Procedure : 2012/0336(COD)
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Document selected : A7-0200/2013

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A7-0200/2013

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PV 16/04/2014 - 7.27

Texts adopted :


REPORT     ***I
PDF 275kWORD 286k
5 June 2013
PE 506.200v02-00 A7-0200/2013

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 as regards the financing of European political parties

(COM(2012)0712 – C7-0393/2012 – 2012/0336(COD))

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteur: Ingeborg Gräßle

AMENDMENTS
DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 as regards the financing of European political parties

(COM(2012)0712 – C7-0393/2012 – 2012/0336(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0712),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0393/2012),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Court of Auditors of 7 February 2013(1),

–   having regard to Rules 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0200/2013),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204a – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For the purposes of this Regulation, European political parties shall mean the entities constituted and registered as such in accordance with Regulation (EU) No [….] of the European Parliament and of the Council.

1. For the purposes of this Regulation, European political parties shall mean the entities registered as such in accordance with Regulation (EU) No [….] of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Justification

The formation of political parties at European level takes place independently of their formal registration, although they acquire the legal status of European political parties only by means of formal registration.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204a – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Direct financial contributions from the budget may be awarded to European political parties in view of their contribution to forming European political awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union.

2. Direct financial contributions from the budget may be awarded to European political parties in view of their contribution to forming European political awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No [...] of the European Parliament and of the Council on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations*.

 

____________

 

* OJ L ...

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 –point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Contributions shall only be used to reimburse a percentage of the operating costs of European political parties directly linked to objectives of those parties. Contributions shall not be used to grant directly or indirectly any personal advantage, in cash or in kind, to any individual member or staff of a European political party.

1. Contributions shall only be used to reimburse a percentage of the operating costs of European political parties directly linked to objectives of those parties. Such reimbursable costs shall include administrative expenditure and expenditure linked to, inter alia, technical assistance, meetings, events, including cross-border events and joint events with political groups in the European Parliament, information, publications, research and studies, campaigns conducted in the context of elections to the European Parliament, and referendum campaigns at a European level. Expenditure linked to campaigns conducted in the context of elections to the European Parliament shall be reimbursed in accordance with the rules laid down in Article [17] of Regulation (EU) No [...] on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. Exceptionally, contributions may also be used to finance national, regional or local referendum campaigns, provided that the subject of the referendum in question is Union legislation, the functioning of a Union institution or the ratification of changes to Union treaties.

 

 

 

 

Justification

Update of rapporteur's amendment 1 following the vote on the Giannakou report (cf. amendment 68 (Art. 18(3)) of the said report).

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 1 a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Contributions may be used to reimburse expenditure relating to contracts concluded by European political parties, provided that there were no conflicts of interest when they were awarded.

Justification

The amendment takes up a point made by the Court of Auditors, in paragraph 5 of its Opinion No 1/2013, about the possibility of donations to European political parties from natural or legal persons providing goods and services for the EU institutions.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Contributions shall not be used to fund activities of third parties, in particular national political parties or political foundations at European or national level, whether in the form of grants, donations, loans or any other similar agreements.

2. Contributions shall not be used to grant directly or indirectly any personal advantage, in cash or in kind, to any individual member or staff of a European political party. Contributions shall not be used to fund directly or indirectly activities of third parties, in particular national political parties or political foundations at European or national level, whether in the form of grants, donations, loans or any other similar agreements. Contributions shall not be used to fund directly or indirectly national, regional or local elections, candidates or referendum campaigns, except as provided for in paragraph 1 for referendum campaigns relating to Union legislation, Union institutions or changes to Union treaties.

Justification

Update of rapporteur's amendment 3 following the vote on the Giannakou report (cf. amendment 68 (Art. 18(3)) of the said report).

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. European political parties receiving a contribution shall not receive other funds from the budget for the same purposes. In any case, no cost item may be financed twice by the budget.

