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Procedure : 2013/2145(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0328/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0328/2013

Debates :

PV 22/10/2013 - 5
CRE 22/10/2013 - 5

Votes :

PV 23/10/2013 - 11.2

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0437

Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 - Strasbourg Final edition
Draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections
P7_TA(2013)0437A7-0328/2013
Resolution
 Annex
 Annex

European Parliament resolution of 23 October 2013 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 (13176/2013 – C7-0260/2013 – 2013/2145(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities’ own resources(1) ,

–  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(2) ,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(3) (IIA),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2013 on the political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014 - 2020(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2013 on the general guidelines for the preparation of the 2014 budget - section III(5) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2013 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2014(6) ,

–  having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, which the Commission adopted on 28 June 2013 (COM(2013)0450),

–  having regard to the recommendations on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2014 budget, given by BUDG Coordinators,

–  having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, which the Council adopted on 2 September 2013 and forwarded to Parliament on 11 September 2013 (13176/2013 – C7-0260/2013),

–  having regard to Letter of amendment No 1/2014 to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 presented by the Commission on 18 September 2013 (COM(2013)0644),

–  having regard to Rule 75b of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the other committees concerned (A7-0328/2013),

Section III

General overview

1.  Recalls that its priorities for the 2014 budget are economic and sustainable growth, competitiveness, the creation of employment and the fight against youth unemployment as well as the EU's role in the world; reiterates, therefore, its support for policies contributing to the fight against youth unemployment, research, development and innovation, the digital agenda, competitiveness, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurship and self-employment, education, professional training, mobility and external aid;

2.  Insists that the Commission and the Member States should make every effort to ensure that the EU budget is spent in an efficient way and that anything financed with it should have a clear European added value. Member States should in particular share tasks wherever possible and increase mutual cooperation;

3.  Recalls its determination to ensure a sufficient and realistic level of commitment and payment appropriations to allow the programmes to kick-off with sufficient funds in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period 2014 - 2020 and to avoid delays in their implementation, as well as to ensure the successful conclusion of the programmes started under the 2007 - 2013 MFF;

4.  Deplores therefore the Council's decision to proceed again this year with the usual approach of horizontal cuts to the draft budget, aimed at artificially reducing the level of the Union's resources for 2014 by an overall total of EUR 240 million (-0,2 %) in commitment appropriations and EUR 1 061 million (-0,8 %) in payment appropriations as compared to the draft budget, thus leading to a significant decrease compared to the 2013 budget (including amending budgets Nos 1 to 5) both in commitments (-6 %) and in payments (-6,6 %);

5.  Is surprised that in its position the Council has not only not taken into account the agreement on the MFF, regarding the frontloading of the Erasmus+, COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes but has further decreased the appropriations for some of those programmes;

6.  Deeply regrets that the Council has introduced cuts in both commitment and payment appropriations in all headings; recalls that the most affected ones are Heading 1a (-0,36 % in commitment appropriations and -3,6 % in payment appropriations as compared to the draft budget), Heading 4 (-0,21 % in commitment appropriations and -2,5 % in payment appropriations as compared to the draft budget) and Heading 5 (-1,78 % in commitment and payment appropriations as compared to the draft budget); notes that Headings 1a and 4 contain programmes and initiatives that are instrumental for the delivery of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy as well as the EU external policy agenda, and that these across-the-board cuts will affect initiatives that are priority areas for Parliament in these two fields;

7.  Emphasises the fact that those cuts are in direct contradiction with the political agreement on the MFF on frontloading and also disregard Parliament's priorities, as outlined in its resolution on the general guidelines for the preparation of the 2014 budget and the recommendations on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2014 budget;

8.  Rejects the Council's argument that the proposed cuts correspond to under-implemented or low-performing programmes, since Council's cuts in commitments affect mostly the implementation capacity of a new generation of multiannual programmes which have not yet started; furthermore, Council's cuts in payments affect mostly the completion of programmes that have shown not only good implementation rates but even over-implementation (e.g. the Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation, Galileo, Customs and Fiscalis under Heading 1a, ESF, ERDF and the Cohesion Fund under Heading 1b); emphasises in particular that such cuts in payment appropriations completely disregard the multiannual character of the Union's policies, and of cohesion policy in particular; underlines the fact that 52 % of the payment appropriations requested in the 2014 draft budget are devoted to the completion of programmes under the 2007 - 2013 MFF;

9.  Deplores the arbitrary cuts proposed by the Council on the administrative and support lines financing the implementation of key EU programmes; considers these cuts to be detrimental to the successful start of the new programmes as a lack of administrative capacity entails a serious risk of hampering implementation of EU policies; regrets Member States' tendency to care more about trivial, preposterous short-term savings rather than long-term results; restores therefore, the draft budget on all lines of administrative and support expenditure cut by the Council;

10.  Takes note of the draft Council statement on payments adopted by the Council in its position on the 2014 draft budget; is convinced, however, that, unless substantially improved, it cannot serve as a satisfactory political guarantee to ensure a sufficient and adequate level of payments in 2014; is determined to provide assurance and reverse the trend of the last years, where the outstanding payments at the end of the year have grown exponentially; calls therefore on the Council to agree to a joint political commitment to use all means available under the MFF Regulation for the period 2014-2020 including recourse to the contingency margin and/or revision of the payment ceiling in order not to jeopardise the new programmes and at the same time to decrease the amount of the outstanding year-end payments;

11.  Welcomes the statement by some Member States that a better balance between commitments and payments should be sought in order to avoid the situation where the Union cannot meet its legal obligations; is comforted that several Council delegations have started vocally raising the same concerns that Parliament has repeatedly raised over the past budgetary procedures;

12.  Cannot accept Council's decision to reduce commitment and payment appropriations; recalls that commitments reflect Union political priorities and should be set with a long-term perspective, taking into account a time when the economic downturn might have ended; takes the view, therefore, that in general principle, commitments should be restored at draft budget level; intends, however, to increase commitment appropriations slightly above the draft budget on a selected number of budget lines relating to the programmes of direct benefit for European citizens, and contributing to the delivery of the Europe 2020 priorities - which are crucial for the growth and competitiveness of the Union - as well as those projecting European values and solidarity abroad;

