Procedure : 2012/2016(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0215/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0215/2012

Debates :

PV 03/07/2012 - 11
CRE 03/07/2012 - 11

Votes :

PV 04/07/2012 - 7.12
CRE 04/07/2012 - 7.12
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0289

REPORT     
PDF 466kWORD 349k
26 June 2012
PE 489.403v02-00 A7-0215/2012

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteur: Giovanni La Via

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX: BUDGETARY TRILOGUE OF 26 MARCH 2012 - DRAFT CONCLUSIONS
  "Dates for the budgetary procedure and modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2012"
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
 ANNEX: LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft budget for the financial year 2013, which the Commission adopted on 25 April 2012 (SEC(2012)270),

–   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 (IIA),

–   having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2012 on the general guidelines for the preparation of the 2013 budget(1),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 21 February 2012 on the budget guidelines for 2013,

–   having regard to Title II, Chapter 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the interinstitutional meeting on payments of 30 May 2012,

–   having regard to the letter of the Committee on Fisheries,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development, the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0215/2012),

Draft budget for 2013 – general assessment

1.  Recalls that in its resolution of 14 March 2012 Parliament placed the promotion of growth and jobs at the centre of its priorities, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, arguing in particular for the concentration of resources in policies and programmes that are proven to be instrumental in achieving those objectives, notably in support of SMEs and youth; welcomes the fact that the Commission's draft budget for 2013 goes in the same direction in terms of identified priorities to be reinforced;

2.  Recognises the persistent economic and budgetary constraints at national level, as well as the need for fiscal consolidation; reiterates, however, its conviction that the EU budget represents a common and effective instrument of investment and solidarity, which is needed particularly at the present time to trigger economic growth, competitiveness and job creation in the 27 Member States; stresses that, despite its limited size, not exceeding 2 % of total public spending in the Union, the EU budget has had a real economic impact and has thus far successfully complemented Member States’ recovery policies;

3.  Intends, therefore, to strongly defend an adequate level of resources for next year’s budget, as defined in the draft budget, and to oppose any attempt to cut resources, especially for policies delivering growth and employment; believes that the EU budget, which cannot run a deficit, should not be the victim of unsuccessful economic policies at national level; notes that in 2012 several Member States are increasing the size of their national budgets;

4.  Is convinced that, particularly in a period of crisis, financial responsibility is of the utmost importance; believes, therefore, that resources must be concentrated on those areas where the EU budget can deliver added value, whilst they could be reduced in sectors which are experiencing unjustified delays and low absorption, with a view to making savings on lines where problems have arisen in implementation; considers that real savings can be made by identifying overlaps and inefficiencies across budgetary lines; on this basis, intends to identify, together with its specialised committees, both positive and negative priorities for 2013; asks the Commission, to this end, to provide both arms of the budgetary authority with prompt, regular and complete information on the implementation - on the basis of performance target indicators - of the various programmes and initiatives´, and to weigh them against the EU’s political commitments;

5.  Notes that the EU draft budget for 2013 proposed by the Commission amounts to EUR 150 931.7 million in commitment appropriations (CA) (i.e. +2 % compared to the 2012 budget) and EUR 137 924.4 million in payment appropriations (PA) (i.e. +6.8 % compared to Budget 2012); observes that these amounts represent respectively 1.13 % and 1.03 % of the EU's forecast GNI for 2013; recalls that the multiannual financial framework (MFF) provides for ceilings of EUR 152 502 million for CA and EUR 143 911million for PA, at current prices; notes the ongoing discrepancy between the levels of commitment and payment appropriations, which will result in a further increase of reste-à-liquider (RAL);

6.  Understands that the Commission, at the end of the programming period, is putting the accent on the side of payments, as it intends also to provide a solution to the ever-growing level of RALs; while sharing this approach, is particularly concerned at the proposed freezing of commitment appropriations at the level of the estimated inflation rate for next year; stresses the importance of commitments for determining political priorities and thus ensuring that the necessary investment will eventually be made to boost growth and employment; intends to analyse carefully whether such a level of commitments will allow the proper implementation of key EU policies; is of the opinion that even if the freezing of commitment appropriations can be presented by the Commission and Member States as a partial solution to the RAL problem, it cannot be considered an acceptable strategy for keeping the level of RAL under control;

7.  Views the proposed increase of 6.8 % in PA compared to 2012 as an initial response to Parliament's call for responsible and realistic budgeting; notes that the increases in payments are concentrated in the areas of competitiveness and cohesion, owing to a greater level of claims expected by running projects in these fields; fully endorses this increase, which is the result not only of past commitments that need to be honoured but also of the actual implementation of programmes, which is expected to reach cruising speed by the last year of the current MFF; calls on the Commission to verify with the Member States that their estimated demands for payment increases are accurate and realistic;

8.  Remains, however, sceptical as to whether the proposed level of payment appropriations in 2013 is adequate to cover the actual needs for next year, especially in Headings 1b and 2; will carefully monitor the payments situation during 2012, paying particular attention to all proposed transfers and reallocations; warns also that the insufficient level of payments for 2012 combined with the level proposed by the Commission for 2013 might not be sufficient to honour the claims being addressed to the Commission, and could then result in billions of decommitments for cohesion policy alone; stresses that the current proposal would bring the overall level of payments for the period 2007-2013 to EUR 859.4 billion, i.e. approximately EUR 66 billion lower than the agreed MFF ceilings;

9.  Recalls that already in 2011, a significant number of legitimate claims, notably in the field of cohesion policy, could not be paid out by the Commission; notes that those claims will also need to be covered by the 2012 budget, which is already suffering from a shortage of funds as a consequence of the limited increase in payment appropriations due to the Council's position throughout last year's budgetary procedure; calls, therefore, on the Commission to come up with a draft amending budget as early as possible in order to rectify this situation, and to avoid shifting 2012 payments to the following year, since this would create an unsustainable level of payments in 2013; further calls on the Commission and the Council to work constructively, together with Parliament, to avoid repetition of this situation in future budget cycles by improving forecasting accuracy and agreeing on realistic budget estimates;

10. Deplores the Council Presidency’s reluctance to participate in the interinstitutional political meeting on payments proposed by Parliament as a follow-up to last year's budgetary conciliation; regards this behaviour as an irresponsible attempt to ignore the lack of payments issue and the question of RAL; considers such a meeting the ideal platform for the two arms of the budgetary authority to reach a common understanding - ahead of their respective positions on the draft budget - regarding the available data on implementation and absorption capacity and to correctly estimate the payment needs for 2012 and 2013; recalls that the payment appropriations proposed by the Commission in its draft budget are based on the estimates made by the Member States themselves; firmly believes, therefore, that any doubts or second thoughts - as expressed by some Council delegations - over the Commission's figures and calculations need to be communicated, examined and clarified as soon as possible, in order not to become an impediment to reaching an agreement in this year's conciliation;

11. Stresses that, according to the recent data presented by the Commission at the interinstitutional meeting on payments which took place on 30 May 2012, any reduction in the level of payment appropriations below that of the Commission proposal would also result in a further increase in the outstanding commitments (RALs), which at the end of 2011 already reached the unprecedented level of EUR 207 billion; reiterates, therefore, its call on the Council to act responsibly and refrain from making artificial cuts by deciding on the overall level of payments a priori, without taking into account the assessment of actual needs for the achievement of the EU’s agreed objectives and commitments; requests the Council, in the event that this occurs, to clearly and publicly identify and justify which EU programmes or projects should be delayed or dropped altogether;

12. Notes that, according to the Commissions estimate, all in all 43.7 % of the DB 2013 (i.e. EUR 64.5 billion) is allocated to the objectives of Europe 2020, representing a 0.2 % increase compared to the adopted budget for 2012; appreciates the fact that for the first time the budget lines and programmes contributing to these objectives are clearly identifiable in the draft budget;

13. Takes note of the overall margin of EUR 2.4 billion in CA in the DB 2013, and is determined to make full use of it - as well as of the other flexibility mechanisms foreseen by the IIA - whenever it proves to be necessary in order to finance objectives and priorities deriving from shared political commitments and decisions, namely those of the Europe 2020 strategy;

14. Notes that, apart from administrative expenditure, no appropriations have been entered in the draft budget for the accession of Croatia in July 2013; expects that the revision of the MFF foreseen by Point 29 of the IIA will be adopted swiftly, and asks the Commission to present its proposal through an amending budget for the corresponding additional appropriations as soon as the Act of Accession has been ratified by all Member States; recalls that any new funding requirements are to be financed with fresh money rather than redeployments for the second part of 2013;

15. Recalls that the annual budget for 2013 will be the last budget of the current multiannual financial framework, but reiterates that the MFF 2013 ceilings as agreed in the 17 May 2006 IIA will remain the reference for, at least, the 2014 financial framework ceilings in the event of no agreement, according to the provisions of point 30 of the IIA of 17 May 2006;

Heading 1a

16. Takes note of the Commission's proposal for increasing commitments under this Heading by 4.1 % (to EUR 16 032 million) as compared to the 2012 budget; notes that the proposal for CA below the financial programming possibilities (i.e. TEN-T, EIT, Progress) leaves an increased margin of EUR 90.9 million compared to the EUR 47.7 million foreseen in the financial programming; is pleased to see that the highest increases in CA are concentrated in Heading 1a, where most of the policies and programmes triggering growth, competitiveness and jobs are placed, and that they reflect the priorities highlighted by Parliament for 2013;

17. Welcomes, in particular, the increases for FP7-EC (+6.1 %), CIP (+7.3 %) and TEN-T (+6.4 %) programmes, which are among the main deliverers of the Europe 2020 objectives; regrets, however, that with the amounts proposed by the Commission two flagship programmes such as FP7 and TEN-T will effectively devote less CA than foreseen in their legal bases (FP: EUR -258.8 million and TEN-T: EUR: -122.5 million) for the last year of the current MFF; regrets as well that the Commission proposal does not provide for the full implementation of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme;

18. Considers the substantial increase in payments, by 17,8% (to EUR 13.552 million) as compared to the Budget 2012 a realistic estimation of the payments needed under this heading, in particular so as to cover next year's claims for research projects resulting from contractual obligations of the Union; considers the level of payments proposed by the Commission to be the minimum level needed under Heading 1a;

19. Takes note of the rationale adopted by the Commission when proposing reductions as compared to the financial programming, which has led, in its view, to the identification of potential savings within under-implemented lines of - among others - FP7, TEN-T, Marco Polo, Progress, the statistical programme, Customs and Fiscalis; is determined to carefully analyse performance under each of these programmes in order to check the appropriateness of the proposed cuts and exclude negative impacts on the programmes concerned;

20. Recalls the Joint Declaration of 1 December 2011 on financing the additional costs of the ITER programme for 2012-2013, in which Parliament, the Council and the Commission also agree to make available EUR 360 million in CA in the 2013 budget procedure, ‘making full use of the provisions laid down in the Financial Regulation and in the IIA of 17 May 2006, excluding any further ITER-related revision of the MFF’; is concerned that the Commission proposes to finance this additional amount only through redeployment from lines of the FP7 programme, contrary to Parliament’s long-standing position on the matter; takes full account of the Commission’s claim that this amount derives from performance savings on FP7, and that those cuts on administrative lines will not harm the operation of the programme; intends to examine this claim further, as well as to explore other means available under the IIA and the Financial Regulation for this purpose;

