Procedure : 2018/2046(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0313/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0313/2018

Debates :

PV 22/10/2018 - 14
CRE 22/10/2018 - 14

Votes :

PV 24/10/2018 - 11.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0404

REPORT     
PDF 1040kWORD 199k
11.10.2018
PE 626.971v02-00 A8-0313/2018(Part 1)

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(11737/2018 – C8‑0410/2018 – 2018/2046(BUD))

Part 1: Motion for a resolution

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteurs: Daniele Viotti (Section III – Commission)

Paul Rübig (other sections)

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019 (11737/2018 – C8‑0410/2018 – 2018/2046(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom of 26 May 2014 on the system of own resources of the European Union(1),

–  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(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU, and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012(3),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(4) (the “MFF Regulation”),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2018 on general guidelines for the preparation of the budget(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 April 2018 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2019(7),

–  having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019, which the Commission adopted on 21 June 2018 (COM(2018)0600),

–  having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019, which the Council adopted on 4 September 2018 and forwarded to Parliament on 13 September 2018 (11737/2018 – C8‑0410/2018),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2018 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2019 draft budget(8),

–  having regard to Rule 88 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the other committees concerned (A8-0313/2018),

Section III

General overview

1.  Stresses that Parliament's reading of the 2019 Budget fully reflects the political priorities adopted by an overwhelming majority in its abovementioned resolutions of 15 March 2018 on general guidelines and of 5 July 2018 on a mandate for the trilogue; recalls that at the core of those priorities are: sustainable growth, innovation, competitiveness, security, tackling root causes of refugees and migration flows, managing refugee and migration flows, the fight against climate change and the transition to sustainable energy, and a particular focus on young people;

2.  Highlights that ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union, the Union needs the necessary financial resources to respond to citizens expectations, to allow the Union to effectively tackle the numerous abovementioned priorities and challenges it faces and to improve the day-to-day life of its citizens;

3.  Points out that Europe's citizens expect the Union to strain every sinew to ensure economic growth and foster job creation evenly within all its regions; recalls that meeting those expectations requires investments in research and innovation, digitalisation, education, infrastructure and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to foster employment, particularly among the young people of Europe; expresses disapproval that the Council yet again proposes cuts to the very programmes that are designed to make the Union economy more competitive and innovative; stresses moreover that many of those programmes, for example Horizon 2020, are heavily oversubscribed, which constitutes a poor use of resources and means that many excellent projects do not receive funding; highlights also the fact that programmes such as Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) provide a vivid demonstration of the advantages of working together across the Union and help create a feeling of European belonging; decides therefore to reinforce considerably Erasmus+ and to strengthen programmes that contribute to growth and job creation, including Horizon 2020, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and COSME;

4.   Reiterates its commitment to its pledges made during the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) negotiations, namely to minimise the impact of EFSI-related cuts on Horizon 2020 and CEF in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure; proposes, therefore, to offset those cuts by restoring the original annual profile of those two programmes, in order to allow them to fully accomplish the objectives agreed during the adoption of the relevant legislation; 

5.  Highlights that youth unemployment is lower than the previous years, but remains unacceptably high in certain Member States especially in the economically lagging regions and that the situation of young people in NEET (not in education, employment or training) situations and the long-term unemployed is particularly worrying; stresses that young people are the most at risk of poverty and social and economic exclusion; decides therefore to reinforce the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) beyond the level proposed by the Commission; stresses that such reinforcement should in no way be seen as a frontloading of the YEI allocation endorsed in the context of the MFF mid-term revision; underlines however that the YEI should be further improved and be made more efficient to increase its European added value to youth employment policies in the Member States notably by ensuring that it does not replace the financing of former national policies;

6.  Recalls that cohesion policy plays a primary role in the development and growth of the Union and in the convergence in Member States and regions; emphasises Parliament’s commitment to ensuring adequate appropriations for those programmes that represent a core policy of the Union;

7.   Regrets that, under current projections, only 19,3 % of the Union budget 2014 – 2020 would be devoted to climate-related measures, failing thus to reach the target of 20 %, an objective which pre-dates the Paris Climate agreement; understands that this is largely due to delays in cohesion policy and the rural development programmes; urges Member States, who manage them, to speed up their implementation with a focus on climate-related spending in order to offset the lower allocations made during the first years of the MFF; calls on the Commission to develop an action plan within programmes having massive potential to contribute to reaching the climate-related spending target; calls also for a robust, annual consolidation exercise to progress towards the mainstreaming target, with concrete and coherent safeguards that guarantee climate proof budgetary decisions are in line with the Union’s commitments under the Paris agreement, with comprehensive reporting to launch initiatives if targets are not met;

8.  Underlines that Heading 3 has been largely mobilised in recent years to address the migratory and refugee challenge and that such actions should continue and be reinforced as much and for as long as needed; calls on the Commission to actively monitor the adequacy of allocations under Heading 3 and make full use of all available instruments to respond in a timely manner to any unforeseen event that might require additional funding in the area of migration with a special attention to the case of island regions falling under the scope of Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; decides to reinforce the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to fully cover the needs of the Union in the field of migration, notably to support Members States in improving reception conditions, integration measures and practices for asylum seekers and migrants, and enhancing solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States and fair and effective return strategies; notes, once again, that the Heading 3 ceiling is inadequate to provide appropriate funding to the internal dimension of those priorities, as well as to other priority programmes, for example in the fields of health, food safety, security, justice, citizenship and culture; considers that local authorities with the willingness to support the Union Resettlement Programme should be further supported through the direct management strand of the AMIF;

9.  Insists that in the light of recent security concerns across the Union, funding under Heading 3 should also pay particular attention to measures which will lead to enhancing security of Union citizens; decides for that reason to reinforce agencies in the field of Justice and Home Affairs such as the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), European Union Agency for the operational management of Large-Scale IT Systems (eu-LISA), the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) and for the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) which, due to increased workload and additional tasks, have been facing shortage of staff and funding in the past years;

10.  Reiterates that part of the solution to the migratory and refugee challenge as well as to the security concerns of Union citizens lies in addressing the root causes of migration and devoting sufficient financial means to internal and external instruments that aim at tackling issues such as poverty, lack of employment, education and economic opportunities, instability, conflict and climate change in the European Neighbourhood and Africa; is of the opinion that the Union should make optimal use of financial means under Heading 4 which proved to be insufficient to equally address all external challenges;

11.  Acknowledges the challenges posed to some Member States by the large influx of migrants and asylum seekers; regrets that all efforts to establish a fair and humane migrant scheme at Union level have been unsuccessful so far;

12.  Regrets that Parliament has not been duly involved in the discussions on the extension of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT); reiterates its longstanding position that new initiatives must not be financed to the detriment of existing Union external projects; maintains, while recalling its support for the continuation of the FRT, that, given the stretched situation under Heading 4 to respond to external challenges, including migration, the Union budget should contribute to the financing of the second tranche in the same proportion as for the first one, i.e. EUR 1 billion, while the Member States should contribute EUR 2 billion to its financing;

13.  Restores all cuts proposed by Council to the Draft Budget 2019 (2019 DB) across all headings, with limited exceptions in Heading 4 and subheading 1b; refuses to accept the proposed cuts to programs with the highest European added value, for example those to Horizon 2020 and CEF, two programmes already affected by redeployments to EFSI, or majority of cuts to external policies; stresses that the logic behind Council’s cuts is not substantiated by the actual implementation figures and ignores the varying implementation patterns of certain programmes;

14.  Concludes that, for the purpose of adequately financing all pressing needs, and considering the very tight or inexistent margins under certain headings in 2019, all means available in the MFF Regulation in terms of flexibility will need to be deployed; expects that the Council will share that approach and that an agreement will easily be reached in conciliation, allowing the Union to rise to the occasion and effectively respond to the challenges ahead, particularly given that this year’s conciliation will be the last ahead of the May 2019 European elections;

15.  Sets the overall level of appropriations for 2019 at EUR 166 340 415 936 in commitment appropriations and EUR 149 349 039 470 in payment appropriations, representing an increase of EUR 721 061 034 in commitment appropriations compared to the 2019 DB;

Subheading 1a – Competitiveness for growth and jobs

16.  Rejects Council’s unjustified EUR 794 million cuts to subheading 1a, which represent just over half of the overall Council cuts in commitments in MFF headings; notes that such cuts run counter to Council’s stated political priorities; is concerned moreover that they could hamper implementation of programmes that play a vital role in the creation of jobs and growth, which could have a negative impact on the economy;

17.  Points in that connection to programmes such as Horizon 2020 and CEF and the flagship space programmes, such as Copernicus, which provide very strong European added-value; regrets the significant Council cuts in the Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation with an overwhelmingly negative impact on Horizon 2020 and especially regrets cuts in relevant budget lines such as Strengthening research in future and emerging technologies and Strengthening European research infrastructure; notes also that many of those programmes make an important contribution to the fight against climate change, and considers that that contribution should be strengthened; decides therefore to reverse all cuts made by the Council and, furthermore, to fully restore the original profile of the Horizon 2020 and CEF lines that were cut for the provisioning of the EFSI Guarantee Fund;

18.  Recalls that Erasmus+ remains a highly valued and hugely popular programme promoting youth learning mobility and vocational training, as demonstrated by the volume of applications received, which by far exceeds the funding available, and notes also that it helps foster a strong sense of European identity and encouragement for young people to take part in European democracy; deeply regrets that the 2019 draft budget for Erasmus+ falls well below Parliament’s expectations, failing to go beyond the programmed figures under the current MFF; considers it therefore essential to reinforce the education and training and youth strands of Erasmus +, as a corollary to the strengthening of the YEI under subheading 1b;

19.  Recalls the importance of fostering extensive synergies between CEF-Transport and CEF-Digital in order to maximise the financial leverage for projects aimed at boosting the digitalisation of the TEN-T corridors;

20.  Highlights yet again the fact that SMEs are an essential part of the Union economy and play a crucial role in job creation throughout the Union; believes that there is a need to create an SME-friendly business environment, as well as to support SME clusters and networks, supporting also cooperative companies with social, solidarity and ethic practices; notes, however, with deep concern the Council cuts to the SME instrument, which send a contradictory signal to businesses in the Union; considers that the Union budget and access to finance backed by it, start-ups and microenterprises can be a key tool in making SMEs more competitive and more innovative and in fostering the spirit of enterprise in the Union; recalls in that regard COSME and Horizon 2020;

21.  Decides, therefore, to further reinforce, beyond the 2019 DB and the pre-EFSI profiles, those programmes that are key to boosting growth and jobs and tackling climate change and that reflect widely agreed Union priorities, namely Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 (including Marie Curie, leadership in space, European Research Council, SME Instrument), COSME, CEF and EaSI;

22.  Increases therefore the level of commitment appropriations for subheading 1a above the 2019 DB by EUR 566 773 112 (excluding pre-EFSI restoration, compensation for the European Labour Authority proposal, pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed within the margin available and by a further mobilisation of the Global Margin for Commitments;

23.  Welcomes the commitment to a renewed Union defence agenda, namely through the agreement on the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP); expresses its intention to pay particular attention to the implementation by the Commission of the agreements found on the EDIDP and the European Solidarity Corps, which should be set out in the Amending Letter, to be issued by the Commission in October 2018;

Subheading 1b – Economic, social and territorial cohesion

24.  Welcomes the decreasing rate of youth unemployment at Union level with 14,8 % (as of 1 October 2018), but regrets that the level still remains unacceptably high in certain Member States; emphasises that, in order to address that issue, it is of importance to ensure proper funding of the Youth Guarantee schemes through YEI and the European Social Fund (ESF); welcomes the agreement on the need to provide fresh funding for YEI, and the inclusion of the corresponding appropriations in the 2019 DB; considers nevertheless that, given the challenges and risks posed by youth unemployment, YEI should benefit from increased appropriations and therefore decides to bring YEI to EUR 580 million in commitments in 2019; considers that that increase is in addition to the amount for YEI currently programmed for the 2014-2020 period;

25.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that the implementation of cohesion policy programmes is accelerated to catch up with the delays; notes that even though the Council has not questioned the level of payment appropriations as proposed by the Commission, Parliament will carefully examine the Commission’s updated forecasts, to adjust the payment appropriations to real needs in order to avoid the reconstitution of a payment backlog at the end of the current MFF;

26.  In line with the agreement reached on the revision of the Structural Reforms Support Programme (SRSP), agrees with the transfer of EUR 40 million in commitment appropriations and EUR 17,2 million in payment appropriations from subheading 1b to Heading 2;

Heading 2 – Sustainable growth: natural resources

27.  Recalls that the Commission’s proposal to increase appropriations to finance the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) needs is largely due to a significantly lower amount of assigned revenue being expected to be available in 2019;

28.  Notes the Council’s cuts of EUR 310 million in commitment appropriations (- 0,52 % compared to 2019 DB) and EUR -328,13 million in payment appropriations (- 0,57 % compared to 2019 DB), but considers that the Commission’s Amending Letter should remain the basis for any reliable revision of EAGF appropriations and restores the 2019 DB levels accordingly, pending an examination of that Amending Letter in conciliation;

29.   Decides to increase the funding for the emergency support in particular for pig-meat against the African swine fever in order to reduce the negative impact upon farmers and employees in the regions most affected by the disease; decides to express its strong support for the agricultural sector in the Union by increasing the appropriations for fruit and vegetables, in order to tackle the effects of the crisis in the sector and the effects of the Russian embargo, as well as for measures to tackle the effects of plaques xilella fastidiosa and the volatility of the price of olive oil;

30.  Points out the essential role played by the Union decentralised agencies in the area of the environment, public health and food safety in aiding the Union and the Member States make informed, science-based decisions about protecting and improving the environment and public health, while enhancing cooperation between Member States to address the concerns of Union citizens;

31.  Decides to propose an increase of EUR 20 million above the level of the 2019 DB for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to promote innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors and to ensure the profitability and sustainability of those livelihoods in the future;

32.  Decides, in line with its Europe 2020 targets and with its international commitments to tackle climate change, to propose an increase of EUR 15,6 million above the level of the 2019 DB for climate-related actions; moreover, recalls the Union’s commitments to halt and reverse the decline of biodiversity and underlines that that increase contributes also to biodiversity protection;

33.  Decides, in the light of the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the SRSP revision, to lift the reserve introduced by the Council on the amounts transferred from subheading 1b;

34.  Points to the effects of the extreme drought affecting the Member States in recent months, causing considerable losses to agriculture and jeopardising a large number of businesses, and highlights in that regard the need to guarantee support measures aimed at helping the worst-affected farmers;

35.  Decides to use the maximum appropriations for POSEI programmes provided for in the relevant Regulation(9), underlining the relevance of those programmes for the resilience of the agricultural producers and highlights the fragile economic situation of the outermost regions;

36.   Increases therefore commitment appropriations by EUR 154,1 million, excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions, leaving a margin of EUR 190,8 million below the ceiling for commitments in Heading 2;

Heading 3 - Security and Citizenship

37.  Reiterates its long-standing conviction that the Heading 3 ceiling has proven vastly insufficient to adequately fund the internal dimension of essential challenges related on the one hand to internal security and citizens' safety, and on the other hand to refugees and migrants;

38.  Expects the pressure on those Member States’ migration and asylum systems, as well as on their borders, to remain high in 2019, as in the years that will follow, and is therefore of the opinion that additional funding is needed in the field of refugees and migration, also in view of any future, unpredictable needs in that area; reinforces therefore the AMIF as regards supporting legal migration to the Union and promoting the effective integration of third-country nationals and enhancing fair and effective return strategies, in particular to support Member States in improving integration measures for refugees and migrants, especially children and unaccompanied minors;

39.  Welcomes the increase in commitment appropriations for AMIF in order to finance the new Dublin II legislation (assuming it is adopted by the end of 2018) and rejects the Council’s decision to move the corresponding appropriations into a reserve;

40.  Underlines that internal security must remain one of the Union’s main priorities and stresses the role of the Internal Security Fund (ISF) as the key financial instrument to support Member States in the area of security, including in the fight against terrorism and radicalisation, serious and organised crime and cybercrime; decides therefore to increase budgetary appropriations of the ISF, also to strengthen support for border management and to provide assistance for victims of terrorist acts;

41.  Points out the essential role played by the Union agencies in the area of justice and home affairs in enhancing cooperation between Member States to address the concerns of Union citizens; decides to increase budgetary appropriations and staffing of EUROPOL, CEPOL, eu-LISA, Eurojust and for the EPPO;

42.  Insists, in that context, that the EPPO be adequately financed and staffed; notes that in the 2019 DB, the Union contribution amounts to a total of EUR 4 911 000; points out that that appropriation is intended to cover the EPPO’s staff-related expenditure, infrastructure, other administrative expenditure and operational expenditure; notes that only 35 staff posts are provided for, which implies that after deducting the posts for 23 European Prosecutors, only 12 posts are foreseen for administrative tasks; considers that that is not realistic, in particular with regard to the two additional Member States that have recently decided to join the EPPO; decides, therefore, to frontload the staff increase foreseen for 2020, and to align the grading of the Chief Prosecutor and the European Prosecutors to those of OLAF's and Europol's management level;

43.  Regrets Council’s arbitrary cuts of more than EUR 35 million in commitment appropriations to numerous programmes in the areas of culture, citizenship, justice and public health, despite the excellent implementation rates of those programmes and the already insufficient levels of financing that leave many high-quality projects unfunded; restores all lines at least to the level of the draft budget while proposing additional increases to relevant lines;

44.  Stresses the value of Creative Europe in supporting the Union’s audio-visual and cultural sectors and insists that funding levels should match the ambitions of the programme; calls for an increase in committee appropriations for the MEDIA and the Culture sub-programmes, inter alia to tackle low application success rates; also increases appropriations for multimedia actions and for strengthening the financial capacity of SMEs in the European cultural and creative sectors;

45.  Recalls its support for the rights, equality, citizenship and justice programmes; decides to increase commitment appropriations for instruments dealing with non-discrimination and equality in general, and specifically the Daphne programme, and to fight gender-based violence and enforce women's and LGBTQI+ rights;

46  Recalls that culture- and education-related projects are supported across a range of Union programmes and instruments, notably the ESI Funds, EFSI and Horizon 2020; urges the Commission to improve cross-programme synergies to deliver effective spending; calls on the Commission, in particular, to fully exploit potential synergies existing between various Union programmes – such as Horizon 2020, CEF, Erasmus+, EaSI, Creative Europe and COSME, EFSI and ESI Funds – to support more projects in the field of cultural and creative industries;

47.  Reinforces Heading 3 by EUR 127,75 million in commitment appropriations with respect to the draft budget, excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions, and proposes to finance those reinforcements by a further mobilisation of special instruments;

Heading 4 – Global Europe

48.  Stresses that the complex geopolitical challenges the Union is facing call urgently for a stronger Union external presence; emphasises once again that the Union’s external action can only be credible if it is backed by sufficient financial resources; recalls that the funding needs greatly exceed the current size of Heading 4 and calls for appropriate room for manoeuvre in the event of unforeseen external crises;

49.  Recalls that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has to cut across the Union´s internal and external policies, whereas a special focus should be given to the provision of sufficient good-quality food, clean water and the building of additional wastewater disposal facilities in order to deliver on SDG 2 and 6; furthermore, draws the attention to the scale and implications of energy poverty in developing countries and demands additional action to reduce energy poverty in line with SDG 7, in particular in remote rural areas in off-grid energy regions;

50.  In that respect, reaffirms, in line with its position expressed in its abovementioned resolution of 5 July 2018, that the current ratio of contribution to the FRT from the Union budget (EUR 1 billion) and Member States (EUR 2 billion) should be maintained for the financing of the second tranche of the FRT; decides therefore to reduce the contributions of the Union budget from EUR 1,45 billion to EUR 450 million; believes that the difference should be instead financed by the bilateral contributions of Member States;

