Procedure : 2012/2092(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0311/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0311/2012

Debates :

PV 22/10/2012 - 19
CRE 22/10/2012 - 19

Votes :

PV 23/10/2012 - 6.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0359

REPORT     
PDF 619kDOC 445k
12 October 2012
PE 496.481v03-00 A7-0311/2012(Par1)

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013 - all sections

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Part 1: Motion for a resolution

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteurs:                 Giovanni La Via (Section III – Commission)

                                     Derek Vaughan (other sections)

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 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 Economic and Monetary Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Petitions
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty,

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

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2),

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

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2012 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2013 budget – Section III – Commission(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 March 2012 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2013(5),

–   having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, which the Commission adopted on 25 April 2012 (COM(2012)0300),

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2012 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 draft budget(6),

–   having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, which the Council adopted on 24 July 2012 and forwarded to Parliament on 14 September 2012 (12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012),

–   having regard to Letter of amendment No XX/2012 to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013, presented by the Commission on XXXXX,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the other committees concerned (A7-0311/2012),

A. whereas the priorities expressed in the opinions given by its specialised committees, as well as those which emerged on the occasion of the meetings with the Rapporteurs specialising in budgetary matters, have as far as possible been taken into account in the present resolution and in Parliament's vote on the amendments to the budget,

Section III

1.  Recalls that its priorities for the 2013 budget, as detailed in its above-mentioned resolution of 4 July 2012 on the mandate for the trilogue, consist in support for sustainable growth, competitiveness and employment, particularly for SMEs and youth; points out once again that the Commission's draft budget (DB) reflects Parliament's priorities as regards the programmes and initiatives to be reinforced towards these objectives;

2.  Is fully aware of the severe difficulties arising from the state of the national economies and of the need for a responsible and realistic reading; cannot accept, however, the approach according to which the EU budget is made the source for possible savings with the same proportion and logic applied to the national budgets, given their substantial difference in nature, objectives and structure; highlights that decreasing EU resources will surely result in a lack of investment and liquidity in the Member States, thus aggravating the problems they are facing;

3.  Underlines that the EU budget is to be seen as a complementary instrument of support for the Member States' economies, capable of concentrating initiatives and investment in areas strategic for growth and the creation of jobs as well as and of bringing about a leverage effect in sectors overcoming national boundaries; highlights that such a role is legitimised by the same Member States, who, together with Parliament, are responsible for the decisions from which most of the EU law stems;

4.  Underlines the strong synergetic effects of the EU budget and thus its ongoing contribution to cost savings; believes that, with sufficient political will from Member States, even more savings could be achieved;

5.  Recalls that 2013 is the last year of the current multiannual financial framework (MFF), which makes it of the utmost importance to reach a balance between commitments undertaken so far and payments deriving from them that need to be honoured, the institutional credibility of the EU being at stake as well as possible legal consequences for the Commission in case of missing reimbursement of legitimate payment claims;

6.  Deplores, therefore, the decision of the Council to proceed again this year with the usual approach of horizontal cuts to the DB, aimed at artificially reducing the level of the EU's resources for 2013 by an overall total of EUR 1 155 million (-0,8%) in commitment appropriations (CA) and EUR 5 228 million (-3,8%) in payment appropriations (PA) as compared to the DB, thereby leading to a very modest increase compared to the 2012 budget both in commitments (+1,27% compared to 2% of the DB) and in payments (+2,79% compared to 6,8% of the DB);

7.  Is surprised that, in this exercise, the Council has not taken into account latest Commission's forecasts for programmes' implementation, based on estimates of the same Member States, which on the one hand clearly highlight areas of over-performances where reinforcements are needed already in 2012 and on the other hand warn about the severe risk of shortages of payments, in particular under Headings 1a, 1b and 2; recalls in this context the letter that President Barroso addressed to the 27 Member States in July 2012 expressing his concern about the cuts made to the DB by the Council's reading, as a result of which there is a risk that sufficient funds are not made available to enable the EU to honour its debts;