21. Emphasises the need for an adequate staffing level for Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European Joint Undertaking for ITER, so as to ensure the careful management and sound implementation of the EU’s contribution to the ITER project; is concerned at the current staffing level as proposed by the Commission;

22. Recognises the fundamental role played by small and medium enterprises as drivers of the EU economy and creators of 85 % of jobs in the last ten years; recalls the difficulties traditionally faced by SMEs in accessing the capital markets for research and innovation projects, now exacerbated by the current financial crisis; is firmly convinced that the EU budget should contribute to overcoming this market failure, by facilitating access to debt and equity financing for innovative SMEs, and welcomes the Commission’s recent proposal to create a special window for SMEs under the existing RSFF; supports, in addition, the proposed increase for the financial instruments under the CIP-EIP programme (EUR 14.7 million), in line with their positive performance so far and the increased demand from SMEs;

23. Deeply regrets that, at a time of economic crisis and especially of high youth unemployment the appropriations for the PROGRESS programme have been reduced by EUR 5.3 million compared to the financial programming, thus being brought back practically to the 2012 levels, despite the good performance of this programme so far, including its gender equality and anti-discrimination strands; reiterates its belief that EU social programmes are instrumental in achieving the social and employment targets of the Europe 2020 strategy; deplores the fact that not even in the last year of the current MFF has the Commission seized the opportunity to reinstate under this programme the EUR 60 million redeployed in favour of the Progress Microfinance Facility, as committed in 2010;

24. Welcomes the Commission's decision to include in the DB, for the third year running, payment appropriations (EUR 50 million) for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF); underlines the fact that this not only gives higher visibility to the fund but also avoids transfers from other budget lines pursuing different aims and covering different needs; stresses, moreover, the need for further simplification of the practical modalities of the procedure for mobilisation of this fund, especially in the context of the ongoing negotiations on the new EGF regulation;

25. Regrets that the contribution to the Youth on the Move Flagship Initiative is slightly reduced compared to last year; highlights in this context the added value of the Lifelong Learning, Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programmes, which, against a modest financial backdrop, yield great returns in terms of effective implementation and positive image of the Union vis-à-vis its citizens; recalls that in many Member States young people are being significantly hit by the economic and financial crisis and that in this context adequate funding and targeting of educational and mobility schemes and lifelong learning programmes are significant in modernising education and training systems and raising the levels of skills, mobility and adaptability of young people, thereby contributing overall to an innovative, knowledge-based, smart and inclusive Europe; to this end strongly supports the promotion of equal opportunities in order to enable young people, whatever their educational background, to benefit from the EU’s various youth programmes and policies; opposes, therefore, the proposed reduction by EUR 10.2 million as compared to the 2012 budget for the Lifelong Learning Programme and, in line with its established position in the last budgetary procedures and the excellent performance rates of this programme, intends to reinforce the commitment appropriations for the corresponding budget line;

26. Stresses that the TEN-T programme, through investment in high European added value infrastructures, has a central role to play in the attainment of the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy; considers this programme to be essential for boosting the competitiveness of the EU as a whole, by creating the missing infrastructure and removing bottlenecks within the internal market; stresses that infrastructure projects also directly contribute to growth by stimulating employment during the building phase; underlines the role of the TEN-T programme for meeting the goals of adaptation to climate change by ensuring the future sustainability of the EU’s transport networks; welcomes the Commission's proposed increase of approximately EUR 85 million compared to the 2012 budget, but asks for further clarification on the proposed reduction by EUR 118 million as compared to the financial programming; recalls that the main TEN-T programme was fully executed in 2011, and points out that a final judgement on how commitments have been implemented and paid out on projects in the 2007-2013 financial framework can only be made in 2017;

27. Believes that the programme to support the further development of an Integrated Maritime Policy needs adequate funding for 2013; underlines its disappointment at the absence of a budget line on tourism, and regrets the constant decrease in the budget allocation for road safety;

28. Stresses that innovative solutions are urgently required in order to mobilise private or public funds to a greater extent and extend the range of financial instruments available for infrastructure projects; fully supports the pilot phase of the Project Bond Initiative as a means to boost investment capacity in the field of the EU’s transport, energy and ICT networks; welcomes the fact that the draft budget includes appropriations for the pilot phase, even if they are actually redeployed within the relevant budget lines (CIP - TEN-T - TEN -E) as agreed by the legislative authority;

29. Deeply deplores the Commission's proposed cuts for the European Supervisory Authorities, compared to what was originally foreseen in the Financial programming, which are contrary to Parliament’s repeated calls for them to be funded adequately; considers the current level of appropriations insufficient to allow those agencies to cope efficiently with their tasks, notably the recruitment of highly qualified experts; believes that the additional tasks entrusted to ESAs should be complemented by cost assessment; strongly expresses, therefore, its intention to reinstate the appropriations, at least at the 2012 level, for the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), as well as to further reinforce the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in the light of the new tasks entrusted to it;

Heading 1b

30. Notes that the DB 2013 provides for an increase in CA of 3.3 % (to EUR 54 498 million) compared to the 2012 budget, of which EUR 42 144 million are for the Structural Funds (ERDF and ESF) and EUR 12 354 million for the Cohesion Fund; stresses that the reduction in the level of commitments in the DB for technical assistance compared to that originally foreseen in the financial programming has led an increase in the margin of EUR 25 million compared to the initial forecast of EUR 0.4 million;

31. Regrets the proposed cuts in technical assistance for macroregional strategies; reiterates the need for continuous technical and administrative support for the implementation of the strategies, as well as for seed money for new projects, as indicated by the high implementation rate in 2011;

32. Stresses that cohesion policy has long proved its added value as a necessary investment tool to deliver growth and job creation effectively by accurately addressing the investment needs of the regions, thus contributing not only to the reduction of the disparities between them, but also to economic recovery and the development of the Union as a whole; also considers the Structural Funds a crucial instrument - in view of both their financial size and the objectives pursued - for accelerating economic recovery in the EU and delivering the growth and employment objectives enshrined in the Europe 2020 Strategy; welcomes, therefore, the Commission's initiative of reprogramming where possible EUR 82 billion of unallocated Structural Fund moneys in some Member States in favour of SMEs and youth employment, in line with Parliament’s priorities for 2013; notes that, according to the Commission, EUR 7.3 billion in EU financing has in this context been targeted for accelerated delivery or reallocation; asks to be kept duly informed on the implementation of this initiative at national level, its expected impact on growth and jobs, and its possible impact on the 2013 budget;

33. Is extremely concerned over the payment situation of cohesion projects under this Heading, and notes that two-thirds of the total level of RAL at the end of 2011 (i.e. EUR 135.8 billion) reflects unpaid projects under cohesion policy; recalls that at the end of 2011 the Commission was unable to reimburse some EUR 11 billion corresponding to legitimate payment claims submitted by project beneficiaries due to the insufficient level of payment appropriations foreseen in the budget; notes that this has led to a considerable payment backlog, which will have to be addressed through the availability of sufficient payment appropriations in 2012; firmly points out that it will not accept a recurrence of this situation in 2013;

34. Recalls, in this context, that 2013 is the last year of the current MFF, with implementation of co-financed projects running at full speed and expected to accelerate further, with the bulk of payment requests being expected to reach the Commission in the second half of the year; calls on the Council and Commission to immediately analyse and assess, along with Parliament, the figures and requirements concerned, so as not to jeopardise implementation for 2013; points out that a lack of payment appropriations could endanger currently well-functioning programmes; stresses, moreover, that 2013 will be a year when, due to the lapsing of the N+3 rule, payment claims submitted by 12 Member States will need to be presented for two annual commitment tranches (2010 and 2011 under the N+3 and N+2 rules respectively); considers therefore as a minimum the proposed increase in payment appropriations by 11.7 % (to EUR 48 975 million) as compared to last year since, as mentioned by the Commission, it strictly relates to 2013 and assumes that payment needs from previous years will have been covered;

35. Considers this increase in payments to be only a first step to cover the actual needs of running projects, and reiterates its concern regarding a possible shortage of funds in the field of cohesion policy; calls on the Council and Commission to carefully evaluate the real needs in terms of payments for 2013 under Heading 1b, and not to make any cuts which are unrealistic or take decisions that are at odds with the forecasts provided by the Member States themselves and used as a basis for the Commission's draft budget; will therefore oppose any possible cut in the level of payments compared to the proposal included in the DB 2013;

36. Calls, as well, on the Commission and Council, should payment appropriations be insufficient to cover real needs during this year, to present in good time and adopt an amending budget, thus fulfilling the joint commitment made in the interinstitutional declaration of December 2011;

Heading 2

37. Notes that the DB 2013 proposes to increase CA by 0.6 % (to EUR 60 307 million) and PA by 1.6 % (to EUR 57 964 million) as compared to the 2012 budget; underlines that these levels remain below the increase proposed by the Commission for the budget as a whole; points out that these increases are partly due to the continuous phasing-in of direct payments to new Member States and additional needs for rural development projects; stresses that the proposed funds for market interventions are EUR 419 million less for 2013 than in the 2012 budget;

38. Notes that the projected margin of EUR 809 million for the market-related expenditure and direct aids sub-ceiling under Heading 2 represents a significant increase compared with 2012, which, according to the Commission, is mostly the result of a one-off effect following the end of the Sugar Restructuring Fund; expresses its satisfaction that this margin means that the financial discipline mechanism will not be applied in 2013; stresses that a sufficient margin is necessary under this Heading to alleviate any potential crisis arising in the agricultural sector, as seen in recent years with the EHEC crisis;

39. Stresses that 2013 is the last year of the current programming period and hence an adequate level of payment appropriations must be ensured under Heading 2, to cover, in particular, the needs of the current rural development and LIFE+ projects;

40. Points out that Heading 2 is instrumental for realising the EU 2020 strategy goals of sustainable growth and employment, in particular through its rural development programmes; highlights the need to support SMEs in rural areas, as the main job creators and as particularly targeting young people; welcomes in this respect the proposed increase in CA for rural development by 1.3 % (to EUR 14 808 million);

41. Notes that the appropriations for Heading 2 are lower than the estimated needs, since assigned revenues to the EAGF are estimated to be higher in 2013 (EUR 1 332.8 million) than in 2012 (EUR 1 010 million); notes that this difference stems from the remaining balance of the Temporary Sugar Restructuring Fund (EUR 647.8 million), while assigned revenues from clearance of accounts decisions are expected to be lower than in 2012 (EUR 400 million in the 2013 draft budget compared to EUR 600 million in the 2012 Budget); recalls that an adjustment of the current estimates on the basis of actual needs will be made in the autumn through the agricultural amending letter;

42. Recalls that price volatility in this sector is a major concern, and endorses measures to ombat speculation in agricultural commodities; urges the Commission and the Council to carefully monitor developments on the agricultural markets; in this context, reminds the Commission of the call made by Parliament - on which no action has been taken to date - for the creation of a price and margins observatory’, which would make it possible to achieve better price comparability and greater transparency in setting food prices;

43. Notes that the proposed increase in direct aids is mainly due to the ongoing phasing-in of direct payments in the EU-12, creating an additional budgetary requirement of EUR 860 million in 2013, while expenditure on market interventions is expected to decrease, owing to higher assigned revenue and a favourable market situation for most sectors;

44. Notes that the amounts assigned to certain budget lines, including the school milk programme, have been significantly reduced, and asks the Commission to provide Parliament with a justification for this;