5. European political parties receiving a contribution shall not receive directly or indirectly other funds from the budget. In particular, donations from the budgets of political groups in the European Parliament shall be prohibited. In any case, no cost item may be financed twice by the budget.

Justification

The amendment takes up a point made by the Court of Auditors in par. 16 of its Opinion, in which it recommends to state more clearly that European political parties receiving a contribution from the EU budget shall not receive other funds from the budget. Moreover, the prohibition of donations from the budgets of political groups in the EP, as foreseen in Article 15(5)(b) of Commission proposal COM(2012)0499, is reiterated, with a view to increasing coherence between the two legislative texts.

Amendment                7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 –point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204c

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Contributions shall be paid from the European Parliament section of the budget.

Contributions shall be paid from the European Parliament section of the budget. The appropriations set aside for independent external audit bodies or experts referred to in Article [19] of Regulation (EU) No [...] on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations shall be charged directly to the budget of the European Parliament.

 

Such bodies or experts shall be pre-selected, mandated and paid for by the European Parliament, without prejudice to Article [19] of that Regulation.

 

No body or expert shall be engaged for longer than five consecutive years.

 

 

 

 

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204e – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Applications for contribution shall be submitted in writing, including, where appropriate, in a secure electronic format.

1. Applications for contribution shall be duly submitted on time in writing, including, where appropriate, in a secure electronic format.

Amendment                9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 –point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204e – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The authorising officer may be assisted by a committee to evaluate and establish the award decision. The authorising officer shall specify the rules regarding the composition, appointment and functioning of such committee, and the rules to prevent any conflict of interests.

5. The authorising officer may be assisted by a committee to evaluate and establish the award decision. The authorising officer shall specify, with due regard to the principles of transparency and equal treatment, the rules regarding the composition, appointment and functioning of such committee, and the rules to prevent any conflict of interests.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204f – paragraph 4

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The authorising officer responsible shall inform applicants in writing of the decision on their application. If the contribution request is rejected or the amounts requested are not awarded in part or in full, the authorising officer shall give the reasons for either the rejection of the application or the non-award of the amounts requested, with reference in particular to the eligibility and award criteria referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2.

4. The authorising officer responsible shall inform applicants in writing of the decision on their application. If the contribution request is rejected or the amounts requested are not awarded in part or in full, the authorising officer shall give the reasons for either the rejection of the application or the non-award of the amounts requested, with reference in particular to the eligibility and award criteria referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. If the application is rejected, the authorising officer shall inform the applicant of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available.

Justification

The same obligation to inform on judicial remedies is given to the Commission in the Regulation on European Citizens' Initiative.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204g – paragraph 1 – point a

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) reimbursement of a percentage of the expenditures actually incurred;

(a) reimbursement of a percentage of the reimbursable expenditures actually incurred;

Justification

Clarification of the Commission proposal

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204h – paragraph 4

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Where lump sums, flat-rate financing and unit costs are used, they shall be defined in the call for contributions. The contribution agreement or decision shall include provisions that allow verifying that the conditions for the award of lump sums, flat-rate financing or unit costs have been respected.

4. Where lump sums, flat-rate financing and unit costs are used, they shall be defined in the call for contributions with their respective amounts and rates, where applicable. The call for contributions shall also contain a description of the methods for determining lump sums, unit costs or flat-rate financing, which shall be based on objective means such as statistical data, certified or auditable historical data of the European political parties or their usual cost accounting practices. The contribution agreement or decision shall include provisions that allow verifying that the conditions for the award of lump sums, flat-rate financing or unit costs have been respected.

Justification

The amendment aligns the wording of this paragraph to Article 124(2)(c) of the Financial Regulation (scope and form of grants – lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate financing) and adds a requirement to quantify lump sums, flat rates and unit costs in the call for contributions.

Amendment                13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204k – paragraph 3

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. European political parties shall respect the maximum co-financing rate established in Regulation xx/xxxx. Remaining amounts of the previous two years' contributions may not be used to finance the part which European political parties must provide from their own resources.