8.  Underlines that the current procedures for assessing the real needs for payment appropriations between the relevant administrations in the Member States and the competent services in the Commission take place in total obscurity; strongly believes that such procedures adversely impact on the quality of the final result, on the level of information that reaches not only the governments themselves but also the national parliaments and the European Parliament, and on the negotiations between the two branches of the budgetary authority;

9.  Notes that Council's cuts are spread over all the headings, but that Headings 1a and 1b are particularly affected as regards payments (-EUR 1,9 billion and -EUR 1,6 billion respectively as compared to the DB), i.e. the headings under which most of the programmes and initiatives responsible for delivery of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy are concentrated; warns that such an approach puts at risk the fulfilment of commitments previously undertaken and consequently the delivery of jointly decided EU priorities;

10. Underlines that these cuts are fully at odds with the conclusions of the June 2012 European Council, which identified the EU budget as "a catalyst for growth and jobs across Europe" and decided to concentrate resources, including EUR 55 billion coming from the Structural Funds, on growth-enhancing measures; considers that that decision, taken at the highest political level of the EU, needs to be translated into a sufficient level of payments for 2013 in favour of programmes and actions underpinning this priority;

11. Rejects the Council's argument that these cuts correspond to under-implemented or low-performing programmes, since they also affect programmes showing excellent implementation rates (e.g. the Lifelong Learning Programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) under Heading 1a and the Competitiveness and Employment objective under Heading 1b), whilst they do not touch areas experiencing under-implementation; points out that such criteria completely disregard the multiannual character of the EU's policies, and of cohesion policy in particular, characterised by a rising profile of payments towards the end of the MFF;

12. Points out that the substantial reduction in the level of payments as compared to commitments set by the Council would logically result in a further increase of the RAL at the end of the year, by increasing the gap between CA and PA by EUR 4,1 billion, especially considering that the largest shares of the RAL relate to cohesion policy (65,6%) and to R&D sector (10,5%), which are the two main areas suffering from the cuts;

13. On the basis of the data presented by the Commission in the inter-institutional meeting on payments of 26 September 2012, doubts that the increase in payments by 6,8% proposed in the DB will be sufficient to cover reimbursements of payment claims awaited by Member States under the various headings – and in particular for Headings 1a and 1b – in the absence of an amending budget covering payment needs for 2012; will therefore reject any attempt to reduce the level of payment appropriations as compared to the DB proposal;

14. Due to the recent years' experience, does not deem the declaration of payments proposed by the Council in its reading as a sufficient guarantee that an adequate level of payments will eventually be made available for all headings; takes the general approach, therefore, of restoring, at the level of DB payments cut by Council in all headings and to increase payment appropriations over DB on a selected number of lines characterised by high levels of implementation within each heading, in particular Headings 1a and 4, to cover the real needs of the corresponding programmes, as identified by the Commission;

15. Gives mandate to its delegation for the Budget 2013 conciliation not to accept any level of payments both for the Amending budget 6/2012 and the Budget 2013 that does not fully cover the payment needs for 2012 and 2013, as those are estimated by the Commission;

16. Asks Member States to ensure that the estimates they are sending to the Commission - and on which the Commission is establishing its proposal on payments - are verified and certified at the appropriate political level in each Member State;

17. Regrets that the Council departed substantially (all in all by EUR 2,15 billion), as regards commitments, from the financial programming figures, which result from a joint decision with Parliament at the beginning of the programming period, as well as that Council completely disregarded Parliament's priorities, as expressed in Parliament's mandate for the trilogue; recalls that Parliament's reading is based instead upon, and coherent with, benchmarks arising from that mandate;

18. Underlines that the answer to the crisis must be more Europe and not less Europe, in order to restart investment, boost the creation of jobs and help rebuild confidence in the economy; has already been critical of the freeze in commitment appropriations in the DB adopted by the Commission as underlined in Parliament's above-mentioned resolution of 4 July 2012 on the mandate for the trilogue, cannot therefore accept Council's decision to reduce them further down to 1,27% compared to budget 2012; recalls that commitments reflect EU political priorities and should be set having in mind a long term perspective where the economic downturn might be over; intends to increase commitment appropriations above the DB on a few selected budget lines directly related to the delivery of the Europe 2020 priorities and in line with traditional Parliament's priorities;