45. Stresses that EU policies and the EU budget are key elements for achieving the Europe 2020 targets; believes in this context that the climate action and environmental objectives are of a cross-cutting nature and must be translated into concrete measures to be implemented under the various EU programmes and policies, in order to make a substantial contribution to sustainable growth and effectively address major challenges such as resource scarcity and climate change;

46. Notes the proposed slight increase of CA - by 3.3 % to EUR 366.6 million - for LIFE +, but regrets that the appropriation is EUR 10.55 million below the level of the financial programming of January 2012; will explore, in this context, all provisions as stated in paragraph 37 of the InterInstitutional Agreement;

47. Welcomes the amounts proposed by the Commission for the food distribution programme for Most Deprived Persons (MDP); calls on the Council to respect the joint decision taken at the end of 2011 on maintaining funding for this programme for 2012 and 2013;

48. Regrets the continued subsidising of tobacco production in the EU, which is contrary to the objectives of the Union’s health policy;

49. Considers it important to maintain the financial support for the common fisheries policy (CFP) with a view to its imminent reform; stresses, in particular, the need to support SMEs in the fisheries sector and to promote access to jobs for young people in this field, while ensuring the sustainable character of the CFP, as well as the need to promote measures guaranteeing the social, economic and environmental viability of the sector; welcomes, in this regard, the proposed increase for the European Fisheries Fund by, respectively, 2.2 % (to EUR 687.2 million) in CA and 7.3 % (to EUR 523.5 million) in PA, compared to the 2012 budget; regrets, however, the proposed cuts in the areas of governance of the CFP, conservation, management and exploitation of fisheries resources, and monitoring and enforcement of the CFP;

Heading 3a

50. Notes that the overall increase in funding proposed in DB 2013 - EUR 1 392,2 and 928 3 million in commitments and payments respectively - compared to the 2012 budget for actions encompassed under this heading is 1.8 % (by 24.42 EUR million) in CA and 11.1 % in PA; considers that this is in line with the growing ambitions of the EU in the area of freedom, security and justice;

51. Stresses the need to reinforce appropriations for cybersecurity in the IT sector, due to the enormous damage that increasing criminal activity in this domain is causing to the Member States’ economies; insists that boosting the fight against cybercrime at Union level via the upcoming European Cybercrime Centre will require adequate funding, and therefore deplores the cuts proposed by the Commission for Europol, as the Centre's tasks as identified by the Commission cannot be carried out with Europol's current human and financial resources; notes that, contrary to the financial programming, a cut of EUR 64.4 million is proposed for the Prevention of and Fight against Crime programme compared to the 2012 budget, although this programme was conceived with a view also to covering cybercrime and illegal use of the internet;

52. Calls for continued support for FRONTEX, as well as for the various recently created agencies under this heading (in particular the European Asylum Support Office and the agency for large-scale IT systems); notes the 8.9 % cut (- EUR 7.3 million) in the contribution to the European Police Office (Europol) compared to the 2012 budget, and expects the Commission to provide additional details on this proposed cut;

53. Notes that the reduction of EUR 30 million for the VIS programme and the termination of EURODAC (- EUR 0.5 million) will be compensated by the transfer of these tasks and the corresponding budget appropriations to the new agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems;

54. Takes note of the significant increase in commitments and comparatively low level of payments for SIS II; points out that, according to the global schedule for SIS II, in 2013 its development and migration should be completed and the IT Agency will take over the management of the system; challenges, therefore, the significant budget increase far beyond its original financial planning at such a late stage, just before the SIS II is to become operational; recommends maintaining a substantial part of the budget for SIS II in the reserve until its operational progress and compliance with the financial planning have been justified;

55. Appreciates the increase by EUR 9.8 million compared to the 2012 budget proposed by the Commission for the European Refugee Fund, which is coherent with the line taken in previous years and the ongoing implementation of a Common European Asylum System; takes notes of the 19 % increase in the External Borders Fund's budget allocation, to EUR 415.5 million, which is limited to half that foreseen by the financial programming; recalls its firm request for an appropriate and balanced answer to the challenges, with a view to the management of legal migration and slowing-down of illegal migration;

56. Stresses that measures aimed at combating gender violence must be sufficiently funded; emphasises the important role that the programme for preventing and combating all forms of violence (DAPHNE) has played in eliminating violence against women and girls in the EU, and stresses the importance of increasing its funding in 2013;

Heading 3b

57. Recalls that Heading 3b, though the smallest heading of the MFF in terms of financial allocation, covers issues of key concern to the citizens of Europe, such as youth, educational and cultural programmes, public health, consumer protection, the civil protection instrument and communication policy; deplores, therefore, the fact that again for 2013 the overall appropriations under this Heading, compared to 2012 budget, are to be reduced, with a cut in CA of 1.2 % (EUR 26.08 million) and in PA of 0.4%, excluding the Solidarity Fund;

58. Welcomes, given its sound implementation in previous years, the increased funding in 2013 for the Youth in Action programme (to EUR 140.45 million), which represents an increase of EUR 0.8 million compared to the 2012 budget and EUR 16.5 million compared to the Financial programming;

59. Appreciates the increases in commitments compared to the 2012 budget for the Culture programme (+1.4 %), Media 2007 (+1.1 %) and Union action in the field of health (+3,1%), but regrets the cuts in appropriations compared to the 2012 budget for the Europe for Citizens programme - especially during the European Year of Citizens - as well as for Union action in the field of consumer policy and Media Mundus;

60. Regrets the decreased volume of commitments for communication actions compared to the 2012 budget, at a time when the gap between the European Union and its citizens is more evident than ever, as shown in the ever-diminishing turnout in European elections; is convinced of the need for reinforced communication efforts and commensurate funding in order to ensure the visibility of the Union institutions and demonstrate their contribution to overcoming the economic and financial crisis;

61. Underlines the fact that again this year a very limited margin (EUR 25.6 million) is left available under this heading, which will leave little room for manoeuvre should new actions or decisions on funding priorities directly relevant to the citizens be needed;

Heading 4

62. Notes that the commitment and payment appropriations presented in the DB 2013 mark an increase of 0.7 % and 5.1 %, as compared to the 2012 budget, to EUR 9 467.2 and EUR 7 311.6 million respectively; points out that these increases remain below that proposed by the Commission for the budget as a whole;

63. Recalls the need for closer coordination and coherence of efforts in the financing of external actions by the Union and the Member States, in order to avoid overlaps and duplication of scarce resources; underlines the need to foster cooperation and synchronisation of actions with other international, local and regional donors in order to optimise the use of funds and create synergies; believes that in times of economic hardship it is also important to enhance flexibility in the programming and implementation of instruments and complement scarce resources with instruments having leverage effects that would enable the use and reuse of the funds invested and generated;

64. Notes the significant increase of EUR 272.3 million in the proposed margin for Heading 4 compared to the financial programming for 2013 (from EUR 119.6 million to EUR 391.9 million), which reflects the net effect of the increase in commitments for ENPI (reinforced by EUR 51.7 million), ICI and ICI + (above the financial programming, at EUR 0.3 million) and decreasing the growth in commitments for the Guarantee Fund (-104.5 million EUR), the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (-99.3 million EUR), macrofinancial assistance (-37.4 million EUR), the Development Cooperation Instrument (-28.6 million EUR), and the Instrument for Stability (- 41.4 million EUR); calls on the Commission to provide sufficient explanation as to why such a significant scaling-down of some programmes was needed compared to the financial programming; stresses that, while the principle of scaling down programs that are underimplemented could be welcomed if it produces efficiency savings, appropriations should not be cut across the board; warns that the use of an artificially high margin as a negotiating tool in the budgetary procedure cannot be considered as a sound budgetary practice;

65. Regrets, in particular, the ongoing decrease of appropriations in the field of development cooperation; wonders how this is compatible with the EU’s international commitments in terms of allocating, by 2015, 0.7 % of GNP to the Millennium Development Goals; regrets the fact that the total level of commitments under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) as proposed in DB 2013 represents an increase of less than the estimated inflation rate, and that the proposed total DCI payment level is below that of 2012; calls on the Commission to ensure a more coherent, realistic and better planned approach to the financing of DCI;

66. Notes the proposal to increase appropriations under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, addressing the needs of countries facing major political and economic change; welcomes the focus on the Eastern Partnership, and reaffirms its support for the countries constituting its southern component as they face challenges of historical proportions in the wake of the Arab Spring; considers the Commission’s reporting on the application of the ‘more for more’ principle to be insufficient, and calls on it to develop clear criteria for how it is to be implemented;

67. Considers that a sufficient level of EU financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA is still needed in order to adequately and comprehensively respond to the political and humanitarian situation in the Middle East and the peace process; stresses the particularly difficult situation faced by UNWRA at the moment, notably following the events in Syria; notes that the net effect of the increase in commitments for ENPI is mainly due to the fact of maintaining support for the occupied Palestinian territories at the level of the 2012 draft budget;

68. Stresses that, thanks to Parliament’s strong commitment, the EU’s annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA and the Middle East peace process over the last years amounts to EUR 300 million, and recalls that the budgetary authority has, in the course of the budgetary conciliation, agreed to an allocation of EUR 200 million for the year 2012, conditioned by a sine qua non supplementary increase of EUR 100 million for the 2011 financial year stemming from unused appropriations; calls for a funding commitment that reflects actual needs from the beginning of the budget year, in order to ensure that the EU can effectively support sustainable peace-building; insists that strict financial controls must be imposed and a detailed breakdown and evaluation of expenditure must be forwarded to Parliament;

69. Acknowledges the fact that with the accession of Croatia to the Union, a reduction of EUR 67.6 million will be made to the IPA allocations; is nevertheless concerned that the Commission is proposing a greater than expected reduction in support for institutional capacity building for candidate countries, with the cut in IPA allocations for Croatia (-29.14 million EUR in total as compared to 2012), while the same line for potential candidate countries is reinforced (+10.5 million EUR compared to 2012); recalls that institutional capacity is of utmost importance for the proper use of Union funding and is equally important for both candidate and potential candidate countries; welcomes the proposed increase in CA for IPA rural development of 10.2 % compared to the 2012 budget;

70. Reiterates that, especially in times of austerity, commitment appropriations should be carefully planned for each CFSP budgetary line in order to guarantee that EU money is streamlined towards the measures where it is mostly needed, wherever possible taking into consideration the flexibility and unpredictability of CFSP operations; in this context, welcomes calls for greater synergies through, inter alia, the pooling, sharing and integration of capabilities and through improved performance, planning and conducting of missions and operations; welcomes efforts for a transparent and complete overview of all CFSP missions; will carefully analyse the increase of 9.2 % in CA for the CFSP in 2013;

71. Recognises the need to react to the transregional challenges posed by organised crime, trafficking, the need to protect critical infrastructure , threats to public health and the fight against terrorism; however, calls on the Commission to provide evidence as to why an increase of 50 % is needed for these measures in 2013;

Heading 5

72. Notes that total administrative expenditure for all institutions is estimated at EUR 8.544.4 million, representing an increase of 3.2 % as compared to 2012 and leaving a margin of EUR 636.6 million, including additional expenditure linked to Croatia's accession;

73. Acknowledges that most institutions, including the European Parliament, have made an effort to restrict their administrative budgets to an increase below the expected inflation rate, excluding the cost of enlargement to Croatia; in this context, underlines the need for the long-term rationalisation of administrative resources, and insists on the need to strengthen interinstitutional cooperation in areas such as human resources, translation and interpretation, buildings, and information technology;

