Procedure : 2019/2027(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0036/2019

Texts tabled :

A9-0036/2019

Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/11/2019 - 6.4

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2019)0070

<Date>{25/11/2019}25.11.2019</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0036/2019</NoDocSe>
PDF 161kWORD 57k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide for the payment of advances in the general budget of the Union for 2020</Titre>

<DocRef>(COM(2019)0252 – C9‑0008/2019 – 2019/2027(BUD))</DocRef>


<Commission>{BUDG}Committee on Budgets</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Monika Hohlmeier</Depute>

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide for the payment of advances in the general budget of the Union for 2020

(COM(2019)0252 – C9‑0008/2019 – 2019/2027(BUD))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2019)0252 – C9‑0008/2019),

 having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund[1],

 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[2], and in particular Article 10 thereof,

 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[3], and in particular point 11 thereof,

 having regard to the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 18 November 2019 (14283/2019 – C9-0186/2019),

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0036/2019),

A. whereas, in accordance with Article 4a(4) of Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002, an amount of EUR 50 000 000 is made available for the payment of advances through appropriations in the general budget of the Union;

1. Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2. Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3. Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

 


 

ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide for the payment of advances in the general budget of the Union for 2020

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) N° 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund[4], and in particular Article 4a(4) thereof,

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], and in particular point 11 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1) The European Union Solidarity Fund (the "Fund") aims to enable the Union to respond in a rapid, efficient and flexible manner to emergency situations in order to show solidarity with the population of regions struck by natural disasters.

(2) The Fund is not to exceed a maximum annual amount of EUR 500 000 000 (2011 prices) as laid down in Article 10 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013[6].

(3) Article 4a(4) of Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 provides that, where necessary in order to ensure the timely availability of budgetary resources, the Fund may be mobilised in an amount of up to EUR 50 000 000 for the payment of advances, entering the corresponding appropriations into the general budget of the Union.

(4) To ensure the timely availability of sufficient budgetary resources in the general budget of the Union for 2020, the Fund should be mobilised in the amount of EUR 50 000 000 for the payment of advances.

(5) In order to minimise the time taken to mobilise the Fund, this Decision should apply from the beginning of the 2020 financial year,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

For the general budget of the Union for the financial year 2020, the European Union Solidarity Fund shall be mobilised to provide the amount of EUR 50 000 000 in commitment and payment appropriations for the payment of advances.

Article 2

This Decision shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

It shall apply from 1 January 2020.

 

 

Done at ...,

 

 

 

 

For the European Parliament  For the Council

 

 

 

 

 

The President  The President

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to enable the Union to respond to emergency situations caused by major natural disasters and to express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The Fund can provide financial aid to Member States and countries involved in accession negotiations in the event of a ‘major natural disaster’, i.e. where total direct damage caused by the disaster exceeds EUR 3 billion in 2011 prices or 0.6% of the country's GNI, whichever is the lower. It can also be mobilised in the event of a regional disaster. The conditions for mobilising the EUSF are set out in the relevant basic act (Council Regulation (EC) N°2012/2002), amended in 2014 (Regulation (EU) N°661/2014).

 

The MFF Regulation for the period 2014-2020[7] (Art. 10) allows the mobilisation of the Fund within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million (2011 prices), over and above the relevant headings of the financial framework.

 

The current proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council is not linked to a specific disaster. Rather, it aims at entering into the general budget of the Union for 2020 the amount of EUR 50 million in commitment and payment appropriations for the payment of advances in a timely and efficient way in the event of a disaster occurring next year.

This possibility, strongly supported by the European Parliament, has existed since the 2014 reform and is foreseen in Art. 4a of the Amending Regulation[8]. The legislator’s intention was to speed up aid disbursement, at least in part, to affected countries through the payment of an advance, while the decision-making process for mobilising the full support was still ongoing. This ensures the timely availability of budgetary resources and enhances the Fund’s effectiveness.

It should be noted that an advance can be granted at the request of a Member State and following a preliminary assessment of the respective EUSF application by the Commission. The amount of the advance should not exceed 10% of the anticipated financial contribution and not exceed EUR 30 million. The advance is paid without prejudice to the final decision on the mobilisation of the Fund. Unduly paid advances shall be recovered from the Member State by the European Commission.