19. Sets therefore the overall level of appropriations for 2013 to EUR 151 151,84 million and EUR 137 898,15 million in respectively commitment and payment appropriations;

Heading 1a

20. Deplores that, although this is the key heading for the delivery of the Europe 2020 objectives, Heading 1a bears practically the totality of the Council's cuts in commitments (-2,9% compared to DB) in Heading 1 and is the most affected as regards decreases in payments (-EUR 1,9 billion or -14% compared to DB); decides to undo almost all cuts by Council and to reinforce above DB in commitment and payment appropriations only a selected number of lines directly linked to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and characterised by high levels of implementation and strong absorption capacity;

21. Strongly regrets that, instead of increasing appropriations for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) programmes, the Council decided to cut the Commission's proposal on corresponding budget lines, which is in clear contradiction with the recent European Council's decision to create a "Compact for growth and jobs" supporting, among others, research and development, innovation and employment; underlines the very good performances of these programmes, for which Commission reports accelerated implementation in 2012 compared to last year;

22. Considers the CIP programme as one of the main deliverers of Europe 2020 and an essential tool to facilitate access to finance, in particular for innovative SMEs; decides, therefore, to increase commitment and payment appropriations in favour of the CIP Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and CIP Intelligent Energy Europe as well as, in line with the increasing demands by SMEs, to increase both CA and PA for the financial instruments under this programme;

23. Takes note of the Commission's proposal to cover the additional costs for ITER through performance savings deriving mainly from Joint Undertakings and administrative expenditure of FP7; recalls the added value of EU-financed research and its crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment enshrined in the Europe 2020 strategy; in line with the Interinstitutional Declaration of December 2011, decides, therefore, to partly compensate these decreases by setting commitments above DB on a selected number of operational FP7 lines directly underpinning the Europe 2020 strategy and characterised by excellent levels of implementation and strong absorption capacity; proposes to finance this partial offset above the available margin through the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for an amount of EUR 50 million;

24. Stresses the substantial added value of the Lifelong Learning and Erasmus Mundus programmes, which, against modest financial envelopes, provide great returns in terms of effective implementation and positive image of the Union vis-à-vis its citizens; in line with its established position in the last budgetary procedures, decides to increase appropriations both in CA and in PA for these programme above DB, considering their high absorption capacity;

25. Deplores the cut in payments (-EUR 23 million as compared to DB) by the Council affecting the financial support for projects of common interest in the Trans-European transport network; highlights that this programme, through investment in high European added-value infrastructures, is essential in order to increase the competitiveness of the EU as a whole and directly contributes to growth and employment; underlines that the programme performs well in terms of implementation and that the year 2013 will be crucial as it is meant to prepare for the entry into force of the Connecting Europe Facility; therefore decides to maintain the level of commitments and payments proposed in the DB;

26. Chooses to restore DB payments for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF); highlights the fact that restoring payment appropriations will avoid transfers from other budget lines and that the amount appropriated represents the minimum amount consumed by the EGF in the first few months of the year;

Heading 1b

27. Strongly deplores the substantial cuts in payments (-EUR 1,6 billion or -3,3 % as compared to DB) by the Council affecting the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective (-12,9%), the European Territorial Cooperation objective (-18,7%) and the Cohesion Fund (-4,7%); thereby substantially increasing the RAL, notes instead that the convergence objective is left practically untouched;

28. Recalls that the high level of payments in the DB for this heading (+8,1%) results from commitments undertaken in the past, which need to be honoured at the end of the programming period in line with the natural life cycle of the Structural Funds; stresses that a more realistic approach from the Council as to the actual payment needs under this heading in the recent EU budgetary procedures would have allowed a much lower percentage of increase in payments;