74. Stresses that the increase of 3.2 % as compared to 2012 is mainly due to statutory or contractual obligations such as pensions or salary adjustments; notes, however, that the Commission has complied with and even overstepped its commitment to keep the nominal increase in its administrative appropriations under Heading 5 below the forecast inflation rate of 1.9 % as compared to 2012, as explained in the letter of 23 January 2012 from the Commissioner for Budgets and Financial Programming;

75. Understands that this was achieved through a reduction in the number of posts in the Commission’s establishment plan by more than 1 % already for 2013, notably in the areas of administrative support, budgetary management and anti-fraud, as well as through further cuts in other items of administrative expenditure; requires further explanation as to the actual need to proceed to such staff reductions and thus freeze administrative expenditure in real terms, when the Commission managed to freeze its administrative expenditure in nominal terms in 2012 without resorting to any staff cuts;

76. Welcomes this effort towards budget consolidation in administrative expenditure at a time of economic and budgetary constraints at national level; recognises the need for all EU institutions to share the efforts of this consolidation; is, however, concerned at the adverse impact such measures may have on the swift, regular and effective implementation of EU actions and programmes by a modern administration, given in particular the need to reward performance and quality of service, taking account of geographical balance, especially at a time when the EU’s competences continue to increase and new Member States join the Union; welcomes the information given on those areas which are reinforced in staffing, such as European economic governance, the single market and security and justice, but asks for similar information on those policy areas and types of post where cuts in staffing were made as compared to 2012;

77. Reiterates, against this background, that any such staff reduction should be based on a prior impact assessment and take full account of, inter alia, the Union's legal obligations, the EU’s priorities and the institutions' new competences and increased tasks arising from the treaties; stresses that such assessment should also take carefully into account the effects on the different Directorates-General and services, given their size and workload notably, as well as on the different types of posts concerned as presented in the Commission's annual screening of human resources (policymaking, programme management, administrative support, budgetary management and anti-fraud activities, language services, etc);

78. Emphasises that for many areas of EU action, sufficient staffing should be ensured in view of the stage of implementation of programmes, new priorities and other developments; will therefore carefully scrutinise the overall evolution of staff levels in the different DGs and services, also in the light of the priorities presented in this report; in addition to providing more detailed information in this regard, asks the Commission to proceed to a similar detailed assessment of the impact of the proposed across-the-board staff cuts, also taking into account in the longer term any further reduction in Commission staffing, and to report back to Parliament; insists that this must be a prerequisite for the budgetary authority to consider accepting, depending on its outcome, the 1 % staff reduction for 2013;

79. Takes the view that questions remain about the high number of costly management positions at high grade levels among the staff of the European External Action Service; therefore requests the EEAS to provide additional information, in particular regarding the significant increase (+9.2 %) in AD 14 posts proposed in the draft budget; requests likewise further information on the large increases in proposed appropriations for security and surveillance of buildings (+57.2 %);

80. Is convinced that prevention and mediation are among the most cost-efficient ways to manage conflicts by preventing them from escalating into violence; welcomes, therefore, the proposal to introduce a budget line amounting to EUR 500 000 for Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support Services in the EEAS budget, following the successful completion at the end of this year of a preparatory action proposed by Parliament;

81. Takes the view that the European Schools should be adequately funded in the interests of addressing the specific situation of the children of employees of the EU institutions; takes note of the proposed overall allocation of 180.7 million, which represents a 6.8 % increase as compared to 2012, and is above the financial programming amounts; will nonetheless carefully scrutinise the budget lines for each of the European Schools, and will make, during its reading, any modification it considers appropriate in this respect;

Pilot projects – preparatory actions

82. Stresses the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions as key tools for the formulation of political priorities and for paving the way for new long-term initiatives, both at regional and EU level, that might turn into EU activities and programmes improving the lives of EU citizens; intends to proceed to the identification of a balanced package of PP-Pas, based on the Commission's assessment and recommendations and on careful consideration of the sustainability and durability of the expected results;

83. Will forward to the Commission, pursuant to Annex II, part D of the IIA, a first provisional list of potential PPs and PAs for the Budget 2013; expects the Commission to provide a well-reasoned analysis of Parliament's indicative proposals; stresses that this provisional list does not preclude the formal tabling and adoption of amendments concerning pilot projects and preparatory actions during Parliament’s reading of the budget;

84. Recalls that under the 2012 budget a total of 70 pilot projects and preparatory actions were adopted, amounting to EUR 105.45 million in CA across all headings; points out that, should the budgetary authority adopt for 2013 pilot projects and preparatory actions at a similar level and with a similar breakdown among headings, 54 % of the margin under Heading 1a, 27 % of that under Heading 3a and 37 % of that under Heading 3b would already be used up;

85. Takes note of the Commission's proposals for four preparatory actions and two pilot projects for a total amount of EUR 15,5 million in CA; intends to carefully analyse the objectives and contents of these proposals and check the amounts requested;

Agencies

86. Notes the overall level of EUR 748 million (i.e. 0.5 % of the total EU budget) devoted to the decentralised EU agencies in DB 2013, resulting in an increase in the total EU contribution (including assigned revenue) as compared to the 2012 budget amounting to EUR 24 million, or +3.2 %; is aware that this increase is accounted for mainly by the eight phasing-in agencies, in view of the need to provide them with adequate funding, and by the seven agencies whose tasks have been extended, so as not to hinder their performance; notes that the EU contribution to the agencies at cruising speed is decreasing in nominal terms, with, however, an increase in staffing of 1.2 %; notes that the agencies now have a total of 5 115 establishment plan posts overall, i.e. an increase of 257 posts, mainly concerning agencies with new tasks or in their start-up phase;

87. Notes that for the first time the Commission has cut the budgetary requests of almost all the agencies, which were in line with the financial programming amounts overall; this includes those agencies whose tasks fall under Parliament's priorities, involving a total amount of some EUR 44 million; recalls that a careful analysis of the methodology, rationale and possible impact of such cuts is necessary with regard to several resolutions, the most recent being the 2010 discharge, which stress that the review of the agencies by the IWG should lead to structural improvements in their impact and cost-efficiency, inter alia by identifying areas of duplication and overlap amongst existing agencies; stresses once more that the EU agencies‘ budget allocations are far from consisting of administrative expenditure alone, but, rather, contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 goals and the EU’s objectives in general, while aiming at making savings at national level, as decided by the legislative authority;

88. Considers the following issues to be of specific interest for the trilogue due to take place on 9 July 2012:

- support for growth, competitiveness and employment, and particularly for SMEs and youth, in the budget for 2013;

- a sufficient level of payment appropriations to cover the increasing needs of running projects, in particular under Headings 1a, 1b and 2, at the end of the programming period;

- the problem of outstanding commitments (RAL);

- an amending budget for 2012, in order to cover past and current payment needs and avoid shifting 2012 payments to 2013 as was the case this year;

- a sufficient level of commitment appropriations - more Europe in times of crisis;

- an interinstitutional meeting on payments;

- financing of ITER in the 2013 budget;

- the discrepancy between financial programming and the DB 2013 in the case of Heading 4;

* * *

89. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and Council.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0077.


ANNEX: BUDGETARY TRILOGUE OF 26 MARCH 2012 - DRAFT CONCLUSIONS

"Dates for the budgetary procedure and modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2012"

BUDGETARY TRILOGUE

26 March 2012

DRAFT CONCLUSIONS

Dates for the budgetary procedure and modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Commi

ttee in 2012

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission recall their joint declaration of 30 November 2009 on transitional measures defining the calendar for the budgetary procedure for 2011 and stipulating that the future budgetary procedures would follow a similar calendar unless agreed otherwise. The calendar should be updated accordingly for the budgetary procedure for 2013.

A.     In this regard, they agree on the following key dates for 2012:

1.      A trilogue will be called on 9 July in the morning before the adoption of the Council's position;

2.      The Council will complete its reading by week 30 at the latest (end of July);

3.      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;

4.      A trilogue will be called on 17 October in the afternoon before the reading of the European Parliament;

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

6.      The Conciliation period will start on 24 October. If needed, in agreement with the provisions of point c of Article 314(4) TFEU, the Conciliation will last until 13 November 2012 (included);

7.      The Conciliation Committee will meet on 26 October in the afternoon hosted by the European Parliament and on 9 November hosted by the Council; the sessions of the Conciliation Committee will be prepared by trilogues held on 31 October in the morning and 7 November in the morning; additional trilogues may be called during the 21-day conciliation period.

B.     They agree on the modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee set out in the annex.

ANNEX

Modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2012

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.7 above. 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, trilogues will:

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

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

o address thematic issues, including by headings of the multiannual financial framework.

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 and will be deemed provisionally approved after 24 hours without prejudice to the final decision of the Conciliation Committee.

5.      The conclusions of trilogues and a document with the budget lines for which an agreement has been tentatively reached during the trilogues shall be available at the meetings of the Conciliation Committee for possible endorsement.

6.      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:

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

o  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 2013 budget.

7.      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 two arms of the budgetary authority within 14 days from the date following the date of agreement on the joint text pursuant to point 6 above.

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.

8.      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.

(1)

        The various steps will include: 2012 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


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (24.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Anneli Jäätteenmäki

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Reiterates that, in order to allow the EU to play an active role in the world, sufficient funds need to be provided in the EU budget, in particular in the context of increased tasks entrusted to the Union for external action; recalls that at a time when the national budgets of all Member States are subject to severe austerity measures, the 2013 budgetary procedure must be part of the general effort to control public spending and seek synergies; takes the view that, for the sake of exemplarity and solidarity, the EU must show a commensurate commitment to scale down or control increases in programme funding which do not add European added value; is of the opinion that there is room for making more efficient use of existing resources, and that targeted spending cuts should be made in heading 4 where expenditure proves inefficient, ineffective or not in line with political priorities; recalls, however, that savings should not be made at the cost of jeopardising EU’s commitments and its capacity to take on global challenges;

2.  Understands, in this regard, the Commission’s proposal to scale down programmes that are not implemented in a satisfactory way, but is concerned about the lack of explanation for the significant scaling down of certain programmes and about the proposal to increase, as compared to the financial programming, the margin under heading 4 in order to facilitate the upcoming budgetary conciliation, which could lead to amending budgets during the budgetary year and which cannot be considered as sound budgetary practise; takes the view that, for the sake of budgetary discipline and sound financial management, all parties involved must acknowledge the real financial needs of the Union’s external action, and reiterates its concerns in that regard, as expressed in point 17 of its resolution on general guidelines for the 2013 budget(1); recalls the need for more coordination, coherence, transparency and visibility in the financing of external actions by the EU and its Member States in order to avoid overlaps;

3.  Notes the proposal to increase appropriations under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, addressing the needs of countries facing major political and economical changes; welcomes the focus on the Eastern Partnership, and reaffirms its support for the countries constituting its southern component as they face challenges of historical proportions in the wake of the Arab Spring; considers the Commission’s reporting on the application of the ‘more for more’ principle to be insufficient, and calls on it to develop clear criteria for how it is to be implemented;

4.  Stresses that, thanks to Parliament’s strong commitment, the EU’s annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority, the UNRWA and the Middle East peace process over the last years amounts to EUR 300 million, and recalls that the budgetary authority has, in the course of the budgetary conciliation, agreed to an allocation of EUR 200 million for the year 2012, conditioned by a sine qua non supplementary increase of EUR 100 million for the 2011 financial year stemming from unused appropriations; calls for a funding commitment that reflects actual needs from the beginning of the budgetary year in order to ensure that the EU can effectively support sustainable peace-building; insists that strict financial controls are imposed and that a detailed breakdown and evaluation of expenditure is made to the European Parliament;

