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Procedure : 2016/2196(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0094/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0094/2017

Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.58

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0189

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 27 April 2017 - Brussels Final edition
Discharge 2015: Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking
P8_TA(2017)0189A8-0094/2017
Decision
 Decision
 Resolution

1. European Parliament decision of 27 April 2017 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015 (2016/2196(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015, 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 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 Joint Undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05875/2017 – C8-0087/2017),

–  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 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 (A8-0094/2017).

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 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 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 473, 16.12.2016, p. 15.
(2) OJ C 473, 16.12.2016, p. 17.
(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 27 April 2017 on the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015 (2016/2196(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015, 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 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 Joint Undertaking in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05875/2017 – C8-0087/2017),

–  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 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 (A8-0094/2017).

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2015;

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 473, 16.12.2016, p. 15.
(2) OJ C 473, 16.12.2016, p. 17.
(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 27 April 2017 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 2015 (2016/2196(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 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 (A8-0094/2017).

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

B.  whereas the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (‘the Joint Undertaking’) established under Regulation (EU) No 558/2014 of 6 May 2014(1) replaced with effect from 27 June 2014 the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking according to the adaption of the new founding Regulation under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation;

C.  whereas the aim of the Joint Undertaking is to finalise the research and innovation activities under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and manage the research and innovation activities under Horizon 2020 and extended the lifetime of the Joint Undertaking for the period up to 31 December 2024;

D.  whereas the founding members of the Joint Undertaking are the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the Leaders of the ‘Integrated Technology Demonstrators’ (ITDs), Innovative Aircraft Development Platforms (IADPs) and of 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.  Acknowledges from the Joint Undertaking that it disclosed performance indicators and indicators for monitoring cross-cutting issues in its Annual Activity Report as required by Horizon 2020 rules and notes that it achieved its targets in the majority of them;

Budgetary and financial management

2.  Notes that the Court of Auditors (the ‘Court’) stated that the 2015 annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking present fairly, in all material respects, its financial position as of 31 December 2015 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended, in accordance with the provisions of its Financial Rules;

3.  Notes that the Court, in its report of the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking (‘the Court's report’), 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 2015 included commitment appropriations of EUR 440 705 606 and payment appropriations of EUR 245 990 262; observes with satisfaction that the Joint Undertaking successfully faced the challenge of managing the highest budget in its history (amounting to 192 % in commitments of the 2014 budget and 166 % in payment appropriations of the 2014 budget);

5.  Notes that the commitment appropriations utilisation rate was 99,47 % (compared to 82,58 % in 2014) and the rate of payment appropriations was 75,44 % (compared to 90,19 % in 2014); notes, furthermore, that the lower implementation rate for payment appropriations was, namely, due to delays in the start of projects due to the necessary technical alignment of these projects to the ITDs, IADPs and the shift of the pre-financing payments to 2016;

6.  Notes that 52,7 % (EUR 226 000 000) of operational commitments made in 2015 was for individual commitments based on completed award procedures for grants and that the remaining 47,3 % (EUR 203 500 000) was for Horizon 2020 global commitments for two calls for core partners and two calls for proposals for which the award procedures were ongoing at end of 2015;

7.  Notes that, out of the total amount of EUR 800 000 000 for the operational and administrative activities to be funded under FP7, the Joint Undertaking made commitments of EUR 756 956 027 (94,6 %) and payments of EUR 740 274 715 (92,5 %) by the end of 2015; notes, furthermore, that since the Joint Undertaking had been no longer entitled to launch calls for proposals under FP7, the remaining commitments were to be used as appropriate for grant agreements with members;

8.  Notes that, out of the total amount of EUR 550 909 549 for FP 7 operational activities funded from the other members´ contributions by the end of 2015, EUR 501 609 427 (91 %) were validated by the Governing Board, EUR 37 880 240 were pending validation from earlier years (2008-2014), EUR 12 578 796 were in in-kind contributions by the members in 2015, and EUR 13 507 539 were the other members’ cash contributions to the administrative costs of the Joint Undertaking;

9.  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 operational commitments of EUR 436 682 680 and payments of EUR 89 799 324; notes furthermore that the Union cash contribution to the administrative costs of the Joint Undertaking amounted to EUR 3 319 723;

10.  Notes that, out of a minimum total amount of EUR 1 229 000 000 in respect of the other members’ in-kind and cash contributions for Horizon 2020 operational and administrative costs (other than additional activities) by the end of 2015, EUR 47 103 981 of in-kind contributions to operational activities were reported to the Joint Undertaking; notes that the amount of EUR 3 537 520 were the other members’ cash contributions to the Joint Undertaking’s administrative costs;