29. Recalls the doubts expressed in its mandate for the trilogue as to whether the level of payments proposed in the DB will be sufficient to reimburse the totality of the expected payment claims in the absence of an amending budget this year; underlines that the same Commission's proposal is based on the assumption that all payment needs from previous years up to 2012 are covered;

30. Rejects the cuts introduced by the Council on Heading 1b, which would lead to a much more serious shortage in payments than already expected and would impede the reimbursement for already spent resources to the beneficiary Member States and regions, with serious consequences especially for those Member States which are already under social, economical and financial constraints; points out again that this heading is responsible for two thirds of the current outstanding commitments and that cutting the level of payments for 2013 would also lead to a strong increase in the level of RAL by the end of next year; asks therefore the Commission to present an analysis on the situation of RAL and a sound strategy as to how the level of RAL should be reduced; calls on the Commission to provide Parliament with information on a monthly basis on the breakdown per Member State and per Fund of the claims submitted for reimbursement;

31. Does not consider the Council's declaration asking the Commission to submit a draft amending budget in case of insufficient payments under Heading 1b as a sufficient guarantee that an adequate level of payments will be made available in 2013, given that similar commitments have been already undertaken and disregarded by the Council in the past two years; asks the Council Presidency to make a public statement and explain the discrepancy between the Council's reading on payments and the actual needs of Member States, as expressed in their estimates;

32. Decides, therefore, to restore the DB in commitments and in payments for all budget lines cut by Council under this heading and to increase commitment and payment appropriations above DB for the technical assistance to the Baltic Sea Strategy;

33. Urges the Council to agree on Draft amending budget 6/2012 presented by the Commission with the aim to compensate the shortage of payment appropriations this year and to avoid blocking the execution of running projects at the end of the programming period; gives mandate to its delegation in the framework of the negotiations with the Council, should the Council not be ready to approve in full the DAB, to possibly increase payment appropriations by the amount rejected by Council, distributing it pro rata between all the operational lines of Heading 1b;

Heading 2

34. Considers that the Commission’s estimates of budgetary needs are more realistic than the Council’s forecast figures, in particular in the light of forthcoming payments; restores therefore Council's cuts under this Heading to a level of EUR 60 307,51 million, which is 0,6% above the 2012 budget;

35. Points out that the traditional agricultural amending letter to be forthcoming in October 2012 will adjust the current estimates to a more precise assessment of the real needs; draws attention to the final level of assigned revenue to be available in 2013 (conformity clearance correction, irregularities and milk super levy), which will ultimately set the level of fresh appropriations to be adopted in the Budget 2013; estimates that the current margin of EUR 981,5 million should be sufficient to cover the needs under this heading in the absence of unforeseen circumstances;

36. Rejects the increase of the so-called negative expenditure line (clearance of accounts) as this appears to be set artificially high compared to Heading 2 appropriations and partly restores the Commission's proposal, allowing a more realistic approach;

37. Confirms its commitment to act in preventing and responding to crises in the fruit and vegetable sector, and therefore supports an adequate level for producer groups for preliminary recognition; advocates a sufficient increase of the Union's contribution to the crisis fund within operational funds for producer organisations;

38. Provides for an increased support for the school milk programme and the continued support for programme concerning school fruit;

39. Maintains the budget allocation dedicated to the Food Distribution Programme for the Most Deprived Persons in the EU that supports 18 million people with problems of malnutrition within the Union; welcomes the effort made by the Commission in finding a political and legal solution to continue with the programme in 2013; hopes that a solution enabling for the continuation of the programme during the next MFF period will be found;

40. Supports the reduction of some budget lines on refunds drastically, in some cases even to zero, as this instrument is politically controversial and has not been taken up for some products at the same level as in the budget year 2012; notes that some refund lines have been earmarked as negative priorities; weighs up carefully to what extent these lines should be reduced, in order to be able to use this instrument if needed under the current regulation on refunds;