13.  Sets, therefore, the overall level of appropriations for 2014 at EUR 142 625 million and EUR 136 077 million in commitment and payment appropriations respectively;

14.  Calls, therefore, for the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for an amount of EUR 274,2 million in commitment appropriations; considers that - in Heading 1b - the Flexibility Instrument will reinforce the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, pending the final agreement of the legislative authority on the legal basis that needs to reflect the political agreement on the MFF of 27 June 2013 on the overall allocation to this Fund, and will grant additional assistance to Cyprus from the Structural Funds as agreed by the Heads of States and Governments at their meeting of 27-28 June 2013; considers that in Heading 4 the Flexibility Instrument will provide further support for humanitarian aid in the Middle East;

15.  Intends to launch a substantial debate on the revenue side in the annual budget procedure, as it is an integral part of the Union budget and should not be dissociated from the expenditure side; questions, in this respect, the justification for Member States to retain 25 % of traditional own resources as administrative costs and calls for a more careful scrutiny of the use of this amount; calls for a more realistic budgeting of the expected revenue from fines imposed by the Commission on companies in breach of Union competition law and for further discussion on the budgeting of the surplus in the budget in order to avoid a complex procedure, incomprehensible to the outside world, which currently consists of returning it to Member States via a reduction of their respective GNI-contribution;

Payment appropriations

16.  Deplores the cuts in payments brought by the Council, which result in a decrease of EUR 9,5 billion (9 500 million) (-6,6 %) as compared to the adopted budget for 2013 (including amending budgets Nos 1 to 5); reiterates that despite the adoption of a lower MFF for the period 2014-2020 and the absolute need to keep honouring past commitments, the Council kept blindly following its past strategy to artificially cut the level of payments, without taking into consideration the real needs and relatively sparing expenditure under shared management to ensure Member States’ apparent ‘return on investment’;

17.  Notes that this happened despite the serious situation in relation to payments already in 2013, when implementation was, in early September, EUR 9 billion and EUR 18 billion above the corresponding figures in 2012 and 2011 respectively at the same point in time; stresses that such good and increasing absorption capacity demonstrates that Union programmes are actually delivering well on the ground; is determined to ensure that the implementation of previously agreed commitments is not to be impaired by artificial constraint on budgeted payments;

18.  Considers that - particularly this year - the Council's position to leave an artificial margin of EUR 1 billion under the 2014 payments ceiling serves no purpose, and cannot be justified in any way, especially given the magnitude of the expected carry-over of outstanding payments at the end of 2013;

19.  Stresses the fact that the Council position does not take account of the dramatic shortage of payments, notably in the field of cohesion policy, points that the latest forecasts (September 2013), provided by the Member States themselves on their payment claims to be submitted before the end of 2013, as screened and adjusted by the Commission, show that a carry-over of some EUR 20 billion is expected at the end of 2013, even with the second tranche of amending budget No 2/2013 (draft amending budget No 8/2013) adopted in full; recalls that valid payment claims carried over from 2013 will have to be deducted from - and will consequently reduce - the level of payment appropriations available for 2014; stresses that this will put the 2014 budget under heavy pressure, not least given the unprecedented level of unpaid claims and, more generally, of the outstanding commitments (RALs);

20.  Is astonished that some of the cuts in payments proposed by the Council affect the Horizon 2020, COSME and the ESF programmes, in plain opposition with the spirit and the letter of the recent political agreement on the MFF to frontload some appropriations in 2014 and 2015 to these programmes and with the institutions' commitment at the highest level to tackle youth unemployment; recalls, moreover, that part of the Council's cuts concern lines which were reinforced in the framework of the agreement on the first tranche of amending budget No 2/2013;

21.  Strongly rejects, therefore, the Council’s approach to payments and amends its position on payments to ensure that the decrease between 2013 and 2014 ceilings is not detrimental to the proper implementation and completion of programmes under the 2007-2013 MFF, bearing in mind that, in the Commission’s proposal, 52 % of payment appropriations address outstanding commitments, nor detrimental to the start of new programmes;

22.  Decides to restore the draft budget in payments for most lines cut by the Council; notes that, despite reinforcements contained in payment appropriations on a limited number of budget items and several decreases on other budget items, the payment ceiling does not allow for an adequate financing of priorities selected by Parliament; proposes accordingly, after having examined all possibilities for re-allocating payment appropriations, to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument in payments for an amount of EUR 211 million to finance humanitarian aid;

23.  Hopes that the interinstitutional meeting on payments held on 26 September 2013 will help both Parliament and the Council to agree on this joint political commitment and find a common position during the budgetary conciliation, without any unnecessary dispute over the size and quality of figures provided by the Commission paving the way to addressing any shortfall in payments during the execution of budget 2014;

24.  Welcomes the adoption by the Commission of draft amending budget No 8/2013 (second tranche of amending budget No 2/2013), which provides for an additional EUR 3,9 billion for outstanding payments from 2013 and which is one of the conditions to put the MFF Regulation to the vote; calls for its swift and full adoption by Council; reiterates its position, as set out in its resolution of 3 July 2013 on the political agreement on the MFF, that Parliament will not give its consent to the MFF Regulation or adopt the 2014 budget until draft amending budget No 8/2013, covering the second tranche of amending budget No 2/2013, has been adopted by the Council;

Heading 1a

25.  Reiterates the fact that excluding large-scale infrastructure projects, the appropriations for Heading 1a included in the draft budget already resulted in a decrease of EUR 1,1 billion as compared to the 2013 budget; deplores the fact that in addition, and regardless of all the recent political engagements in favour of the objectives of this heading undertaken by the Heads of State and Government, the Council decided to cut further the commitments of Heading 1a by EUR 60 million as compared to the draft budget;