51.  Believes that the promotion of peace, security and justice in developing countries is of paramount importance to addressing the root causes of migration and corresponding humanitarian challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood, such as Libya; underlines the importance of supporting good governance, democracy, the rule of law and vibrant civil society to effectively combat poverty over the long-term, and address the challenges of the climate change in developing countries; decides therefore to increase resources for the Development and Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the Southern part of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) under its various strands, to reflect also the considerable stress under which ENI will continue to be in 2019;

52.   Recalls that the Union has committed to comprehensively protect and promote the rights of the child, girls and women as well as people with disabilities and special needs in its external policy; stresses the importance of implementing the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child in the European Union, the European Union Gender Action Plan and European Disability Policy in external relations; in that spirit, deems it appropriate to dedicate 10 % of the resources available under humanitarian aid to access to education in crisis areas;

53.   Underscores the strategic importance of providing sufficient funding for the Western Balkans in order to consolidate their path towards accession; fails to understand the Council’s proposal to cut the allocation for political reforms, as such reforms are the backbone of any democratic transformation; stresses the need for appropriate financial backing for the 2018-2020 Action Plan of the Western Balkan Strategy, and decides, consequently, to increase the allocation to the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) for the region;

54.  Highlights that the situation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership represents also a significant challenge for the Union; is convinced of the importance of providing additional funding to support our neighbours’ reform efforts, contribute to increasing resilience and fostering peace and improving day to day life of the citizens of those countries;

55.  Calls for enhanced Union support to UNRWA, in line with its resolution of 8 February 2018(10), in view of the worsening situation on the ground and the decision of the United States to withdraw its annual contribution to the agency; specifies that the proposed increase is exclusively dedicated to UNRWA in order to compensate the relevant loss;

56.  Is convinced of the potential of people-to-people contacts and youth mobility, also as one of the key strategies to enhance the impact of the Union external action and its visibility among the public of partner countries; decided therefore to reinforce the contributions from DCI, ENI, IPA II, and Partnership Instrument to Erasmus+;

57.  In line with the principle of conditionality, supports a reduction in the amount allocated to Turkey in all budget lines, in view of the continuing backsliding on the rule of law, democracy and human rights; at the same time, deems it necessary to further strengthen the direct support to civil society, as well as people-to-people contacts;

58.  Deems it necessary to increase appropriations for the Turkish Cypriot Community budget line for the purpose of contributing decisively to the continuation and intensification of the mission of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, the wellbeing of Maronites wishing to resettle and that of all enclaved persons as agreed in the 3rd Vienna Agreement, and of supporting the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, thereby promoting trust and reconciliation between the two communities;

59.  Acknowledges the moderate increase in funding for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) proposed by the Commission, while noting that the CFSP budget is still under heavy pressure, also considering the expansion of a number of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions risking to exacerbate the problem in 2019; reverses the reduction proposed by the Council for other crisis management measures and operations, which would result in less flexibility in dealing with unexpected crises;

60.  As a result, decides to reverse almost all of the Council’s cuts, to reinforce Heading 4 by EUR 425,4 million above the 2019 DB (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), while decreasing FRT and Turkey related lines and non restoring Council’s cuts with a total effect of EUR -1,24 billion, thereby resulting in a net difference of EUR -819,1 million below the 2019 DB in Heading 4;

Heading 5 - Administration; Other headings - administrative and research support expenditure

61.  Considers that Council’s cuts are unjustified and do not reflect the real needs; restores therefore the 2019 DB for all Commission administrative expenditure, including administrative and research support expenditure in Headings 1 to 4;

Decentralised Agencies

62.  Endorses, as a general rule, the Commission's estimates of the budgetary needs of agencies; considers, therefore, that any further cuts proposed by the Council would endanger the proper functioning of the agencies and would not allow them to fulfil the tasks they have been assigned; notes with particular irritation the arbitrary cut of merely EUR 10 000 to CEPOL and invites the Council to share with Parliament the substantial details on why it considers such cuts to be necessary and reasonable;

63.  Notes that the fee-financing of agencies reduces the burden to the Union budget by EUR 1 billion annually; underlines that public tasks such as in the area of health, environment, or security and justice, should always remain within the Union budget; believes however that the Commission should continue to address the risk of conflicts of interest potentially arising in fee financed agencies and take adequate measures to avoid such conflicts;

64.  Recalls the importance for the Union of focusing on competitiveness for growth and jobs; considers, in that context, that additional appropriation and staff are needed for the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER); notes the creation of the European Labour Authority (ELA) and underlines the need to mobilise fresh resources for it; restores Council’s substantial cuts to the appropriations for the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs),while putting parts of their appropriations into reserve pending progress on the ESAs’ review;

65.  In the context of the challenges the Union is still facing in terms of security, and bearing in mind the necessity for a coordinated European response, decides to reinforce the appropriations for the EUROPOL, eu-LISA, CEPOL, EUROJUST, EPPO, and the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA);

66.  Expects the pressure on some Member States’ migration and asylum systems, as well as on their borders, to remain high in 2019 and possibly escalate, stresses that the future need of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), in terms of operational resources and staff will have to be closely monitored and possibly updated for the 2019 budget; awaits therefore the Commission’s Amending Letter; asks the Commission to provide an overview of the budgetary needs for the 2019 budget for the proposed reforms of those agencies as soon as possible;

67.  Reiterates its position that the 5 % staff reduction target has been successfully reached; expresses its intention to include a common statement by all institutions that confirms the end of that one-time exercise; considers that the new posts adopted in its position are needed to fulfil additional tasks due to new policy developments and new legislation;

68.  Recalls that the Inter-Institutional Working Group on Decentralised Agencies' Resources 2 concluded its work by adopting recommendations on lessons learned from the approach to achieving the 5 % staff reduction target, the treatment of new tasks, evaluations of agencies, the sharing of agencies, the evaluation of agencies with multiple locations and the model for fee-financing agencies; welcomes the ratification of those recommendations by the institutions; expresses its intention to continue scrutinize the Commission work on those recommendations in the future;

Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs)

69.  Recalls the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs) as tools for the formulation of political priorities and the introduction of new initiatives that have the potential to turn into standing Union activities and programmes; having carried out a careful analysis of all the proposals submitted and taking into account the Commission's assessment of their respect of legal requirements and implementability, decides to adopt a balanced package of PP-PAs that reflects Parliament’s political priorities;

70.  Welcomes the launch of Discover EU, the distribution of 15 000 InterRail tickets to 18-year-old Europeans in 2018, as well as the Commission proposal of EUR 700 million for the MFF 2021-2027, which fits well with the Union’s ambitions to promote learning mobility, active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity among all young people; decides to continue the relevant preparatory action in 2019 and is determined to continue it also in 2020;

Special instruments

71.  Recalls the usefulness of special instruments to provide flexibility over and above the extremely tight ceilings of the current MFF and welcomes the improvements brought about by the mid-term revision of the MFF Regulation; calls for an extensive use of the Flexibility Instrument and the Global Margin for Commitments in the 2019 budget in order to finance the wide range of new challenges and additional responsibilities that the Union budget is facing; recalls also the significance of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), the Emergency Aid Reserve (EAR) and the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF);

Payments

72.  Reiterates its concerns that, despite recent catching-up, under-execution in payments has reached record low in the past three years, notably in subheading 1b; regrets that such delays prevent Union priorities and projects from delivering their full potential to citizens in a timely manner; points to the fact that, as a result, the 2019 DB leaves an unprecedented margin of EUR 19,3 billion below the payment ceiling; reinforces payment appropriations on those lines which are amended in commitment appropriations;

Other Sections

Section I - European Parliament

73.  Maintains unchanged the overall level of its budget for 2019, in line with its resolution on it estimates of revenue and expenditure adopted by the plenary on 19 April 2018(11), at EUR 1 999 144 000; incorporates budgetary-neutral technical adjustments to reflect updated information which was not available earlier this year;

74.  Notes that the level of estimates for 2019 corresponds to 18,53 %, which is lower than that achieved in 2018 (18,85 %) and the lowest part of Heading V in more than fifteen years;

75.  Notes that, due to the 2019 European Parliament elections, expenditure will be higher in some areas, in particular in respect of Members who are not re-elected and their assistants, whilst savings, albeit of a lesser magnitude, will be generated in other areas as a result of the reduction in the volume of parliamentary business in an election year;

76.  Welcomes that the 2019 budget will include further instalments of substantial investments started back in 2016 with a view to significantly improving Parliament's security; points out that those projects cover various domains, mainly relating to buildings, i.e. the security upgrade of the entrance, equipment and staff, as the iPACS Project, but also improvements in the field of cyber-security and communication security;

77.  Takes note of the Bureau decision to decide to select two options, structural renovation and redesign, for further elaboration of the PHS building; urges the Secretary-General and the Bureau to provide the budgetary authority with a detailed budget for each of those options in addition to all technical specifications;

78.  Reduces the establishment plan of its General Secretariat for 2019 by 59 posts (1 % staff reduction target), in accordance with the agreement of 14 November 2015 reached with the Council on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2016, in which Parliament's annual staff reduction measures are set to continue until 2019;

79.  Notes the decision of 25 September 2018 of the General Court confirming Parliament’s refusal to grant access to documents relating to MEPs’ subsistence allowances, travel expenses and parliamentary assistance allowances (Judgment in Cases T-639/15 to T-666/15 Maria Psara and Others v Parliament and T-94/16 Gavin Sheridan v Parliament);

80.  Recalls that on 23 October 1997, in its resolution on the general budget for 1998, Parliament called upon its Bureau to request the Court of Auditors to investigate Parliament’s voluntary pension scheme, which led to the issuance of the Court of Auditor’s opinion no. 5/99 dated 16 June 1999 on the “Pension Fund and Scheme for Members of the European Parliament”; calls now on the Bureau to urgently request the Court of Auditors to produce another such opinion on the pension scheme and fund in 2019;

81.  Recalls that, in a note to the Bureau dated 8 March 2018, its Secretary-General accepted that the pension fund linked to the Members’ voluntary pension scheme “will exhaust its capital well before the end of the pension obligations and possibly already by 2024”; calls therefore upon the Secretary-General and the Bureau, while respecting fully the Statute for Members, to urgently establish with the pension fund a clear plan for the Parliament assuming and taking over its obligations and responsibilities for its Member’s voluntary pension scheme immediately after the 2019 elections;

82.  Demands additional Union support for the parliamentary dimension of the WTO, in particular by an increased financial and personnel support to the responsible secretariat;

83.  Calls for the upgrade of the European Science Media Hub, adopted in the 2018 budget, and for cooperation with television stations, social media and further partners in order to establish training purposes for young journalists, especially in relation to new scientific and technological developments and to fact-based, peer-reviewed news;

84.  Recalls the 2014 ECA analysis which estimated the costs of the geographic dispersion of the Parliament to be EUR 114 million per year; furthermore, notes the finding from its resolution of 20 November 2013 on the location of the seats of the European Union’s Institutions(12) that 78 % of all missions by Parliament statutory staff arise as a direct result of the Parliament's geographic dispersion; emphasises that the report also estimates the environmental impact of the geographic dispersion to be between 11 000 to 19 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions; reiterates the negative public perception caused by that dispersion and calls therefore for a roadmap to a single seat and a reduction in the relevant budget lines;

85.  Urges the Secretary-General to devise detailed arrangements for more sharing of back office functions and services between Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee;

Section IV - Court of Justice

86.  Restores the 2019 DB on all budget items cut by the Council, which are essential to the functioning of the Court, and restores the estimates for two budget items in order to enhance the Court’s ability to deal with increasingly high translation demands;

87.  Restores the 16 posts and the related appropriations cut by the Commission in the 2019 DB to prevent any bottleneck that might be detrimental to the productivity of the courts in the context of new activities taken up by the Court and of continuous increase of the workload; considers that the creation of 16 new permanent posts for the support services, initially proposed by the Court and rejected by the Commission, should be granted;

Section V - Court of Auditors

88.  Restores the 2019 DB on all items cut by Council, in order to implement the work programme of the Court of Auditors and to deliver the planned Audit Reports;

Section VI - European Economic and Social Committee

89.  Restores the 2019 DB on all items cut by the Council;

90.  Increases a number of lines above the 2019 DB in line with the European Economic and Social Committee’s own estimates;

Section VII - Committee of the Regions

91.  Restores the 2019 DB on all items cut by the Council;

92.  Increases a number of lines above the 2019 DB in line with the Committee of the Region’s own estimates;

Section VIII - European Ombudsman

93.  Maintains unchanged the overall level of the Ombudsman’s budget for 2019 as proposed by the Commission in the 2019 DB;

Section IX - European Data Protection Supervisor

94.  Decides not to restore the 2019 DB in the line cut by the Council, due to a high increase of the total budget as compared to the previous year;

Section X - European External Action Service

95.  Restores the 2019 DB on all lines cut by the Council;

96.  Increases a number of lines above the 2019 DB in line with EEAS own estimates;

97.  Reiterates Parliament’s support to the Strategic Communication Capacity and reinforces it to deliver a stronger coordinated Union response to the challenge of disinformation;

98.  Restores the 28 posts + 5 more and related appropriations cut by the Council as it is a moderate staff increase that is justified by the EEAS’s significant new responsibilities, in particular those connected to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union, namely the creation of a new Union delegation in London and a new unit in the headquarters, and the adoption of a number of initiatives in the field of security and defence in recent months;

o

o  o

99.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, together with the amendments to the draft general budget, to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions and bodies concerned and the national parliaments.

(1)

OJ L 168, 7.6.2014, p. 105.

(2)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(3)

OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.

(4)

OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

(5)

OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(6)

Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2018)0089.

(7)

Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2018)0182.

(8)

Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2018)0311.

(9)

Regulation (EU) No 228/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2013 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 247/2006 (OJ L 78, 20.3.2013, p. 23).

(10)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0042.

(11)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0182.

(12)

OJ C 436, 24.11.2016, p. 2.


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (31.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Brando Benifei

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Acknowledges the increase in commitment appropriations for heading 4, although notes that most of that increase is due to the larger contribution toward the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT); underlines that given the multiple challenges the EU is facing on the international scene, external action can only be credible if enough resources are provided;

2.  Is concerned that the draft budget completely exhausts the margins for heading 4, leaving the Union very little room for manoeuvre in the event of unforeseen external crises;

3.  Underlines the strategic importance of providing sufficient funding for the Western Balkans, a key priority area for the EU, in order to consolidate their path towards accession, and regrets, in this regard, the proposal to cut the allocation for political reform in the Western Balkans by EUR 10 million; requests for this trend to be reversed, taking into account that political reforms are the backbone of any democratic transformation and implicitly of the EU accession process; stresses the need for sufficient funding to implement the 2018-2020 Action Plan of the Western Balkans Strategy, prioritising support to the rule of law and regional integration; calls for the contribution of IPA II to Erasmus+ to be doubled, as foreseen by the Strategy;

4.  In line with the principle of conditionality, supports a reduction in the amount allocated to Turkey in all budget lines, in view of the continuing backsliding on the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights; at the same time, direct support to civil society, as well as people-to-people contacts should be further strengthened in the context of the growing polarisation of the Turkish society and measures taken by the authorities against fundamental rights and freedoms as well as against human rights defenders in the aftermath of the coup attempt; in this sense, special emphasis should be paid to media freedom and LGBTI rights;

5.  Takes the view that the current ratio of contributions to the FRiT from the Union budget (EUR 1 billion) and Member States (EUR 2 billion) should be maintained; calls for a corresponding adjustment in the proposed 2019 EU contribution to the FRiT, in line with Parliament’s position expressed in its resolution of 5 July 2018 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2019 draft budget(1); in addition, it must be ensured that any contribution from heading 4 to the FRiT will not lead to a reduction in the funds available for the existing programmes; furthermore, insists on the need to closely monitor the use of funds of the FRiT, ensuring that these funds are accurately targeting refugee projects and not used for any other purposes; calls on the Commission to report regularly to the budgetary authority on the compatibility of the actions financed with the underlying legal basis;

6.  Notes with regret the reduction in funding of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community; calls for the budget to be reinstated at current levels without any reduction;

7.  Stresses the strategic importance of the Eastern and Southern near neighbourhood of the EU; highlights that the situation in the neighbourhood continues to represent a significant challenge for the Union; is concerned by the fact that the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) will continue to be under considerable stress in 2019, exacerbated by the use of ENI funds to finance the Syria pledge and projects under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa; calls for these new commitments to be fully compensated by reinforcements; welcomes the increase in commitment appropriations for confidence building, security and the prevention and settlement of conflicts in Mediterranean countries; underlines in this context the need for appropriate support of vulnerable groups, in particular (unaccompanied) children, women and victims of sexual violence in and outside armed conflict;

8.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to continue to provide increased support to Ukraine, in particular as regards the persisting conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and to Tunisia, in particular in its fight against poverty and youth unemployment; in light of recent political developments on the ground, calls for more funding in support of the stabilisation of Libya, including with regard to supporting civil society and upholding human rights standards and international law; in this sense, particular attention should be paid to ensuring EU funding to Libya is not used to finance arbitrary detentions and detention of vulnerable persons, in particular children, in line with the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child, and that migrants are treated in full respect of international human rights standards; notes that the stabilisation of Libya will only be a first step and further efforts will be needed for reconstruction and reforms; calls for increased support for political reforms and democratic processes in Georgia and the Republic of Moldova; insists on the need for proper monitoring of implementation and reform progress in the partner countries concerned;

9.  Asks for more funding under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights for the protection of human rights defenders at risk, including through the Human Rights Defenders Mechanism (ProtectDefenders.eu), given the increased crackdowns in a number of countries; moreover, sufficient funding for EU electoral observation missions must be ensured, as a means to contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and building of public confidence in electoral processes, thus promoting stability and reinforcing other foreign policy objectives;

10.  Regrets the cuts in the EU contribution to the European-Inter University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) and its Global Campus of Human Rights, that will seriously undermine the functioning of this flagship EU academic programme; calls on the Commission to maintain its financial allocation to EIUC at a consistent level compared to past contributions;

11.  Calls for enhanced Union support for the Middle East Peace Process, the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, in line with the European Parliament resolution of 8 February 2018 on the situation of UNRWA(2), in view of the worsening situation on the ground and the decision of the United States to drastically reduce its engagement; remains concerned by the destruction and confiscation of EU-funded humanitarian assistance in the West Bank;

12.  Acknowledges the moderate increase in funding for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), while noting that the CFSP budget is still under heavy pressure, also considering the expansion of a number of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions risking to exacerbate the problem in 2019; calls for a reversal of the reduction proposed by the Council for other crisis management measures and operations, which would result in less flexibility in dealing with unexpected crises, and to increase the CFSP budget commensurably;

13.  Calls for additional funds for the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), given its significant role in crisis response, crisis preparedness, conflict prevention and peace-building; underlines the importance of continued implementation of the development and security nexus in the IcSP and calls for additional funds which are to be implemented under the existing IcSP components;

14.  Underlines the importance of a progressive framing of the common EU's defence policy and the need to support further funding to ensure its implementation;

15.  Welcomes the recent adoption of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) in order to support European defence cooperation and innovation and its integration in the 2019 draft budget; considers that, together with the on-going preparatory action for the EU defence research, this programme will contribute to the development of a European defence industry; stresses the importance of cross-border participation of SMEs and Mid-Caps;

16.  Calls for increased support to non-proliferation and disarmament, in line with the obligations stemming from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in line with the European Parliament resolution of 27 October 2016 on nuclear security and non-proliferation(3);

17.  Calls for Erasmus+ contributions from all external financing instruments to be increased, as people-to-people contacts and youth mobility are one of the key strategies to enhance the impact of EU external action and its visibility among the public of our partner countries;

18.  Recalls that the effects of climate change have a tangible impact on several aspects of human life and are increasingly being felt in developing countries; calls for an increased allocation for climate action, which better reflects the EU's strong commitment to and increased engagement in climate diplomacy.INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