5.  Recalls that it is important for the EU that it promotes the Arctic and Northern dimension policies, the policy of the High North, and its relationships with Latin America and the countries generally referred to as BRICS; reiterates its support for all existing mechanisms that serve to strengthen this cooperation; stresses the importance both of incorporating the potential opportunities of new technologies in all its policies and of countering the threats these technologies pose;

6.  Stresses that further efforts should be made to provide sensible and user-friendly information, in particular online, on the Union’s programmes and actions in order to increase the effectiveness and visibility of EU support; is of the opinion, in this regard, that the Commission should start producing annual reports that consolidate information on all external funding in the broad remit (that is, all external funding whether or not it is covered by Heading IV only) and that offers a breakdown of spending by, inter alia, beneficiary country, general area of application of the funds, use of financial instruments, commitments and payments, and partners’ level of participation;

7.  Reiterates its concerns regarding the parliamentary scrutiny and transparency of the CFSP budget; firmly believes that a clear breakdown should be made of all items financed within the CFSP budget, including for each CSDP operation, for each EU special representative and for each other attendant policy, convinced that this will not infringe on the necessary flexibility and reactivity required for the CFSP; calls on the Commission to provide, without delay, the rationale for using allocations from the CFSP budget, rather than from the budget of the External Action Service, to finance the outlays for EU Special Representatives; is of the conviction that any reduction of funding of CSDP missions should be conducted only after a careful impact assessment of such a reduction;

8.  Welcomes the substantial expenditure savings achieved by the External Action Service in 2012, and the continuation of this trend in 2013 as projected in the Estimates; takes the view, in this context, that while the phasing-in of the Service can justify an expenditure increase proportionally greater than that foreseen by the other Institutions, questions remain regarding the high number of costly management positions at high grade levels; calls, therefore, on the EEAS to provide additional information, in particular as regards the significant increase (+9.2 %) in AD 14 posts proposed in the draft budget; calls, likewise, for further information on the large increases in proposed appropriations for security and surveillance of buildings (+57.2 %);

9.  Is convinced that prevention and mediation are among the most cost-efficient ways to manage conflicts in that they prevent them from escalating into violence; welcomes, therefore, the proposal to introduce a budget line amounting to EUR 500 000 for Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support Services in the EEAS budget, following the successful completion, at the end of this year, of a preparatory action proposed by the European Parliament.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

55

5

5

Members present for the final vote

Pino Arlacchi, Bastiaan Belder, Franziska Katharina Brantner, Frieda Brepoels, Elmar Brok, Jerzy Buzek, Arnaud Danjean, Michael Gahler, Marietta Giannakou, Ana Gomes, Andrzej Grzyb, Richard Howitt, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jelko Kacin, Ioannis Kasoulides, Tunne Kelam, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Maria Eleni Koppa, Andrey Kovatchev, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Eduard Kukan, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Vytautas Landsbergis, Krzysztof Lisek, Sabine Lösing, Ulrike Lunacek, Barry Madlener, Mario Mauro, Kyriakos Mavronikolas, Willy Meyer, Francisco José Millán Mon, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Raimon Obiols, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Alojz Peterle, Bernd Posselt, Cristian Dan Preda, Fiorello Provera, Libor Rouček, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Nikolaos Salavrakos, György Schöpflin, Adrian Severin, Marek Siwiec, Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Sir Graham Watson, Boris Zala

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Nikolaos Chountis, Véronique De Keyser, Diogo Feio, Kinga Gál, Elisabeth Jeggle, Barbara Lochbihler, Norbert Neuser, Jacek Protasiewicz, Marietje Schaake, Alf Svensson, Ivo Vajgl

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

Leonidas Donskis

(1)

P7_TA-PROV(2012)0077, Resolution of 14 March 2012 on general guidelines for the preparation of 2013 Budget - Section III - Commission.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (5.6.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Gay Mitchell

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Warns the Commission and the Member States that, unless additional funding for development aid is provided, they are likely to fail to live up to their international commitments with regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and risk missing by a wide margin the collective EU commitment to achieve 0.7 % ODA/GNI by 2015, and that most Member States will miss their individual ODA/GNI commitments in the same year;

2.  Regrets the fact that the total level of commitments under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), as proposed by the Commission in its draft budget for 2013, is increased by less than the estimated rate of inflation and that the proposed total DCI payment level is below that of 2012;

3.  Insists that the EU and the Member States must take seriously their partnership with developing countries which receive funding under the DCI, and that long-term predictability is an essential element of this partnership; insists that the poorest and most vulnerable populations in DCI beneficiary countries should not be made to bear the brunt of the substantial increases in funding for the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) in response to the Arab Spring; draws attention to the commitment made in connection with the Agenda for Change to gradually scale back the EU programmes still in progress in middle-income countries, starting from the next multiannual financial framework (2014-2020);

4.  Regrets, in particular, the massive cuts to the DCI’s geographical programmes for Asia, Central Asia, Iraq, Iran and Yemen; takes the view that, as these programmes are struggling to achieve the intended results in terms of poverty alleviation, democracy and human rights, they merit more, rather than less, attention and financial input;

5.  Supports the substantial increase in funding for the DCI’s thematic programme on the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources; understands that the Commission is seeking additional support for promoting sustainable energy for developing countries in the run-up to the 2012 UN Rio+20 Conference, and for financing the EU’s recently announced initiative on ‘Energising Development’, which addresses energy inequality in the developing world; reiterates, however, that climate financing must be additional to currently programmed development funding, and that funds for key MDG sectors, e.g. basic education and health, should not be diverted to climate action; welcomes the proposed increase for the Investing in People budget line, and reminds the Commission of the established EU benchmarks and the commitments, made since the 2007-2013 DCI began, to allocate at least 20 % of the DCI to health and basic education, with particular attention to progress on the most off-track MDGs;

6.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that a more controlled and coherent approach is taken to the funding of alternative energies in the fight against climate change, so as to make sure that the EU does not indirectly provide financial support for activities that give rise to price distortions and speculation in connection with raw food materials or are conducive to land-grabbing;

7.  Calls on the Commission to provide financial support for targeted development cooperation measures to forestall and combat land-grabbing, which is becoming increasingly common, and to promote the establishment of a code of conduct at EU and international level;

8.  Urges the Commission to dedicate significant funding to improving access to fair healthcare and pension systems based on mutual and non-profit insurance schemes in keeping with social economy models; encourages it to support partner countries in putting into place wide-coverage insurance schemes that include the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society, inter alia through support for the microfinancial services sector; is convinced that such schemes, if well designed, have the potential not only to lift people out of poverty and enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable by protecting their assets, but also to foster greater social cohesion and more inclusive growth;

9.  Stresses the need for the Commission to ensure that assistance is effective and has a direct impact on poverty eradication, human development and social cohesion; asks the Commission, in this connection, to introduce, as part of a series of capacity-building measures for non-state actors, arrangements for funding small-scale projects involving private stakeholders such as SMEs, cooperatives and local associations;

10. Insists that the European Consensus on Development remains the guiding document for EU aid and development cooperation, especially in relation to health and education; urges the Commission to ensure that the DCI remains a relevant and effective tool for implementing the European Consensus on Development, especially on the support to and integration of health, education and relevant cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and HIV/AIDS;

11. Underlines the importance of maintaining sufficient funding levels for the humanitarian aid budget lines as well as the Emergency Aid Reserve; insists that, bearing in mind the marked increase in the frequency, severity and scale of humanitarian crises and natural disasters witnessed over the last few years, the EU must be ready to quickly mobilise funding in response to such crises abroad;

12. Is concerned at the proposed cuts in administrative expenditure, inter alia for technical assistance, evaluations and audits, both at headquarters and in EU delegations abroad, as these activities are key to upholding the most rigorous evaluation and audit standards; given that in 2011 the Commission requested 18 additional full-time staff for 2012 ‘to ensure proper sound financial management of the great number of grants of small amount under the DCI’(1), is also concerned at the proposed substantial redeployment of staff from DCI to ENPI activities, and points to the risks in terms of quality of the DCI’s financial management which this weakened staffing level may entail.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

4.6.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Corina Creţu, Véronique De Keyser, Nirj Deva, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Eva Joly, Filip Kaczmarek, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Keith Taylor, Ivo Vajgl, Iva Zanicchi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Emer Costello, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Fiona Hall, Edvard Kožušník, Judith Sargentini, Horst Schnellhardt, Patrizia Toia

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

Marisa Matias

(1)

Draft General Budget of the European Commission for the Financial Year 2012, Working Document Part II Commission Human Resources, COM(2011)300, May 2011, p 87


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (30.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Peter Šťastný

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that the Union's budget should take into account the priorities defined for the common commercial policy as part of the EU2020 strategy as well as its long term strategic interests, notes in this regard the conclusions of the ''Global Trends 2030'' document produced by the European Strategy Policy Analysis System (ESPAS); recalls the need to prepare funding for the review of the EU's trade policy strategy in 2013;

2.  Recalls the EU's renewed commitments to promoting SMEs' internationalisation and competitiveness; recognises the need to increase the efficiency of existing tools in that area and takes the view that EU SME Centres should be expanded to cover new priority markets; supports the funding of business fairs for SMEs to help them overcome the barrier of establishing the first business contacts and partners, such as clients, intermediaries or suppliers in third markets and initialize or increase their presence there;

3.  Emphasises the need to provide adequate technical support and assistance for the countries of Europe's eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in full compliance with the principle "more and more", especially when negotiating with them deep and comprehensive free trade agreements which have a strong bearing on their laws and regulations;

4.   Supports the extension into 2013 of the preparatory action "Euromed innovation entrepreneurs for change" which was adopted last year and is currently being implemented; this preparatory action aims at reinforcing the innovation and investment networks of young companies between the Union and four associated mediterranean countries, namely Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco; considers establishing such links to be vital to the future economic and political prospects in these countries and is in line with the Parliament's position expressed in the report "Trade for Change: EU trade and investment strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab spring revolutions";

5.  Believes that appropriate resources should be provided to take the full benefit from existing high-level dialogues with the US, China, Japan and Russia and to build strategic trade partnerships with high-growth emerging trading powers such as Brazil and India;

6.  Warns that the EU’s responsibilities for enhancing trade inclusiveness and fostering international economic cooperation and stability must be reflected in the budgets of programmes such as Aid for Trade, the Industrialised Countries Instrument and the Instrument for Macro-Financial Assistance;

7.   Notes that schemes of fair and ethical trade and those involving corporate social responsibility and accountability, such as the "Fair Trade" scheme, also strengthen the position of small producers towards big companies in the global market; therefore calls on the Union to further develop existing schemes as a positive signal for the support of Fair Trade;

8.  Calls for public communication campaigns to be mounted with a view to ensuring that European citizens are well informed about Union trade policy; emphasises the need – particularly in a time of crisis – to ensure appropriate funding for Union internal structural adjustment policies;

9.   Stresses that the inclusion of the project of coordination platform in support of Union businesses' internationalization under ICI+ implies a consistent increase of that funding over the next years;

10.  Recalls that sufficient funding must be secured to enable the Union to fulfill its obligations of legal and linguistic checks and translation upon concluding trade agreements in order to ensure initialing, signing and implementing of these agreements as fast as possible;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