26.  Stresses that part of the Council's cuts particularly affect programmes identified as those strategic for growth and economic recovery by the European Council, namely Horizon 2020 (EUR -43,7 million) and COSME (EUR -0,5 million); deplores the fact that this openly contradicts the spirit and the letter of the political agreement on the MFF that includes arrangements for specific flexibility to tackle youth unemployment and strengthen research;

27.  Reaffirms its support in favour of EU programmes in the field of research, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, innovation and social inclusion, which are at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy; takes the approach, therefore, to restore all lines cut by the Council in order not to further weaken this heading; takes the decision, furthermore, to frontload appropriations for a selected number of lines in certain priority areas, such as Horizon 2020, COSME and Erasmus+, which does not represent an increase as the overall amount for those programmes in the MFF for the period 2014-2020 is not modified, and to increase the digital agenda, transport policy, social dialogue, EURES, Progress Microfinance and Social entrepreneurship, special annual events and the quality of European statistics;

28.  Takes on board in its reading the political agreement on the MFF as regards the frontloading for 2014 of Horizon 2020 by EUR 212,2 million (EUR 106,1 million for European Research Council and EUR 106,1 million for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions), COSME by EUR 31,7 million and Erasmus+ by EUR 137,5 million, for an overall amount of EUR 381,4 million;

29.  Endorses also the corresponding back-loading of EUR 381,4 million, in line with the political agreement on the MFF and the Commission's Letter of amendment No 1/2014, whereby ITER is reduced by EUR 212,2 million and CEF-Energy by EUR 169,2 million, the latter cut being already included in the draft budget, albeit originally intended for a different purpose;

30.  Considers that some areas should be subject to targeted cuts and/or to the putting in reserve of commitments, namely the communication on Economic and Monetary Union on the one hand (EUR -2 million), and the financial reporting and auditing on the other hand (reserve pending an agreement on the relevant Union programme);

31.  Integrates in its reading the results of the legislative negotiations known at this stage; decides in particular to create a number of new lines with token entries under the Horizon 2020 programme and endorses, albeit also with token entries, the new lines proposed by the Commission in its Letter of amendment No 1/2014; expects the Commission to make a comprehensive proposal for bringing the draft budget into line with the new legal bases for all the affected programmes in the framework of the conciliation on the 2014 budget, taking over and complementing the lines adopted by Parliament;

32.  Supports the creation of a specific sub-line under Erasmus+ aimed at ensuring adequate transparency with respect to the youth actions under that programme and makes a budgetary transfer of 11,5 % of the original Erasmus+ allocation in favour of that dedicated line to youth; deletes the sub-line created by the Council ensuring operating grants for national agencies;

33.  Decides to revert to the nomenclature of the previous programming period as regards social dialogue; splits, therefore, this line and its appropriations into three separate sub-lines as in the past;

34.  Notes that as a result of its reading, a margin of [EUR 65 446 000] remains under Heading 1a;

Heading 1b

35.  Notes that while the commitments have been left practically untouched (only EUR -3,3 million), the Council has further decreased the level of payments (EUR -202,2 million or -0,4 % as compared to the draft budget), affecting both the Investing for growth and jobs goal (EUR-114,151 million or -0,23 %) and the European Territorial cooperation objective (EUR -84,805 million or -6,19 %) respectively and has only artificially increased the margin by EUR 3,3 million;

36.  Stresses that the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund have been the most affected by cuts (ERDF: EUR -125,155 million, Cohesion Fund: EUR -44,312 million, while the ESF was decreased by EUR 32,788 million); strongly deplores that 69,33 % of global cuts in payments concern the appropriations for completion of programmes from previous periods (i.e. EUR 98,7 million);

37.  Regrets that the Commission has taken as a basis for pre-financing the level that was agreed by the European Council in February 2013, an issue which is subject to the on-going inter-institutional sectoral negotiations, where Parliament has the right of co-decision, thus running the risk of pre-empting the outcome of those negotiations; recalls that pre-financing is essential as Member States and regions require sufficient funding at the beginning of the period to invest in projects that will contribute to the efforts of overcoming the current economic and financial crisis; in this respect, reiterates the Parliament's Committee on Regional Development's position of opting for the same pre-financing rates as in the current period, as the crisis is ongoing;

38.  Recalls that Heading 1b bears the biggest part of the current outstanding commitments; is deeply concerned that the amount of outstanding bills at the end of 2013 will amount to approximately EUR 20 billion within cohesion policy, creating a large deficit that will have to be deducted from, and consequently reduce the level of payment appropriations available for, the completion of current as well as the start of the new programmes in 2014; underlines that the recurrent shortages of payment appropriations have been the main cause of the unprecedentedly high level of RALs especially in the last years of the 2007-2013 MFF period;

39.  Rejects, therefore, the cuts introduced by the Council on Heading 1b; considers that it would lead to a much more serious shortage in payments than already expected and would impede the reimbursement for already spent resources by the beneficiary Member States and regions, with serious consequences, especially for those Member States which are already encountering economic, social and financial constraints;

40.  Decides to restore the draft budget in commitments and payments for all budget lines cut by the Council under this heading, and to exceed the draft budget in commitment appropriations for a number of lines, mostly in line with the Commission's Letter of amendment No 1/2014, providing allocation from the Structural Funds to Cyprus for a total amount of EUR 100 million in current prices for 2014;

41.  Recalls the poverty reduction target of reducing by at least 20 million the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion set through the Europe 2020 strategy; recalls furthermore the political agreement on the MFF, through which it was agreed that provision should be made for an additional increase of up to EUR 1 billion (on top of the EUR 2,5 billion already agreed) for the whole period 2014-2020 for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived; decides therefore to reinforce this fund, by allocating a total commitment appropriation of EUR 500 million to the actions promoting social cohesion and alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union;

42.  Creates two dedicated budget lines for technical assistance to the Union strategies for the Baltic Sea macro-region, acknowledging its successful implementation in the current programming period, as well as for the first time for the Danube macro-regions (with EUR 2,5 million in commitment and payment appropriations each);