5

8

Members present for the final vote

Michèle Alliot-Marie, Nikos Androulakis, Petras Auštrevičius, Amjad Bashir, Bas Belder, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Javier Couso Permuy, Arnaud Danjean, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Iveta Grigule-Pēterse, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Tunne Kelam, Wajid Khan, Andrey Kovatchev, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Barbara Lochbihler, Sabine Lösing, Andrejs Mamikins, David McAllister, Tamás Meszerics, Francisco José Millán Mon, Clare Moody, Javier Nart, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Julia Pitera, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Sofia Sakorafa, Dobromir Sośnierz, Jaromír Štětina, Dubravka Šuica, Charles Tannock, László Tőkés, Ivo Vajgl, Elena Valenciano, Geoffrey Van Orden, Boris Zala

Substitutes present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Brando Benifei, Andrea Bocskor, Tanja Fajon, Neena Gill, Ana Gomes, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Jo Leinen, Miroslav Poche, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

43

+

ALDE

Petras Auštrevičius, Iveta Grigule-Pēterse, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Javier Nart, Jozo Radoš, Ivo Vajgl

EFDD

Fabio Massimo Castaldo

PPE

Asim Ademov, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Andrea Bocskor, Elmar Brok, Arnaud Danjean, Michael Gahler, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Tunne Kelam, Andrey Kovatchev, David McAllister, Francisco José Millán Mon, Alojz Peterle, Julia Pitera, Cristian Dan Preda, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jaromír Štětina, Dubravka Šuica, László Tőkés

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Brando Benifei, Tanja Fajon, Eugen Freund, Neena Gill, Ana Gomes, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Wajid Khan, Jo Leinen, Andrejs Mamikins, Clare Moody, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Elena Valenciano, Boris Zala

5

-

GUE/NGL

Javier Couso Permuy, Sabine Lösing, Sofia Sakorafa

NI

James Carver, Dobromir Sośnierz

8

0

ECR

Amjad Bashir, Bas Belder, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden

VERTS/ALE

Klaus Buchner, Barbara Lochbihler, Tamás Meszerics

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA-PROV(2018)0311.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA-PROV(2018)0042.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0424.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (6.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Arne Lietz

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Stresses that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, in particular Goal 3 on health, Goal 4 on education, Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 13 on climate action require appropriate Union assistance and must be reflected in the Union budget for 2019, thereby demonstrating the priority given to long-term efforts to eradicate poverty, as stipulated in Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); recalls that its implementation has to cut across the Union’s internal and external policies, as well as integrate in a balanced and coherent manner the three dimensions of sustainable development, addressing the interlinkages between the different SDGs; calls on the Commission and on the Member States to make the SDGs 2030 a strategic priority and to reflect it in the Union budget;

2.  Recalls that the Union has committed to comprehensively protect and promote the rights of the child in its external policy, in line with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; stresses the importance of implementing the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child in Union external relations; calls on the Commission to monitor and report on child rights progress in Union external programmes;

3.  Reiterates its firm rejection of the use of development funds for non-development objectives such as border management or military capacity building and underlines that funding that does not fulfil official development assistance (ODA) criteria must be entirely sourced from other instruments than the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) or the European Development Fund (EDF); reiterates that to be effective in combating poverty over the long-term, and in accordance with Article 208 TFEU, actions tackling the deep-rooted causes of poverty should be chosen in preference to others that meet the criteria for official development assistance; reaffirms its support for budgetisation of the EDF, and emphasises the importance of restricting the budgets allocated to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions respectively;

4.  Stresses that, while the flexibility and rapidity with which the sums concerned can be used is an advantage in terms of good management of the funds, these advantages cannot in any way justify development funds being diverted elsewhere, constraints on the power of scrutiny of Parliament, the only democratically elected body, or the systematic scheduling of actions for the long term; calls therefore for the creation of extraordinary instruments, such as the fiduciary funds, to be restricted as much as possible and for these principles to be taken into account in structuring the next multiannual financial framework (MFF);

5.  Emphasises that the Union and its Member States must honour their collective commitment, confirmed in 2015, to raise their ODA to 0,7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) by 2030; recalls the Union’s collective commitment to provide the least developed countries (LDCs) with, in the short-term, between 0,15 % and 0,20 % of GNI allocated to ODA; stresses that the Union’s collective ODA fell by 2,4% in 2017 compared to 2016 figures; is concerned that if GNI remains at 0,11 % in 2016, the Union will not be in a position to honour its commitments to the LDCs; calls on the Commission and the Member States to prepare and present a plausible timeline for such a gradual increase towards this level; calls on the Member States to exclude the in-donor refugee costs out of the ODA calculation; reiterates the commitment made by the Commission to dedicate at least 20% of its total ODA to human development and social inclusion; calls for an increased allocation of its 2019 ODA to health, education and social protection, in order to reach its commitment by the end of the current MFF; stresses in particular the need to promote and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights, thereby countering the Global Gag Rule which was reinstated by the United States government; affirms that Union development assistance should be spent more effectively and that ODA should be targeted to sectors where it is needed the most, namely capacity building, good governance, health, education, agriculture, water supply and sanitation, as well as energy; emphasises on the need for maintenance support with sufficient access to spare parts and locally-trained technical experts;

6.  Insists, given the important role played by the United Kingdom in development, that close ties are retained between the Union and the United Kingdom after its departure in order to minimise ensuing losses;

7.  Recognises that no country has ever developed without engaging in further trade relations with their neighbours and the rest of the world; further encourages the financing of aid for trade activities, in order to allow developing countries to participate to a much greater degree in global value chains in the future; stresses in this context the increasing importance of digital connectivity in order to achieve a more balanced distribution of the globalisation benefits in favour of developing countries;

8.  Underlines the high importance of supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises and calls in particular for the establishment of local solutions for a better access to finance with a further strengthening of micro-finance loan and guarantee systems;

9.  Calls for an enlargement of the “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” programme beyond Europe in particular to developing countries while providing the necessary financial means;

10.  Encourages the establishment of vocational dual training institutions in which young people, while undergoing a professional apprenticeship programme with an emphasis on practical aspects of a profession, will have theoretical lectures at specialised professional schools;

11.  Given the dramatic situation in the field of humanitarian aid, insists that the current global humanitarian needs are reflected with a significant funding increase for humanitarian aid budget lines be easy to mobilise; reiterates that education of both boys and girls plays a key role in preventing man-made humanitarian crises by avoiding conflicts, protecting children and providing them with perspectives; welcomes the fact that already a significant amount of humanitarian aid is spent on education in emergencies; calls, however, for an appropriate increase of this share and for more support to the Erasmus+ DCI budget line, as in emergency situations education is essential for the population’s development after the emergency stage has passed, not forgetting that this emergency stage can sometimes even last for several years;

12.  Notes the exhaustion of margins and flexibility mechanisms within the Union budget and in the Union’s external action, which are often used to mobilise additional funds to respond unforeseen needs, including humanitarian crises; in relation to this, opposes the Commission’s proposal for the funding of the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT) that has not left sufficient margins under the heading 4 and MFF special instruments for unforeseen humanitarian crisis, due to the unfulfilled commitment by the Members States to contribute with EUR 2 billion by means of bilateral to the FRT; is concerned by the continued mobilisation of the EDF reserve to top-up contributions to the Union Trust Fund for Africa, most recently by EUR 500 million; stresses that this transfer of founds not only diverts money away from the EDF objectives of eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development and towards migration management, but also severely limits the possibility to mobilise additional funds for future humanitarian crises in the ACP regions in the coming years; calls again on Member States to increase their contributions to the FRT and the Union Trust Fund for Africa, for which pledged contributions currently amount to EUR 3 billion (before the additional EUR 500 million) from the Union budget and EDF, and only EUR 430 million from EU Member States and other donors;

13.  Believes that promoting peace, security and justice in developing countries is of paramount importance for the Union in order to address the root causes of migration; recognises that expenditure relating to security is particularly relevant in the current efforts to comprehensively address the security-development nexus and deliver on Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

14.  Underlines the importance of increasing the attribution of funds aiming at supporting good governance, democracy and the rule of law in developing countries in order to promote accountable and transparent institutions, support capacity building and foster a participatory decision-making and public access to information;

15.  Recalls the importance to support expenditure directly linked to the achievement of the objectives of the humanitarian aid policy, inter alia, expenditure on technical and administrative assistance;

16.  Emphasises the importance of maintaining payment appropriations in the humanitarian aid chapter at least on the same level as commitment appropriations, in order to avoid severe and constant lack of funds for payments, complicated urgent interventions and the accumulation of unpaid bills, with negative effects also on implementing partners;

17.  Emphasises the importance of the provision of clean water and of the building of additional wastewater disposal facilities;

18.  Draws attention to the scale and implications of energy poverty in developing countries and to the Union’s strong involvement in efforts to reduce such poverty; underlines the need for strong and concerted efforts by governments and stakeholders in affected countries to reduce energy poverty and attain SDG 7, especially with regard to remote rural areas in off-grid energy regions;

19.  Calls for sufficient financial resources to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in order to ensure continuous support for Palestinian refugees in the region;

20.  Welcomes the increase on the appropriations to support development initiatives in developing countries carried out by or for civil society organisations and local authorities; in the area of humanitarian aid reminds the Commission and the Council of the Grand Bargain commitment on localization, which commits to paying at least a quarter of all humanitarian aid funding as directly as possible to local and national responders, therefore calls for a revision of the current Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96(1) (dating from 1996) to ensure that the future financing for humanitarian aid continues to be based on needs and in line with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, but is also adapted to a changing context and becomes more effective, notably in terms of advancing the humanitarian/development nexus and contributing to implement the commitments made at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, and as part of the Grand Bargain;

21.  Reiterates the importance of focusing on main humanitarian crises, including forgotten humanitarian crises; calls to guarantee humanitarian funding for the following crises: Yemen (22 million people in need of humanitarian aid), Syria crisis including neighbouring countries (more than 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria), as well as for forgotten humanitarian crises such as Sahel (1,6 million children at risk of suffering from severe acute malnutrition and 6.8 million people food insecure) and Democratic Republic of Congo (13 million people in need and more than 2 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition);

22.  Highlights the need to guarantee humanitarian and development aid for the Sahel; stresses that chronic poverty, climate change, intensification of conflicts and a nearly lean season this year have resulted in 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian aid in a region with structural fragilities restricting access to basic social services; therefore calls to increase humanitarian and development funding for the region to cover both life-saving interventions and longer term efforts to tackle the root causes of vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity and to strengthen basic social services;

23.  Stresses that the need to implement the humanitarian/development nexus should be reflected in the Union budget for 2019, in focusing on key sectors such as nutrition; calls therefore on the Commission, and in particular the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development to close the humanitarian and development gap by dedicating both humanitarian and longer term funding to nutrition in the Union budget for 2019, hence enabling children with severe acute malnutrition to access the treatment in all contexts, emergency and development alike;

24.  Recalls that the effects of climate change have a tangible impact on several aspects of human life and are increasingly being felt in the development countries; calls for further resources from other instruments than the DCI and/or EDF in climate action, which reflects the strong commitment to and increased engagement in climate diplomacy by promoting in particular the renewable energy sector in order to tackle climate change; recalls that access to drinking water is a key factor in social and economic development, making it possible to tackle poverty and provide access to education and healthcare; calls for Member States and others to hold to the commitments they have made on combating global warming and climate change; stresses that the allocation shall come from other funds than development funding;

25.  Recalls that in the context of climate change and the need for climate adaptation, investments in disaster risk reduction and preparedness in development programmes are crucial, to prevent human suffering and the loss of lives, to help preserve results achieved through development cooperation in partner countries and to reduce the need for emergency responses;

26.  Regrets that the Commission has not delivered on the objective to allocate 20% of its ODA to human development and social inclusion and even reduces the relevant budget line; requests therefore a strong increase of these appropriations;

27.  Underscores the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions; asks for continued support for on-going and new pilot projects and preparatory actions;

28.  Emphasises the importance to keep the strongest cooperation possible with the United Kingdom in the field of development cooperation after the Brexit;

29.  Notes the proposed increase by 134% of the cooperation with the Middle East budget line and the increase by 6 % of the migration and asylum budget line; regrets the lack of explanation by the Commission regarding the two increases in a context where migration flows to Europe have decreased sharply; proposes therefore to reduce corresponding appropriations in order to finance the necessary increase of the human development budget line.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Mireille D’Ornano, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Stelios Kouloglou, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Mirja Vehkaperä, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Anna Záborská, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Frank Engel, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Paul Rübig, Kathleen Van Brempt

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

16

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Mirja Vehkaperä

EFDD

Ignazio Corrao, Mireille D’Ornano

GUE/NGL

Stelios Kouloglou, Lola Sánchez Caldentey

PPE

Frank Engel, Teresa Jiménez‑Becerril Barrio, Paul Rübig, Bogdan Brunon Wenta

S&D

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Kathleen Van Brempt

VERTS/ALE

Maria Heubuch

1

-

ENF

Jean‑Luc Schaffhauser

2

0

PPE

Joachim Zeller, Anna Záborská

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid (OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1).


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (29.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: William (The Earl of) Dartmouth

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes that the Union has an increasingly ambitious trade agenda, as outlined in the ‘Trade for all’ strategy; underlines the need for giving enough political and administrative support to ensure that trade deals can be agreed within appropriate timeframes; stresses that the funding for Aid for Trade initiatives should be increased and sufficient resources should be allocated to DG Trade of the Commission to enable it to carry out the increasing number of activities, in particular to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the provisions included in both the bilateral and multilateral agreements; highlights the importance of performing assessments prior to, during and following the conclusion of such agreements in achieving a more inclusive strategy; in this regard recognises the need for gender-disaggregated data; reiterates the need to adequately finance the implementation of Trade Defense Instruments (TDIs) to promote quick investigations and to allow for their swift adoption; underlines the need to ensure sufficient funding is available for cooperation and assistance with third countries to promote and facilitate their adherence to bilateral and multilateral trade initiatives and agreements, including the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Kimberley Process and the international Alliance for Torture-Free Trade; requests that the Union’s Trade related assistance shall put a stronger emphasis on supporting the increase of local and intra-regional trade in our partner countries and regions, and thereby strengthening the self-reliant and lasting national economic development of countries involved; furthermore asks the Commission to coordinate its implementation in order to maximise its effectiveness;

2.  Stresses that international trade is a core tool for the Union foreign policy which, if sufficiently funded and implemented by means of coherent strategies, contributes to sustainable development, particularly in developing countries; considers the Common Commercial Policy as one of the Union's most powerful tools to tackle migration causes;

3.  Underlines the need for a thorough reorganisation of the Union budget and its structure, including a more ambitious and substantive role for the European Parliament, in the context of the review of the next MFF and with regard to the trade policy agenda, and calls on the Commission to take the initiative on this vis à vis the Council and Parliament;

4.  Asks the Commission to assess the existing tools aimed at promoting SME internationalization regarding their coherence with other Union SME support instruments as well as regarding subsidiarity, non-duplication and complementarity in relation to Member State programmes; calls on the Commission to further finance SMEs internationalization programmes and to endeavour to provide a rules of origin calculator tailored to SMEs that should specifically enable them to use the preferences available under existing agreements with a view to increasing the preference utilisation rate;

5.  Notes that the involvement of civil society and social partners in the implementation of trade agreements can benefit the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Common Commercial Policy, that the citizens of the Union are asking to be more informed and engaged with Union trade policy and that the Commission has made this citizens’ interest a priority; considers that it is crucial that enough resources are allocated to actively involve citizens on Union trade policy-making and to raise a higher degree of awareness of its benefits among European citizens; calls for the inclusion of Domestic Advisory Groups and Joint Platforms, that are now under budgeted, into citizens’ dialogue as they are the main vehicles for achieving the effective participation of civil society in the enforcement and monitoring of trade and sustainability chapters of trade agreements; calls for the development of the key performance indicators against which they wish to assess the performance of customs administrations at national and Union level; calls on Member States to take a more active role in explaining the added value of Union trade policy since it is the Member States that formulate the negotiating mandates;

6.  Emphasises that the trade-related technical support and economic assistance provided by the European Neighbourhood Policy to Union partners in the East border and to the post-Arab-Spring countries make an important contribution to stability in those regions;

7.  Calls on the Commission to invest in a study on the contribution of the Union's trade policy to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including recommendations to bring the policy in line with the Agenda 2030;

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

3

3

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Arena, Daniel Caspary, Salvatore Cicu, Christofer Fjellner, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Yannick Jadot, France Jamet, Elsi Katainen, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Emma McClarkin, Anne-Marie Mineur, Sorin Moisă, Alessia Maria Mosca, Franck Proust, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Helmut Scholz, Joachim Schuster, Joachim Starbatty

Substitutes present for the final vote

Bendt Bendtsen, Seán Kelly, Sander Loones, Bolesław G. Piecha, Fernando Ruas, Paul Rübig, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Jarosław Wałęsa

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

Nessa Childers

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

25

+

ALDE

Elsi Katainen

ECR

Sander Loones, Emma McClarkin, Bolesław G. Piecha, Joachim Starbatty

EFDD

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth

PPE

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Bendt Bendtsen, Daniel Caspary, Salvatore Cicu, Christofer Fjellner, Seán Kelly, Sorin Moisă, Franck Proust, Fernando Ruas, Paul Rübig, Jarosław Wałęsa

S&D

Maria Arena, Nessa Childers, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Alessia Maria Mosca, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Joachim Schuster

3

-

ENF

France Jamet, Danilo Oscar Lancini

GUE/NGL

Anne-Marie Mineur

3

0

GUE/NGL

Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Helmut Scholz

VERTS/ALE

Yannick Jadot

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (28.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Joachim Zeller

SUGGESTIONS

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

A.  whereas the 2019 draft Union Budget amounts at EUR166 billion in commitments, corresponding to a 3% increase over 2018, investing in a stronger and more resilient European economy and promoting solidarity and security on both sides of the Union’s borders;

B.  whereas in addition to consolidating past efforts, this draft budget also includes support for new initiatives: the European Solidarity Corps, the European Labour Authority, the extension of the Structural Reform Support Programme; the set-up of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme a reserve of civil protection capabilities at the Union level and the creation of the new European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO);

Presentation of the Union budget

1.  Notes that the budget of the Union is presented in sections corresponding to activities led by the institutions (activity-based budgeting); considers that this presentation does not ensure a clear and rapid understanding of the objectives pursued; by contrast notes that the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is presented by headings corresponding to policy areas;

2.  Notes that the programme statements of operational expenditure accompanying the draft budget make the link between each budget line and the political objectives pursued;

3.  Asks the Commission to present the Union budget according to the political objectives of the MFF;

Programme statements of operational expenditure accompanying the budget 2019

4.  Welcomes the programme statements of operational expenditures accompanying the budget 2019 that according to Article 38 of the Financial Regulation, provide information for each of the spending programmes on:

–  rationale and EU added value of each programme;

–  implementation (actual and forthcoming) overview;

–  progress on programme performance (objectives, indicators, milestones and targets) and contribution to the main policies and objectives of the Union;

5.  Notes with concern that the Commission uses two sets of objectives and indicators to measure the performance of the financial management; on the one side, the EC directors generals evaluate in their annual activity reports (AAR) the achievement of the objectives defined in their management plan and, on the other side, the Commission measures the performance of spending programmes via the programme statements of operational expenditure with hardly any cross-references; this circumstance hampers comparability between different types of performance documents;

6.  Points out, in particular, that in their AARs the directors general report on the achievement of general and specific objectives but do not indicate the corresponding expenditure; calls therefore on the Commission to fully implement the performance-based budgeting principle of budget planning, implementation and reporting, which will allow ex post reporting on the funds spent in pursuit of objectives;

7.  Recalls that the current performance framework of the programmes reported in the programme statements includes 716 indicators of different type measuring the performance against 61 general and 228 specific objectives;

8.  Welcomes the fact that, at this stage of implementation, actual achievements for almost 90 % of the indicators have been already reported (or partially reported); this is a steady increase compared to the previous years (60 % in Programme Statements 2017 and 80 % in Programme Statements 2018); notes that the programme statements include data on actual results for 2014-2016 or 2017;