5

0

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Christofer Fjellner, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Franziska Keller, Vital Moreira, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Robert Sturdy, Gianluca Susta, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, George Sabin Cutaş, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Elisabeth Köstinger, Emma McClarkin, Miloslav Ransdorf, Tokia Saïfi, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

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

Zuzana Roithová


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (31.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Christofer Fjellner

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas Europe is faced with a severe economic, financial and budget crisis, and whereas all measures should be taken to use the EU budget in the most efficient way possible with a view to economic recovery;

B.  whereas one of the most challenging tasks in the current difficult situation is to create growth and jobs, in particular in SMEs and for young people;

C. regrets the fact that Parliament has never received annual summaries from the Member States as provided for in Article 44 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (2006/C 139/01), jointly signed by Parliament, the Council and the Commission; expects the Commission to officially forward the annual summaries from 2007 onwards to Parliament;

D. whereas the collection of VAT and customs duties directly affects both the economies of the Member States and the EU budget;

1.  Recalls that outstanding budgetary commitments are commitment appropriations made but not used, and that these derive mainly from multiannual programmes (e.g. Cohesion) in which commitments are made in the earlier years of the programming period, while the corresponding payments are made gradually over the whole programming period;

2.  Notes that a high level of outstanding commitments could indicate that, as a consequence of the economic crisis, Member States are having difficulty absorbing the amounts allocated;

3.  Notes that in 2010 the European Court of Auditors found that these outstanding commitments had increased by nearly 10 % to EUR 194 billion, representing nearly three years of spending at the current rate (Annual Report 2010, point 1.43);

4.  Believes that the question of outstanding commitments should be dealt with thoroughly in the 2013 budget and in the negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework in order to ensure that the budget is implemented as efficiently and effectively as possible;

5.  Notes that different types of income have different adverse effects, and calls on the Commission to consider the opportunity costs of revenue collection for the different sources of income.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Jean-Pierre Audy, Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Andrea Češková, Tamás Deutsch, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Iliana Ivanova, Jan Mulder, Eva Ortiz Vilella, Crescenzio Rivellini, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bart Staes, Michael Theurer

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Derk Jan Eppink, Véronique Mathieu

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

Joachim Zeller


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (1.6.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Philippe Boulland

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that the 2013 budget should support the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and calls for ambitious funding for the flagship initiatives ‘Youth on the Move’, ‘New Skills for New Jobs’, ‘European Platform Against Poverty’ and ‘An Innovation Union’; calls for particular emphasis to be put on job creation through the establishment and consolidation of new businesses, and on highlighting the significant role they play in achieving the employment target of 75 % by 2020;

2.  Stresses the importance of budgetary provision for combating youth unemployment, in particular among socially disadvantaged groups, and the need to create a dynamic, innovative and business-friendly environment in order to relaunch quality job creation; calls for clear earmarking by the Commission of funds for this purpose; highlights the need to provide for appropriate financing of all employment instruments;

3.  Urges also that financial support be provided for programmes creating jobs for those with multiple disadvantages on the labour market, such as long-term unemployed people, disabled people and people from a minority background;

4.  Points out that micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises employ many workers in the EU and that one of the main problems in setting up such enterprises and keeping them going is obtaining finance; proposes, therefore, that the microfinance element be expanded;

5.  Takes the view that the 2013 budget should also support the set of concrete measures proposed by the Commission to boost jobs, such as focusing on the demand side of job creation and suggesting ways for Member States to encourage hiring by reducing taxes on labour – in a budget-neutral manner, with no impact on social protection – or by giving more support to business start-ups;

6.  Calls on the Member States to target unallocated aid from the ESF and the other Structural Funds with a view to reducing youth unemployment by supporting SMEs (in particular micro-enterprises, given that 90 % of SMEs are actually micro-enterprises) in creating new jobs and by developing vocational training programmes; calls for the increased and redirected ESF programming to be taken into account in the 2013 budget in view of the imminent end of the current multiannual financial framework;

7.  Calls on the Member States to target unallocated aid from the Structural Funds with a view to improving existing conditions for new entrepreneurs, in order better to exploit their high potential for creating new, sustainable jobs;

8.  Calls for a sustained effort to be made through the budget to provide, with the support of the social partners and in line with the Europe 2020 objectives, for appropriate training and re-skilling, not least of older workers who may otherwise face exclusion from the labour market, in sectors with labour shortages and the key sectors with high job creation potential identified by the Commission in its communication entitled ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ (COM(2012)0173), such as the green economy and the healthcare and ICT sectors; calls for improved utilisation of the ESF and for the EGF to be enhanced by increasing its coherence, sustainability and complementarity in order to shorten and simplify the decision-making process;

9.  Stresses that the current revision of the EGF implementing regulation must make the fund more effective, in particular as regards the budgetary aspects of its mobilisation; calls on the Member States to make full use of the EGF and in particular to increase their efforts to improve awareness of this instrument;

10. Calls for the enhancement of targeted public information on existing programmes, such as EURES, the ‘Your First EURES Job’ and ‘Social Solidarity for Social Integration’ pilot projects and the Microfinance Facility;

11. Calls for Parliament to be given regular, detailed updates on the various stages in the implementation of pilot projects by the Commission;

12. Stresses that the EU budget should support efforts to promote the completion of the single market, competitiveness and social convergence, the development of a policy on socially responsible enterprises and the monitoring of the application of statutory social standards by enterprises in order to ensure the creation of decent jobs (jobs that are stable and offer good working conditions and sufficient pay to gain access to essential goods and services).

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

38

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Heinz K. Becker, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Phil Bennion, Pervenche Berès, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Philippe Boulland, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Minodora Cliveti, Marije Cornelissen, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Sari Essayah, Thomas Händel, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Ádám Kósa, Jean Lambert, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Csaba Őry, Konstantinos Poupakis, Elisabeth Schroedter, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Jutta Steinruck, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Tamás Deutsch, Richard Howitt, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Anthea McIntyre, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Evelyn Regner, Csaba Sógor

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

Jens Nilsson


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (1.6.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Reinhard Bütikofer

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Believes that the EU budget should be focused on EU policies and programmes that could make a substantial contribution to the revitalisation of sustainable growth in the EU and that address major societal challenges;

2.  Highlights the importance of long-term investment in research, development and innovation (RDI) and of securing a suitable level of funding in 2013 for the transition towards a low-carbon, green economy;

3.  Believes that steps need to be taken to integrate women into the labour market and to reconcile family and working life;

4.  Recalls that the European Union’s budget is an important instrument for enhancing solidarity between the Member States and between generations, as well as for enhancing European competitiveness; is convinced that the EU budget represents a synergetic potential for implementing policies that could not be carried out by the Member States alone; calls for optimal use to be made of existing EU funding by focusing on EU added value, increased economic, social and territorial cohesion, effective streamlining and leveraging effects;

5.  Understands the Council’s concern regarding the economic and budgetary constraints acting on the national level, as a result of the global crisis that has damaged the Member States’ economic growth and financial stability as well as worsened their debt position, but believes that measures to strengthen solidarity and boost sustainable growth and employment must be taken in 2013 in order to achieve economic recovery;

6.  Emphasises the need for the Commission and the Member States to shape and facilitate the creation of new, high-quality, sustainable jobs through the development in the EU not only of eco-friendly industries and efficient green transport and energy, but also of up-to-date, innovative services;

7.  Recalls that the annual European Union budget must, with its leverage effect, support the Member States’ recovery policies, and acknowledges the need to strengthen and coordinate funding in order to implement, and to be aligned with, the EU 2020 Strategy for Growth and Jobs; maintains that the ceilings under Heading 1a for the current financial framework are insufficient to meet the EU’s priority polices; welcomes the proposed increase in spending on sustainable growth, notably the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP); stresses the need to pay specific attention to the implementation of the Parliament’s previous years’ budgetary priorities in the fields of industrial policy, research and energy;

8.  Believes, in this regard, that there should be a stronger focus on deployment projects within research and innovation funding in order to bridge the gap between research results and commercialisation, thereby ensuring European competitiveness;

9.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a sufficient level of funding in 2013 for research and development relating to specific GNSS applications and services;

10. Notes the pivotal role that future EU flagship programmes such as Horizon 2020, COSME and the Connecting Europe Facility can play for EU’s economic recovery if they are given sufficient funding; believes that the 2013 budget should provide for a smooth transition towards the establishment of these new programmes; calls for more substantial resources to be mobilised, in synergy with cohesion policy, in order to boost the sustainability of the European economy as a key driver for future competitiveness, industrial development and resilience;

11. Emphasises the importance of EU support policies for media pluralism, especially through research, education and dissemination activities; stresses the valuable role that can be played by the newly established Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom;

12. Draws attention to the fact that 85 % of net new jobs in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were created by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)(1); calls for enhanced EU support policies, programmes and resources to be provided to support SMEs to fully unlock their growth potential, i.e. by facilitating SMEs’ participation in public procurement, securing investments in innovation, supporting start-ups, helping alleviate administrative burdens, enhancing entrepreneurial mindset and facilitating and simplifying access to funding, including access to risk capital; welcomes the increased allocation to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme supporting innovation in SMEs; regrets, however, that the Commission proposal does not provide for the full implementation of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme;

13. Reminds the European Commission of the need to enhance focus and funding of the programmes that aim to achieve the goals of the ‘Small Business Act’, in which a set of ten principles were laid out to ensure an SME-friendlier business environment;

14. Congratulates the Commission on the success of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs preparatory action, and welcomes the decision to incorporate the programme into the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme; regrets, however, that action to extend the programme is hampered by the trifling financial allocation and that, for this reason, interested and capable partners are being turned away; calls, therefore, on the Commission to make funding available for the programme to grow adequately in 2012 and 2013;

15. Acknowledges the need to prevent SMEs from cutting back their investments, in particular in research and development; believes that the strengthening of European Investment Bank (EIB) support for SMEs and infrastructure should be a key priority and, therefore, that the SME’s uptake of this financial support must be maximised;

16. Fully supports the pilot Project Bond Initiative, aimed at mobilising private savings and improving the range of financial instruments available for infrastructure projects in energy, transport and ICT; stresses the need to make adequate use of the EIB’s sustainability criteria, on an equal footing with the financial criteria;

17. Calls for specific financial instruments to be set up in support of European Investment Fund (EIF) initiatives to build up a European funding infrastructure for social entrepreneurship, in order to establish that sector as one on par with other economic sectors in Europe;

18. Recalls that around EUR (2) trillion must be invested in our energy system between today and 2020 in order to achieve the Union’s energy and climate policy objectives and that there is a financing gap of around EUR 100 billion for energy transmission networks;

19. Deplores the fact that initiatives aimed at enhancing the EU’s energy headline targets are not given sufficient funding and that the SET Plan is yet to receive sufficient funds despite Parliament’s continuous demands;

20. Believes that the EU needs to make investments in order to ensure guaranteed European access to space and orbital infrastructure;

21. Recalls that 2013 will be the last year of the current programming period and is concerned by possible cuts in the level of payment appropriations; stresses that it is essential to meet the EU’s commitments to ongoing projects and supports the proposed increased in payments put forward by the Commission in its draft budget;

22. Welcomes the agreement reached on financing the additional costs of ITER in December 2011, but takes the view that securing the amount of EUR 360 million in the 2013 budget should not threaten the successful implementation of other EU policies, especially those that contribute to achieving the goals of the EU 2020 strategy during this last year of the programming period, and specifically opposes any redeployments that infringe on this budgetary priority.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

50

0

7

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Amelia Andersdotter, Josefa Andrés Barea, Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Jan Březina, Reinhard Bütikofer, Giles Chichester, Jürgen Creutzmann, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Dimitrios Droutsas, Christian Ehler, Vicky Ford, Gaston Franco, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, András Gyürk, Fiona Hall, Edit Herczog, Kent Johansson, Romana Jordan, Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Marisa Matias, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Vittorio Prodi, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Jens Rohde, Paul Rübig, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Patrizia Toia, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Kathleen Van Brempt, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Henri Weber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Maria Badia i Cutchet, Ioan Enciu, Françoise Grossetête, Satu Hassi, Roger Helmer, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Ivailo Kalfin, Seán Kelly, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Holger Krahmer, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Vladimír Remek

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

Franziska Keller

(1)

Commission Communication of 25 June 2008 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – ‘Think Small First’ – A ‘Small Business Act’ for Europe, COM(2008(394).