43.  Welcomes the agreement on the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) reached in the framework of the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations; considers that an adequate level of funding is necessary to ensure its immediate launching to meet the unprecedentedly high levels of youth unemployment; approves, therefore, the frontloading and the backloading of appropriations for the YEI, as well as the corresponding backloading from the European Territorial Cooperation as proposed by the Commission; reiterates that additional appropriations will be needed as of 2016 to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability;

44.  Approves the creation of new dedicated budget lines for technical assistance for all five Structural Funds with a token entry (p.m.) and corresponding budget remarks, alongside with the existing budget lines, in order to comply with Member States' requests, as indicated in the Commission's Letter of amendment No 1/2014; expects that this will improve the implementation of the new programmes at Member State level;

45.  Regrets that there is not any room for manoeuvre for Parliament under this heading, reiterates its conviction that the political agreement on the MFF is binding for all the institutions and that the flexibility instruments provided by this agreement shall be mobilised in order to ensure the timely launching of, and the necessary level of funding for, its priorities;

Heading 2

46.  Notes that although Heading 2 was least affected by the Council's cuts, some programmes witnessed a decrease in their appropriations, notably the LIFE+ programme, which is a priority for Parliament (-4.07 % in payment appropriations);

47.  Restores the draft budget on all lines cut by the Council and increases commitment appropriations for the School Fruit Scheme by EUR 28 million to align its appropriations to the political agreement reached in June 2013 on the new Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014 - 2020;

48.  Approves the creation of new dedicated budget lines with token entries for technical assistance for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, as indicated in the Commission’s Letter of amendment No 1/2014;

Heading 3

49.  Recalls that Heading 3, though the smallest heading of the MFF in terms of financial allocation, covers issues of key concern to Union citizens;

50.  Notes the cuts to this heading already proposed by the Commission in the draft budget; regrets the fact that the Council has further cut commitment appropriations by EUR 5,2 million (-0,24 % compared to the draft budget) and payments appropriations by EUR 10 million (-0,60 % compared to the draft budget);

51.  Takes the general approach of restoring the draft budget on all lines to ensure the proper implementation of programmes and actions under this heading;

52.  Reiterates the strong support consistently given by Parliament to adequate funding for rights, citizens, culture and media programmes which enjoy high implementation rates and produce noticeable leverage and spill-over effects and generate clear and proven European added value by encouraging trans-border cooperation and active citizenship; is particularly concerned about the proposed cuts in the programmes and actions within these areas; proposes increases in the level of appropriations above the draft budget for a few budget lines within the culture and media sub-programmes, Europe for Citizens, Rights and Citizenship programmes and multimedia actions (a total of EUR 11,3 million of increase in commitment appropriations);

53.  Recalls that the EU budget is exposed to multiple risks like VAT fraud, smuggling, counterfeiting and corruption stemming mainly from organised crime; calls for a clear priority to be set to the fight against EU fraud and organised cross-border crime and hence to strengthen the respective EU bodies and agencies involved in prohibiting and fighting these threats and their underlying criminal structures effectively;

54.  Stresses that solidarity between Member States in the field of asylum and migration should be reinforced and that the EU budget should demonstrate a clear commitment in that direction, including an adequate contribution from Member States;

55.  Notes the tight margin leaving little room for manoeuvre to cope with unanticipated situations under this heading;

Heading 4

56.  Deplores the Council's cuts to Heading 4 (-0,21 % in commitment appropriations and -2,5 % in payment appropriations), which was already one of the most heavily affected by the decrease in the draft budget (-12,5 % in commitment appropriations and -8,2 % in payment appropriations) as compared to the 2013 levels; reiterates the fact that although it takes up less than 6 % of the total Union budget, Heading 4 is the projection of EU engagement abroad;

57.  In this regard, considers it to be of utmost importance to enhance cooperation, step up coordination and develop synergies with programmes and projects of Member States in third countries in order to improve the effectiveness of EU external action and cope with current budgetary restraints;

58.  Considers the cuts by Council to Parliament's priority lines unacceptable and proposes to restore the draft budget on the lines decreased by the Council and to even exceed the draft budget in commitment appropriations for some lines of strategic importance for the EU's external relations to a total of EUR 233 million (Humanitarian Aid, European Neighbourhood Instrument, Development Cooperation Instrument, Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, Instrument for Stability and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights); calls in this context for an increase in the appropriations for geographic and thematic areas covered by the Development Cooperation Instrument, in view of getting closer to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals;

59.  Believes that to effectively implement the European Neighborhood Policy, greater support must be ensured for partner countries committed to building democratic societies and undertaking reforms; takes into account the ongoing difficult political situation in some of the partner countries; believes that greater support must also be ensured to promote confidence building and other measures contributing to security and the prevention and settlement of conflicts;

60.  Recalls the importance of transparency as an underlying budgetary principle; calls, therefore, for a split of the European Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) line to allow for a better overview of the allocations for the individual EUSRs; proposes to fully transfer the budget lines for EUSRs to the European External Action Service (EEAS) budget;

61.  Disagrees with the Commission's proposal to split geographic and thematic lines into one for poverty reduction and sustainable development and one for governance issues as this new nomenclature does not distinguish objectives from means in development policy; proposes, therefore, an updated nomenclature, reflecting better the needs of development policy;

62.  Proposes the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for EUR 50 million in order to finance the real needs for the Union's contribution to the Middle East peace process; reiterates, therefore, its support for long-term programming and sufficient funding for assistance to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Palestine and the peace process; highlights the importance of endowing UNRWA with the necessary means to enable them to provide the essential services for which UNRWA has been mandated by the UN General Assembly, and to safeguard the safety and livelihood of refugees in the light of the instability in the region;

63.  Is of the opinion that, for the sake of transparency and efficiency of aid, the policy of direct budget support should be evaluated critically and that the level of auditing should be improved; stresses that in cases of fraud and misuse, the EU should cancel financial aid;

64.  Calls for an increase of the payment appropriations for the Emergency Aid Reserve (EUR +147 million) in order to avoid a repeat of the situation where the Commission is not in a position to react in a timely manner to emerging humanitarian crises;