9.  Asks the Commission to:

(a)  streamline performance reporting by:

–  further reducing the number of objectives and indicators it uses for its various performance reports and focusing on those which best measure the social, environmental and economic performance of the Union budget, while avoiding however a one size fits all approach;

–  presenting financial information in a manner that makes it comparable with performance information so that the link between spending and performance is clear;

–  explaining and improving the overall coherence between its two sets of objectives and indicators for programmes on the one hand and directorates general on the other;

(b)  better balance performance reporting by clearly presenting information on the main challenges still to be achieved;

10.  Welcomes the fact that 2019 Programme Statements refer to the achievement of cross-cutting policy objectives as the fight against climate change, bio diversity and the gender issues; appreciates that the Commission also presents the relevant spending programmes contributing to the achievement of the ten priorities of the Juncker Commission and highlights the most recent and relevant initiatives contributing to Sustainable Development Goals, although often in an indirect and not quantifiable way;

11.  Calls on the Committee on Budget of the European Parliament, in coordination with the sectorial committees of this Parliaments, to promote a real culture of “result orientation” aiming at optimizing the use of funds and consider reallocating funds from programmes showing low performance;

Europe 2020 Strategy

12.  Underlines that the Europe 2020 Strategy contains priority targets and objectives for the current programming period, therefore, the Union budget is a crucial instrument for the implementation of the Strategy’s targets and results envisaged; is concerned, however, that according to key economic and social indicators the Union has still not achieved these objectives and results, while inequalities and divergences within the Union and its Member States have persisted, thus putting at risk the European project itself;

13.  Notes that, according to the Commission, the contribution of the total 2019 draft budget to the Europe 2020 Strategy is estimated to be 66.2 % (EUR 106 958,3 million) thus remaining at the level of previous years; insists, in the light of resource constraints, that the Commission should make every effort for better targeting the available resources and for more efficient utilization of funds committed in order to significantly improve the implementation of the main objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy where lack of progress is most worrying - the reduction of poverty levels and the advancement of social inclusion;

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

14.  Stresses the current distribution of CAP expenditure: 44,7 % of all Union farms had an annual income of less than EUR 4000, and in 2016 on average the upper 10% of the beneficiaries of CAP direct support received around 60 % of the payments; notes that the distribution of direct payment largely reflects the concentration of land, 20 % of farmers also owning 80 % of the land, keeping in mind the differences between individual Member States;

15.  Calls on the Commission to carefully analyse the causes of the overall decline in farmer income since 2013, particularly in relation to costs versus profits for the various elements right along the food-supply chain (producers, processors, transport, retailers etc - this should then reveal where most of the profit goes), and to perform a needs assessment and define a new key performance objective accompanied by outcome and impact indicators, aiming at mitigating the income inequalities between famers;

Speed up Cohesion Policy

16.  Is worried that more than three years after the start of the 2014-2020 period, Member States have designated only 77 % of the programme authorities responsible for cohesion policy funds; as of 1 March 2017 the Commission received final accounts with expenditure covering just 0,7 % of the budget allocated for the entire programming period; as of mid-2017, the delays in budget implementation were greater than they were at the same point in the 2007-2013 period; notes that consequently, the outstanding commitments at the end of the current financing period could be even higher than in the previous one;

17.  Calls on the Commission to speed up the delivery of cohesion policy programmes and related payments, as well as to use resources at its disposal to assist Member States to strengthen their administrative capacity, with a view to reducing the length of the implementation time  in the next Multiannual Financial Frameworks to year n+2;

European Semester

18.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to build stronger coordination between cohesion, economic governance and the European semester with a view of rebalancing the Semester, ensuring priority for policies promoting greater social equity and social cohesion;

Migration

19.  Takes note that the Commission estimates that a total of EUR 2,3 billion will be required in 2019 under heading 3 Security and citizenship to address the challenges of migration and security but deplores the fact that the European Court of Auditors has noted in its last annual report that "the overall amount of funds mobilised for the refugee and migration crisis was not reported by the Commission and is difficult to estimate"(Court’s annual report 2016, paragraph.2.28); fears that this is still the case in the draft budget 2019, and may therefore complicate the identification of needs that might arise; welcomes the fact that the Commission is finalising a comprehensive overview of data on immigration;

20.  Recalls that the Commission explained that it is “difficult if not impossible to provide an estimated cost paid for migrants/seeker country by country as the management of migratory flows comprises a wide range of activities”(1) ;

Financial instruments and Trust funds

21.  Regrets that 6, 7 % of total payments to the financial engineering instruments concerned (EUR 900 million) went in 2016 into management costs and fees; considers this amount to be inappropriately high; urges once again the Commission to improve transparency in the use of financial engineering instruments (FEI), to regularly report on leverage, losses and risks and to present a cost-benefit analysis of FEIs compared with more direct forms of project funding;

22.  Stresses that trust funds should be established only when their use is justified and the required action is not possible through other, existing financing channels; calls furthermore on the Commission to consider putting an end to trust funds that are unable to attract a significant contribution from other donors or that do not provide an added value as compared to ‘traditional’ Union external instruments; considers unacceptable that the involvement of the EDF in trust funds further limits the possibility for the Parliament to scrutinise Union spending;

EPPO

23.  Insists that the EPPO be adequately financed and staffed; notes that in the draft budget for 2019 the Union contribution amounts to a total of EUR 4 911 000; points out that this appropriation is intended to cover EPPO’s staff related expenditure, infrastructure and operating expenditure and operational expenditure to start the development of the EPPO case management system;

24.  Deplores that only 35 staff posts are foreseen which implies that after deduction of the posts of 23 Deputy Prosecutors, only 12 posts are foreseen for administrative tasks; considers that it is not realistic.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Jonathan Bullock, Tamás Deutsch, Luke Ming Flanagan, Ingeborg Gräßle, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Wolf Klinz, Arndt Kohn, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Macovei, Gilles Pargneaux, Georgi Pirinski, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand, Joachim Zeller, Dennis de Jong

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Karin Kadenbach

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

19

+

ALDE

Wolf Klinz

ECR

Monica Macovei

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan, Dennis de Jong

NI

Cătălin Sorin Ivan

PPE

Richard Ashworth, Tamás Deutsch, Ingeborg Gräßle, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Claudia Schmidt, Joachim Zeller

S&D

Inés Ayala Sender, Karin Kadenbach, Arndt Kohn, Bogusław Liberadzki, Gilles Pargneaux, Georgi Pirinski

VERTS/ALE

Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand

1

-

EFDD

Jonathan Bullock

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

  Reply to written question 23- CONT hearing of Commissioner Avramopoulos of 29 November 2016.


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (31.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Luděk Niedermayer

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Calls for the 2019 budget to focus on the priorities outlined in the European Semester, in the resolutions of the European Parliament and on addressing the main concerns of EU citizens that are within EU full or partial responsibility as outlined e.g. in the Eurobarometer 2018 according to which the most pressing issues lie notably in the area of security and defence;

2.  Emphasises that boosting socially balanced and sustainable economic development and growth while pursuing structural reforms to modernise European economies, fostering convergence between EU regions and tackling youth unemployment are among issues requiring urgent action along with slowing down climate change, respecting the environment and protection of biodiversity, reducing inequalities, and the financing of migration, asylum and refugee policies; underlines the importance of the sustainable development goals in overcoming these issues;

3.  Recalls that the Union Budget is fundamentally an investment budget;

4.  Underlines the importance of ensuring sufficient resources for the coordination and surveillance of macroeconomic policies; emphasises that transparent communication and outreach to citizens and stakeholders with regard to the future of the EMU including the euro should continue;

5.  Stresses the importance of the role played by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) in enhancing a genuine European approach to financial supervision, fostering supervisory convergence, consistent application of Union law and better coordination between national authorities, ensuring financial stability, promoting better functioning of financial markets and assuring retail investor and consumer protection; calls on the Committee on Budgets to ensure that adequate resources are allocated which, when fully rationalised, would allow ESAs to be adequately staffed and to have secure and efficient IT systems while taking proper account of the gradually increasing amount of tasks devolved to them;

6.  Emphasises that the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) work should not be disrupted by Brexit and its relocation; underlines the importance of finalising the corresponding legislation as a matter of urgency to allow sufficient time for a cost-efficient relocation; stresses that the relevant upcoming legislations should fully respect the role of the European Parliament in the procedures leading to future possible setups and relocations of European Agencies;

7.  Notes the potentially significant increase in ESAs’ budget estimates for 2019 caused mainly by the introduction of new tasks proposed in the ESAs review and other currently negotiated legislative files, however insists on full transparency regarding the distribution of these additional financial resources; considers that conditional budget lines covering the cost of the new tasks should be introduced and will only be triggered after the laws are adopted; recognises that such funding will apply until a new funding mechanism is adopted and introduced;

8.  Underlines the importance of finalising the revision of the Regulation establishing ESAs before the end of the 8th legislature of the European Parliament in order to introduce, according to the evolution of the scope of institution-specific supervision, the possibility of appropriate and proportionate calibrated fees for market participants partly replacing contributions of national competent authorities without at the same time compromising the independence of the ESAs;

9.  Emphasises that ESAs should continuously strive to increase their efficiency without compromising on the quality of their work with a focus on continuous re-assessment of working methods, transfer of knowhow and other forms of mutual assistance between ESAs, as well as on the effective use of human and financial resources; reminds that the ESAs must stick strictly to the mandate assigned to them by the Union legislator and must not seek to de facto broaden their mandate;

10.  Considers that the 2019 budget should allocate more resources to the welcoming and support of refugees and migrants, particularly for Member States on the southern and eastern border of the EU and for those that are meeting their commitments in this regard;

11.  Underlines the need to ensure the adequate resources to support the Union action to fight aggressive tax planning, tax fraud and tax evasion.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

6

2

Members present for the final vote

Hugues Bayet, Pervenche Berès, David Coburn, Thierry Cornillet, Markus Ferber, Jonás Fernández, Neena Gill, Roberto Gualtieri, Brian Hayes, Danuta Maria Hübner, Petr Ježek, Barbara Kappel, Wolf Klinz, Georgios Kyrtsos, Philippe Lamberts, Sander Loones, Bernd Lucke, Olle Ludvigsson, Ivana Maletić, Gabriel Mato, Costas Mavrides, Alex Mayer, Caroline Nagtegaal, Luděk Niedermayer, Stanisław Ożóg, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Dariusz Rosati, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Anne Sander, Alfred Sant, Martin Schirdewan, Peter Simon, Paul Tang, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ernest Urtasun, Marco Valli, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Miguel Viegas, Jakob von Weizsäcker, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Simona Bonafè, Andrea Cozzolino, Ashley Fox, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Rina Ronja Kari, Thomas Mann, Siegfried Mureşan, Andreas Schwab, Tibor Szanyi

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

42

+

ALDE

Thierry Cornillet, Petr Ježek, Wolf Klinz, Caroline Nagtegaal, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

ECR

Ashley Fox, Sander Loones, Bernd Lucke, Stanisław Ożóg, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner

PPE

Markus Ferber, Brian Hayes, Danuta Maria Hübner, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Georgios Kyrtsos, Ivana Maletić, Thomas Mann, Gabriel Mato, Siegfried Mureşan, Luděk Niedermayer, Dariusz Rosati, Anne Sander, Andreas Schwab, Tom Vandenkendelaere

S&D

Hugues Bayet, Pervenche Berès, Simona Bonafè, Andrea Cozzolino, Jonás Fernández, Neena Gill, Roberto Gualtieri, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Olle Ludvigsson, Costas Mavrides, Alex Mayer, Alfred Sant, Peter Simon, Tibor Szanyi, Paul Tang, Jakob von Weizsäcker

VERTS/ALE

Philippe Lamberts, Ernest Urtasun

6

-

EFDD

David Coburn

ENF

Marco Zanni

GUE/NGL

Rina Ronja Kari, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Martin Schirdewan, Miguel Viegas

2

0

EFDD

Marco Valli

ENF

Barbara Kappel

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (30.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Marita Ulvskog

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that sustainable growth and investment is the key to the creation of decent jobs leading to quality employment as well as increased and shared prosperity for all; believes that it is necessary to direct structural funds and investments more effectively towards promoting inclusive growth, reducing inequalities and boosting upward social convergence;

2.  Emphasises that the 2019 budget should contribute towards achieving the employment and social targets set out in Europe 2020 targets in the implementation of the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development, particularly when it comes to combating youth and long-term unemployment, rising inequalities, social exclusion and poverty, in particular child poverty; highlights the need for continued support for the inclusion of migrants;

3.  Stresses that the 2019 budget cannot be understood outside the context of the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF); highlights that programming funds in the social and employment area shall create synergies to help reduce social divergences and inequalities that have been exacerbated by the crisis; warns that any reductions in the budget for these areas will only create difficulties for these policies to be effective and reach their targets; recalls, however, that in the context of ongoing budgetary constraints the principle of European added value should represent the cornerstone of all future spending and that efficient and effective spending is equally important as the total budget ceilings;

4.  Rejects any reductions to the budgetary programming for the employment, social affairs and inclusion lines; recalls that a proper balance between commitment and payment appropriations must be found in order to allow these policies to reach their full potential; is particularly concerned about the cuts introduced by the Council on these areas as this might prevent the EU from delivering and from living up to citizens' expectations;

5.  Notes the overall year-on-year increase proposed by the Commission in the appropriations of heading 1 – Smart and inclusive growth (+3.1 % in commitment appropriations and +1,3 % in payment appropriations);

6.  Acknowledges the modest increase proposed by the Commission in the appropriations of heading1b - Economic, social and territorial cohesion (+2,8 % in commitment appropriations and +1,1% in payment appropriations);

7.  Reiterates its call that adequate appropriations and especially payment appropriations are ensured in Budget 2019 for the ESF given that it is entering a period of intense implementation and payment requests by Member States will increase and therefore regrets the proposed decreased in payment appropriations (- 2.6%);

8.  Welcomes the proposal to increase the commitment appropriations for the FEAD and the EGF (+2% for each); notes with concern the decrease (-60%) of the payment appropriations for the EGF, as well as the decreases (respectively 1.5% and -0.4%) of the commitment and payment appropriation for the EaSI; stresses that the commitment appropriations for 'Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship' will have to be maintained at an ambitious level;

9.  Recalls that the EU is in a context of near-stagnation and insufficient wage growth in certain Member States(1) and that both the Commission and the ECB recommend a general increase in wages and an improvement in the quality of employment; stresses, furthermore, that the budget lines supporting European social dialogue and measures for social partners are of prime importance when it comes to strengthening social partners’ involvement, for example in the European Semester and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights; acknowledges the slight increase in commitment appropriations (6,4%) but regrets the decrease in payment appropriations (-21.8%) proposed by the Commission as regards industrial relations and social dialogue; highlights that well-functioning industrial relations systems have a positive impact on productivity, employment creation and maintenance, jobs quality and decent wages;

10.  Highlights that youth unemployment in certain Member States remains unacceptably high in the European Union and that the situation of young people in NEET situations (not in education, employment, or training) and the long-term unemployed, is particularly worrying; highlights that young people are the group most at risk of poverty and social and economic exclusion; emphasises that, in order to address these issues, it is of the utmost importance to ensure continued, increased and timely funding of the Youth Guarantee through the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), as well as adequate support to measures tackling inequalities, also beyond employment, through the ESF;

11.  Notes the European Commission’s proposal of an increase for the YEI of EUR 233,3 million for 2019; but considers that the overall YEI budget is still not sufficient to ensure that the Youth Guarantee reaches its targets, and therefore calls for the commitment appropriations of the YEI to be maintained for 2019 at the same level as for 2018, i.e EUR 350 million;

12.  Highlights the important contribution of the agencies in dealing with a wide range of employment and social issues; stresses, in this connection, that their tasks are growing constantly and that they must therefore be given the necessary resources to fulfill their tasks and ensure the best possible results in support of EU legislative and policy objectives; regrets, therefore, the proposed decrease in the funding of Cedefop (-5.8% in both commitments and payments); reiterates its concern about the negative budgetary impact of the growing Irish country coefficient, which increasingly risks undermining the financial capability of Eurofound to deliver on its mandate; expects the Union institutions to take action to offset the effects, as expressed in Eurofound’s 2016 discharge report; emphasises the need for additional funding in order to maintain the level of research carried out by the agency, in particular to secure the work done on pan-European surveys;

13.  Welcomes the creation of the European Labour Authority, which is expected to begin operating in 2019; highlights the need to provide for adequate funding which reflects the tasks set out in the forthcoming regulation from the European Parliament and the Council establishing a European Labour Authority, in order to ensure that sufficient financial resources are set aside for its establishment; notes that the funding proposed by the Commission (EUR 11 million, appropriations are to be entered into the reserve until such time as the basic act is adopted by the legislator) is of a lower magnitude than the one of other EU agencies in the area of employment and social affairs; insists that this funding cannot be accomplished by redeploying allocations from the other employment and social affairs agencies;

14  Notes that the EURES portal will gradually be shifted under the ELA in 2019 and 2020 and calls for assurance that this transfer of activities does not lead neither to any cut in the EURES budget nor to any disruptions in the functioning of the portal;

15.  Reiterates that pilot projects (PPs) and preparatory actions (PAs) are very valuable tools to initiate new activities and policies in the fields of employment and social inclusion and that several ideas of the EMPL Committee have been implemented successfully in the past as PPs/PAs; encourages the full use of the margins available under each heading.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

10

1

Members present for the final vote

Guillaume Balas, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Ole Christensen, Michael Detjen, Geoffroy Didier, Lampros Fountoulis, Elena Gentile, Arne Gericke, Marian Harkin, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Rina Ronja Kari, Jan Keller, Ádám Kósa, Jean Lambert, Patrick Le Hyaric, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Dominique Martin, Anthea McIntyre, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, João Pimenta Lopes, Georgi Pirinski, Dennis Radtke, Terry Reintke, Sofia Ribeiro, Claude Rolin, Siôn Simon, Romana Tomc, Ulrike Trebesius, Marita Ulvskog, Renate Weber

Substitutes present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Heinz K. Becker, Paloma López Bermejo, António Marinho e Pinto, Edouard Martin, Rory Palmer, Evelyn Regner, Jasenko Selimovic, Birgit Sippel, Michaela Šojdrová, Helga Stevens, Neoklis Sylikiotis

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

32

+

ALDE

Marian Harkin, António Marinho e Pinto, Jasenko Selimovic, Renate Weber

PPE

Georges Bach, Heinz K. Becker, Geoffroy Didier, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Ádám Kósa, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Dennis Radtke, Sofia Ribeiro, Claude Rolin, Michaela Šojdrová, Romana Tomc

S&D

Guillaume Balas, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Ole Christensen, Michael Detjen, Elena Gentile, Jan Keller, Edouard Martin, Rory Palmer, Georgi Pirinski, Evelyn Regner, Siôn Simon, Birgit Sippel, Marita Ulvskog

VERTS/ALE

Jean Lambert, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, Terry Reintke

10

-

ECR

Arne Gericke, Anthea McIntyre, Helga Stevens, Ulrike Trebesius

ENF

Dominique Martin

GUE/NGL

Rina Ronja Kari, Patrick Le Hyaric, João Pimenta Lopes, Neoklis Sylikiotis

NI

Lampros Fountoulis

1

0

GUE/NGL

Paloma López Bermejo

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

see e.g. 2017 European Semester: Commission Communication on Country Specific Recommendations, pages 3 and 8: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/2017-european-semester-country-specific-recommendations-commission-recommendations-communication.pdf

In particular:

CSR No 2 for Germany: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/2018-european-semester-country-specific-recommendation-commission-recommendation-germany-en.pdf

CSR No 2 for The Netherlands: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/2018-european-semester-country-specific-recommendation-commission-recommendation-netherlands-en.pdf


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (30.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Adina-Ioana Vălean

