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Procedure : 2017/2182(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0070/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0070/2018

Debates :

PV 18/04/2018 - 10
CRE 18/04/2018 - 10

Votes :

PV 18/04/2018 - 12.62

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0167

Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 - Strasbourg Final edition
Discharge 2016: Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking
P8_TA(2018)0167A8-0070/2018
Decision
 Decision
 Resolution

1. European Parliament decision of 18 April 2018 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016 (2017/2182(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016, together with the Joint Undertaking’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 2016, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 20 February 2018 on discharge to be given to the Joint Undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2016 (05943/2018 – C8‑0091/2018),

–  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 209 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 558/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking(4), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 110/2014 of 30 September 2013 on the model financial regulation for public-private partnership bodies referred to in Article 209 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5),

–  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 (A8-0070/2018),

1.  Grants the Executive Director of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the Joint Undertaking’s budget for the financial year 2016;

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 Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, 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 426, 12.12.2017, p. 15.
(2) OJ C 426, 12.12.2017, p. 15.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 77.
(5) OJ L 38, 7.2.2014, p. 2.


2. European Parliament decision of 18 April 2018 on the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016 (2017/2182(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016, together with the Joint Undertaking’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 2016, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 20 February 2018 on discharge to be given to the joint undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2016 (05943/2018 – C8‑0091/2018),

–  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 209 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 558/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking(4), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 110/2014 of 30 September 2013 on the model financial regulation for public-private partnership bodies referred to in Article 209 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5),

–  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 (A8-0070/2018),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, 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 426, 12.12.2017, p. 15.
(2) OJ C 426, 12.12.2017, p. 15.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 77.
(5) OJ L 38, 7.2.2014, p. 2.


3. European Parliament resolution of 18 April 2018 with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget for the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016 (2017/2182(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2016,

–  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 (A8-0070/2018),

A.  whereas the Joint Undertaking started to work autonomously on 16 November 2009;

B.  whereas the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (the “Joint Undertaking”) established by Regulation (EU) No 558/2014(1) replaced, with effect from 27 June 2014, the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking under Horizon 2020;

C.  whereas the aim of the Joint Undertaking is to finalise the research and innovation activities under the Seventh Framework Programme and manage research and innovation activities under Horizon 2020; whereas the lifetime of the Joint Undertaking has been extended until 31 December 2024;

D.  whereas the founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the Union, represented by the Commission, the leaders of the ‘Integrated Technology Demonstrators’ (ITDs), innovative aircraft development platforms (IADPs) and the transversal areas (TAs) together with the associate members of the ITDs;

E.  whereas the maximum contribution from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 1 755 000 000 to be paid from the budget of Horizon 2020;

Follow-up of 2014 discharge

1.  Notes that the Joint Undertaking incorporated into its procedures the common template for the declaration of absence of a conflict of interest as specified in the Commission´s guidelines;

Budgetary and financial management

2.  Notes that the Court of Auditors (the “Court”) stated that the 2015 annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking for the year ending 31 December 2016 present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Joint Undertaking at 31 December 2016, the results of its operations, its cash flows, and the changes in net assets for the year then ended, in accordance with its Financial Regulation and with the accounting rules adopted by the Commission’s accounting officer;

3.  Notes that the Court, in its report on the Clean Sky 2, indicated the transactions underlying the annual accounts as legal and regular in all material aspects;

4.  Notes that the Joint Undertaking’s final budget for 2016 included commitment appropriations of EUR 310 498 422 and payment appropriations of EUR 287 755 748;

5.  Notes that the commitment appropriations utilisation rate was 97,5 % (compared to 99,5 % in 2015) and the rate of payment appropriations was 87,9 % (compared to 75,4 % in 2015); notes furthermore that the lower implementation rate for payment appropriations was mainly due to delays in starting Horizon 2020 projects and, in particular, due to the delayed signature of one significant grant agreement;

6.  Notes that out of the total amount of EUR 800 000 000 for the operational and administrative activities to be funded under the Seventh Framework Programme, the Joint Undertaking made commitments of EUR 784 531 968 (99,31 %) and payments of EUR 754 713 155 (95,53 %) by the end of 2016; notes furthermore that since the Joint Undertaking was no longer entitled to launch calls for proposals under the Seventh Framework Programme, the remaining commitments were to be used as appropriate for grant agreements with members; notes that the Union’s cash contribution to the administrative costs of the Joint Undertaking amounted to EUR 13 417 267;

7.  Takes note that by the end of 2016, the Governing Board validated in-kind contributions from other members of EUR 554 682 257 and that a further EUR 33 503 466 had been reported by the other members, and that other members’ cash contribution to the administrative costs were EUR 14 515 387;

8.  Notes that out of the total amount of EUR 1 755 000 000 for the operational and administrative activities to be funded under Horizon 2020, the Joint Undertaking made commitments of EUR 693 637 716 and payments of EUR 281 870 712; notes furthermore that the lower level of payments was partly due to delays in negotiating the Horizon 2020 grant agreements; notes that the Union’s cash contribution to the administrative costs of the Joint Undertaking amounted to EUR 6 144 907;