Heading 5

65.  Is surprised by the Council's cuts to Heading 5, amounting to a total of EUR -153,283 million in commitments and payments (-1,8 % compared to the draft budget levels), where the highest cuts are in pensions and European schools (EUR -5,2 million , -3,2 %) and on expenditure related to officials and temporary staff in policy areas (EUR -69,7 million or -3,5 %);

66.  Points out that in its draft budget the Commission already largely included the savings brought about by the new Staff Regulations and the 1 % reduction of posts, as agreed by the institutions;

67.  Views the additional cuts on administrative expenditure made by the Council as unjustified and as disregarding statutory and contractual obligations and the Union's new competences and tasks; notes that "excluding the amounts relating to the salary adjustment for 2011 and 2012" could further imbalance the Union budget;

68.  Notes in particular that if the Court of Justice of the European Union ('Court of Justice') rules in 2014 in favour of the Commission on the challenged pensions and salary adjustment from 1 July 2012, that would not leave an adequate margin under the ceiling of Heading 5 in order to be able to cope with that unforeseen situation; notes, therefore, that the Council has not achieved the objective it set itself when adopting its position;

69.  Restores, therefore, the draft budget on all lines of administrative and support expenditure and on all lines in Heading 5 cut by the Council, except for the line "Remuneration and allowances" in Section III, which is decreased by EUR -1,2 million to cover European Chemical Agency's contribution to the financing of Type II European Schools;

70.  Decides to hold some appropriations in reserve pending appropriate information to be received from the Commission in relation to decentralised agencies and External Assistance Management Reports;

71.  Splits the line for the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) expenditure related to officials and temporary staff, to reflect the widened mandate and strengthened independence of the secretariat of the OLAF Supervisory Committee provided for in the new OLAF Regulation(7) ;

Agencies

72.  Endorses, as a general rule, the Commission's estimates of agencies' budgetary needs; notes that the Commission had already considerably reduced most agencies' initial requests;

73.  Considers, therefore, that any further cuts as proposed by the Council would endanger the proper functioning of the agencies and would not allow them to fulfil the tasks they have been assigned by the legislative authority; rejects Council's horizontal approach in cutting appropriations for agencies, whose needs have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis;

74.  Cannot accept, however, the Commission's approach to staff, according to which the agencies' establishment plans are not only to be reduced by 1 % on the basis of the political agreement on the MFF, which applies to all institutions and bodies, but are also to contribute another 1 % to a "redeployment pool";

75.  Emphasises the fact that the staff reduction agreed upon shall be based on the existing staff and tasks as on the reference date of 31 December 2012 and that any new tasks of existing agencies or the set-up of new agencies have to be accompanied by additional resources;

76.  Modifies therefore the establishment plans of most agencies in such a way as to implement the agreed 1 % reduction; does not do so, however, for agencies which in their initial request already applied the 1+1 % reduction; reiterates, however, that this additional contribution of 1 % needs to be taken into account for the 2015 budget, so as to treat all agencies equally;

77.  Stresses the additional tasks already delegated to the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), as well as future tasks envisaged in the legislative proposals yet to be agreed, which will require commensurate budgetary increases in order for them to fulfil their supervisory role in a satisfactory manner; recalls its position that the ESAs need independent budget lines and should become financially independent from their national member authorities;

78.  Decides to increase the 2014 budget appropriations for the three financial supervisory agencies; believes that those appropriations should reflect the needs to fulfil the required tasks, as more regulations, decisions and directives have been and are being adopted to overcome the current financial and economic crisis which is strongly linked to the stability of the financial sector;

79.  Decides to also increase the appropriations for European Maritime Safety Agency and a number of agencies in Heading 3 due to the additional tasks that have been entrusted to them (Frontex, Europol, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems and the European Asylum Support Office); increases the appropriations for the European Medicines Agency since the Commission in its draft budget had taken the assigned revenues into account, which should not be the case for primarily fee-financed agencies; anticipates the possible entry into force of the 4th Railway Package by putting additional appropriations for European Railway Agency into reserve;

80.  Calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to identify, together with the Member States which seem to be most reluctant, agencies that could either be merged or at least relocated in order to share buildings or certain administrative functions;

81.  Expects, furthermore, the Commission to present a new financial statement when a legislative procedure has been finalised by Parliament and the Council extending the mandate of an agency; is aware that such an extension might require additional resources which need to be agreed upon by both institutions;

Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs)

82.  Having carried out a careful analysis of the pilot projects and preparatory actions submitted – as regards the rate of success of the on-going ones and excluding initiatives already covered by existing legal bases, and taking fully into account the Commission's assessment of the projects' implementability, decides to adopt a compromise package made up of a limited number of PP-PAs, also in view of the limited margins available;

Other sections

83.  Believes that the budget of each Union institution, due to its specific mission and situation, should be treated individually, without "one-size-fits-all" solutions, taking into account the particular development stage, operational tasks, management goals, staffing needs and building policies of each institution;

84.  Maintains that Parliament and the Council, while supporting all possible savings and gains of efficiency stemming from constant re-evaluation of on-going and new tasks, should set a sufficient level of appropriations to ensure the smooth functioning of the institutions, respect for internal and external legal obligations and provision of a highly professional public service to Union citizens;

85.  Is concerned by the Council's cuts, in the 2014 draft budget, of staff salary adjustments of 1,7 % for 2011 and 2012 in those institutions which had included an annual impact of those adjustments in their budgetary estimates, especially in light of the pending ruling of the Court of Justice; reinstates that expenditure in the 2014 budget as a measure of sound and prudent financial management; is also concerned about the mounting backlog of principal and interest payments which the institutions would become liable for, and notes that Council has not anticipated any appropriations as a precautionary measure;

86.  Is deeply concerned, therefore, that there is almost a non-existent payment margin and an insufficient commitment margin in Heading 5 and the sub-ceiling for administrative expenditure; recalls that according to Article 203 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, "administrative expenditure shall be non-differentiated appropriations" and therefore, the lower of the two ceilings is key; reiterates the fact that additional payment appropriations might be needed to cover the outstanding salary adjustments and warns that there might be also a margin problem with commitments;