(2)

Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network, COM(2010) 677 final.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (31.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Georgios Stavrakakis

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers that fiscal consolidation must be balanced with the investments needed to pursue the aims of the Treaties, on the one hand, and to offset the negative effects of the crisis, on the other;

2.  Notes that in these difficult times for the European economy, the Member States and EU institutions need to consider jointly how to formulate an ‘Agenda for Growth’ and to lend greater meaning and credibility to the policy on budget consolidation; considers that, in this context, mobilising EU instruments, be it the structural funds or the possibilities offered by the European Investment Bank, can make a significant contribution to meeting that objective;

3.  Stresses that Cohesion Policy has long proved its added value as a necessary investment tool to deliver growth and job creation effectively by accurately addressing the investment needs of the regions, thus contributing not only to the reduction of the disparities between them, but also to the economic recovery and to the development of the Union as a whole;

4.  Notes with concern that the acceleration of the implementation of most programmes under heading 1b led at the end of 2011 to a considerable payment backlog, which will have to be addressed through the availability of sufficient payment appropriations in 2012;

5.  Is also concerned that these shortfalls are likely to worsen in 2013, whilst implementation under heading 1b is expected to accelerate further; calls on the Council and the Commission to immediately analyse and assess, along with Parliament, the figures and requirements in order not to jeopardise implementation for 2013; points out that a lack of payment appropriations could put in danger currently well-functioning programmes and could limit attainment of the objectives of those programmes;

6.  Also calls on the Council and the Commission to carefully evaluate the real needs in terms of payments for 2013 under heading 1b, not to make any cuts which are unrealistic or not sufficiently justified and not to take decisions that are at odds with forecasts provided by Member States themselves and used as a basis for the Commission’s draft budget; stresses in this regard that it will oppose any possible decrease in the level of payments as compared to the needs estimated by the Commission on that basis.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

29.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

1

0

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, Alain Cadec, Nikos Chrysogelos, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Vincenzo Iovine, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Vladimír Maňka, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Ana Miranda, Jens Nilsson, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Monika Smolková, Ewald Stadler, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Joachim Zeller, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ivars Godmanis, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Ivari Padar, László Surján, Giommaria Uggias


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (31.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 draft budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Esther de Lange

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes that, on account of the austerity measures approved in many Member States in order to rebalance national budgets and reduce public debt, a realistic EU budget stipulating both positive and negative priorities is needed; notes that the commitments budgeted for agriculture and rural development have been raised slightly, with increases in commitments of 0.4 % and 1.3 % respectively compared with 2012, and increases in payments of 0.5 % and 5.4 % respectively, resulting in a total increase in payments under Heading 2 of 1.6 %, which is well below the proposed budget increase of 6.8 %; calls on the Commission continually to search for possible budget savings, especially through reducing administrative expenditure and providing financing only for real needs;

2.  Notes that the projected margin of EUR 809 million for the market-related expenditure and direct aids sub-ceiling under Heading 2 represents a significant increase compared with 2012, which, according to the Commission, is mostly the result of a one-off effect following the end of the Sugar Restructuring Fund; expresses its satisfaction that this margin means that the financial discipline mechanism will not be applied in 2013;

3.  Expects, in view of Croatia’s upcoming accession on 1 July 2013, that the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be adopted swiftly, in line with Point 29 of the IIA (‘Adjustment of the financial framework to cater for enlargement’), and asks the Commission to present its proposal for the corresponding additional appropriations as soon as the Act of Accession has been ratified by all the Member States;

4.  Notes that there is a proposed increase of 5.4 % in payment appropriations for rural development; calls on the Commission to verify that this increase is accurate and corresponds to Member States’ real needs; urges the Commission to monitor the correct implementation of rural development projects with a view to guaranteeing the legitimacy of EU spending; points out that the second-pillar CAP programmes are a major driver of rural development and must be targeted to generating growth, added value and jobs in rural areas;

5.  Notes that the proposed increase in direct aids is mainly due to the ongoing phasing-in of direct payments in the EU-12 Member States, creating an additional budgetary requirement of EUR 860 million in 2013, while expenditure on market interventions is expected to decrease, owing to higher assigned revenue and the favourable market situation for most sectors;

6.  Expresses its concern about the volatility of agricultural markets causing uncertainty to farmers and agribusinesses; calls on the Commission to monitor developments in agricultural markets and to react swiftly and effectively when needed; strongly urges the Commission to provide means of action for times of crisis and to increase the level of knowledge among farmers as to how to respond to volatile markets;

7.  Voices its concern about the continuing problems in the fruit and vegetable sector owing to adverse weather conditions, and points, therefore, to the need to earmark additional resources for PO-led crisis prevention and management measures; notes that this sector has already been facing severe problems in certain Member States since 2011 as a result of the handling of the EHEC outbreak; points out the important role that promotion measures can play in improving the sector’s health;

8.  Notes that the amounts assigned to certain budget lines, including the school milk programme, have been significantly decreased and asks the Commission to provide Parliament with a justification for this;

9.  Notes that the Commission has not implemented a number of key pilot projects requested by Parliament: ‘European Farm Prices and Margins Observatory’, ‘Measures against speculation with agricultural commodities’ and ‘Exchanging best practice for cross-compliance simplification’; reiterates that these issues are still priorities for Parliament and expects the Commission to provide a thorough explanation as to why it has failed to implement the pilot projects and how it plans to address these priorities in future;

10. Highlights the continuing imbalances in the food supply chain, in which the position of primary producers is considerably weaker than that of the other actors; urges the Commission to take action to improve the transparency of prices and margins in the food supply chain; highlights the value of a pilot project in this area.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

1

2

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, José Bové, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Michel Dantin, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Julie Girling, Béla Glattfelder, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Peter Jahr, Elisabeth Jeggle, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elisabeth Köstinger, George Lyon, James Nicholson, Georgios Papastamkos, Marit Paulsen, Britta Reimers, Alfreds Rubiks, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Alyn Smith, Marc Tarabella

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Luís Paulo Alves, Pilar Ayuso, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Esther de Lange, Christa Klaß, Astrid Lulling, Hans-Peter Mayer

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

Bill Newton Dunn


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (31.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Salvatore Iacolino

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Regrets the fact that, despite the growing ambitions of the EU regarding the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and the current multiannual financial framework, the draft budget proposed by the Commission represents only a slight increase in commitment appropriations under subheading 3a in comparison with 2012;

2.  Insists that, despite the economic crisis and the spending rationalisation, the financial year 2013 is a bridge year to the new multiannual financial framework; consequently, the 2013 budget needs to be adequate as a prerequisite for the financial framework for 2014-2020;

3.  Stresses the importance of focusing the EU budget on EU added value and maximising the efficiency of national funding in areas of common interest;

4.  Deplores the cuts proposed by the Commission in the programme for preventing and fighting crime, considering the importance of this area for the EU as proven by the recent setting-up of the Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering, and stresses that funds need to be available for crime prevention;

5.  Regrets the fact that only a small increase is proposed for the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme and that the budget for the European Year of Citizens is the smallest budget ever allocated to a European Year; calls, therefore, for sufficient resources to be allocated to the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and citizens’ rights and to the fight against discrimination, especially in the light of the growing climate of intolerance arising from the financial crisis;

6.  Welcomes the budget increase for the four funds under the Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows programme in comparison to the 2012 budget; deeply regrets, however, the imbalance between the different funds, with priority being given to the External Border Fund and the European Return Fund; stresses that a balanced share of financial resources should be allocated to the Refugee Fund and the Integration Fund; considers that sufficient financial resources should be made available for the purpose of intra-EU relocation of migrants, on the basis of solidarity with Member States facing disproportionate migratory pressures;

7.  Considers that, since this is among the priorities of the EU’s Internal Security Strategy, cybersecurity needs should be addressed under the appropriate budget lines, with full use also being made of possible synergies between existing programmes; insists that stepping up the fight against cybercrime at Union level via the upcoming European Cybercrime Centre will require adequate funding, and therefore deplores the cuts proposed by the Commission for Europol, as this centre’s tasks as defined by the Commission cannot be carried out on the basis of Europol’s current level of human and financial resources;

8.  Considers it necessary to include a positive reserve in the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme, in order to support actions to coordinate better the efforts on cybercrime between of the different Agencies, including ENISA;

9.  Takes note of the significant increase in commitments and comparatively low level of payments for SIS II; points out that, according to the global schedule for SIS II, in 2013 its development and migration should be completed and the IT Agency should take over the management of the system; challenges, therefore, this significant budget increase at such a late stage before SIS II is due to become operational; recommends maintaining a substantial part of the budget for SIS II in the reserve until there is operational progress and the financial planning is complied with;

10. Insists that the agencies should, on the basis of their outputs and results and taking account of the overall situation of public finances in the EU, receive appropriate funding and should be allocated the necessary staff for carrying out their activities;

11. Regrets the fact that the Commission has proposed insufficient human and financial resources to ensure the continuing development and functioning of the EASO; notes that the EASO will have a crucial role to play, especially in the successful implementation of the Early Warning, Preparedness and Crisis Management Mechanism as envisaged by the Council conclusions of 8 March 2012;

12. Considers that, in the light of its increased tasks under its new mandate, especially in the field of fundamental rights and the future implementation of EUROSUR, Frontex should appoint a fundamental rights officer as soon as possible, and that any additional budget for new posts should be put in the reserve until that post is filled; calls on the Commission to ensure that specific funding in case of emergency situations is made available quickly and is allocated in line with developments;

13. Insists that specific funding should be allocated for the development of protection-sensitive border controls that fully respect the fundamental rights of migrants and comply with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, including in the context of Frontex operations;

14. Welcomes the role of EU funding in fostering solidarity among Member States and with third countries in the area of migration and asylum.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

5

4

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Mario Borghezio, Rita Borsellino, Emine Bozkurt, Arkadiusz Tomasz Bratkowski, Simon Busuttil, Philip Claeys, Carlos Coelho, Ioan Enciu, Cornelia Ernst, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Hélène Flautre, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Anna Hedh, Salvatore Iacolino, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Lívia Járóka, Timothy Kirkhope, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Véronique Mathieu, Anthea McIntyre, Jan Mulder, Georgios Papanikolaou, Jacek Protasiewicz, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Renate Sommer, Rui Tavares, Wim van de Camp, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Cecilia Wikström, Auke Zijlstra

