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Procedure : 2016/2172(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0130/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0130/2017

Debates :

PV 26/04/2017 - 19
CRE 26/04/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.43

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0174

Texts adopted
PDF 180kWORD 47k
Thursday, 27 April 2017 - Brussels Final edition
Discharge 2015: European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
P8_TA(2017)0174A8-0130/2017
Decision
 Decision
 Resolution

1. European Parliament decision of 27 April 2017 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015 (2016/2172(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015, together with the Agency’s reply(1),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(2) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to the Agency in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0058/2017),

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

–  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(3), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency(4), and in particular Article 19 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0130/2017),

1.  Grants the Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency’s budget for the financial year 2015;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision, and the resolution forming an integral part of it, to the Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 133.
(2) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 133.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.


2. European Parliament decision of 27 April 2017 on the closure of the accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015 (2016/2172(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015, together with the Agency’s reply(1),

–  having regard to the statement of assurance(2) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to the Agency in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0058/2017),

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

–  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(3), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency(4), and in particular Article 19 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0130/2017),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

(1) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 133.
(2) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 133.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.


3. European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015 (2016/2172(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0130/2017),

A.  whereas, according to its financial statements, the final budget of the European Maritime Safety Agency (“the Agency”) for the financial year 2015 was EUR 54 611 883, representing an increase of 4,21 % compared to 2014,

B.  whereas the Court of Auditors (“the Court”), in its report on the annual accounts of the European Maritime Safety Agency for the financial year 2015 (“the Court’s report”), has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Agency’s annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

C.  whereas in the context of the discharge procedure, the discharge authority stresses the particular importance of further strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the Union institutions by improving transparency and accountability, implementing the concept of performance-based budgeting and good governance of human resources,

Budget and financial management

1.  Notes that the budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2015 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 99,23 %, representing an increase of 4,45 % compared to 2014 and the payment appropriations execution rate was 96,52 %, representing an increase of 2,75 %;

2.  Takes note of the fact that the Agency restructured its budget structure in 2014, with effect from Budget 2015, to better support the business needs of the Agency; observes, furthermore, that the second phase of the restructuring will have an effect on the budget in 2016; invites the Agency to inform the discharge authority on the practical impact and efficiencies gained with the new budget structure;

Commitments and carry-overs

3.  Acknowledges the fact that according to the Court’s annual audit, as well as to the Agency’s annual accounts report, no notable issues as regards the level of carry-overs in 2015 were identified; observes that out of the total amount carried forward from 2014 to 2015 (EUR 35 987 101), 46 % were consumed, 50 % remained as “open amount” (amount due, not yet paid) and 4 % of the total were cancelled; notes that carry-overs may often be partly or fully justified by the multiannual nature of the agencies’ operational programmes, do not necessarily indicate weaknesses in budget planning and implementation and are not always at odds with the budgetary principle of annuality, in particular if they are planned in advance by the Agency and communicated to the Court;

Transfer

4.  Takes note of the fact that the Agency made a total of 10 transfers between budgetary titles in 2015; acknowledges the fact that these transfers were below 10 % of the appropriations for the financial year of the budget line from which the transfer is made in the case of transfers from one title to another; observes that the level and nature of transfers in 2015 remained within the limits of the financial rules;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

5.  Takes note of the fact that the Agency launched 88 procurement procedures, out of which 13 were special negotiated procedures and the remaining 75 encompassed open and low value negotiated procedures;

6.  Notes from the Agency’s annual activity report that, in 2015, the Agency had 207 posts in its authorised establishment plan; observes that, while 207 statutory posts were indicated on the Agency‘s Establishment Plan for 2015, the Agency delivered the activities proposed in the Work Programme 2015 with 202 statutory posts, as five posts were frozen for cuts foreseen in 2016;

7.  Notes the results of the second benchmarking exercise on the Agency's posts, with 21,67 % of the jobs dedicated to administrative support and coordination, 71,29 % to operational tasks and 7,05 % to control and financial tasks; regrets the continuous reduction of staffing level, while at the same time tasks given to the Agency are increasing;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

8.  Observes that the Agency made publicly available the “Declarations of Commitment and Confidentiality” signed by its administrative board members, as well as their CVs, as requested by the discharge authority in the previous discharge procedures;

9.  Notes with concern that the declarations of interest of its administrative board members are not published on its website and that the Agency has not provided for any check or update of the declarations of interest of its management board members; encourages the Agency to remedy the situation by publishing such documents and introducing checks, in order to ensure necessary public oversight and scrutiny of its management;

10.  Notes with satisfaction that the Agency’s administrative board adopted in 2015 a fraud prevention and detection strategy which is based upon the methodology and guidance for anti-fraud strategy presented by OLAF as well as upon the Anti-Fraud Strategy of the Commission’s DG MOVE;

11.  Notes with concern that the Agency has not taken specific initiatives in order to increase transparency relating to its contacts with stakeholders and lobbyists; calls on the Agency to enact a proactive lobby transparency policy;

Internal audit

12.  Acknowledges the fact that, in 2015, the Agency’s auditing bodies have not issued any critical audit recommendations or observations that could lead to a reservation in the annual declaration of assurance; notes with satisfaction that all recommendations and observations stemming from various audits from years before 2015 were closed at 31 December 2015;

Internal control

13.  Takes note of the fact that the Agency has developed and implemented a series of internal measures to ensure that its activities are subject to control and to provide reasonable assurance to management of the achievement of its objectives; observes that the Agency has implemented a full set of Internal Control Standards (ICS), based on equivalent standards established by the Commission, and minimum requirements which have been adopted by its administrative board;

Performance

14.  Takes note of the fact that the Agency has cooperated extensively on the operational level, in the field of maritime monitoring, surveillance and information sharing, with other Union agencies and bodies (EFCA, Frontex, EU NAVFOR, MAOC-N), in order to capitalise on existing expertise and services in mutually beneficial ways; notes that as from December 2014, the Agency has been hosting the Business Continuity Facility of the Fusion for Energy Joint Undertaking (F4E) in Madrid; takes note of the fact that the Agency has continued cooperating with European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) so that it can also use the Agency’s business continuity centre; acknowledges the fact that it has worked closely with European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to develop cooperation and synergies between the two agencies with a view to increasing effectiveness, efficiency and saving costs, given the geographical proximity of the agencies;

Other comments

15.  Notes with concern a significant gender imbalance of 20 % / 80 % in respect of the Agency’s management board members and alternate members; urges the Agency to correct this imbalance and to communicate progress made to the Parliament as quickly as possible;

16.  Highlights the Agency’s contribution to maritime safety, the prevention of pollution from ships as well as from offshore installations for gas and oil exploitation in Europe, and the assistance provided to Member States and the Commission under international and Union law; welcomes and encourages the Agency collaboration with other European Agencies regarding the refugees crisis and reaffirms that the Agency has to be given the financial, material and human resources it needs in order to perform its tasks effectively, including when dealing with critically important activities outside its mandate, i.e. contribution to the refugee crisis in the form of “know-how”, operational support and involvement of staff of the Agency;

17.  Highlights that the Agency’s “know-how” and in-house capabilities provide the opportunity to expand its action and service provision to a more global scale, thereby contributing to increasing the reach of Union regulatory frameworks and safety and environmental standards;

o
o   o

18.  Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of 27 April 2017(1) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0155.

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