– having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty and Article 177 of the Euratom Treaty,
– having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(1), and particularly Articles 37 and 38,
– having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2009, as finally adopted on 18 December 2008(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),
– having regard to Preliminary draft amending budget No 1/2009 of the European Union for the financial year 2008, which the Commission presented on 23 January 2009 (COM(2009)0022),
– having regard to Draft amending budget No 1/2009, which the Council established on xxx 2009 (6952/2009 – C6-0075/2009),
– having regard to Rule 69 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0113/2009),
A. whereas Draft amending budget No 1 to the general budget 2009 covers the following items:
– Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund for an amount of EUR 11,8 million in commitment and payment appropriations relating to the effects of the floods that hit Romania in July 2008,
– A corresponding reduction in payment appropriations of EUR 11,8 million from line 13 03 16 - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-Convergence,
B. whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 1/2009 is to formally enter these budgetary adjustments into the 2009 budget,
1. Takes note of Preliminary draft amending budget No 1/2009, which is the third amending budget solely dedicated to the EU Solidarity Fund, as requested by the European Parliament and the Council in a joint declaration adopted during the Conciliation meeting of 17 July 2008;
2. Approves Draft amending budget No 1/2009 unamended;
3. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.
According to Article 37(1) of the Financial Regulation, the European Commission may present preliminary draft amending budgets if they are "unavoidable, exceptional or unforeseen circumstances".
Concerning the different points of Draft Amending Budget No 1/2009 your rapporteur has the following comments:
1. Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund
The European Commission proposed on 23 January 2009 a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the Solidarity Fund, which is based on the provisions of point 26 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 and in Council Regulation No 2012/2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) of 11 November 2002. It is important to note that the objective of the Fund is to provide financial assistance to contribute to a rapid return to normalliving conditions in a region or country in case of natural disasters. It is not foreseen for compensating private damage.
It is to note that during the 2008 Budget year the fund was mobilised four times, in favour of respectively the UK (EUR 162.387.985), Greece (EUR 89.769.009), Slovenia (EUR 8.254.203) and Cyprus (EUR 7.605.445).
During the Conciliation on 17 July 2008, the European Parliament and Council stated in a Common Declaration that they "welcome the Commission commitment according to which, as from now, every Preliminary Draft Amending Budget required by the mobilisation of the Solidarity fund will be solely for that purpose." This proposal is the third amending budget - since the declaration - that solely takes into consideration the mobilisation of the EUSF.
Your rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal as it is in line with its commitment taken on 17 July 2008.
In article 26(1) of the Interinstitutional Agreement of May 2006 the total annual amount of the Solidarity Fund is set at EUR 1 billion.
The European Commission proposes to mobilise the fund for a total amount of EUR 11.785.377 in favour of Romania, as the country suffered from very strong floods in July 2008.. The amount of compensation for Romania will leave at least 25% of the EUSF for allocation during the last quarter of the year, as foreseen by Art. 4(2) of the Regulation establishing the EUSF.
The Commission proposes to allocate an amount of EUR 11,8 million from budget line 13 03 16 (European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence) to budget line 13 06 01 (EUSF). The credits for the EUSF mobilisation are transferred within budget title 13 - Regional Policy, but will be shifted from Heading 1b (Sustainable growth - Cohesion for growth and employment) to Heading 3b (Citizenship) of the MFF.
The Commission declares in its proposal that "the implementation of line13 03 16 will be closely monitored during the budget year".
Your rapporteur takes note of the remarks of the letter by the Chairman of the Committee on Regional development to the Chair of the Committee on Budgets of 12 February 2009 in which the specified committee agrees on the Commission's mobilisation proposal.
Your rapporteur proposes to accept the proposed Draft Amending Budget 1/2009 unamended.
RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE
Result of final vote
Members present for the final vote
Reimer Böge, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Janusz Lewandowski, Mario Mauro, Alexandru Nazare, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, László Surján, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Jutta Haug, Ralf Walter, Daniel Dăianu, Anne E. Jensen, Wiesław Stefan Kuc
Substitute(s) present for the final vote
Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný, Hans-Peter Martin, Juan Fraile Cantón,