3. European political parties shall respect the maximum co-financing rate established in Article [12(4)] of Regulation (EU) No [...] on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. Remaining amounts of the previous two years' contributions may not be used to finance the part which European political parties must provide from their own resources. Contributions by third parties to joint events shall not be considered as part of the own resources of a European political party.

 

 

 

 

Justification

Clarification of the Commission proposal.

The Giannakou report states in its amendments 19 and 59 (Art. 2(7) and Art. 15(5)(b) of the proposal for a regulation) that contributions by third parties to joint events are not to be considered as donations. Consequently, these contributions cannot be treated as an own resource of a European political party.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204l

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The European political party shall, in accordance with the conditions and time limits laid down in the call for contributions, submit to the authorising officer for approval a final report on the use of the contribution and its accounts.

The European political party shall, in accordance with the conditions and time limits laid down in the call for contributions, submit annually to the authorising officer for approval a final report on the use of the contribution and its accounts.

Justification

Clarification of the Commission proposal

Amendment                15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204l – paragraph 2 a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

European political parties shall publish, at least on their website, the final report and accounts referred to in the first paragraph.

Amendment                16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204m – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Where the European political party is no longer registered in the Registry referred to in Article 6 of Regulation (EU) No [….] or has been the subject of any of the penalties provided for in Article 22 of that Regulation, the authorising officer responsible may suspend, reduce or terminate the contribution and recover amounts unduly paid under the contribution agreement or decision, in proportion to the seriousness of the errors, irregularities, fraud or other breach of obligations related to the use of contribution, after the political party has been given the opportunity to present its observations.

5. Where the European political party is no longer registered in the Registry referred to in Article 6 of Regulation (EU) No [….] or has been the subject of any of the penalties provided for in Article 22 of that Regulation, the authorising officer responsible may, in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 7 of that Regulation, suspend, reduce or terminate the contribution and recover amounts unduly paid under the contribution agreement or decision, in proportion to the seriousness of the errors, irregularities, fraud or other breach of obligations related to the use of contribution, after the political party has been given the opportunity to present its observations.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 –point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204n – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Administrative and financial penalties which are effective, proportionate and dissuasive may be imposed on applicants by the authorising officer, in accordance with Article 109 of this Regulation, without prejudice to Article 22(7) of Regulation (EU) No [….].

2. Administrative and financial penalties which are effective, proportionate and dissuasive may be imposed on applicants by the authorising officer, in accordance with Article 109 of this Regulation and with Article 22 of Regulation (EU) No [....] on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations.

Justification

Clarification of the Commission proposal, with a view to increasing coherence between the Financial Regulation and the regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations. Cf. also amendment 14 of the AFCO opinion.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204o – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. European political parties shall keep records, supporting documents, and other records pertinent to the contribution for five years following the submission of the final report and accounts referred to in Article 204l.

1. European political parties shall keep all records and supporting documents, and other records pertinent to the contribution for five years following the submission of the annual final report and accounts referred to in Article 204l.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 125

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) The second subparagraph of Article 125(3) and paragraph 6 of Article 125 are deleted.

(3) Article 125 is amended as follows:

 

(a) The second subparagraph of paragraph 3 is deleted.

 

(b) Paragraph 6 is replaced by the following:

 

“6. If a European political foundation within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No [...] on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations realises a surplus of income over expenditure at the end of a financial year in which it received an operating grant, the part of that surplus corresponding to up to 25% of the total income for that year may, by derogation from the no-profit principle laid down in paragraph 4, be carried over to the following year provided that it is used before the end of the first quarter of that following year.

 

For the purpose of verifying compliance with the no-profit principle, the own resources, [...] aggregated in the annual operations of a European political foundation, which exceed the percentage of the eligible costs to be borne by the European political foundation as specified in Article [12(4)] of Regulation (EU) No [...], shall not be taken into account.

 

The second subparagraph shall not apply if the financial reserves of a European political foundation exceed 100% of its average annual income."

