Draft amendments to the general budget, as modified by the Council.
(Voting record: 'Results of votes', Item 6)
The amendments adopted appear in an annex to the Texts Adopted.
Éric Woerth (President-in-Office of the Council) made the following statement:
'Your vote on the second reading of the budget is the final stage in a procedure characterised by a very high quality of cooperation between the arms of the budgetary authority and with the Commission. I should like to thank warmly all those involved, particularly the Chair of the Committee on Budgets, Reimer Böge, the rapporteurs Jutta Haug and Janusz Lewandowski, and Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaité.
Together, at our conciliation meeting of 21 November 2008, we established a balanced budget for 2009 that provides appropriate funding for the policies of the European Union while defending the interests of the European taxpayer. Together, we agreed on funding for the food facility, thereby fulfilling our duty of solidarity with developing countries, and, together, we drew up specific measures to break the deadlock on cohesion policy and finally launch the programmes for 2007-2013.
The importance of this initiative was underlined by the Heads of State and Government at the European Council and constitutes a major part of Europe's response to the economic crisis, which continues to demand swift action on our part. Your vote ensures that what emerged from conciliation will be fully realised, and therefore, in line with the procedure laid down by the Treaty, I can confirm that the Council accepts the maximum rate of increase resulting from your second-reading vote.'
The President took note and made the following statement:
'I note that the budgetary procedure went ahead in accordance with the Treaty and the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006, and that, pursuant to Article 13 of that Agreement, the Council and Parliament have established that they agree on the maximum rate of increase for non-compulsory expenditure resulting from Parliament's second reading. The budgetary procedure can thus be deemed closed and the budget is declared definitively adopted'
The President invited Éric Woerth, Dalia Grybauskaitė (Member of the Commission), Reimer Böge (Chair of the BUDG Committee), and the rapporteurs Jutta Haug and Janusz Lewandowski to join him.
The President, Éric Woerth and Dalia Grybauskaitė signed the amendment of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (reports by Jo Leinen (A6-0509/2008) and Reimer Böge (A6-0504/2008)).
The President and Éric Woerth signed the decision on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund (report by Reimer Böge A6-0474/2008) and the decision on mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument (report by Reimer Böge (A6-0493/2008)).