87.  Requests an amending budget to cover the backlog and the respective salary adjustments, should the Court of Justice rule in favour of the salary adaptation prescribed by the Staff Regulations; notes that there are minor additional savings as a result of the adoption of the Staff Regulations which were not yet integrated in the draft budget; notes the exact details of the Commission's Letter of amendment No 2/2014 (COM(2013)0719); calls on the Council to reflect the Letter's content in the 2014 budgetary procedure;

88.  Welcomes the efforts made by the institutions to find savings, where possible, without jeopardising the quality of their service; welcomes increased inter-institutional cooperation such as the ongoing negotiations between Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions to strengthen their political linkages, achieve efficiency gains and encourage staff mobility to support the core functions of the respective institutions;

Section I – European Parliament

General framework

89.  Recalls that it insisted, when adopting its estimates for 2014, on the need to exercise a high degree of budgetary responsibility, control and self-restraint and to make further efforts to implement changes, savings and structural reforms with the intention of keeping the budget increase closer to the rate of inflation;

90.  Stresses that the European Parliament and the Council, in order to create long term savings in the EU budget, must address the need for a roadmap to a single seat, as stated in its previous resolutions, notably its resolutions of 23 October 2012 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013- all sections(8) and of 6 February 2013 on the guidelines for the 2014 budget procedure – sections other than the Commission(9) and its decision of 10 May 2012 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2010, Section I – European Parliament(10) ;

91.  Welcomes the agreement reached during the conciliation meeting of 24 September 2013 between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets; points out that the overall level of its 2014 budget is EUR 1 783 976 098, which represents a net reduction of EUR 29 168 108 compared to the preliminary draft estimates of 26 February 2013;

92.  Points out that the level of its 2014 budget is 1,9 % above the 2013 budget; notes that the costs for Croatian accession of 0,17 % and the one-off costs for the change of parliamentary term represent 2,1 % of the increase; emphasises that despite the unavoidable costs related to the change of parliamentary term following the European elections of 2014, there is a net decrease of 0,37 % in the operating budget with a further decrease by the expected rate of inflation;

93.  Emphasises that appropriations have been included in its budget to partly cover the impending salary adjustments for 2011 and 2012 in light of the pending ruling of the Court of Justice; is deeply concerned about the Council's approach to neither anticipate any appropriations in its own budget nor to maintain the appropriations anticipated in the budget of the other institutions as a precautionary measure to partly cover the budgetary implications that could stem from the Court of Justice's expected ruling; notes that the net decrease of 0,37 % in Parliament's operating budget in 2014 would have been further decreased by 1,3 %, had it not anticipated appropriations to cover the impending salary adjustments for 2011 and 2012 in the event of such a Court of Justice ruling;

94.  Approves the following adjustments to the estimates:

   incorporation of the impact of the adoption of the new Staff Regulations and the related changes to the establishment plan;
   the taking into account the savings stemming from the replacement in Luxembourg of the PRES building by the GEOS building;
   reduction in the appropriations for the House of European History due to the contribution of the Commission towards the operating costs and internal savings;
   incorporation of the savings stemming from the implementation of "paperless Parliament" working methods;
   transfer of the management of Members’ pensions under the Statute for Members, like officials’ pensions, to the specific budget line under Section III;
   endowing the new DG for Parliamentary Research Services with human and financial resources following the successful conclusions of cooperation agreement with the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions;

Joint Working Group

95.  Welcomes the continuation of the work of the Joint Bureau - Committee on Budgets working group on Parliament's budget, which has proven useful in the process of reform as a platform for discussion and identification of possible efficiency reserves in order to counter-balance necessary investments to increase Parliament's effectiveness;

96.  Recalls the past success of the working group in identifying strategies to achieve savings in Members' travel costs;

97.  Maintains that the reforms initiated in the deliberations of the working group, such as the interinstitutional cooperation with the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, measures to implement a "paperless Parliament" and e-meetings, a more efficient structure of Parliament's working arrangements and outsourcing of payments and introduction of a new human resources management software, should continue in order to bring real efficiency gains and free up resources to improve independent scientific advice to Members, and to improve Parliament's capacity of scrutiny;

Staff Regulations reform

98.  Notes that the changes to the Staff Regulations, agreed by Parliament and the Council by means of the ordinary legislative procedure, include a new method of indexation of staff salaries and provide for a freeze of salary adjustment for all institutions, including Parliament, in 2013 and 2014, which creates savings of EUR 14,5 million in Parliament's 2014 budget;

99.  Takes into account, furthermore, that other reforms to the Staff Regulations, such as the changes to the rules governing officials’ annual travel expenses, will amount to savings of EUR 2,8 million, in addition to the savings of EUR 0,8 million as a result of adjustments to staff career development and the speed of promotions and the creation of a new SC staff function group;

100.  Notes that the Commission's proposal to reduce total staffing level by 1 % per annum in the case of Parliament will result in the deletion of 67 posts in the 2014 establishment plan; takes note of the Secretary General' s Note to the Bureau of 2 September 2013 in which the Secretary General does not touch upon the balance between political and administrative support to Members; notes that political groups have frozen their staff resources since 2012 and that their needs were only partially covered in the two preceding budgetary years; insists that the total level of staff in political groups in 2014 and the following years should not be lower than the current level;

101.  Reiterates its request expressed in its resolution of 17 April 2013 to present a roadmap for the implementation of the revised Staff Regulations to the Committee on Budgets now that the negotiations between Parliament and the Council have been concluded with an agreement on the Staff Regulations reform;

Cooperation with Advisory Committees

102.  Welcomes the ongoing negotiations and encourages Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions to develop an interinstitutional cooperation agreement with a view to deeper cooperation;

103.  Underlines that the estimated changes to the establishment plans of Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, related to the interinstitutional cooperation agreement being under negotiation, are directly linked to and, consequently, are subject to bringing the political agreement to a final conclusion; is of the opinion that the result of this cooperation can be a gradual transfer of qualified personnel from the Committees' translation services to Parliament's new DG for Parliamentary Research Services (including the respective increase of its establishment plan) of up to 80 posts on a voluntary basis and the respective deletion of a proportionate number of posts in the Committees' establishment plans in the year following the staff transfer;