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Alexander Alvaro, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Birgit Collin-Langen, Dimitrios Droutsas, Evelyne Gebhardt, Stanimir Ilchev, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Franziska Keller, Ádám Kósa, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Hubert Pirker, Zuzana Roithová, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Marie-Christine Vergiat

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

Adam Bielan, Françoise Castex, Marielle Gallo, Esther Herranz García, Seán Kelly


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (30.5.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 draft budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Enrique Guerrero Salom

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. mindful of the situation of public finances at national level, and whereas the Union budget represents, among other things, a unique instrument that can act as a catalyst for investment, which should be stepped up at a time of crisis;

B.  mindful of its resolutions of 14 March 2012 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2013 Budget - Section III - Commission(1) and 8 June 2011 entitled ‘Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe’(2);

1.  Takes the view that 2013 could, indeed must, be a turning point in overcoming the crises and budget policy should not in itself act as a barrier to the prospect of a return to growth; takes the view, therefore, that the next multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 should provide a better balance between restrictive measures and measures to stimulate job creation and the return to employment, taking due account of gender mainstreaming policies;

2.  Stresses that 2013 is a pre-election year, which calls for a balanced communication policy to inform citizens of their electoral rights and the issues at stake in the European elections;

3.  Regrets that it has not been possible for the European Year of Citizens 2013 to receive additional funding from the Union budget and calls on the Commission to ensure that the year’s objectives are properly taken into account when Union policies are implemented;

4.  Stresses that, in order to ensure the effective implementation of the European citizens’ initiative, the Commission and the European Parliament should make provision for adequate and equitable funding for public hearings;

5.  Takes the view that political parties at European level and European foundations should receive sufficient funding to perform the function attributed to parties by the treaties in terms of raising European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens; looks forward to the Commission’s proposal to create a new title in the Financial Regulation devoted solely and tailored specifically to the funding of European parties and foundations.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

14

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Alfredo Antoniozzi, Andrew Henry William Brons, Andrew Duff, Ashley Fox, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Paulo Rangel, Algirdas Saudargas, Rafał Trzaskowski, Manfred Weber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Dimitrios Droutsas, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, György Schöpflin

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0077.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.


OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (1.6.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget

(2012/2016(BUD))

Rapporteur: Mary Honeyball

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Emphasises that, under Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the promotion of equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the European Union; underlines that the issue of gender equality should be incorporated into all policies and addressed at all levels of the budgetary process;

2.  Recognises the need to be vigilant and mindful of the amount of money spent in times of austerity and stresses, therefore, the importance of effective EU funding which provides added value for all projects; points to the fact that it is more necessary and urgent than ever, in a time of crisis and economic fragility, to mount an uncompromising defence of the rights of those most directly affected by the consequences of this crisis, particularly women; stresses that gender equality is not only an issue of justice – it has also been shown to have a positive economic impact;

3.  Reiterates, therefore, the call for the gender-budgeting approach to be used in assessing and restructuring all budget programmes, measures and policies, in determining to what extent resources are allocated in gender-sensitive or gender-blind ways and, ultimately, in achieving gender neutrality, whereby equal consideration is given to every individual regardless of gender;

4.  Underlines the need for increased funding for the actions outlined in the Commission’s Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015, taking into account as well the multiple discrimination faced by, among others, migrant women, Roma women, women with disabilities, lesbians and elderly women, and encourages the adoption of ‘gender budgeting’ in both European and national strategies for more effective promotion of gender equality; stresses the importance of the Commission upholding its commitment to gender-mainstreaming in all actions it undertakes;

5.  Highlights the need to earmark increased funding for the fight against all forms of discrimination against women; calls, in particular, on the Commission to make financial resources available for targeted sectoral research, for information, awareness-raising and training actions concerning the gender pay gap and for the elimination of violence against women;

6.  Reminds the Member States to make use of the funds available under the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to promote gender equality, specifically in the field of employment, not merely by implementing gender mainstreaming; stresses that measures should be aimed at vulnerable groups of women, taking due account of the impact of the economic crises, investing in high-quality public services and, specifically, guaranteeing adequate provision of high-quality services at affordable prices for child care and care of the aged and of other dependent persons; draws particular attention to the ESF, which must have sufficient capacity to promote policies geared towards equality, high quality permanent jobs and fair redistribution of income; calls for the inclusion of a gender perspective in the regulation and implementation of all EU funds as well as genuine budgetary transparency;

7.  Welcomes the Commission’s decision to initiate legislative action to tackle the lack of women in board rooms; urges the Commission to draw up and implement the relevant budget headings in its legislative proposals to increase the number of women on company boards; requests that the Commission also develops actions to increase the numbers of women in positions of leadership in all areas of life, in particular to increase the number of women in politics;

8.  Stresses that measures aimed at combating gender violence must be sufficiently funded; emphasises the important role that the programme to prevent and combat all forms of violence (DAPHNE) has played in eliminating violence against women and girls in the European Union, and stresses the importance of increasing the programme’s financing in 2013;

9.  Acknowledges the Commission’s decision to create a more flexible funding programme for actions undertaken by DG JUST under the headings of justice, rights and citizenship; urges the Commission to consider a lower limit for funding for the elimination of violence against women, in order to guarantee the sustainability of future actions in this field;

10. Points to the important role that the gender-equality and anti-discrimination headings of the PROGRESS programme have played in promoting equality between men and women and in combating discrimination in the European Union; urges that these budget lines are not reduced in the final year of the 2007-2013 multiannual financial framework (MFF), and that measures are taken to ensure that funding is guaranteed in the succeeding MFF for 2014-2020;

11. Reaffirms the need for increased funding for the European Institute for Gender Equality, in order to enable it to achieve in full its general objectives of promoting gender equality and supporting the activity of the EU institutions, the rotating EU Council presidencies and the Member States by providing important studies, data and statistics relating to gender policies in Europe;

12. Deplores the fact that a high number of women continue to live in poverty, or are at risk of poverty, in particular women with special needs, such as disabled women, immigrant women, women belonging to minorities, elderly women and single mothers; urges the Commission to earmark funding to address this problem, both when drawing up and implementing the relevant budget headings and when implementing the adopted policies;

13. Asks the Commission to launch pilot projects in the following fields:

–   measures aimed at identifying forms of economic support available for single-parent households in Europe,

–   measures aimed at developing indicators to benchmark the state of implementation of ‘The Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life’ against its objectives,

–   measures to combat trafficking in women and prostitution, including, in particular, effective measures to protect those victims who speak out, guaranteeing them jobs with rights and fostering their social inclusion, and measures to fight traffickers and to promote development aid in victims’ home countries,

–   measures aimed at involving women in green-collar jobs and ecological transformation;

14. Welcomes the Commission’s open consultation on activities in the framework of the 2013 European Year of Citizenship; calls on the Commission to include in the year’s budget funds earmarked for gender-specific activities , including measures to increase women’s political participation at local, national and European level, with a particular focus on women from minorities, women with disabilities, older women and single mothers, all of whom are often subject to multiple forms of discrimination;

15. Stresses the importance of the social partners in the design and implementation of effective EU projects to promote equality and eliminate discrimination; recalls that many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active at various levels make an important contribution at the European level, where they assist in developing policy orientations relating to the general objectives of the DAPHNE and PROGRESS programme;

16. Highlights the importance of making appropriate funding available for measures to promote gender equality in third countries while ensuring that the conditionality of such funding is based on the continued advancement of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the promotion of democracy; stresses the need for EU-funded measures aimed at eliminating trafficking and gender violence in third countries, in particular the phenomenon of female genital mutilation, and for programmes to increase female participation in education, combat female illiteracy, promote the participation of women at all levels of decision-making processes, and encourage female entrepreneurship;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Andrea Češková, Iratxe García Pérez, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Antonyia Parvanova, Joanna Senyszyn, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Britta Thomsen, Angelika Werthmann, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Minodora Cliveti, Ana Miranda, Norica Nicolai, Antigoni Papadopoulou


ANNEX: LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES

Committee on Fisheries

The Chair

IPOL-COM.PECH D(2012) 24881

Mr Alain Lamassoure

Chair of the Committee on Budgets

ASP 13E205

Subject: PECH Committee’s 2013 budget priorities - resolution on the mandate for the trilogue

Dear Mr Lamassoure,

As part of the 2013 budget procedure, the specialised committees have been asked to contribute to the resolution on the mandate for the forthcoming trilogue. Given the constraints of its internal schedule and the deadlines stipulated, the PECH Committee will be unable to send you a formal opinion. I would therefore ask you to consider the following outline of our priorities for the fishing industry in 2013.

All our committee’s group coordinators, as well as our rapporteur on the 2013 budget, Mr Crescenzio Rivellini, were consulted on this letter, which also reflects the conclusions of the structured dialogue of 20 March 2012 between members of the PECH Committee and Commissioner Maria Damanaki on the political and legislative priorities for 2013.

The following five points summarise the PECH Committee’s priorities:

1.  The first priority is to maintain consistency, over time, between commitment appropriations and payment appropriations in order to support the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), with a view to its imminent reform, and to provide for Croatia’s integration into the fisheries and maritime affairs policies. Any reduction in appropriations as against the levels of 2012 would therefore be unacceptable.

2.  Appropriations for the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) should be increased significantly for the following reasons:

–   more support needs to be given to the development of sustainable aquaculture, to small-scale and family-run inshore fisheries and to SMEs in the sector. Relentlessly rising management and production costs are taking a toll in terms of income and jobs, compromising the future of the traditional maritime economy. Locally-based employment therefore needs to be encouraged so as to preserve the existing fabric of small-scale and family-run inshore fisheries;

–   it is, moreover, essential to support and promote young people’s entry into the fishing industry with a view to optimising socio-economic balance in pursuit of the Europe 2020 employment targets;

–   with Croatia joining the Union, we also need to shoulder the burden of additional spending on fleet modernisation through health and safety improvements to provide better working conditions on board fishing vessels. Apart from improving working conditions, this expenditure will focus on reducing the fishing effort by promoting more selective techniques that eliminate discards, and on food safety by improving the conditions in which seafood is stored.

3.  Scientific research into, and data gathering on, the conservation, management and sustainable exploitation of living aquatic resources (budget item 11.07) are further areas for which sufficient funding must be provided.

4.  The importance of controlling fishing activities (budget item 11.08) also needs to be stressed, and particularly the key role played by the European Fisheries Control Agency: any reduction in the agency’s funding would be very damaging to the industry and will be vigorously opposed by the Committee.

5.  Lastly, we consider the proposal not to make commitment appropriations for the integrated maritime policy to be unacceptable as it stands.

We hope that the Committee on Budgets and its General Rapporteur, Mr Giovanni La Via, will approve of these priorities and will be able to include them in the resolution on the mandate for the trilogue.

Yours sincerely,

Gabriel Mato Adrover                                                        Crescenzio Rivellini

Chair                                                                                Rapporteur

Cc: Mr Giovanni La Via, General Rapporteur on the 2013 budget


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.6.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

3

3

Members present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Francesca Balzani, Reimer Böge, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Andrea Cozzolino, James Elles, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Estelle Grelier, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Sergej Kozlík, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Barbara Matera, Claudio Morganti, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Nadezhda Neynsky, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, László Surján, Helga Trüpel, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Alexander Alvaro, Franziska Katharina Brantner, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Jürgen Klute, Jan Mulder, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Georgios Papastamkos, Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan

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

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz

Last updated: 29 June 2012Legal notice