 

 

 

 

Justification

Rather than deleting altogether the special provisions on carry-over of grants applicable to political parties at Union level, the amendment reinstates Article 125(6) with reference to European political foundations.

Amendment                20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) While financial support is awarded without an annual work programme and estimated operating budget, European political parties should justify ex post the sound use of Union funds. In particular, the authorising officer should verify if the funds have been used to pay reimbursable expenditure as established in the call for contributions within the time limits laid down in this Regulation. Contributions to European political parties should be spent within two financial years following the financial year it was awarded, after which, any unspent funds should be recovered by the authorising officer.

(8) While financial support is awarded without an annual work programme and estimated operating budget, European political parties should justify ex post the sound use of Union funds. In particular, the authorising officer should verify if the funds have been used to pay reimbursable expenditure as established in the call for contributions within the time limits laid down in this Regulation. European political parties should broadly and publicly report the use of Union contributions in a citizen-friendly, searchable database. Contributions to European political parties should be spent within two financial years following the financial year it was awarded, after which, any unspent funds should be recovered by the authorising officer.

(1)

OJ C67, 7.3.2013, p.1.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal for a regulation amending the Financial Regulation as regards the financing of European political parties, which accompanies the Commission proposal for a regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. Integrating many of the demands contained in Parliament’s resolution of 6 April 2011, both proposals effectively address the shortcomings in the current legal framework and the funding system of political parties and political foundations at Union level. The new legal bases will enable European political parties to efficiently fulfil their role as foreseen by the Treaties: forming European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens of the Union.

In particular, the rapporteur supports the creation of sui generis contributions as a new type of EU funding, tailor-made for European political parties, which accounts for their specific needs and characteristics. The new system of contributions also involves some important simplifications for European political parties, such as the abolition of the annual work programme, greater flexibility regarding the time limits to use EU funds, and a pre-financing of 100%.

One of the rapporteur’s aims has been to ensure the highest possible degree of coherence between the two legislative texts by adapting her report to the modifications of the financial rules in the Giannakou report which are likely to be adopted by AFCO. This concerns primarily the possibility to fund events jointly with political groups in the EP, and the possibility to fund referenda campaigns relating to EU legislation or institutions at national, regional or local level. It bears noting, however, that further adaptations might be necessary following the votes on the Giannakou report in AFCO.

Furthermore, after examination of the Court of Auditors’ Opinion No 1/2013 of 7 February concerning both Commission proposals, the rapporteur has decided to take up some of the Court’s recommendations, which she is convinced will increase legal certainty and the accountability of financial actors.

As to the carry-over rules for European political foundations, the rapporteur shares the Commission’s view that the possibility to use amounts received from the EU budget until the year n+2 should be restricted to European political parties, given their specific needs related to the funding of election campaigns. Extending this exception to political foundations is both unjustified, in particular with regard to other beneficiaries of grants from the EU budget, and unnecessary, because most of the difficulties that foundations encountered with the grant system will disappear with the application of the simplified provisions in the new Financial Regulation. For instance, it is no longer necessary to lodge a guarantee for pre-financing, and the building up of reserves from own sources is now actively encouraged.

Nevertheless, for the sake of continuity, and taking account of the close link between foundations and parties as well as of the fact that the EU funding for parties and foundations is usually provided with a long-term perspective, the rapporteur suggests to give European political foundations some additional flexibility in their financial planning by preserving Article 125(6) of the Financial Regulation as amended.


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (24.4.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 as regards the financing of European political parties

(COM(2012)0712 – C7-0393/2012 – 2012/0336(COD))

Rapporteur: Enrique Guerrero Salom

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal for a Regulation amending the Financial Regulation as regards the financing of European political parties, which accompanies the Commission proposal for a regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The reform of the Financial Regulation is a result of the modifications introduced by this Regulation.