9.  Notes that out of the EUR 1 229 000 000 of contributions to be made by the industry members to the operational activities of the Joint Undertaking, the governing board had validated in-kind contributions of EUR 39 168 595 and a further EUR 103 988 023 had been reported by the end of 2016; notes, moreover, that the industry members’ cash contributions to the administrative costs were EUR 6 389 515;

Calls for proposals

10.  Notes that in 2016 the Joint Undertaking launched three calls for proposals and one call for core partners, received 381 eligible proposals (out of the total of 386) and selected 114 proposals to be funded;

11.  Welcomes the fact that within the Clean Sky programme the Joint Undertaking has achieved significant progress and results with the delivery in 2016 of a total of 13 significant demonstrators (ground and flight tested) and closing, up to end of December 2016, 409 out of 482 Seventh Framework Programme projects arising from the grant agreements with partners;

12.  Appreciates that, in terms of widening participation, in 2016 around 60 more core partners joined the Joint Undertaking membership in 2016, leading to a total membership of around 150 members from 20 countries;

Key controls and supervisory systems

13.  Notes that the Joint Undertaking set up ex-ante control procedures based on financial and operational desk reviews, and ex-post audits at beneficiaries of grants;

14.  Notes that the residual error rate for the ex-post audits reported by the Joint Undertaking were 1,51 % for Seventh Framework Programme projects and 0,95 % for Horizon 2020 projects;

Anti-fraud strategy

15.  Welcomes the fact that, the governing board adopted a common anti-fraud strategy action plan in 2016; notes, moreover, that the Joint Undertaking’s staff participated in a survey on fraud prevention and detection organised by the Internal Audit Capability of the Joint Undertaking as complementary measure to the common action plan, with a special focus on fraud in research projects;

16.  Notes with satisfaction that the Joint Undertaking takes part in and implements the preventive and corrective measures in accordance with its 2015 anti-fraud strategy and anti-fraud action plan at Union level;

Internal audit

17.  Notes that in 2016, the Internal Audit Service (IAS) finalised an audit on the Horizon 2020 grant process; notes that as the audit did not identify any 'very important' issues, the IAS highlighted four areas requiring further improvement of the internal control system and issued important related recommendations;

Internal control systems

18.  Expresses concerns that, at the end of 2016, the Joint Undertaking had only partly completed the integration of its control systems with the Commission’s common Horizon 2020 grant management and monitoring tools; notes from the Joint Undertaking´s reply, however, that it has decided to continue to use its own dedicated grant management application (Grant Management Tool, GMT) developed under the Seventh Framework Programme, as some of the required features specific for the CS2 grant were not available in the common Horizon 2020 grant management tools; notes furthermore that the Joint Undertaking started to work with the respective Commission´s services to implement the necessary developments for the integration of the grant agreements for members (GAMs) into the Horizon 2020 grant management and reporting tools by the end of 2017; understands that in order to ensure a smooth transition between the two systems, the current tool developed by the Joint Undertaking will continue to be used until the migration has been fully completed; points out that it is intended that the 2017 reporting cycle will be done in the GMT and the GAMs will be fully managed by the Horizon 2020 tools from 2018 reporting period onwards;

Other issues

19.  Notes that at the end of 2016, the Joint Undertaking had not yet cleared any of the pre-financing payments (EUR 176 000 000) made to its industrial members for projects under Horizon 2020 grant agreements; notes moreover that regular clearing of its pre-financing payments against statements of reported costs from the members would decrease the exposure of the Joint Undertaking to financial risk; underlines the fact that according to Horizon 2020 rules (Article 21 of the H2020 Model Grant Agreement), pre-financing is cleared only at the final reporting period of the project or before, if the total amount of pre-financing and interim payments exceeds 90 % of the maximum grant amount;

20.  Welcome the continued progress in the field of cooperation with Member States and regions on synergies in aeronautics research and innovation with the Structural and Investment Funds and highlights that the Clean Sky Memorandum of Understanding model should be supported in the future Framework Research Programme and structured links to the Joint Undertaking should be established in the regional smart specialization strategies and Operational Programmes;

21.  Recognises the need for the Joint Undertaking to communicate with Union citizens, through the Union institutions, concerning the significant research and collaboration that it is undertaking, stresses the importance of highlighting the real improvements achieved as a consequence of this work, which are an important part of its mandate, as well as the fact that it works with other joint undertakings in promoting public awareness of the benefits of their work.

22.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the direct involvement of the Joint Undertaking in the process of the Horizon 2020 mid-term review in the sphere of further simplifications and harmonisation of joint undertakings.

(1) Council Regulation (EU) No 558/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (OJ L 169, 7.6.2014, p. 77)

Last updated: 4 December 2018Legal notice