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Underlines that 20,1 % of the total commitments in the draft budget for 2019 (2019 DB) are climate-related; regrets that in spite of the aim to have 20 % of the Union budget expenditure linked to addressing climate change, the Union budget trend would deliver only 19,3 % for the current multi-annual financial framework (MFF) period; stresses that every effort should be made to reach the 20 % target; highlights that an appropriate level of financial support is crucial for climate change mitigation and adaptation;

2.  Notes that 8,2 % of the total commitments are related to reversing the decline in biodiversity; calls for sufficient resources to be allocated to the protection of biodiversity; recalls that, according to the Commission Communication ‘A budget for Europe 2020’, financing the Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and its objective of halting and reversing the decline in biodiversity in the Union requires the mainstreaming of biodiversity throughout the Union budget;

3.  Notes the increase of EUR 31,3 million in commitments for LIFE (+6 %); regrets that LIFE represents only 0,3 % of the 2019 DB;

4.  Takes note of the proposed EUR 68,3 million in commitments (+2,9 %) and EUR 61,3 million in payments (+9,6 %) for health; regrets that this amount is only 0,04 % of the 2019 DB and 1,8 % of heading 3 (in commitments);

5.  Considers that resources for health should be increased, especially those earmarked for research into mental illness; calls on the Commission to examine what programmes it could implement to increase the amounts earmarked for research and development in this field in view of the next MFF period, and to report back to Parliament;

6.  Takes note of the proposed EUR 297,7 million in commitments (+6,3 %) and EUR 245,8 million in payments (-1 %) for food and feed; regrets that this amount is only 0,18 % of the 2019 DB and 8 % of heading 3 (in commitments);

7.  Notes the increase in the commitments for the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) (EUR 149,6 million, +350 %), which is a cornerstone of Union solidarity; stresses that this increase is necessary as the 2019 DB includes the impact of the Commission proposal to revise the UCPM;

8.  Notes that permanent and temporary posts authorised under the 2019 DB remain unchanged compared to the 2018 budget for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), while those posts increase for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (+1)(1) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) (+3); highlights that, where appropriate, more financial and human resources must be allocated to those agencies in order to fulfil their mandate and execute their tasks, and in order to promote a science-based approach in the Union;

9.  Acknowledges that the temporary posts authorised under the 2019 DB for ECHA are to increase by three; points out that such increase is intended to bring ECHA’s biocide resources closer to the level originally foreseen and to make up for resources lacking in 2018; notes however that ECHA has been assigned additional tasks under the revised Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) (Waste Framework Directive) for which no posts or funding are currently scheduled in the 2019 DB; notes furthermore that new tasks for ECHA are also foreseen in the pending recast of Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3) on persistent organic pollutants, and in the EU Poison Centre regime, and calls for sufficient resources to be made available to ECHA in order for it to undertake those new activities;

10.  Highlights that, in addition to a significant increase in its existing tasks, the EEA has been assigned with new responsibilities which result in an increase in EEA’s financial and staff needs, while respecting the objectives of staff reduction and budget stabilisation; stresses that without an increase in its establishment table, there is a risk of substantial disruption in the EEA’s ability to support environmental policy development and implementation at Union and national level;

11.  Notes that EMA is facing an increased workload and further budgetary needs in 2019 as a consequence of the decision of the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Union; believes that additional financial resources and staff should be authorised for a limited period, so that EMA can transfer and retain the critical knowledge and skills necessary to continue to carry out its tasks effectively and to resume currently postponed activities;

12.  Calls on the Commission to swiftly implement pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs) in the field of the environment, public health and food safety;

13.  Recalls that PP-PAs in the field of the environment, public health and food safety should receive adequate funding throughout their life cycle, so that they can achieve their full potential;

14.  Recalls the principle of accountability to taxpayers and consumers and therefore urges strong annual budget discipline in order to take into account the financial burden of citizens; stresses that the cost effectiveness of current policies, programmes and measures should be reviewed annually and, where necessary, appropriate measures should be taken.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

30.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

6

1

Members present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Pilar Ayuso, Ivo Belet, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nessa Childers, Birgit Collin-Langen, Miriam Dalli, Angélique Delahaye, Mark Demesmaeker, Stefan Eck, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Arne Gericke, Jens Gieseke, Françoise Grossetête, Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Urszula Krupa, Giovanni La Via, Susanne Melior, Miroslav Mikolášik, Rory Palmer, Massimo Paolucci, Piernicola Pedicini, Bolesław G. Piecha, Pavel Poc, John Procter, Michèle Rivasi, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Damiano Zoffoli

Substitutes present for the final vote

Guillaume Balas, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Elena Gentile, Anja Hazekamp, Norbert Lins, Younous Omarjee, Christel Schaldemose, Bart Staes, Keith Taylor, Carlos Zorrinho

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

Olle Ludvigsson

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

40

+

EFDD

Piernicola Pedicini

GUE/NGL

Stefan Eck, Anja Hazekamp

PPE

Pilar Ayuso, Ivo Belet, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Birgit Collin-Langen, Angélique Delahaye, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Jens Gieseke, Françoise Grossetête, Giovanni La Via, Norbert Lins, Miroslav Mikolášik, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Adina-Ioana Vălean

S&D

Guillaume Balas, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nessa Childers, Miriam Dalli, Elena Gentile, Karin Kadenbach, Olle Ludvigsson, Susanne Melior, Rory Palmer, Massimo Paolucci, Pavel Poc, Christel Schaldemose, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Damiano Zoffoli, Carlos Zorrinho

VERTS/ALE

Margrete Auken, Benedek Jávor, Michèle Rivasi, Bart Staes, Keith Taylor

6

-

ECR

Mark Demesmaeker, Arne Gericke, Urszula Krupa, Bolesław G. Piecha, John Procter, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

1

0

GUE/NGL

Younous Omarjee

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

  EFSA has requested an additional post to cover the position of Head of EU Agencies Support Service Office in Brussels. The financing of this post will be shared among the EU Agencies, without requiring additional budget in this respect.

(2)

  Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives (OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3), as recently amended by Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 109).

(3)

  Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on persistent organic pollutants and amending Directive 79/117/EEC (OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 7).


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (25.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Jens Geier

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Rejects Council cuts of 3,61 % in commitment appropriations and 0,22 % in payment appropriations in budget lines related to the remit of the ITRE Committee under Heading 1a of the Union budget 2019 compared to the Commission’s proposal; notes the increase of 3,9 % in commitment appropriations and 1,8 % in payment appropriations in budget lines related to the remit of the ITRE Committee under Heading 1a of the Union budget compared to 2018 in the Commission’s proposal; welcomes the focus of the 2019 budget on growth, innovation, competitiveness, digitalisation, sustainability, climate change, the transition to a highly energy efficient and renewable based economy in line with the Paris Agreement and on the success of young and female researchers and entrepreneurs;

2.  Takes the view that research, SMEs and competitiveness will continue to make a decisive contribution to job creation and growth across the Union; considers that the budget allocated to the successful Horizon 2020 and Cosme programmes in 2019 should be sufficient to ensure their continuation;

3.  Underlines the necessity to develop leadership in innovation and in disruptive technologies; regrets therefore the significant Council cuts in commitment appropriations of EUR 0,3 billion and of EUR 18 million in payment appropriations in the Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation with an overwhelmingly negative impact on Horizon 2020 and especially regrets cuts in relevant budget lines such as Strengthening research in future and emerging technologies and Strengthening European research infrastructure serving to increase living standards, improving access to knowledge and promoting social and economic development; notes the proposed increase of 8,5 % for Horizon 2020 in commitment appropriations for the 2019 general budget in the Commission’s proposal; reminds the strong underfunding of Horizon 2020 under the MFF 2014-2020 resulting in a lower success rate (11,6% and as low as 3% for some programmes) for applications than in the previous MFF period which means that fewer high-quality projects in the field of research and innovation are receiving Union funding; reiterates, therefore, its deep concerns about the unambitious level of funding for Horizon Europe as proposed by the Commission for the next MFF and intends to secure a bare minimum of EUR 120 billion in 2018 prices for this programme during the upcoming MFF 2021-2027 negotiations and underlines its position that, following the Paris Agreement, climate-related spending should be significantly increased compared to the current MFF;

4.  Takes the view that the 2019 EU budget should be used to underpin all relevant instruments to combat youth unemployment, particularly in economically lagging regions of the EU, focusing on the promotion of business and digital skills;

5.  Recognises the importance and the success of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI); regrets that, in order to secure additional funding for EFSI, Horizon 2020 had to be reduced; stresses that the general budget of the Union should not be financing new initiatives to the detriment of existing Union programmes and policies; intends to deliver on the commitment made by Parliament during the EFSI negotiations to reduce insofar as possible the impact on this programme and to increase appropriations for the affected lines for 2019;

6.  Reminds of the importance of fostering extensive synergies between CEF-Transport and CEF-Digital in order to maximize the financial leverage for projects aimed at boosting the digitalization of the TEN-T corridors;

7.  Highlights the importance of completing the Energy Union while achieving the European climate goals by fulfilling the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainability Goals; points to the European Parliament’s claims in the report on Accelerating clean energy innovation(2017/2084 (INI)) on greater coherence between the Union´s commitment under the Paris Agreement and its funding policies for the five mutually supportive dimensions of the Energy Union; recalls in this context the adopted ‘energy efficiency first’ principle as well as the target for the Union to become number one in renewables; urges the Commission to provide the necessary funding for investments in these fields as well as for sustainable development, tackling energy poverty and just transition and to guarantee a level playing field for industry in the transition process to cleaner production processes to achieve a net-zero carbon economy in 2050; in this respect welcomes the Commission’s estimates that climate spending will reach 20,1 % in the 2019 budget, but reiterates that this proposal will only lead to 19,3% of the Union budget 2014-2020 for climate-related measures; considers that to achieve these goals, necessary funds should be maintained in CEF; is concerned about the significant Council cuts in commitments and payments of CEF-Energy;

8.  Is aware of the high importance of the budget lines for societal challenges, and more specifically of the budget line for improving lifelong health and wellbeing to increase the standard of living in the Union; encourages the Commission to maintain sufficient funding for such purposes and deplores the proposed Council cuts;

9.  Underlines the importance of achieving the goals of the Digital Single Market to enhance the Union’s digitalisation and the digital inclusion of the European economy, public sector and citizens; recognizes in this respect the importance of initiatives such as WIFI4EU; deplores Council cuts for this initiative;

10.  Underlines that SMEs are an essential part of the European economy as they provide a high number of employments within the Union and sees the need to create an SME-friendly business environment, as well as to support SME clusters and networks; notes, however, with deep concern the Council cuts on the SME instrument that send a contradictory signal to European businesses;

11.  Takes note of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP); stresses that such an activity should be endowed with fresh resources given its significant impact on the Union budget; is concerned about the Council cuts to CEF and to European space programmes such as leadership in space and Copernicus to fund the EDIDP as financial resources should not be withdrawn from civil programmes to support programmes in the area of defence;

12.  Underlines the need to reform the European mobility sector in order to achieve sustainable, clean and competitive transport in the Union, to make the Union's car industry fit for the future and to achieve our climate goals; stresses, therefore, the need for sufficient funding for programmes supporting these goals like CEF-Transport and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH 2) Joint Undertaking; is thus concerned about Council cuts for these programmes;

13.  Recalls the importance of adequate financial and staff resources for all agencies under ITRE-remit to ensure that they can properly fulfil their tasks; stresses that the 5 % cut in staff and the redeployment pool are ended with this general budget and urges the Commission to refrain from similar actions in the future; insists that resources be increased in accordance with the increase of tasks of concerned agencies; in this respect, welcomes the increases in staff for ENISA and GSA; notes with concern the insufficiency of those increases and also calls for an increase in staff for ACER, in order for them to fulfil their mandate, including the need to recruit and maintain highly specialised experts and to plan for future roles and responsibilities;

14.  Underlines that, as the United Kingdom has stated that it will contribute to the 2019 and 2020 budgets, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union is not expected to directly impact programmes under ITRE-remit;

15.  Stresses that a failure by the Union to deliver on its legal and political commitments on payment appropriations would seriously harm its reliability and have a serious negative impact on trust in the ability of Union institutions to fulfil their role, emphasises that this is enhanced by the fact that the Union approaches the end of the current MFF and that therefore the implementation of the multiannual programmes needs to be advanced quickly.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

24.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

5

4

Members present for the final vote

Bendt Bendtsen, José Blanco López, Jonathan Bullock, Jerzy Buzek, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Angelo Ciocca, Jakop Dalunde, Igor Gräzin, Rebecca Harms, Barbara Kappel, Jeppe Kofod, Peter Kouroumbashev, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Christelle Lechevalier, Janusz Lewandowski, Paloma López Bermejo, Edouard Martin, Tilly Metz, Nadine Morano, Dan Nica, Morten Helveg Petersen, Carolina Punset, Julia Reda, Paul Rübig, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Dario Tamburrano, Evžen Tošenovský, Vladimir Urutchev, Henna Virkkunen, Martina Werner, Lieve Wierinck, Hermann Winkler, Flavio Zanonato, Carlos Zorrinho, Anna Záborská, Pilar del Castillo Vera

Substitutes present for the final vote

Amjad Bashir, Michał Boni, Françoise Grossetête, Benedek Jávor, Werner Langen, Olle Ludvigsson, Marisa Matias, Gesine Meissner, Pavel Telička

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

Bernd Kölmel

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

39

+

ALDE

Igor Gräzin, Gesine Meissner, Morten Helveg Petersen, Carolina Punset, Pavel Telička, Lieve Wierinck

ECR

Bernd Kölmel, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Evžen Tošenovský

EFDD

Dario Tamburrano

PPE

Bendt Bendtsen, Michał Boni, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Françoise Grossetête, Werner Langen, Janusz Lewandowski, Nadine Morano, Paul Rübig, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Vladimir Urutchev, Henna Virkkunen, Hermann Winkler, Anna Záborská

S&D

Jeppe Kofod, Peter Kouroumbashev, Olle Ludvigsson, Edouard Martin, Dan Nica, Martina Werner, Flavio Zanonato, Carlos Zorrinho

VERTS/ALE

Jakop Dalunde, Rebecca Harms, Benedek Jávor, Tilly Metz, Julia Reda

5

-

ECR

Amjad Bashir

EFDD

Jonathan Bullock

ENF

Angelo Ciocca, Christelle Lechevalier

S&D

José Blanco López

4

0

ENF

Barbara Kappel

GUE/NGL

Paloma López Bermejo, Marisa Matias, Neoklis Sylikiotis

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (12.7.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Jasenko Selimovic

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes that the responsibility of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) in the budget procedure covers budget lines in titles 2 (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), 14 (Taxation and customs union) and 33 (Justice and Consumers);

2.  Underlines that the Single Market is one of Europe´s greatest achievement, which has allowed persons, goods, services and capital to move more freely in the Union, has boosted the EU Gross Domestic Product by 1,7 % and has created 3,6 million additional jobs since 1990, and therefore considers that the completion of the Single Market must remain one of the priorities in the 2019 Budget, since it is crucial to making the Union a more competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, to the benefit of both its citizens and its businesses; stresses, in this connection, the need to make the Union more competitive and calls for a budget allocation to help transform activities for a digital world;

3.  Recalls that a healthy and empowered consumer environment is a key factor for the completion of the Single Market and for economic growth throughout Europe and highlights that Union legislation on consumer protection has given to citizens and businesses the predictability and legal certainty that is necessary in many areas such as passenger rights, consumer rights and the fight against unfair commercial practices and unfair contract terms;

4.  Notes at the same time that unsafe and non-compliant products are still a reality on Union markets, as highlighted by a number of recent scandals, thereby underlining the need to earmark funding for more efficient and coordinated market supervision and measures to ensure consumer safety;

5.  Welcomes the fact that, in the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019 (draft budget 2019), IMCO's main priorities in the areas of functioning of the customs union, consumer protection, competitiveness and internal market for goods and services have been taken into account appropriately and endowed with adequate budgetary allocations in terms of commitment appropriations, and invites the Council to confirm those appropriations;

6.  Stresses that Single Market policy should be a priority as part of the push for better budget spending, and that equivalent savings should be found in other areas to meet spending commitments;

7.  Welcomes the increased level of commitment appropriations for the modernisation of the customs union in support of the implementation of the Union Customs Code (Code) and of the development of the electronic customs systems, since the full and uniform implementation of the Code is essential to better protect the citizens and the financial interests of the Union and e-customs constitutes the major challenge over the coming years in ensuring a better functioning of the internal market; and underlines that the simplification of customs procedures and effective enforcement of customs systems are essential to combat fraud and drive competition;

8.  Stresses that challenges in the consumer protection of Union citizens still remain, in particular as regards the digital economy and the development of cross-border retail trade in the Union and consequently regrets that the appropriations for the Consumer Programme in the draft budget 2019 are not sufficient; calls, therefore, for adequate funding for the consumers programme in order to finalise the implementation of a genuine European digital single market, to ensure a high level of protection for consumers, in particular vulnerable consumers, and ensure that new challenges to consumer protection policies are suitably addressed;

9.  Stresses the importance of internal market governance tools in ensuring not only proper application of Union rules but also better information and assistance for consumers and businesses and recommends that the Commission support awareness programmes regarding their rights and appropriate action in response to infringements thereof; calls, therefore, for an increase in the relevant budget line 02 03 04 in order to ensure better functioning of the Single Market and specifically information and assistance services;

10.  Notes that 91,6 % of citizens and businesses are unaware of any European-level information or assistance service(1) and is of the opinion that consumer and businesses awareness of the information and assistance tools, in particular Your Europe portal and European Consumer Centres Network, is of paramount importance and that a significant effort is needed to increase awareness and therefore expects an important increase of funding allocations;

11.  Notes that the Union’s institutions have already reached an informal agreement on the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on establishing a single digital gateway to provide information, procedures, assistance and problem solving services and expects adequate funding allocations already in 2019 for the preparation of the gateway;

12.  Reminds the Commission, in the context of the entry into application on 3 December 2018 of the Regulation (EU) 2018/302 of the European Parliament and of the Council(2), of its commitment to perform, by March 2020, a substantive analysis of the feasibility of extending the scope of this Regulation to fully cover copyright-protected electronically supplied services, including audio-visual services, and therefore calls for adequate funding allocation for that purpose already in 2019;

13.  Recalls that the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) is a crucial tool for encouraging an entrepreneurial culture, supporting existing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and ensuring their competitiveness, sustainability and growth, helping them embrace digital transformation, as well as promoting the advancement of the knowledge society, and expects that the reduction on payment appropriations for COSME in the draft budget 2019 is only due to a detailed calculation of outstanding amounts by the Commission, since it is of capital importance to avoid bottlenecks and shortages in the payment of COSME actions;

14.  Welcomes the increase in commitment appropriations in the draft budget 2019 on the budget line 02 02 01 ‘Promoting entrepreneurship and improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises’ while maintains concerns on the level of programmed payment appropriations, since improving SMEs’ access to finance remains a key priority for IMCO in the 2019 Budget;

15.  Welcomes the increase in appropriations in the 2019 draft budget line 33 04 01 'Safeguarding consumers’ interest and improving their safety and information'; stresses that improving average consumer education and awareness is of paramount importance in the digital single market; calls for the reinforcement of Single Market tools that increase awareness of internal market rules; underlines the continuation of financial allocations for SOLVIT, the European Consumer Centres Network and Fin-Net;

16.  Highlights the importance of standards for Union market competitiveness; recalls that adequate financial support is necessary for the activities of European Standard Organisations;

17.  Asks for the financing of all the pilot projects endorsed by IMCO and in particular the ones on “Monitoring of possible unfair consumer profiling and price adjustment by airlines” (that investigates whether airlines practise the so-called “consumer profiling” in order to adjust the flight fares), on “Application of web accessibility requirements in web-authoring tools and platforms by default” (that encourages and supports the adoption of the relevant accessibility requirements of the European Standard EN 301 549 v1.1.2 by awarding grants to firms), and on “Assessing alleged differences in the quality of products sold on the Single Market” (that develops further relevant consumer and market-related research on alleged dual quality of products on the Single Market).