Contingency reserve

104.  Decides, since neither the start nor the pace of this staff transfer can be established with the adequate degree of precision at the time of the 2014 budget procedure, to add EUR 0,7 million to Parliament's salary line, while placing a proportionate amount of appropriations of the Committees' salary lines in reserve, pending the progress of staff transfer; understands that up to EUR 3,3 million in appropriations could be ultimately transferred from the contingency reserve to the salary line, if needed, subject to the decision of Parliament's competent committee; expects the two advisory committees to reduce an adequate proportion of appropriations in their own budgets, pending the progress of transfer and the underlying political agreement with Parliament;

Transfer of Members' pensions

105.  Is convinced that the management of the pensions of former Members is not part of Parliament's day-to-day operational tasks and the potential growth of pension expenses reduces the transparency of the budget; supports, therefore, the transfer of the management of three types of pensions - retirement, invalidity and survivors' pensions - falling under the Statute for Members to Section III of the Union budget, while continuing to consult and advise Members on pension-related issues; points out that the concentration of the management of pensions in one institution creates administrative efficiencies;

106.  Notes that a coherent approach is needed for the provision of information about the European elections of 2014; supports, therefore, the promotion of voter turnout at the 2014 elections, the provision of information about the election date, and awareness-raising among citizens of the Union by informing them about their electoral rights and the impact of the Union on their daily lives in all languages of the Union; believes that an ex post evaluation of the communication strategy for the 2009 and 2014 elections should be undertaken;

Additional savings

107.  Believes that in these times of economic restraint, every effort must be made to scrutinise institutional budgets for potential savings by introducing more practices which do not reduce the Members' quality of work; recalls that visible expressions of self-restraint include the fact that staff mission allowances have not been indexed since 2007 and the freeze on all Members' allowances at the 2011 level until the end of the current parliamentary term; welcomes, moreover, the freeze of all Members' allowances until the end of 2014;

108.  Decides, in this spirit, to decrease Parliament’s expenditure by EUR 9 658 000 in comparison to the 2014 draft budget;

109.  Reduces, in the spirit of self-restraint, the appropriations for delegations and, therefore, the overall number of delegations for Members even further than the cuts decided and implemented in the last two years;

Sections IV to X

110.  Commends all other institutions on the savings and efficiency gains which they have already incorporated into their draft budgets; restores the salary adjustment for 2011 and 2012, considering the imminent Court of Justice ruling on the matter in line with the principle of prudent and sound financial management;

Section IV – Court of Justice

111.  Readjusts the standard abatement rate to 3 %, reinstating the appropriations of EUR 1,43 million, in order to allow the full use of the Court of Justice's establishment plan and to ensure that the Court of Justice can deal adequately with the ever-increasing workload;

112.  Increases the salary lines of the Court of Justice above the draft budget to account for the 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments, which were not initially included in the Court of Justice's budget estimates;

Section V – Court of Auditors

113.  Restores the draft budget in respect of the amount of the 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in the light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

114.  Expresses its particular satisfaction that the Court of Auditors has been austere and has found internal efficiency reserves in its draft budget;

Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

115.  Restores the draft budget in respect of the amount of the 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

116.  Welcomes the on-going negotiations between Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on a cooperation agreement and encourages its successful completion; places into reserve a part of salary appropriations, pending the signature of cooperation agreement with Parliament and a possible gradual transfer of up to 48 staff members, by inserting an asterisk in the establishment plan indicating that those posts would be deleted in the year following the completion of staff transfer, subject to bringing the final agreement to conclusion;

Section VII – Committee of the Regions

117.  Restores the draft budget in the amount of 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

118.  Welcomes the on-going negotiations between Parliament and the Committee of Regions on a cooperation agreement and encourages its successful completion; places into reserve a part of salary appropriations, pending the signature of such cooperation agreement and a possible gradual transfer of up to 32 staff members, by inserting an asterisk in the establishment plan indicating that those posts would be deleted in the year following the completion of staff transfer, subject to bringing the final agreement to conclusion;

119.  Restore the level of the draft budget for the travel lines for Members to ensure that the level of political activities is not reduced;

120.  Notes that the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group has set up a new political group in the Committee of the Regions; reminds that every political group should receive administrative support according to its size to facilitate their participation in the political activities of the Committee;

Section VIII – European Ombudsman

121.  Restores the draft budget in the amount of 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

122.  Recognises the justified approach of the European Ombudsman to carry out the 5 % staff cut over five years according to its own schedule, given the relatively small size of the institution;

Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

123.  Restores the draft budget in the amount of 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

124.  Recognizes the justified approach of the European Data Protection Supervisor to carry out the 5 % staff cut over five years according to its own schedule, given the relatively small size of the body;

Section X – European External Action Service

125.  Restores the draft budget in the amount of 2011 and 2012 staff salary adjustments having an impact on the 2014 budget, which were removed by the Council in its reading, especially in light of the Court of Justice's imminent ruling on the matter;

126.  Readjusts the standard abatement rate to 5,3 % (by reinstating the appropriations of circa EUR 0,4 million) in the headquarters and at 2,7 % in the delegations (EUR 0,5 million), in order to reflect progress in recruitments to meet operational needs;

127.  Reinforces the appropriations for security in the amount of EUR 5,4 million for secure IT systems and networks and EUR 0,6 million for contract agents;

128.  Recognises the aspiration of the EEAS to follow the request of Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs to integrate EUSRs and their staff into the budget and institutional structure of the EEAS; notes that in order to enable the transfer of human and financial resources from the Commission to the EEAS budget, a compromise solution with the Commission and the Council must be found and, further, an appropriate legal basis must be adopted; proposes the reinforcement of the EEAS budget and establishment plan;

o
o   o

129.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions and bodies concerned and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.
(2) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0304.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0081.
(6) Text adopted, P7_TA(2013)0173.
(7) Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0359.
(9) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0048.
(10) OJ 286, 17.10.2012, p.1.