As mentioned in the article 10 of the Treaty of the European Union “Political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens in the Union”, and in the art. 12.(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union “Political parties at the Union level contribute to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union”, the European political parties contribute to setting the opinion and expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union.

By those contributions, the European political parties become a driving force of integration at European level and can play a strong role in the strengthening of the European demos. Being institutions founded on the private initiative but accomplishing significant public functions, European parties have a deep-rooted ground in the society and an unequivocal institutional aim.

There are many reasons justifying the public financing of the political parties, which requires a specific legal regulation different from the purely private associations. In particular, this financing contributes to ensure the implementation of the activity of the political parties, it boosts their stability as far as they maintain the support of a significant part of the European citizens, it eliminates, reduces or compensates the possible discrimination as a result of the different attraction towards the private donators and it is a positive incentive against the irregular financing and corruption.

The rapporteur welcomes the new modification of the financial regulation calling for an end to the system of the grants and the creation of a new financing instrument tailored specifically to the funding of the European political parties and foundations. As proposed by the EC, the Political parties should be financed through a new instrument called “contributions”, rather than through an operating grant, as it is currently the case.

Moreover, the abolition of the "Annual work programme" of the political parties will give them more flexibility in planning their activities. This disposal, not included in the legislation of other Member States, was found inappropriate as the control should be made on the expenditure but not in the actions.

The reduction of the co-financing is also to be welcomed. The Commission proposal will contribute to reduce the possible discrimination among parties resulting from the private sector revenue. Furthermore, the rapporteur supports the introduction of an eligibility criterion in order to receive financing and the abolition of the selection criteria.

In addition, the rapporteur welcomes the initiative of the Commission to allow political parties to build up reserves and carry-over of funds on the compromise held in n+2 years. However, and as differently suggested from the BUDG committee, the rapporteur considers that, not only political parties, but also foundations should have this right in order to accomplish their tasks of research. The rapporteur also appreciates the idea that the contributions are paid in one pre-financing payment covering 100% of the sum and derogate Article 5 of the Financial Regulation. With the new proposal, any interest yielded by the pre-financing amounts perceived by the European political parties should be used to pay reimbursable expenditures within the following two financial years. What is important is that the political parties can keep what has not been spent and report it to another financial year.

Furthermore, after examination of the Court of Auditors’ Opinion No 1/2013 of 7 February concerning both Commission proposals, and after having some exchange of views with the rapporteur in BUDG, the rapporteur has decided to take up some of the Court’s recommendations and BUDG´s point of views, which will increase legal certainty and financial rigorousness.

Finally, the rapporteur warmly welcomes the idea to establish a penalty and control regime by the OLAF, the Court of Auditors and the prominent role of the European Parliament. This system of penalties should include both administrative and financial sanctions.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) While financial support is awarded without an annual work programme and estimated operating budget, European political parties should justify ex post the sound use of Union funds. In particular, the authorising officer should verify if the funds have been used to pay reimbursable expenditure as established in the call for contributions within the time limits laid down in this Regulation. Contributions to European political parties should be spent within two financial years following the financial year it was awarded, after which, any unspent funds should be recovered by the authorising officer.

(8) While financial support is awarded without an annual work programme and estimated operating budget, European political parties should justify ex post the sound use of Union funds. In particular, the authorising officer should verify if the funds have been used to pay reimbursable expenditure as established in the call for contributions within the time limits laid down in this Regulation. European political parties should broadly and publicly report the use of the EU contributions in a citizen-friendly, searchable database. Contributions to European political parties should be spent within two financial years following the financial year it was awarded, after which, any unspent funds should be recovered by the authorising officer.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204a – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For the purposes of this Regulation, European political parties shall mean the entities constituted and registered as such in accordance with Regulation (EU) No [….] of the European Parliament and of the Council.