41. Provides for a continued support on a commensurate level for the LIFE+ programme, which gives priority solely to environment and climate action projects, supporting the development of a sustainable and a more resource-efficient economy and the protection, conservation and restoration of eco-systems; recalls again that environmental problems and their solutions do not recognise national borders, thus dealing with it at EU level is self-evident; in this respect, calls on the Member States to significantly improve their implementation of EU environmental legislation;

42. Stresses that the common fisheries policy remains a crucial political priority for the EU and maintains its financing at the proposed DB levels, in view of its upcoming reform; believes that the funding of the integrated maritime policy should not come at the expense of other fisheries actions or programmes under Heading 2; considers effective fisheries' management of crucial importance in order to preserve fish stocks and prevent overfishing;

Heading 3a

43. Notes that the overall cuts in funding proposed by the Council compared to DB 2013 is -EUR 15 million in commitment appropriations and -EUR 51 million in payment appropriations; notes that these cuts correspond to -1,07% compared to the DB and to -15,5% compared to the initial financial programming of the Commission;

44. Rejects the cuts performed by the Council in payment appropriations in the following areas: European Return Fund (-EUR 18 million), European Refugee Fund (-EUR 1,8 million), European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals (-EUR 3,2 million) and Fundamental Rights and Citizenship (-EUR 1 million); decides, therefore, to restore the level of the DB on the corresponding lines;

45. Rejects the Council's unilateral decision to change the legal basis of the proposal on the "Schengen evaluation mechanism" from ordinary legislative procedure to Article 70 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; supports the Conference of Presidents' decision to block cooperation with the Council on the 2013 budget as regards internal security aspects; endorses, therefore, the position taken by its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to put into the reserve some budgetary lines in Title 18 which relate to internal security (in commitment and payment appropriations) until a satisfactory outcome is achieved on the Schengen governance package; is of the opinion that this reserve should not be applied to the agencies working under Heading 3a in order not to jeopardise their work;

46. Emphasises the important role that the programme for preventing and combating all forms of violence (DAPHNE) plays in eliminating violence against women, young people and children in the EU, especially in the current context of crisis; notes the measurable results of the DAPHNE programme as well as its impact on policy change within Member States; therefore increases its payment appropriations above the level of the DB;

Heading 3b

47. Regrets that, despite the cuts already proposed in the DB, Council makes further cuts in appropriations for Heading 3b, both in commitments and in payments, by approximately EUR 9,5 million; takes the general approach of undoing all Council's cuts so as to ensure a proper implementation of the running programmes and actions under this heading;

48. Reiterates that fostering a sense of active citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans is essential for Europe to be able to exploit the talents of the best-educated generation in history; emphasises the need to encourage cross-cultural communication and EU citizenship within the next generation; has therefore decided to increase funding for the Youth in Action programme compared to DB, especially considering the sound implementation of the programme for many years running;

49. Considers that the information campaign on the European Year of Citizens 2013 together with communication activities require adequate appropriations to properly involve citizens in the European project and promote dialogue on the EU issues; deplores that the budget proposed by the Commission is the smallest ever allocated to a European Year and decides to reinforce appropriations for the corresponding budget line;

50. Supports the continuation of the successful preparatory action “European partnerships on sport”, considering the novel competences bestowed upon the Union by the Lisbon Treaty in the field of sports, with a particular focus on grassroots and mass sport, promoting fairness in sporting competitions by fighting against match-fixing and protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen;

Heading 4

51. Highlights that cuts in payments brought by the Council to Heading 4 (-EUR 1 billion or -14,1% as compared to DB) represent approximately 20% of the overall cuts across all headings; considers that such a massive reduction would impede the Union to respect the commitments to which it has committed itself on the world scene; notes that the Commission's proposal was only slightly above the level of the 2012 budget and already substantially reduced compared to the financial programming; decides to restore the level of both commitment and payment appropriations in most budget lines to the levels proposed in the DB;

52. Considers, however, that some decreases compared to the DB can be accepted in some budget lines, such as Macro-Financial Assistance, membership of international organisations in the field of customs and tax and cooperation with Greenland;