18.  In regard to the pilot project on "Assessing alleged differences in the quality of products sold on the Single Market", calls on the Commission to ascertain that Members of IMCO are closely involved in the planning and oversight of all activities related to that pilot project and reiterates that the role of Members should be prominent in informing the general public about the results of the final report;

19.  Stresses the need to link all Internal Market programmes to Regulation (EU) No 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3);

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

12.7.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

3

0

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Pascal Arimont, Dita Charanzová, Carlos Coelho, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Daniel Dalton, Nicola Danti, Dennis de Jong, Pascal Durand, Maria Grapini, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Eva Maydell, Marlene Mizzi, Jiří Pospíšil, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Olga Sehnalová, Jasenko Selimovic, Ivan Štefanec, Catherine Stihler, Richard Sulík, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Mylène Troszczynski, Mihai Ţurcanu, Anneleen Van Bossuyt, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Biljana Borzan, Birgit Collin-Langen, Julia Reda, Marc Tarabella, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Sabine Verheyen

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

Asim Ademov, Isabella De Monte, Sylvie Goddyn, Nosheena Mobarik

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

34

+

ALDE

Dita Charanzová, Jasenko Selimovic, Matthijs van Miltenburg

ECR

Daniel Dalton, Nosheena Mobarik, Richard Sulík, Anneleen Van Bossuyt

EFDD

Marco Zullo

GUE/NGL

Dennis de Jong

PPE

Asim Ademov, Pascal Arimont, Carlos Coelho, Birgit Collin-Langen, Anna Maria Corazza-Bildt, Eva Maydell, Jiří Pospíšil, Andreas Schwab, Ivan Stefanec, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hoheinstein, Mihai Turcanu, Sabine Verheyen

S&D

Biljana Borzan, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Nicola Danti, Isabella De Monte, Maria Grapini, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Marlene Mizzi, Christel Schaldemose, Olga Sehnalová, Catherine Stihler, Marc Tarabella

Verts/ALE

Pascal Durand, Julia Reda

3

-

EFDD

John Stuart Agnew

Verts/ALE

Sylvie Goddyn, Mylène Troszczynski

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

2017 data taken from Study on information and assistance needs of businesses operating cross-border within the EU, including gap and cost analysis p.30.

(2)

Regulation (EU) 2018/302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 February 2018 on addressing unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulations (EC) No 2006/2004 and (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22/EC (OJ L 60 I/1, 2.3.2018, p. 1).

(3)

Regulation (EU) No 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016

on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119 4.5.2016, p. 1).


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (30.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Pavel Telička

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Takes note of the proposed draft budget for the EU Transport policy in heading 1a, Title 6 ‘mobility and transport’; insists that the Union transport policy is essential for the free movement of persons and goods, for the global European integration, for the social and territorial cohesion of the Union, and for the overall competitiveness; stresses thus that this policy needs an ambitious budget for the transport sector in order to maintain the credibility of on-going projects and guarantee an appropriate network of infrastructures and ensure its correct functioning, as well as its safety, secure long-term investment that bolsters European businesses, and mobilise complementary private financing;

2.  Believes the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to be a vital instrument providing significant European added value in terms of optimising the transport network in the Union as a whole by linking together and/or modernising new and existing transport infrastructure; highlights the crucial role played by CEF in the transport sector for achieving the completion of the TEN-T core and comprehensive networks, and points out that for long term planning, CEF requires a stable and appropriate financing; regrets that, in the past, budget cuts have been made at the detriment of CEF and insists that any new cuts in this programme is not acceptable; takes note that the Commission proposes for the CEF Transport an increase of 39,4 % and 5,3 % respectively in commitments and payments and considers that, taking into account that 2019 is the first year of the current multi-annual financial framework where additional financing can be requested for projects which started between 2014 and 2016, these amounts are a minimum;

3.  Welcomes the relocation of the money from the Cohesion Fund for an amount of EUR 1.7 billion in 2019 to CEF Transport programme; recalls that these funds are earmarked exclusively 'TEN-T' infrastructure projects in the Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund;

4.  Stresses that the Rail Baltica project, based on the European track gauge, is one of the most important of its kind in the Union, but that the proposed funding is inadequate; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure that Union financing is maintained at the same unchanging level;

5.  Welcomes that a new CEF Transport call has been launched in May 2018 to support the policy orientations of the 3rd Clean Mobility Package and that additional calls will be launched in 2019; recalls the success of the 2017 blending call and urges the Commission to repeat such a call for the year 2019; stresses, this year again, the necessity to ensure the complementarity between CEF and other funds, in particular the EFSI for revenue generating projects, to maximise the Union added-value in project financing and trigger additional private investment in large scale innovation such as ERTMS and digital enhancements; at the same time reminds that, in the domain of CEF Transport, financial grants shall remain the main instrument to fund sustainable infrastructure and cross-border projects along the TEN-T corridors;

6.  Recalls the obligations under the Paris agreement; points out that in the near future, Europe will have to face increasing challenges linked to transports, such as climate change mitigation and increasing demand in freight transport, that will have to include energy transition and new forms of mobility, and recalls that such challenges will require sufficient funding for Europe to remain inclusive and competitive; stresses therefore the fundamental importance to support and allocate adequate funding for modal shift, for the realisation of the low-carbon Single European Railway Area , such as through the implementation of ERTMS, rail freight, high speed rail, cross-border rail connections, for the promotion of motorways of the sea and inland waterways, including low-emission ferries, in order to achieve a sustainable transport sector; maintains, moreover, that efficient green logistics management encompassing all transport modes in the Union can do much to relieve traffic congestion and reduce CO2 emissions and urges the Commission to promote digitalisation in logistics;

7.  Recalls the importance to foster extensive synergies between CEF Transport and CEF Digital in order to maximise the financial leverage for projects aimed at boosting the digitalisation of the TEN-T corridors;

8.  Believes that the EU budget contribution to the transport-related agencies should reflect their tasks; notes that the budget allocated for EASA is stable, that the budget for EMSA has slightly increased and that the budget allocated for ERA has unfortunately decreased compared to the previous budget year; recalls that the scope of competence for ERA, EASA and EMSA has recently been broadened which requires adequate funding and staffing to ensure the successful uptake of their new responsibilities; recalls, in that regard, the very significant evolution of the EASA mandate resulting from the recent adoption of its revised basic regulation with new competences, such as. drones, ATM/ANS, environment, cyber security, research and international presence, and therefore the budget proposal on EASA should be increased in terms of human and financial resources to be adequately equipped to maintain a high level of safety for Union citizens;

9.  Recalls that space is a key sector for the Union, that Galileo and EGNOS are widely used in the transport sector and that EGNOS has been fully operational since 2011 for the benefit of all transport modes; stresses that Galileo is entirely financed by the EU budget and that its full deployment will bring major benefits for the EU economy by providing real services to its industries and citizens; takes note that Galileo currently operates with 22 satellites and that its full deployment should be achieved by 2020 once its 30 satellites will be in orbit; considers therefore, and taking into account the pressing challenge of cybersecurity, that it is of the utmost importance that an appropriate budget is allocated to secure the next satellites launches; draws attention to the key tasks of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) as regards Galileo and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS); believes that the GSA has to be sufficiently staffed to ensure that European satellite navigation system programmes (GNSS) operate properly and can be exploited to advantage;

10.  Believes that improving the efficiency of the transport sector and reducing its level of emissions are interdependent objectives that research and innovation can greatly contribute to achieve in association with the relevant EU Agencies; takes note of the proposed stability for the budget allocated under the programme Horizon 2020 to SESAR 2 (both for R&D and for the implementation of Air Traffic Management (ATM) system), Shift2Rail, Clean Sky 2 and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 joint undertakings while highlights the importance of ensuring appropriate funding for the success of these programmes;

11.  Believes that Union funding to transport infrastructure should take into account the following aspects:

- interconnectivity between the corridors and the comprehensive network and cross- border connections;

- intermodality as a basis for decisions on projects;

- interoperability as a condition for co-financing transport projects;

- quality of co-financed projects rather than their quantity or size;

- participation of citizens in transparent decision-making and monitoring the development of large projects of over EUR 1 billion total investment;

12.  Regrets that the Union is not always successful in communicating about the direct effects of its policies and financial programmes, including a lack of assessment of those effects; points out that, with respect to the transport sector, the overall lack of awareness about passengers’ rights in the Union is very concerning and regrets that those regulations, especially in the aviation or rail sectors, are not always applied consistently across all Member States; underlines that at a time when disinformation campaigns can easily be launched, greater support must be devoted to this matter;

13.  Stresses that pilot projects and preparatory actions are useful opportunities for Parliament to give a direct financial incentive to initiatives supporting its legislative work and for which the Commission is directly accountable; regrets that results stemming from those projects and actions are not always consistently reported and asks the Commission to present by the end of the mandate a thorough analysis of the projects financed under this legislature, as well as guidelines spelling out not just the aims, but the method of their selection.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Lucy Anderson, Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Deirdre Clune, Michael Cramer, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Peter Lundgren, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Georg Mayer, Markus Pieper, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, Claudia Schmidt, Keith Taylor, Pavel Telička, István Ujhelyi, Wim van de Camp, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Janusz Zemke, Kosma Złotowski, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Jakop Dalunde, Markus Ferber, Maria Grapini, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Henna Virkkunen

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

Anna Hedh

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

33

+

ALDE

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Dominique Riquet, Pavel Telička

ECR

Kosma Złotowski

ENF

Georg Mayer

PPE

Georges Bach, Wim van de Camp, Deirdre Clune, Markus Ferber, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Markus Pieper, Massimiliano Salini, Claudia Schmidt, Henna Virkkunen, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi

S&D

Lucy Anderson, Inés Ayala Sender, Ismail Ertug, Maria Grapini, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Anna Hedh, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault d'Allonnes Bonnefoy, István Ujhelyi, Janusz Zemke

VERTS/ALE

Michael Cramer, Jakop Dalunde, Keith Taylor

0

-

 

 

3

0

ECR

Jacqueline Foster, Peter Lundgren

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (4.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Derek Vaughan

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Underlines the importance of cohesion policy as the main investment policy of the Union that helps to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities between and within EU regions and to prevent areas from being left behind, enhances smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, creates new jobs and fights unemployment, improves SMEs competitiveness and access to global markets, fosters innovation in urban and rural areas and encourages local and regional authorities to make the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy; notes that every 1 Euro invested in cohesion policy has a proven return on investment by 174%(1) and less investment would mean less growth and jobs for citizens; underlines that cohesion policy is beneficial for all Member States; calls for cohesion funds to maintain their role as the main investment policy of the European Union with a budget that is commensurate with the ambitious goals of cohesion policy;

2.  Recalls that cohesion policy is one of the most important instruments to tackle the main priorities defined in the Commission’s draft budget for 2019 - building a stronger and more resilient European economy, reducing disparities within the EU, creating jobs, bringing solidarity and security within and beyond EU borders, and ensuring a proper implementation of the EU budget; in that regard stresses the importance of the commitments made by the Paris Agreement and achieving the EU climate and energy targets; highlights the importance of improving the visibility of EU funds and better communicating the results of cohesion policy; urges the Commission together with the Member States to raise awareness of the varied EU investment possibilities, to showcase innovative projects and to share good practices;

3.  Notes with satisfaction that, having experienced under-implementation in the first years of the 2014-2020 period, the implementation of current programmes is finally reaching its cruising speed with improved execution of payments and project selection rate; draws attention to the fact that the delays encountered at the start of the programming period may result in a backlog in payment applications in 2019; acknowledges the efforts made by the Commission to prevent the emergence of an unnecessary backlog; in this regard, urges that sufficient levels of payment appropriations must be provided in order for implementation to proceed smoothly; given that, according to recent reports on disbursements broken down by Member State, some Member States are lagging quite a long way behind in terms of funds disbursed, calls on the Commission to ascertain the shortcomings and take measures with a view to improving the uptake of ESI Funds;

4.  Notes the proposed 1,1 % rise in the level of payment appropriations, with decreases of 8,9 % and 3,6 % respectively for Cohesion fund and European territorial cooperation, as well as the 2,8 % increase in commitment appropriations under Heading 1b in the 2019 draft budget compared to the previous budget; is concerned that those amounts may not be sufficient to match the pace of implementation of the programmes under that heading and to prevent the reconstitution of a backlog of unpaid claims, which would undermine the credibility of cohesion policy; stresses therefore the need of a higher level of payment appropriations to show that the EU is able to fulfil its commitments and hence enhance its credibility;

5.  Reminds the Commission of the delays in designating national managing authorities; points to the fact that, as of 31 May 2018, national authorities still need to be assigned for 16 programmes; calls on the Commission and the Member States to cooperate actively to complete the designation process as soon as possible to ensure a smooth implementation of the current programmes; calls on the Member States to make every effort to increase their absorption capacity and expedite the implementation of projects so as to limit the delays caused by unfinished cohesion financing during the current financial year; stresses once again the need to improve the implementation of financing and reduce administrative burdens, and calls on the Member States to work more closely with the Commission working party to ensure better implementation and hence consolidate cohesion financing management capacities;

6.  Notes the proposal to increase the budget of the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) by EUR 80 million for 2019-2020, with EUR 40 million for the 2019 draft budget, bringing the overall envelope of the SRSP to EUR 222,8 million; cautions that the increase should be financed through the mobilisation of the special instrument and at no expense to cohesion policy; calls on the Commission to look for further synergies and complementarities with ESIF and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related EU programs, such as Horizon, for instance to foster innovation and digitalisation in rural areas and rural economies;

7.  Notes the overwhelmingly positive impact cohesion funds have in conflict areas; including in the Northern Ireland Peace Programme; calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue their support for the peace process through the continued funding of certain specific programmes, such as the PEACE programme, under conditions to be determined and without prejudice to the ongoing negotiations; points out that funding from the European territorial cooperation programmes, that is to say, for cross-border cooperation on the EU’s external borders, can be also beneficial to the enlargement policy.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

3.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Pascal Arimont, Mercedes Bresso, Aleksander Gabelic, Michela Giuffrida, Ivan Jakovčić, Louis-Joseph Manscour, Iskra Mihaylova, Andrey Novakov, Younous Omarjee, Mirosław Piotrowski, Liliana Rodrigues, Ruža Tomašić, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Monika Vana, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Derek Vaughan, Kerstin Westphal

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Buda, Raffaele Fitto, Elsi Katainen, Tonino Picula, Maria Gabriela Zoană

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

23

+

ALDE

Ivan Jakovčić, Elsi Katainen, Iskra Mihaylova, Matthijs van Miltenburg

ECR

Raffaele Fitto, Mirosław Piotrowski, Ruža Tomašić

GUE/NGL

Younous Omarjee

PPE

Pascal Arimont, Daniel Buda, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Andrey Novakov, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso

S&D

Mercedes Bresso, Aleksander Gabelic, Michela Giuffrida, Louis-Joseph Manscour, Tonino Picula, Liliana Rodrigues, Derek Vaughan, Kerstin Westphal, Maria Gabriela Zoană

VERTS/ALE

Monika Vana

0

-

 

 

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Commission Staff Working Document of 19 September 2016 entitled ‘Ex post evaluation of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund 2007-13’ (SWD(2016)0318).


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (30.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the EUR 60 billion in commitment appropriations and EUR 57,8 billion in payment appropriations that the Commission proposes in the Draft Budget (DB) 2019 for Heading 2, which represent an increase of 1,2 % 3,0 % respectively compared to the 2018 budget; notes, however, that insofar as the EAGF is concerned, that increase is attributable to the lower amount of assigned revenue estimated to be available to the EAGF in the DB 2019 compared to the 2018 budget; recommends that all should be made to avoid an accumulation of backlog payments for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021 - 2027) (MFF);

2.  Insists on the need to provide funds to compensate for the economic losses suffered by farmers due to market crises and sanitary or phytosanitary crises such as Xylella fastidiosa, and reiterates the need to use the available margins under Heading 2 in cooperation with Heading 3 to this effect; insists that compensation for eradication should also cover rehabilitation of agroecosystems including the soil, as well as establishing robust biological diversity, especially ensuring genetic diversity of the planting stock that ideally includes resistance to or tolerance of the disease or pest; considers that one of the aims of any aid granted should be to ensure balanced, biologically diverse agro-ecosystems and landscapes that are less susceptible to future attacks;

3.  Insists that any revenue to the Union budget deriving from any assigned revenues or repayments of irregularities from agriculture in previous years should remain under Heading 2;

4.  Calls for additional funding to be earmarked for the olive-growing and olive oil sector to offset losses to farmers caused by the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak, to step up prevention measures in Europe and to restructure the sector and consolidate scientific research into the pathogen and its carrier;

5.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to monitor, in a timely manner, the price volatility of agricultural products, which has adverse effects on farmers' incomes, and to react promptly and effectively when needed;

6.  Stresses that it is essential that funds earmarked for research in the agri-food sector, in particular from the Horizon 2020 budget, remain fully available as such in order to stimulate and enhance innovation and smart solutions in the agricultural and rural development sectors, as is the case with funds from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to enable broadband to be installed in rural areas; underlines the importance of practical applicability of results at farm level and the role of agricultural extension services; notes that integrated 'smart' solutions – such as smart villages, precision farming, digitalisation, the shared and circular economy, and social initiatives – can contribute to agriculture and overall well-being in rural areas; urges the Commission to plan funding for 'smart' approaches in the light of the CAP reform and the Cork 2.0 Declaration; highlights the fact that those 'smart' solutions should maintain coherence with environment, climate and biodiversity policy objectives, ensure close cooperation with relevant stakeholders from all Member States; stresses the importance of investing in precision agriculture with a view to streamlining production methods and reducing losses and of incentivising and supporting initiatives tailored to the needs of smallholdings without economies of scale so that they can benefit from new technologies;

7.  Stresses that storage programmes have proved effective in times of crisis and that a reduction in the financial resources earmarked in the planning process would be counter-productive;

8.  Regrets the announced cuts to the CAP budget in the Commission’s MFF proposals; points out in particular that agriculture policy is a common policy and any cuts to the CAP budget would have disproportionate effects as they cannot be substituted by national funds due to state aid rules;

9.  Welcomes the increase in appropriations proposed by the Commission for producer organisations in the fruit and vegetable sector, and stresses their growing contribution to rebalance the bargaining power in the food supply chain and continues to stress the need to finance measures to increase membership levels among agricultural producers;

10.  Stresses the importance of identifying support measures to consolidate the role of farmers in the supply chain, as well as new ways of encouraging farmer organisations;

11.  Regrets that the support measures for the Russian embargo have not been prolonged given that numerous Union producers, particularly in the dairy and fruit and vegetables sectors, are still being negatively affected, through no fault of their own, since farmers cannot be held responsible for Union diplomatic policy; calls, therefore, for support measures for agricultural producers to be maintained at current levels where market difficulties persist due to the Russian ban; calls, furthermore, for the creation of a new crisis reserve that does not rely on an annual financial discipline mechanism for its funding so that it can react in a timely manner to crisis situations that emerge; recognises that some Member States that did not have trade relations with Russia were indirectly affected by the embargo and insists that support also covers losses resulting from the flooding of the markets by products destined for the Russian market;

12.  Welcomes the increased funding proposed by the European Commission for promotion measures, which confirms the effectiveness of the improvements made by the last reform; considers that promotion measures are crucial to expand the share of European exports on markets across the world and to deal with the restrictions imposed by certain third countries on Union products, such as the Russian embargo or the recent US decision to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the imports of Spanish ripe olives;

13.  Points to the effects of the extreme drought affecting the Member States in recent months, causing considerable losses to agriculture and jeopardising a large number of businesses, and highlights in this regard the need to guarantee special support measures aimed at helping the worst-affected farmers;

14.  Welcomes the European Commission's commitment to maintain the current funding level for the bee-keeping sector, which is crucial to help cover expenditure for national programmes;