1. For the purposes of this Regulation, European political parties shall mean the entities registered as such in accordance with Regulation (EU) No [….] of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Justification

The formation of political parties at European level takes place independently of their formal registration, although they acquire the legal status of European political parties only by means of formal registration.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204 b – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Contributions shall only be used to reimburse a percentage of the operating costs of European political parties directly linked to objectives of those parties. Contributions shall not be used to grant directly or indirectly any personal advantage, in cash or in kind, to any individual member or staff of a European political party.

1. Contributions can only be used to reimburse a percentage of the operating costs of European political parties directly linked to objectives of those parties and not going beyond the direct political purposes referred to in Article 204b (2). Contributions can not be used to grant directly or indirectly any personal advantage, in cash or in kind, to any individual member or staff of a European political party.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Contributions shall not be used to fund activities of third parties, in particular national political parties or political foundations at European or national level, whether in the form of grants, donations, loans or any other similar agreements.

2. Contributions shall not be used to grant directly or indirectly any personal advantage, in cash or in kind, to any member or staff of a European political party. Contributions shall not be used to fund directly or indirectly activities of third parties, in particular national political parties or political foundations at European or national level, whether in the form of grants, donations, loans or any other similar agreements. Contributions to the organisation of joint events must be disclosed publicly. Those contributions shall not be considered as donations.

 

Contributions shall not be used to fund directly or indirectly national, regional or local elections, candidates or national, regional or local referendum campaigns. Contributions may be used to finance campaigns conducted by the European political parties in the context of the elections to the European Parliament. Contributions may also be used to finance campaigns conducted by the European political parties in the context of referenda in one or several Member States which concern directly matters relating to the European Union.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204b – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. European political parties receiving a contribution shall not receive other funds from the budget for the same purposes. In any case, no cost item may be financed twice by the budget.

5. No cost item may be financed twice by the budget.

Justification

As the Court of Auditors has remarked, the European political parties receiving a contribution from the general budget shall not receive other funds from the budget.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204e – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Applications for contribution shall be submitted in writing, including, where appropriate, in a secure electronic format.

1. Applications for contribution shall be submitted duly on time in writing, including, where appropriate, in a secure electronic format.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204e – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The authorising officer may be assisted by a committee to evaluate and establish the award decision. The authorising officer shall specify the rules regarding the composition, appointment and functioning of such committee, and the rules to prevent any conflict of interests.

5. Only in the situations mentioned in Article 204e (2) and (3), the authorising officer shall be assisted by a committee to evaluate and establish the award decision. That committee shall follow the composition rules laid down in Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No [...]. It shall act in accordance with a transparent procedure and objective criteria laid down in that Regulation. The authorising officer shall specify the rules regarding the composition, appointment and functioning of such committee, and the rules to prevent any conflict of interests.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204f – paragraph 4

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The authorising officer responsible shall inform applicants in writing of the decision on their application. If the contribution request is rejected or the amounts requested are not awarded in part or in full, the authorising officer shall give the reasons for either the rejection of the application or the non-award of the amounts requested, with reference in particular to the eligibility and award criteria referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2.

4. The authorising officer responsible shall inform applicants in writing of the decision on their application. If the contribution request is rejected or the amounts requested are not awarded in part or in full, the authorising officer shall give the reasons for either the rejection of the application or the non-award of the amounts requested, with reference in particular to the eligibility and award criteria referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. If the application is rejected, the authorising officer shall inform the applicant of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available.

Justification

The same obligation to inform on judicial remedies is given to the Commission in the Regulation on European Citizens' Initiative.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204k – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Contributions shall be spent in accordance with Article 204b.

1. Contributions shall be spent in accordance with Article 204b and the principles set by Regulation (EU) No [...].

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204 k – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Any part of the contribution not used within the financial year covered by this contribution shall be spent on any reimbursable expenditure incurred by 31 December of year n+2. The remaining part of the contribution that is not spent within the n+2 time limit shall be recovered in accordance with Chapter 5 of Part One.

2. Any part of the contribution not used within the financial year covered by this contribution shall be spent solely on any reimbursable expenditure incurred by 31 December of year n+2 by the European political parties and political foundations formally affiliated with them, as specified under Regulation (EU) No [...]