53. Proposes a small increase in the level of commitment and payment appropriations above the DB for budget lines in the areas of geographical development cooperation, as well as for the Electoral Observation Mission and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; highlights that this should prevent the EU from being further off track as regards its strong commitments on development cooperation financing;

54. Points out that, in accordance with the declaration signed by the Commission and UNRWA on EU support for UNRWA (2011-2013), the EU’s annual contribution is based on the 2011 Palestinian allocation (EUR 300 million), and a reduction in that reference amount would have a knock-on effect on the allocation for UNRWA; believes that increased funding for Palestine and UNRWA is crucial for ensuring that UNRWA is given the necessary resources it needs to provide the essential services for which it has been mandated by the UN General Assembly and to safeguard the safety and livelihood of refugees in the light of the instability in the region;

55. Also deems it necessary to increase appropriations for the support to the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot Community in order to ensure the continuation of the EU financial support to the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus and of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage;

56. Introduces separate budget lines for all CFSP missions and EU Special Representatives in the different geographical areas, as proposed in the reform of the Financial Regulation, which will provide a more transparent and complete overview of missions conducted under this policy;

Heading 5

57. Takes note of the Council's position decreasing the Commission's proposal on Heading 5 – All sections by EUR 146 million overall, despite the institutions' efforts, as reflected in their estimates and the DB, towards budget consolidation of administrative expenditure, at a time of economic and budgetary constraints;

58. Stresses in particular that most institutions, including Parliament and the Commission, complied with and even overstepped their commitment to restrict their administrative budgets to an increase below the expected inflation rate; welcomes these efforts and sets Heading 5 appropriations at an overall level of EUR 8 506,87 million, of which EUR 4 967,37 million for the Commission;

59. Well notes that the cuts brought by the Council stem from the non-budgeting of the 1,7% 2011 salary adjustment, the increase of the standard abatement rate for various institutions and services and other specific cuts to some items of administrative expenditure, but considers such cuts to be ill-founded and simply aimed at artificially freezing administrative expenditure in nominal terms, despite statutory and contractual obligations and the EU’s new competences and tasks;

60. Considers, in particular, that the increases in the standard abatement rates, meant to increase the number of unpaid posts within the institutions, reflect a conservative approach which will directly affect the possibility to improve occupancy rates of the establishment plans that are at the same time being approved by the budget authority; emphasises that such an approach is all the more detrimental in a context of reduction of establishment plans, which mechanically improves occupancy rates, and that the financing of these posts should not be considered as an adjustment variable for achieving a nominal freeze of administrative budget or any other predefined target amount;

61. Decides, for all the institutions apart from the Council, as well as for the European Schools, to restore (or in the case of the Court of Justice, add) in reserve the amounts corresponding to the 1.7% 2011 salary adjustment for budget year 2013, pending the Court's ruling; underlines that this is sound budgeting, given the likelihood of a ruling in favour of the Commission, and warns the Council that, in such event, the budgetary authority will need to accommodate the retroactive effect of such ruling also for years 2011 and 2012, including late interest;

62. Also undoes other cuts brought by the Council on specific items of administrative expenditure, notably, within the Commission, on ICT equipment and services and some offices;

63. Takes note that the Council accepted the proposed 1% staff reduction in the Commission’s establishment plan, notably in the areas of administrative support, budgetary management and anti-fraud;

64. While restoring or maintaining the Commission's and, partly, other institutions' requests for posts on the basis of a case-by-case approach, calls for an in-depth impact assessment to be carried out on the planned staff reductions by 2018, taking full account of, inter alia, the Union's legal obligations and the institutions' new competences and increased tasks arising from the Treaties;

65. Although welcoming the information given in the DB on those areas which were reinforced in staff, such as European economic governance, the single market and security and justice, notes with concern that staff cuts were made within the Commission to some other Directorates-General such as Enterprise and Industry, Competition, Mobility and Transport, Research and Innovation Eurostat which however make a substantial contribution to the achievement of the EU's priorities; is also concerned by the adverse impact fewer posts in the areas of administrative support, budgetary management and anti-fraud may have on the swift, regular and effective implementation of EU actions and programmes, especially at a time when the EU’s competences continue to increase and a new Member State joins the Union;