15.  Welcomes the increased allocations for research and development related to agriculture under Horizon 2020;

16.  Warns that if a free trade agreement with the Mercosur bloc does not have adequate protection for sensitive sectors in Union agriculture, many European producers will come under further financial strain;

17.  Believes that the Union can make a vital contribution to the promotion of healthy eating habits based on sustainable production, especially among children, and therefore considers it essential to make full use of the ceilings foreseen for the Union school schemes in the current regulation; therefore calls on the Member States to strengthen their national programs to ensure full utilisation of the maximum available allocations (EUR 250 million for the Union);

18.  Takes note of the recent transfers from Pillar I to Pillar II decided by France, Lithuania and Netherlands, which have led to a decrease in the appropriations for direct payments in the DB 2019;

19.  Reaffirms the vital importance of the school fruit and vegetables scheme, especially given the current level of child malnutrition in the Union; calls on the Commission, therefore, to reduce the bureaucracy involved and stresses the need to promote healthy eating habits in children and the consumption of organic fruit and vegetables;

20.  Deplores the insufficient execution of payments to young farmers in recent years and encourages Member States to promote the use of those appropriations the following year in order to boost generation renewal and avoid land concentration and land grabbing; points out that the shortage of workers in agriculture is a factor limiting the development of the agricultural sector and stresses the need for support measures to attract workers to the agricultural sector;

21.  Highlights the importance of the rural development commitments and spending, and their potential for the creation of economic activity and jobs particularly in peripheral areas with higher unemployment rates, especially for younger generations; insists that the initiatives targeting young farmers, including region-specific programmes, should be maintained, which would support innovation and the necessary generation renewal; considers that support for young people should focus on their present needs, while avoiding to encourage them to take on excessive debt;

22.  Observes that access to farm investment funding instruments should be better adapted to the investment needs and higher risk profiles of new entrants;

23.  Asks that the appropriations for POSEI programmes be maintained at the maximum levels foreseen in the relevant Union Regulation, underlining the relevance of those programmes for the resilience of the agricultural producers and highlights the fragile economic situation of the outermost regions, which are still strongly hit by the crisis and the structural disadvantages referred to in Article 349 TFEU (remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate and economic dependence on a few products);

24.  Underscores the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions for innovation in the agricultural and rural development sectors; asks for continued support for ongoing and new pilot projects and preparatory actions;

25.  Is deeply concerned about the CAP cuts envisaged in the European Commission's proposal for 2021-2027 and in particular for the Outermost Regions and POSEI;

26.  Regrets the substantial reduction of the budget line concerning the voluntary coupled support scheme, given that coupled aids are an essential tool to preserve crops that present several agricultural and environmental benefits;

27.  Expresses its satisfaction at the 25 % increase in appropriations intended to combat animal diseases and plant pests, as the Union is facing significant risks and increased outbreaks.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

36

2

3

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Daniel Buda, Jacques Colombier, Michel Dantin, Albert Deß, Jørn Dohrmann, Herbert Dorfmann, Luke Ming Flanagan, Karine Gloanec Maurin, Martin Häusling, Anja Hazekamp, Esther Herranz García, Jan Huitema, Ivan Jakovčić, Jarosław Kalinowski, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Norbert Lins, Philippe Loiseau, Mairead McGuinness, Giulia Moi, Ulrike Müller, James Nicholson, Maria Noichl, Marijana Petir, Laurenţiu Rebega, Bronis Ropė, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Tibor Szanyi, Maria Gabriela Zoană, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Franc Bogovič, Michela Giuffrida, Karin Kadenbach, Elsi Katainen, Momchil Nekov, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

36

+

ALDE

Ivan Jakovčić, Elsi Katainen, Ulrike Müller

ECR

Jørn Dohrmann, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, James Nicholson, Laurenţiu Rebega

EFDD

Giulia Moi, Marco Zullo

ENF

Jacques Colombier, Philippe Loiseau

PPE

Franc Bogovič, Daniel Buda, Michel Dantin, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Esther Herranz García, Jarosław Kalinowski, Norbert Lins, Mairead McGuinness, Marijana Petir, Annie Schreijer‑Pierik, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso

S&D

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Eric Andrieu, Michela Giuffrida, Karine Gloanec Maurin, Karin Kadenbach, Momchil Nekov, Maria Noichl, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Tibor Szanyi, Maria Gabriela Zoană

Verts/ALE

Martin Häusling, Bronis Ropė

2

-

EFDD

John Stuart Agnew

GUE/NGL

Anja Hazekamp

3

0

ALDE

Jan Huitema

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries (31.8.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Alain Cadec

SUGGESTIONS

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

A. Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) financial resources and the compulsory contributions to regional fisheries management organisations and sustainable fisheries agreements are concentrated in Section III and Title 11, ‘Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)’, of the budget;

B. The core objectives of the CFP are to balance the viability of a sector of strategic economic importance for the Union – a sector which contributes to food supply, employment and the economic and social cohesion of the coastal and outermost regions of the Union – with the need to preserve marine ecosystems by developing economically and environmentally sustainable fisheries;

1.  Emphasises that the EU budget for 2019 should incorporate the commitment and payment appropriations required to meet the funding needs of the CFP; takes the view that an appropriate level of readily available funding to ensure/secure long-term investment is needed in order to fully implement the CFP and to guarantee the sustainability of aquaculture and European fishing activities;

2.  Stresses that the Union fisheries sector is largely concentrated in certain regions which rely heavily on fishing, and that fishing, particularly local inshore fishing, contributes to the socio-economic and cultural fabric of many coastal, outermost regions and islands;

3.  Notes that, as more than 60% of fishery products consumed in the EU come from international waters and the exclusive economic zones of third countries, the allocations for the 2019 budget need to be sufficient, particularly given that the protocols with Mauritania and Senegal are due to be renewed that year;

4.  Considers that the external dimension of the CFP makes it essential that realistic budgetary forecasts be drawn up with a view to funding sustainable fisheries partnership agreements with third countries;

5.  Stresses that, four years after its adoption on 15 May 2014, the level of implementation of the 2014-2020 EMFF remains unsatisfactory, as only 4,5% of the budget has been implemented to date (part of the EMFF under shared management); hopes that EMFF implementation levels will gradually increase, and stresses that the poor implementation levels are due in part to red tape at national and Union level as well as to a lack of ambition in Members States, notably when it comes to ensuring a full and timely implementation of the landing obligation; points out that funds will be needed to support the fishing sector while the landing obligation is being introduced;

6.  Stresses the need to make sufficient financial provision for co-financed activities, so that funding is available for the coastal, small-scale, and recreational fishing sectors; considers it particularly important, in addition, that appropriate funding be earmarked for the upgrading of fisheries infrastructure; takes the view that, on the basis of the general framework provided by the EMFF, it is the Member States which must set their funding priorities in such a way as to respond to the specific problems facing those sectors;

7.  Stresses the importance of the social and economic dimension of fishing for local communities and some maritime and coastal regions; recognises the need to maintain enough financial provisions for enabling coastal, artisanal and small scale fleet sectors to obtain funding;

8.  Stresses that scientific data are essential to improving our understanding of the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, which in turn is a prerequisite for achieving maximum sustainable yields; draws attention to the need to improve the gathering of scientific data and to foster cooperation and exchanges of scientific data between the maritime and fisheries sector, on the one hand, and the scientific community, on the other; points out that scientific data need to be collected on the impact of recreational fishing on fish stocks;

9.  Reiterates the importance of drawing on rigorous and independent scientific opinions when assessing the state of fishery resources, so that management decisions can be taken which make it possible to achieve maximum sustainable yields (MSY); urges Member States to use EMFF funding for the purposes of scientific data collection which is a key task for enabling rational and science-based decisions to be taken on fisheries policy issues;

10.  Stresses the importance of the monitoring of fishing activities, one of the pillars of the CFP; takes the view that this activity must continue to receive EU funding and that Member States must step up their efforts to make use of the resources in question;

11.  Stresses the importance of maintaining the current level of financing for the European Fisheries Control Agency, so that it can properly carry out its inspection and surveillance tasks in the fisheries sector; calls for the role of the EFCA be enhanced, so that the objectives of the CFP can be achieved and the EFCA itself can step up its activities in the areas of the governance of fishing fleets and the supervision of monitoring procedures;

12.  Notes that one of the challenges facing the fisheries sector is generational renewal and that this must be fostered by taking special policy and financial support measures to encourage young people to work in the sector and offer them conditions similar to those in other sectors of the economy, particularly in the outermost regions;

13.  Emphasises the need to use the EMFF and other Union funding schemes to facilitate young people’s access to jobs in the fishing industry;

14.  Takes the view that Brexit must not be used as a pretext for reducing funding; considers that the Union must find the resources needed to fund the CFP properly.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

29.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Alain Cadec, Richard Corbett, João Ferreira, Mike Hookem, Ian Hudghton, Carlos Iturgaiz, Werner Kuhn, António Marinho e Pinto, Gabriel Mato, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Remo Sernagiotto, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Isabelle Thomas, Peter van Dalen, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ole Christensen, Rosa D’Amato, Seán Kelly, Francisco José Millán Mon, Nosheena Mobarik

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

16

+

ALDE

António Marinho e Pinto

GUE

João Ferreira

PPE

Alain Cadec, Carlos Iturgaiz, Seán Kelly, Werner Kuhn, Gabriel Mato, Annie Schreijer‑Pierik, Jarosław Wałęsa

S&D

Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Renata Briano, Ole Christensen, Richard Corbett, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Isabelle Thomas

VERTS/ALE

Ian Hudghton

1

-

EFDD

Mike Hookem

3

0

ECR

Nosheena Mobarik, Remo Sernagiotto, Peter van Dalen

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (4.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur: Morten Løkkegaard

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that Erasmus+ remains a highly valued and hugely popular programme promoting youth learning mobility, as demonstrated by the volume of applications received, which exceeds the funding available; deeply regrets that the 2019 draft budget for Erasmus+ falls well below Parliament’s expectations, failing to go beyond the programmed figures under the current MFF, including in providing the remaining available top-up funding for the programme agreed under the MFF revision; calls, therefore, for an increase of 20% of the funding over the draft budget 2019 (DB 2019), across all four Erasmus+ budget lines, in order to cater for current needs, to respond to citizens’ expectations of the programme, and to provide European youth with the future they expect from the EU; reiterates, in that regard, its support for a tripling of Erasmus+ funding in the next MFF and its intention to fight for that increase;

2.  Reiterates its concern at the manner in which the European Solidarity Corps was initially set up without a legal base and without a stand-alone budget line; is, furthermore, uncomfortable that the final decision on sources of funding for the Corps - with the exception of the stipulation on Erasmus+ - has been left to the annual budgetary procedure; confirms that it will scrutinise the amending letter from the Commission with great care to ensure that the trilogue agreement is fully respected;

3.  Stresses the value of Creative Europe in supporting the EU’s audio-visual and cultural sectors and insists that funding levels should match the ambitions of the programme; notes, with respect to the MEDIA sub-programme, that, in order to fund all high-quality projects, the budget would need to be increased by some 44%; calls, therefore, for a substantial 22% funding increase over the DB 2019 to tackle low application success rates, to reinforce support for European cinema operators’ networks and to incorporate - and finance - the successful Preparatory Action on the sub-titling of cultural content without jeopardising the financing of core actions; reiterates that both the Culture sub-programme and the cross-sectoral strand remain chronically underfunded and calls for a funding increase of at least 10% over the DB 2019 on both lines; proposes, with respect to the Culture sub-programme, an additional 3 million EUR funding over the DB 2019 - on top of the 10% increase - to scale up the already successful, but currently limited, trial action on the individual mobility of artists and culture professionals in preparation for the next Creative Europe programme;

4.  Is pleased to note that the new Creative Europe programme proposal makes provision for supporting media pluralism and freedom and media literacy under the cross-sectoral strand; asks, in the meantime, for the budget line on digital content and audio-visual and other media industries (09 02 05) to be reinforced to boost efforts to tackle fake news through enhanced media literacy work and to provide direct support to organisations monitoring and promoting media freedom and pluralism;

5.  Welcomes the inclusion of support to the music sector within the new Creative Europe programme; notes that this builds on the success of the pilot initiative within the Commission and the Preparatory Action “Music Moves Europe” proposed by the committee;

6.  Urges the Commission to conduct a full-scale review – to be provided to Parliament – of all activities under the ‘multimedia actions’ line to ensure that they deliver on their core aims; calls for an additional 4.2 million EUR in commitment appropriations in 2019 to secure the important work of Euranet Plus for the remainder of the MFF; reiterates that the network’s current ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence is unsustainable, necessitating a long-term solution; notes that the funding aim for Euranet Plus from 2020 onwards is 8.4 million EUR annually;

7.  Emphasises the value of Europe for Citizens in enhancing citizens’ understanding of the EU and fostering a sense of citizenship; insists that the planned cuts to the programme to fund the revamped European Citizens’ Initiative be reversed; deplores the fact that the legislative proposal for the new ECI failed to detail the budgetary impact on Europe for Citizens, thus depriving the legislator of essential information; beyond the restoration of these funds to the budget line, calls for a 10% funding increase over the DB 2019 - based on current MFF programming figures - to provide the minimum necessary increase for a programme that suffers from persistent under-funding and low project success rates, thus frustrating the expectations of applicants;

8.  Recalls that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union poses particularly acute challenges for the European Schools, especially given the size of the English language section (around 21% of all pupils) and the prevalence of English as a second language (61% of all pupils in the 2016-2017 school year); believes that important budgetary and educational questions remain to be addressed with regard to the long-term provision of first-class English-language teaching and the continued recognition of the European baccalaureate in the UK, notwithstanding the provisions in article 120 of the draft withdrawal agreement; urges the Commission and the Board of Governors to report to the Committee on Culture and Education on its long-term plans to deal with the challenges of Brexit;

9.  Recalls that culture- and education-related projects are supported across a range of Union programmes and instruments, notably the ESI Funds, EFSI and Horizon 2020; urges the Commission to improve cross-programme synergies to deliver effective spending; calls on the Commission, in particular, to fully exploit potential synergies existing between various EU programmes – such as Horizon 2020, the Connecting Europe Facility, Erasmus+, EaSI, Creative Europe and COSME, EFSI and ESI Funds – to support more projects in the field of cultural and creative industries;

10.  Points to the potential of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions (PPPAs) as means to test out measures in Union policy areas and introduce new innovative initiatives that could become long-term Union measures; stresses that a number of PPPAs proposed by the committee in the current parliamentary term have proved hugely successful, paving the way for the design of the new generation of education and culture programmes; regrets that the pre-assessment of PPPAs by the Commission leaves very limited time for opinion-giving committees in the Parliament to address the ratings and comments; regrets, furthermore, that in some instances the ratings and comments provided by the Commission are not entirely objective, and appear to have been influenced by institutional or personal preferences; recalls that failure to enact a PPPA inside the Commission can never be a reason for a low assessment grade;

11.  Urges the Committee on Budgets to review the procedure for handling and deciding on Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions, which currently lacks transparency and does not give sufficient space for individual opinion-giving committees to shape the political priorities on PPPAs within their respective policy remits; asks the Committee on Budgets to engage more actively with the individual opinion-giving committees prior to its vote on the PPPA package and to consider how it could devolve more responsibility to the opinion-giving committees – potentially through a non-binding financial envelope for each committee, based on Parliament’s priorities and past spending in the relevant policy area among other criteria – for adopting their own priority PPPAs; suggests that such an approach might help respond to the Commission’s criticism regarding the proliferation of PPPA proposals over recent years by promoting a more focused, priority-based method in committees.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

3.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

5

0

Members present for the final vote

Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Silvia Costa, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Stefano Maullu, Morten Messerschmidt, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Michaela Šojdrová, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Norbert Erdős, Dietmar Köster, Morten Løkkegaard, Emma McClarkin, Michel Reimon, Remo Sernagiotto

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

Mark Demesmaeker

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

17

+

ALDE

Morten Løkkegaard

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Norbert Erdős, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Stefano Maullu, Michaela Šojdrová, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver

S&D

Silvia Costa, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Dietmar Köster, Krystyna Łybacka, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Julie Ward

VERTS/ALE

Michel Reimon

5

-

ECR

Mark Demesmaeker, Emma McClarkin, Morten Messerschmidt, Remo Sernagiotto

ENF

Dominique Bilde

-

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (4.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Kostas Chrysogonos

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the increase (+6,7% compared to 2018) of commitment appropriations for Heading III (Security & Citizenship) from EUR 3,49 billion in 2018 to EUR 3,73 billion in 2019; highlights that this increase requires to top-up the ceiling of Heading III by more than 25% to supplement it by EUR 927,5 million in 2019 (+10% compared to 2018); notes that this is the fifth year in a row that the flexibility instrument has been invoked to support actions that are under implementations since 2015; invites therefore the Commission, as part of the new post-2020 MFF, to establish a permanent and sustainable mechanism for financing migration and security actions and to only rely on flexibility mechanisms for financing true unforeseen crises;

2.  Underlines that tackling internal security must remain one of the Union’s main priorities and stresses the role of the Internal Security Fund (ISF) as the key financial instrument to support Member States in the area of security, including the fight against terrorism and radicalisation, serious and organised crime and cybercrime; notes however the rebalancing of commitment appropriations between ISF and Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) in favour of the latter following the outcome of the mid-term review of the two Funds; welcomes the very significant increase of EUR 401,7 million in AMIF commitment appropriations (+56% compared to 2018) in order to finance the new Dublin legislation (assuming it is adopted by the end of 2018); in that regard calls on the Commission to, in any event, prioritise relocations in 2019, welcomes also the envelope of EUR 175 million requested for Greece following notably the end of the Emergency Humanitarian Support instrument on 1 January 2019;

3.  Calls on the Commission to increase the number of budget lines under the AMIF to facilitate better readability and transparency of how the financial resources allocated to the different objectives and thus to those budgetary lines that will be spent; calls, in particular on the Commission, to separate expenditure on enhancing fair return strategies from expenditure on legal migration and promoting the effective integration of third-country nationals in all future draft budgets; considers that, as regards AMIF, priority should be given to projects supporting asylum seekers and integration of migrants and refugees; acknowledges the positive contribution of regional and local authorities as well as civil society organisations in that regard; highlights in particular the significant role played by civil society organisations in saving the lives of migrants and asylum seekers at the external borders as well as in safeguarding, promoting and implementing their rights; asks therefore for the Union and the Member States to support civil society as well as the actions of civil society organisations including by granting them direct access to AMIF;

4.  Welcomes the establishment of a budget of EUR 4,9 million for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office which will prosecute cross-border crimes against the financial interests of the Union (PIF crimes); regrets a counter-productive reduction of commitment appropriations for the Justice Programme by EUR 2,5 million (-5,4% compared to 2018); expresses its concern that such a reduction is untenable given the operational growth and the political priorities in security and justice, including terrorism and cross-border crime;

5.  Regrets the proposed reduction of the budget and establishment plan of Eurojust, in contrast to other Agencies in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA Agencies), which implies that the Union stops half-way in its actions to fight present security threats as it does not allow for an effective judicial follow-up; notes that Eurojust is the only Union body in a position to guarantee this through coordination and cooperation of investigative authorities in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime, migrant smuggling and organised crime; stresses that providing Eurojust with sufficient financial means is an essential prerequisite for its proper functioning and for the development of all its strategic and operational activities in order to address its increasing caseload and coordination activities as well as to avoid negative impacts on its operation; urges therefore to reinforce Eurojust with a budget for 2019 of EUR 41,2 million and a total of 217 posts; stresses the need to match the budgetary needs of Eurojust with a realistic forecast in the post-2020 MFF in line with the position of Parliament on the need to provide sufficient resources in the post-2020 MFF to JHA Agencies to avoid systematic recourse to the flexibility provisions of the MFF every year;