ANNEX I

JOINT STATEMENT

Dates for the 2014 budgetary procedure and modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee

A.  The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree on the following key dates for 2014 budgetary procedure:

1.  The Council will endeavour to adopt its position and transmit it to the European Parliament by 11 September 2013, in order to facilitate a timely agreement with the European Parliament;

2.  The European Parliament's Committee on Budgets will vote on amendments to the Council's position by the end of week 41 (early October) at the latest;

3.  A trilogue will be called on 16 October 2013 in the afternoon before the reading of the European Parliament;

4.  The European Parliament's Plenary will vote on its reading in week 43;

5.  The Conciliation period will start on 24 October 2013. In agreement with the provisions of Article 314(4)(c) TFEU, the time available for conciliation will expire on 13 November 2013;

6.  The Conciliation Committee will meet on 4 November 2013 in the afternoon hosted by the European Parliament and on 11 November 2013 hosted by the Council; the sessions of the Conciliation Committee will be prepared by trilogues. A trilogue is scheduled on 7 November 2013 in the morning. Additional trilogues may be called during the 21-day conciliation period.

B.  The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission also agree on the modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee set out in the annex, which shall be applicable until the new IIA enters into force.


ANNEX II

Modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in the 2014 budgetary procedure

1.  If the EP votes amendments to the Council's position, the President of the Council will, during the same plenary meeting, take note of the differences in the position of the two institutions and give his/her agreement for the President of the EP to convene the Conciliation Committee immediately. The letter convening the Conciliation Committee will be sent on the same day as the plenary vote was delivered and the conciliation period will start on the following day. The 21-day time period is calculated pursuant to Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1182/71 determining the rules applicable to periods, dates and time limits.

2.  If the Council cannot agree on all the amendments voted by the European Parliament, it will confirm its position by letter sent before the date scheduled for the first Conciliation Committee meeting foreseen in point A.6 of the joint statement. In such case, the Conciliation Committee will proceed in the conditions laid down in the following paragraphs.

3.  A common set of documents (input documents) comparing the various steps of the budgetary procedure will be made available to the Conciliation Committee(1) . It will include "line by line" figures(2) , totals by financial framework headings and a comparative document both for figures and budgetary remarks with amendments by budget line for all budget lines deemed technically "open". These documents will be classified by budgetary nomenclature.

Other documents will also be attached to the input documents for the Conciliation Committee(3) .

4.  With a view to reaching agreement by the end of the conciliation period, trilogue(s) will:

–  define the scope of the negotiations of the budgetary issues to be addressed;

–  discuss outstanding issues identified under the previous indent in view of reaching agreement to be endorsed by the Conciliation Committee;

–  address thematic issues, including by headings of the multiannual financial framework, possibly on the basis of working document(s) or non-paper(s).

As far as possible, tentative conclusions will be drawn jointly during or immediately after each trilogue, simultaneously with the agenda of the following meeting. Such conclusions will be registered by the institution hosting the trilogue.

5.  Any provisional conclusions of trilogue(s) and a document with the budget lines for which an agreement has been tentatively reached during the trilogue(s) shall be available at the meetings of the Conciliation Committee for possible endorsement.

6.  The Commission shall take all the necessary initiatives with a view to reconciling the positions of the European Parliament and the Council. In this perspective, full equality of treatment and information is provided to both the Council and the European Parliament.

7.  The joint text provided for in Article 314(5) TFEU shall be established by the secretariats of the European Parliament and of the Council with the assistance of the Commission. It will consist of a letter of transmission addressed to the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Council, containing the date of the agreement at the Conciliation Committee, and annexes, which will include:

–  line by line figures for all budget items(4) and summary figures by financial framework headings;

–  a consolidated document, indicating figures and final text of agreed amendments to the draft budget(5) or to Council's position.

The Conciliation Committee may also approve possible joint statements in relation to the 2014 budget.

8.  The joint text will be translated in all languages (by the services of the European Parliament) and will be submitted to the approval of the European Parliament and of the Council within 14 days from the date following the date of agreement on the joint text pursuant to point 6.

The budget will be subject to legal-linguistic finalisation after the adoption of the joint text by integrating the annexes of the joint text with the budget lines not modified during the conciliation process.

9.  The institution hosting the trilogue or Conciliation Committee meeting will provide interpretation facilities with a full linguistic regime applicable to the Conciliation Committee meetings and an ad hoc linguistic regime for the trilogues.

The institution hosting the meeting will ensure reproduction and distribution of room documents.

The services of the three institutions will cooperate for the encoding of the results of the negotiations in order to finalise the joint text.

10.  With a view to completing the work of the Conciliation Committee, the institutions will act in a spirit of loyal cooperation, timely exchanging relevant information and documents at formal and informal level, and regularly maintaining contacts at all levels throughout the entire budgetary procedure through a proactive role of their respective negotiators.

(1)The various steps will include: 2013 budget (including adopted amending budgets); the initial draft budget; the Council's position on the draft budget; the European Parliament's amendments on the Council's position and the letters of amendment presented by the Commission. For comparison purposes, the initial draft budget will include only those letters of amendment taken into consideration by both the Council's and the European Parliament's readings.
(2)Budget lines deemed technically closed will be highlighted in the input material. A budget line deemed technically closed is a line for which there is no disagreement between the European Parliament and the Council, and for which no letter of amendment has been presented, without prejudice to the final decision of the Conciliation Committee.
(3)Including a 'letter of executability' of the Commission on the Council's position and the European Parliament's amendments; a letter of amendment for agriculture (and other areas, if need be); possibly, the autumn Budget Forecast Alert Note prepared by the Commission; and possible letters from other Institutions on the Council's position and the European Parliament's amendments.
(4)Lines not modified with regard to the draft budget or to the Council's position will be highlighted.
(5)Including letters of amendment taken into consideration by both the Council's and the European Parliament's readings

Last updated: 21 April 2016Legal notice