 

The remaining part of the contribution that is not spent within the n+2 time limit shall be recovered in accordance with Chapter 5 of Part One.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204 l – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The European political party shall, in accordance with the conditions and time limits laid down in the call for contributions, submit to the authorising officer for approval a final report on the use of the contribution and its accounts.

The European political party shall, in accordance with the conditions and time limits laid down in the call for contributions, submit annually to the authorising officer for approval a final report on the use of the contribution and its accounts.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204 l – paragraph 2 a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

European political parties shall publish, at least on their website, the final report and accounts referred to in the first paragraph.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204m – paragraph 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Where the European political party is no longer registered in the Registry referred to in Article 6 of Regulation (EU) No [….] or has been the subject of any of the penalties provided for in Article 22 of that Regulation, the authorising officer responsible may suspend, reduce or terminate the contribution and recover amounts unduly paid under the contribution agreement or decision, in proportion to the seriousness of the errors, irregularities, fraud or other breach of obligations related to the use of contribution, after the political party has been given the opportunity to present its observations.

5. Where the European political party is no longer registered in the Registry referred to in Article 6 of Regulation (EU) No [….] or has been the subject of any of the penalties provided for in Article 22 of that Regulation, the authorising officer responsible may, in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No [...], suspend, reduce or terminate the contribution and recover amounts unduly paid under the contribution agreement or decision, in proportion to the seriousness of the errors, irregularities, fraud or other breach of obligations related to the use of contribution, after the political party has been given the opportunity to present its observations.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204n – paragraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Administrative and financial penalties which are effective, proportionate and dissuasive may be imposed on applicants by the authorising officer, in accordance with Article 109 of this Regulation, without prejudice to Article 22(7) of Regulation (EU) No [….].

2. Administrative and financial penalties, which are effective, proportionate, appropriate and dissuasive and take into account the gravity, the duration and the time that has elapsed as well as the intention or degree of negligence, may be imposed on applicants by the authorising officer, in accordance with Article 109 of this Regulation, without prejudice to Article 22(7) of Regulation (EU) No [….]. As a penalty, the authorising officer may also withdraw the funding partly or totally.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 204 o – paragraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. European political parties shall keep records, supporting documents, and other records pertinent to the contribution for five years following the submission of the final report and accounts referred to in Article 204l.

1. European political parties shall keep all records and supporting documents, and other records pertinent to the contribution for five years following the submission of the annual final report and accounts referred to in Article 204l.

PROCEDURE

Title

Amendment of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 as regards the financing of European political parties

References

COM(2012)0712 – C7-0393/2012 – 2012/0336(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

10.12.2012

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

10.12.2012

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Enrique Guerrero Salom

17.9.2012

Discussed in committee

9.10.2012

26.11.2012

18.12.2012

18.3.2013

 

22.4.2013

 

 

 

Date adopted

23.4.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

5

0

Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Ashley Fox, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Gerald Häfner, Daniel Hannan, Morten Messerschmidt, Algirdas Saudargas, József Szájer, Indrek Tarand, Rafał Trzaskowski, Manfred Weber, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Marietta Giannakou, György Schöpflin, Alexandra Thein, Rainer Wieland

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Josef Weidenholzer


PROCEDURE

Title

Amendment of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 as regards the financing of European political parties

References

COM(2012)0712 – C7-0393/2012 – 2012/0336(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

29.11.2012

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

10.12.2012

 

 

 

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

CONT

10.12.2012

JURI

10.12.2012

AFCO

10.12.2012

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

CONT

19.12.2012

JURI

18.12.2012

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Ingeborg Gräßle

18.12.2012

 

 

 

Date adopted

30.5.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jean-Luc Dehaene, James Elles, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Barbara Matera, Claudio Morganti, Jan Mulder, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Peter Jahr, Jürgen Klute, Nils Torvalds

Date tabled

5.6.2013

Last updated: 7 April 2014Legal notice