6.  Welcomes that the level of funding proposed for European Asylum Support Office matches the initial request of that Agency to the Commission; expects the Commission to present an amending budget to increase the funding for operations if the level of operational support requested by Member States increases in 2019;

7.  Points out that 2019 will be a challenging year for the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) given the substantial increase in its tasks and budget allocated to it and that it will need its resources to be adequately reinforced to allow it to deliver in accordance with its new mandate; expresses therefore concerns regarding the proposed insufficient funding as well as staffing for eu-LISA given the increasing complexity of its tasks, including the updating of existing databases (Schengen Information System (SIS), Eurodac and Visa Information System) and the implementation and operational management of other large-scale IT systems in the JHA domain; highlights that commitment appropriations are necessary for eu-LISA, especially for the execution of its planned activities in 2019, including the second phase of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and SIS; emphasizes the necessity to reinforce eu-LISA's resources and provide for 25 additional contract agents to allow the Agency to deliver in accordance with its mandate;

8.  Welcomes the increase of appropriations (+16% compared to 2018) for European Data Protection Supervisor’s administrative expenditure to cover its new responsibilities as the Secretariat of the European Data Protection Board, its additional needs in relation with the new data protection rules in the Union institutions and for the monitoring and ensuring compliance with the data protection rules of the Agencies under the former third pillar;

9.  Calls for an increase of the AD posts created for the Fundamental Rights Officer in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to help the Agency gain high-level expertise in the field of fundamental rights and cope with the additional tasks of the Fundamental Rights Officer;

10.  Regrets that the budget of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) was not increased as FRA is expected to be confronted to new tasks and responsibilities in 2019 as fundamental rights remain under pressure; stresses that the amount of additional tasks assigned to FRA have grown significantly since 2015 due to an increased arrival of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers; is concerned that the FRA’s mandate still limits its role in support of fundamental rights; underlines that FRA should be able to offer opinions on legislative proposals on its own initiative and that its remit should extend to all areas of rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including, for instance, issues of police and judicial cooperation; proposes, therefore, to properly expand FRA’s financial and human resources in order to adequately perform its new tasks stemming from requests of the Union institutions, Member States and other Union Agencies; reiterates that the Commission should continue to focus on rule of law and fundamental rights issues, particularly in view of democratic backsliding in some Member States, including by proposing stronger monitoring and redress mechanisms;

11.  Points out that more human and financial resources are needed to enable European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) to fully implement its 2015 renewed legal basis, which broadened its target group from senior police officers to law enforcement officials across the Union and in its neighbourhood; believes that this will help close training gaps preventing Member State’s law enforcement services from fully utilising Union level cooperation instruments and systems in the fields of organised crime and terrorism whilst addressing fundamental rights as a cross-cutting issue in law enforcement training;

12.  Highlights the very significant increase from EUR 10 billion in 2018 to EUR 11,38 billion in 2019 (+13.1%) of commitment appropriations as well as of payment appropriations (+17,0%) for Heading IV (Global Europe); welcomes the proposed full use for 2019 of the unallocated margin under Heading IV, as well as EUR 1 116,2 million from the Global margin for commitments in order to reinforce humanitarian aid and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for the pledges made at the 2018 Syria conference; notes that EUR 1,45 billion are budgeted in the Union budget to finance the Facility for Refugees in Turkey II (FRT II) and that EUR 560 million are budgeted for addressing the Syrian crisis; stresses the very steep increase of Union contribution from its budget to the FRT II; calls on the Commission to effectively monitor the proper allocation and implementation of this contribution in view of the ongoing deterioration of fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law and the lack of judicial independence in Turkey;

13.  Welcomes the Commission proposal to revise the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) in order to strengthen the overall approach to disaster management; stresses that the increase in commitment (+46,1%) and payment (+33,6%) appropriations of UCPM in 2019 compared to 2018 reflects the expected uptake for actions in third countries; considers as positive that the 2019 allocations for humanitarian aid activities includes increases relative to the financial programming of EUR 120 million and EUR 3,2 million for scaling up disaster-preparedness actions;

14.  Encourages the Commission to strengthen support for investigative journalism, including cross-border investigative journalism, and media freedom though dedicated funds as a measure contributing to combatting crime and raising awareness among the Union citizens. INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

30.8.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

8

0

Members present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Heinz K. Becker, Monika Beňová, Daniel Dalton, Rachida Dati, Frank Engel, Tanja Fajon, Romeo Franz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Monika Hohlmeier, Brice Hortefeux, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Barbara Kudrycka, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Claude Moraes, Ivari Padar, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Branislav Škripek, Helga Stevens, Traian Ungureanu, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Udo Voigt, Josef Weidenholzer, Kristina Winberg, Auke Zijlstra

Substitutes present for the final vote

Carlos Coelho, Gérard Deprez, Anna Hedh, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Jean Lambert, Andrejs Mamikins, Ana Miranda, Angelika Mlinar, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Barbara Spinelli, Axel Voss

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

Jonathan Bullock, Kostadinka Kuneva, Luigi Morgano, Gabriele Preuß

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

35

+

ALDE

Gérard Deprez, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sophia in 't Veld, Angelika Mlinar, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz

GUE/NGL

Kostadinka Kuneva, Barbara Spinelli, Marie-Christine Vergiat

PPE

Asim Ademov, Heinz K. Becker, Carlos Coelho, Rachida Dati, Monika Hohlmeier, Brice Hortefeux, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Barbara Kudrycka, Traian Ungureanu, Axel Voss

S&D

Monika Beňová, Tanja Fajon, Sylvie Guillaume, Anna Hedh, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Andrejs Mamikins, Claude Moraes, Luigi Morgano, Ivari Padar, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault d'Allonnes Bonnefoy, Birgit Sippel, Josef Weidenholzer

VERTS/ALE

Romeo Franz, Jean Lambert, Ana Miranda, Judith Sargentini

8

-

ECR

Daniel Dalton, Branislav Škripek, Helga Stevens, Kristina Winberg

EFDD

Jonathan Bullock

ENF

Auke Zijlstra

NI

Udo Voigt

PPE

Frank Engel

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (4.7.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Danuta Maria Hübner

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  Whereas 2019 will be the year of European elections and of the withdrawal of the UK from the Union;

1.  Welcomes the proposed increase of 4,1 % in commitment appropriations and 2,1 % in payment appropriations for the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme and the 3,7 % increase in commitment appropriations and 24,4 % in payment appropriations for the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship” programme, as compared to the 2018 budget, as these programmes contribute to enhancing the overall civic participation in Union politics and the exercise of the rights deriving from Union citizenship;

2.  Considers that from the constitutional point of view, a reinforcement of the Union institutions is necessary and that the transnational challenges that must be managed, such as climate change and immigration, among others, require a 2019 budget that is higher in real terms than that of 2018;

3.  Calls for a 10% increase in the financing of the Europe for Citizens programme in view of the results of the mid-term evaluation of the implementation of this programme(1), where it is mentioned that a significant number of projects, which could have helped the programme have a wider impact, could not be funded;

4.  Considers that additional budgetary appropriations should be devoted to strengthening the level of knowledge about the European Union, especially, but not only, by dedicating resources to the financing of the development of a common curriculum on citizenship education;

5.  Welcomes the increase of 46 % in the commitment appropriations for the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), and regrets the decrease of 3 % in payment appropriations for this programme, compared to the levels for 2018;

6.  Welcomes the increase in the funding for European Political Parties with 35 % in commitment and payment appropriations in line with the amendments recently made by Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/673 of the European Parliament and of the Council(2) concerning the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations;

7.  Notes the increase in funding for communication actions by 5,3 % in commitment appropriations and 2,3 % in payment appropriations and regrets that the increase is not more substantial, especially since 2019 is the year of European elections;

8.  Considers that European Public Spaces (EPSs) have some untapped potential for providing information to citizens concerning the issues at stake in European elections and their involvement in the debate on the Future of Europe; therefore believes that the European Public Spaces network should be expanded to cover all Member States; regrets that this objective could not be attained for the 2019 European elections, as there are only 18 EPSs existing, even though they should have been 21 by 2019, according to the financial programming;

9.   Considers that the 2019 budget should provide additional financing for programs fostering and integrating immigrants and refugees, particularly in the border States of the Union, also with the aim of guaranteeing their full insertion in the community of law that is the European Union;

10.  Deplores that the Commission continuously uses money from existing budget lines to finance newly created funds, which are outside the Union budget and are thus not subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

2.7.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Mercedes Bresso, Elmar Brok, Richard Corbett, Pascal Durand, Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Alain Lamassoure, Jo Leinen, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin, Pedro Silva Pereira, Barbara Spinelli, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Guy Verhofstadt

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ashley Fox, Jérôme Lavrilleux, David McAllister, Cristian Dan Preda

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

Daniela Aiuto, Jonás Fernández, Birgit Sippel

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

21

+

ALDE

Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Guy Verhofstadt

GUE/NGL

Helmut Scholz, Barbara Spinelli

NI

Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski

PPE

Elmar Brok, Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Alain Lamassoure, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, György Schöpflin

S&D

Mercedes Bresso, Richard Corbett, Jonás Fernández, Jo Leinen, Pedro Silva Pereira, Birgit Sippel

VERTS/ALE

Pascal Durand, Josep Maria Terricabras

3

-

ECR

Ashley Fox

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto

ENF

Gerolf Annemans

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

COM(2018)0170.

(2)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/673 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 May 2018 amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations (OJ L 114I , 4.5.2018, p. 1).


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (28.9.2018)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

(2018/2046(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Malin Björk

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas the European Union is founded on, inter alia, the value of gender equality and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that the promotion of such equality is a fundamental principle of the Union, requiring gender equality to be incorporated into all its policies and activities and addressed at all levels of the budgetary process via gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting;

B.  whereas inequality is a growing problem in the Union as shown in the current backlash against women’s rights and gender equality, and whereas the Union budget must increasingly be designed to make a significant contribution to safeguarding and developing social rights, and improving gender equality and the situation of women;

C.  whereas Gender budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary process and means a gender based assessment of budgets, incorporating the gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality(1);

D.  whereas women spend more time than men on unpaid care work, which is one of the main reasons for women’s underrepresentation in the labour market; whereas the demand for high-quality, accessible and affordable childcare and long-term care services is higher than current supply and some families from disadvantaged backgrounds have difficulties in affording to private care services;

E.  whereas the European Parliament has repeatedly called for sufficient funding and sought to keep as high a profile as possible for the Daphne specific objective of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme to protect women and girls against violence;

F.  whereas gender-responsive budgets and related policies aimed at contributing towards achieving gender equality lead to more sustainable and inclusive growth and employment and increase transparency and accountability of public expenditure;

G.  whereas one of the main objectives of the draft general budget for the European Union proposal for 2019 is strategic investment and sustainable growth in order to support economic cohesion and create jobs, in particular for young people; whereas, in this regard, it is important to also focus on enhancing women’s potential in all sectors of the economy, including the digitalised economy, information and communication technologies (ICT) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); whereas, with a specific focus on gender in those areas, it is necessary to address the significant gender gap and the Union-wide skills shortfall in the ICT and STEM sectors;

H.  whereas international organisations such as the IMF strongly promote gender responsive budgeting as a good governance standard tool in public finance and consider gender budgeting as good budgeting; whereas the OECD recognizes gender budgeting as a key tool to implement gender equality in the context of public finance; whereas the joint declaration of the EP, the Council and the Commission attached tothe2014-2020 MFF commits the three institutions to “integrating, as appropriate, gender responsive elements in the EU budget” but whereas the Commission's "Strategic Engagement for gender equality" 2016-2020states that ”Gender budgeting is not applied systematically to the EU general budget";

I.  whereas the EU is committed to promoting gender equality and equal opportunities and whereas women and men should therefore equally benefit from public funds and services; but whereas despite the EU’s high level political commitments to gender equality and gender mainstreaming, spending decisions do not take gender equality into account in all policy areas;

J.  whereas the Union and its Member States collectively are the world’s leading donor of global development aid, providing over 50 % of all such aid; whereas the reduction of aid from other donors in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and women’s reproductive health requires an increase in current Union funding, especially in those fields with a particular gender dimension;

K.  whereas the EU has committed itself in the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment to make progress in making its trade and development policies more gender-responsive in order to report on this in 2019; whereas the Parliament has adopted a resolution on Gender Equality in EU Trade Agreements that call for several new measures in the field of gender and trade that requires strong budgetary and political commitments;

L.  whereas trafficking in human beings is a devastating crime that threatens society’s most disadvantaged members, mainly women and girls, exploited in the prostitution industry;

1.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to systematically use gender budgeting in all public expenditure, including when negotiating and concretising the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) with the aim of being gender-responsive and of achieving the SDGs by promoting and implementing SDG 5 on Gender Equality and gender mainstreaming throughout all SDGs;

2.  Is committed to safeguard the promotion and protection of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights in the 2019 budgetary procedure; calls on the Member States and the Commission to integrate gender budgeting in the budgetary procedure in all budget lines, and not only in programmes in which the gender impact is most obvious, so that budgetary revenues and expenditures advance gender equality and women’s rights;

3.  Is concerned that despite strong inter-institutional and political statements, gender equality objectives are not explicitly stated in EU budget documents nor taken into account in all stages of the budget process and that over the past years, tracking of budgetary commitments for the promotion of gender equality has become impossible due to the deletion of specific budgetary lines for gender equality; Stresses the necessity of linking gender equality goals with dedicated budgetary allocations; adds that these allocations should serve both mainstreaming and targeted actions as the dual approach is key to positively impact gender equality; 

4.  Recalls that gender budgeting is one dimension of a broader gender mainstreaming strategy and points out the importance of implementing gender mainstreaming in all the stages of the policy cycle; stresses that there is a clear window of opportunity to properly implement gender mainstreaming when designing new policies and bodies;

5.  Stresses that ‘a modern, focused EU budget’, cannot be achieved without a clear and comprehensive gender perspective that is key to enable better and more evidence-based decision-making, which in turn contributes to ensuring an effective use of public funds and EU added value in all its actions;

6.  Requests a holistic approach in the design of the new European Labour Authority (ELA) by introducing a requirement to implement gender budgeting in the ELA Regulation and an individual budget line in the budget 2019 to implement gender mainstreaming within the framework of competences of ELA;

7.  Reaffirms its request for increased resources, e.g. under the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the EU cohesion fund, to uphold women’s economic and social rights, especially through women’s employment and investment in high-quality, affordable public care services, and to reduce gender inequality, including through the use of existing instruments at Union and Member State level and by allocating an individual budget line for that purpose;

8.  Calls for appropriations to support women’s entrepreneurship and to ensure and encourage access for women to loans and equity finance through Union programmes and funds, such as COSME, Horizon 2020 and the European Social Fund;

9.  Calls for equal participation of girls and young women in the measures covered by the Youth Employment initiative to be ensured and special attention to be paid to quality offers of training and employment for them, including in the digitalised economy, ICT and STEM sectors;

10.  Calls on the Member States to ensure well-structured gender budgeting initiatives that promote gender equality through education and health services, notably comprehensive sexuality education and SRHR services;

11.  Reminds that one of the requirements to implement gender budgeting is to foresee independent budget lines for gender equality goals defined in a programme; stresses the need to increase resources for combating all forms of violence against women and girls, as well as gender-based violence against LGBTQI people, including by dedicating an independent budget line for Daphne and for promoting gender equality and to advance gender mainstreaming within the framework of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, with at least the same level of spending of 2011, for the period 2014 to 2020 and, with a view to the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, the need to provide for a separate budget line for this specific objective; calls for sustainable and adequate funding to be made available for actions aimed at the effective implementation of the Istanbul Convention, paying special attention, and offering financial support, to the ongoing training of judicial and non-judicial staff who deal with complaints of sexual abuse and gender-based violence;

12.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to include concrete measures and allocate adequate financial resources to combat violence against women and girls and ensure protection of migrant and refugee women, as well as women in irregular situation, from violence; insists on targeted investments to ensure women´s rights and safety in the whole asylum procedure;

13.  Recalls that a very significant number of refugees and asylum seekers entering the EU are women and children; highlights that gender mainstreaming is also among the founding principles of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and reiterates its call for the gender dimension to also be taken into account in migration and asylum policies by allocating specific funds dedicated to prevent gender-based violence and ensuring access to health and reproductive health and rights;

14.  Calls on the Union and its Member States to intensify their efforts to eradicate trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation through adequate budgetary commitments across the union and increasingly invest in victim´s rights and protection, as well as actions decreasing the demand for trafficked women and girls; 

15.  Calls on the Union and the Member States to promote women’s rights organisations, the empowerment of girls and women’s representation in decision-making through EU development aid; recalls the urgent need to increase Union funding for SRHR in order to counter the impact of the financing gap left by the US after the reinstatement and expansion of its ‘global gag rule’;

16.  Underlines the need to counteract the shrinking space for civil society and calls on the Union and the Member States to prioritise investment to support and protect Human Rights Defenders, and specifically women human rights defenders, who face unique gender-based obstacles and threats in their work, by giving them visible political support and recognition, in particular by means of urgent grants under the EIDHR emergency fund for human rights defenders at risk;

17.  Considers that with a view to reaching its commitments to achieve SDG 5 and in particular its target to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), the Commission should include earmarked funding for SRHR, including family planning, through an explicit SRHR budget line or by designating SRHR as an objective under its various budget lines such as health, education, youth empowerment, human rights, gender;

18.  Urges the Union and the Member States to increase support to girls’ and women’s social, economic and cultural rights in partner countries; calls in this context on all parties to ensure GAP II implementation is improved based on results from annual reports;

19.  Recalls the important role of the European Institute for Gender Equality and calls for the Institute’s budget, staff establishment plan and independence to be maintained;

20.  Calls on the Union to support the development of new measures that will promote and support gender equality, women´s human rights and their economic empowerment in its trade policies, and allocating adequate financial resources for these commitments.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

3

1

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Malin Björk, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, André Elissen, Iratxe García Pérez, Mary Honeyball, Angelika Mlinar, Maria Noichl, Marijana Petir, Pina Picierno, Ernest Urtasun, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Michaela Šojdrová

Substitutes present for the final vote

Stefan Eck, José Inácio Faria, Kostadinka Kuneva, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Jordi Solé

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

Marek Plura, Damiano Zoffoli

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

18

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Angelika Mlinar

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Stefan Eck, Kostadinka Kuneva

PPE

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, José Inácio Faria, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Marek Plura

S&D

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Iratxe García Pérez, Mary Honeyball, Maria Noichl, Pina Picierno, Damiano Zoffoli

VERTS/ALE

Jordi Solé, Ernest Urtasun

3

-

ECR

Jadwiga Wiśniewska

ENF

André Elissen

PPE

Marijana Petir

1

0

PPE

Michaela Šojdrová

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

9.10.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

5

2

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Jean Arthuis, Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Lefteris Christoforou, Gérard Deprez, Manuel dos Santos, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Iris Hoffmann, Monika Hohlmeier, John Howarth, Bernd Kölmel, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Younous Omarjee, Răzvan Popa, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Jordi Solé, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Isabelle Thomas, Inese Vaidere, Monika Vana, Daniele Viotti, Tiemo Wölken

Substitutes present for the final vote

Andrey Novakov

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

Eleonora Evi, Auke Zijlstra


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

27

+

ALDE

Nedzhmi Ali, Jean Arthuis, Gérard Deprez

ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk

PPE

Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Ingeborg Gräßle, Monika Hohlmeier, Siegfried Mureşan, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Patricija Šulin, Inese Vaidere

S&D

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Iris Hoffmann, John Howarth, Vladimír Maňka, Răzvan Popa, Manuel dos Santos, Isabelle Thomas, Daniele Viotti, Tiemo Wölken

5

-

ECR

Bernd Kölmel

EFDD

Eleonora Evi

ENF

Auke Zijlstra

GUE/NGL

Younous Omarjee

NI

Eleftherios Synadinos

2

0

VERTS/ALE

Jordi Solé, Monika Vana

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 15 October 2018Legal notice