11.  Notes that out of the reported EUR 47 103 981 of in-kind contributions related to Horizon 2020 operational expenses, EUR 27 776 996 were certified in accordance with the Council Regulation, but not yet validated by the Governing Board, and EUR 19 326 985 were still to be certified and validated; notes, in this respect, that the Joint Undertaking received most of the members´ financial reports by September 2016 and that the validated in-kind contributions were EUR 17 400 000 higher compared to estimates; points out that private sector members experienced difficulties presenting their in-kind contribution figures by the deadline of 31 January and is concerned that this could become a recurring issue;

Calls for proposals

12.  Notes that the Joint Undertaking ran for the first time two research programmes simultaneously in 2015, namely, the Clean Sky programme under FP7 and the Clean Sky 2 programme under Horizon 2020;

13.  Notes that, in 2015, the Joint Undertaking launched 2 calls for proposals, received 230 eligible proposals (out of the total of 232) and selected 68 proposals to be funded;

14.  Recognises that, within the Clean Sky programme, more than 10 significant demonstrators (ground and flight tested) were delivered and 106 projects were completed/finished in 2015;

15.  Appreciates that, in terms of widening participation, during the first year of Clean Sky 2 programme 76 new core partners joined the programme (compared to 66 Associates in the original Clean Sky programme) and that this trend continues (133 core partners by the end of 2016); furthermore 294 partners emerged from the first 4 open competitive calls for proposals resulting in the total net number of 384 participants in the Programme;

16.  Notes that SME participation in the call for proposals launched in 2015 was lower than the planned rate of 35 % , however, notes the progress made by the Joint Undertaking in involving SMEs in the Programme by achieving 36 % participation rate by the end 2016 and encourages the Joint Undertaking to make further progress in its dissemination activities;

Key controls and supervisory systems

17.  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;

18.  Notes that internal control procedures have been established within the Joint Undertaking in order to provide a reasonable assurance that fraud and irregularities will be detected and prevented;

19.  Notes that the residual error rate for the ex-post audits reported by the Joint Undertaking was 1,52 %;

Anti-fraud Strategy

20.  Notes that the financial rules of the Joint Undertaking state that its budget should be implemented in compliance with effective and efficient internal control standards, including prevention, detection, correction and follow-up of fraud and irregularities;

21.  Notes that the governing board of the Joint Undertaking endorsed the updated Research Anti-Fraud Strategy in April 2016 in order to take account of changes introduced by Horizon 2020;

22.  Notes that, according to the Court’s report, the Joint Undertaking put in place internal control procedures that provide reasonable assurance on the prevention and detection of fraud and irregularities (ex-ante checks on payments, conflict of interest policy, ex-post audits at beneficiaries of grants) and it was implementing the measures in the action plan, such as making use of Commission databases to identify excluded organisations or potential double funding;

Internal control systems

23.  Notes that, according to the Court’s report, an audit on the dissemination of the results of Union-funded research was carried out by the Internal Audit Service (IAS); notes, furthermore, that, as a result, the IAS recommended improvements, including planning and reporting on the use and dissemination of members’ research results under the grant agreements with members, assessment of the core partners’ reporting on the dissemination and exploitation of research results, performance monitoring and reporting, and the Joint Undertaking’s central dissemination of research results and quality control of beneficiaries’ publications; notes, furthermore, that the IAS has issued two very important recommendations, and that the Joint Undertaking made a dedicated action plan for their implementation;

24.  Notes that the IAS partially closed the issue concerning the planning and reporting on the use and dissemination of beneficiaries’ research results and scheduled the deadlines for the complete implementation for 2017; notes that the recommendation on performance monitoring and reporting was closed by the IAS;

Other

25.  Notes that the representation of genders is extremely unbalanced especially in technical reviews (3,2 % women compared to 96,8 % men), and very unbalanced in the scientific committees and in the program coordination committees (14,3 % women to 85,7 % men and 16,7 % women to 83,3 % men, respectively); urges the Joint Undertaking to improve the gender imbalance in its various bodies and to put forward a plan for realising that goal;

26.  Welcomes the progress made in the field of cooperation with Regions and leveraging Clean Sky 2 funding with Structural and Investment Funds and encourages the Joint Undertaking to continue in these efforts;

27.  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)

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