Aid disbursement has been faster since the 2014 reform, with the average time needed for the entire decision-making process reduced by 12%. Nonetheless, it still takes on average 1 year to mobilise the EUSF and to pay out EU support in full. An in-depth evaluation[9] found that the scope for further time saving within the existing regulatory setting is very limited. The possibility of a partial advance payment remains therefore all the more relevant.

 

Implementation data indicates that, of the 32 applications under the scope of the amended Regulation thus far, 15 applications included requests for advance payments, of which 11 were approved, mostly for rather small amounts. The total amount of advance payments over this period amounts to close to EUR 40 million, i.e. a fraction of the resources theoretically available. According to the evaluators, the average time of payment of the advance was around 1 month after the submission of the complete application file.

 

In light of these findings, the Rapporteur requests the Commission to assess whether the current system of advance payments is adequate and what are the exact hurdles that discourage Member States from applying. Further, she asks the Commission to reflect on ways to increase the use made by the affected Member States of the possibility of advance payment. This can be linked to the proposal for an Amending Regulation[10], currently under review by the Parliament, in which the Commission proposes to raise the level of advance payments to 25% of the expected EUSF contribution, limited to a maximum of EUR 100 million, and to increase the total level of appropriations for EUSF advances in the annual budget from EUR 50 million to EUR 100 million.

 

The Rapporteur would like to recall that the EUSF, which has since its inception enabled the EU to offer assistance in response to a wide range of major natural phenomena in virtually every Member State of the Union and beyond, remains one of the EU’s strongest symbols of solidarity in times of need. With climate change taking an increasingly high toll in terms of the number, scale and severity of natural disasters that affect the EU’s Member States and population, it becomes even more important to optimise the readiness and effectiveness of this valuable EU support mechanism. The Rapporteur strongly believes that a prompt response capacity, including through a more effective system of advance payments, will help the Union in demonstrating its solidarity with affected Member States and regions.

The Rapporteur recommends, therefore, that the proposed amounts for advance payments be included in the 2020 Budget.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

25.11.2019

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Rasmus Andresen, Clotilde Armand, Robert Biedroń, Olivier Chastel, Lefteris Christoforou, David Cormand, Paolo De Castro, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Valentino Grant, Francisco Guerreiro, Valerie Hayer, Niclas Herbst, John Howarth, Mislav Kolakušić, Moritz Körner, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Hélène Laporte, Pierre Larrouturou, Janusz Lewandowski, Margarida Marques, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Karlo Ressler, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Ušakovs, Angelika Winzig

Substitutes present for the final vote

Matteo Adinolfi, Derk Jan Eppink, Henrike Hahn, Eero Heinäluoma, Younous Omarjee


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

32

+

ECR

Derk Jan Eppink, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk

GUE/NGL

Younous Omarjee

ID

Matteo Adinolfi, Valentino Grant, Hélène Laporte

NI

Mislav Kolakušić

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Niclas Herbst, Janusz Lewandowski, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Karlo Ressler, Angelika Winzig

RENEW

Clotilde Armand, Olivier Chastel, Valerie Hayer, Moritz Körner, Nicolae Ştefănuță

S&D

Robert Biedroń, Paolo De Castro, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Eero Heinäluoma, John Howarth, Pierre Larrouturou, Margarida Marques, Nils Ušakovs

VERTS/ALE

Rasmus Andresen, David Cormand, Francisco Guerreiro, Henrike Hahn

 

0

-

 

 

 

0

0

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.

[2] OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

[3] OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

[4] OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.

[5] OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

[6] Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p 884).

[7] OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

[8] OJ L 189, 27.06.2014, p. 143.

[9] Evaluation of the European Union Solidarity Fund 2002-2017, SWD(2019) 186 final, 15.5.2019.

[10] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 in order to provide financial assistance to Member States to cover serious financial burden inflicted on them following a withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union without an agreement, 4.9.2019, COM(2019) 399 final, 2019/0183 (COD).

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