Zahradil, Joachim Zeller

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

7.4.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

6

0

Members present for the final vote

Louis Aliot, Jonathan Arnott, Inés Ayala Sender, Dennis de Jong, Martina Dlabajová, Ingeborg Gräßle, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Macovei, Gilles Pargneaux, Georgi Pirinski, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Igor Šoltes, Bart Staes, Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Andrey Novakov, Markus Pieper, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche, Patricija Šulin

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

Luke Ming Flanagan, Arne Gericke, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu

(1)

OJ C 373, 10.11.2015, p. 289.

(2)

OJ C 379, 13.11.2015, p. 124.

(3)

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.

(4)

OJ L 287, 4.11.2010, p. 3.

(5)

OJ L 344, 19.12.2013, p. 1.

(6)

OJ L 156, 29.5.1998, p. 108.

(7)

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 355.

(8)

OJ L 247, 9.9.2006, p. 32.

(9)

OJ L 210, 6.8.2013, p. 1.

(10)

OJ L 191, 7.7.1998, p. 53.

(11)

OJ L 83, 1.4.2003, p. 1.

(12)

OJ L 78, 19.3.2008, p. 1.

(13)

OJ L 58, 3.3.2015, p. 17.

(14)

OJ C 373, 10.11.2015, p. 289.

(15)

OJ C 379, 13.11.2015, p. 124.

(16)

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.

(17)

OJ L 287, 4.11.2010, p. 3.

(18)

OJ L 344, 19.12.2013, p. 1.

(19)

OJ L 156, 29.5.1998, p. 108.

(20)

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 355.

(21)

OJ L 247, 9.9.2006, p. 32.

(22)

OJ L 210, 6.8.2013, p. 1.

(23)

OJ L 191, 7.7.1998, p. 53.

(24)

OJ L 83, 1.4.2003, p. 1.

(25)

OJ L 78, 19.3.2008, p. 1.

(26)

OJ L 58, 3.3.2015, p. 17.

(27)

  Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23).

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