66. Therefore asks the Commission to include in its annual staff screening report a combined assessment by Directorates-General and services, taking into account their size and workload notably, and by the types of posts, as presented in this screening report (policymaking, programme management, administrative support, budgetary management and anti-fraud activities, language services, etc.);

67. Deplores the cuts made by the Council on the administrative and research support lines, including executive agencies, by overall 6,6% in CA and PA (-EUR 71,8 million) compared to DB, with the highest cuts affecting Heading 1b (-23,7%) and Heading 4 (-13,2%); underlines that this would result in a 5,5% decrease as compared to similar 2012 appropriations, despite the savings already proposed in the DB, and would therefore be likely to affect the swiftness and quality of budgetary implementation of the multi-annual programmes to which they are related; stresses, moreover, that decreasing the administrative lines of a given programme without increasing its operational expenditure would result in a modification of the whole co-decided envelope for that programme; therefore decides to restore the DB for those lines;

68. Also sets a number of reserves on some budget lines with a view to obtaining specific information;

Agencies

69. Endorses, as a general rule, the Commission's estimates of agencies' budgetary and staff needs and notes that the Commission had already considerably reduced the agencies' initial requests and applied also to them the 1% staff reduction in the DB;

70. Considers, therefore, that any further cuts as proposed by the Council would endanger the proper functioning of the agencies and would not allow them to fulfil the tasks they have been assigned by the legislative authority; rejects the Council's horizontal approach in cutting appropriations for agencies, whose needs have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis; also calls on the Commission to identify, for the next MFF period, possible areas of duplication of work or reduced added value in relation to the agencies, with a view to streamlining their functioning;

71. Decides to increase the 2013 budget appropriations for the three financial supervision agencies; believes that those appropriations should reflect the need to fulfil the required tasks as more regulations, decisions and directives are being adopted to overcome the current financial and economic crisis which is strongly linked to the stability of the financial sector;

72. Cannot accept the Council cuts on agencies under Heading 3a, which represent a decrease by EUR 2,8 million in both CA and PA, as agencies represent 18% of the overall appropriations under Heading 3a and the Council cuts would have a disproportionate impact on this heading; intends, therefore, to restore the proposed DB, which seems to establish a balanced equilibrium level;

73. Is aware that certain agencies (such as Europol, EASA, ACER) have to implement additional tasks in 2013 which might not be reflected in the allocated budget or establishment plan for 2013; requests from the Commission, in case of necessity, to propose timely an Amending Budget for the respective agency; expects from the Commission further to present a new financial statement when a legislative procedure has been finalised by Parliament and the Council extending the mandate of an agency; is alert that such an extension might require additional resources which would need to be agreed upon by the budgetary authority;

Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs)

74. Having carried out a careful analysis of the pilot projects and preparatory actions submitted – as regards the rate of success of the ongoing ones and excluding initiatives already covered by existing legal bases, and taking fully into account the Commission's assessment of the projects' implementability, decides to adopt a compromise package made up of a limited number of PP-PAs, also in view of the limited margins available, in particular under Headings 1a and 3b;

Other sections

75. Is concerned by the Council's position of a nominal freeze across all EU institutions; believes that each institution should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the needs and specific situation of each institution;

76. Welcomes efforts made by the institutions to find additional savings and restrict their budgets; highlights the fact that the level of their budgets for 2013 will include the costs of the enlargement to Croatia and the 1,7% salary adjustment for 2013; stresses, however, that the costs of enlargement to Croatia should not be seen as increase in their budgets but as justified financing of accession to the EU of a new Member State;

77. Emphasises that, as a consequence of additional savings made by the institutions between spring and autumn 2012, appropriations are currently at a very low level; is concerned that there is almost no margin for new unavoidable expenses that may arise with regard to legal obligations;

78. Believes that the budgetary authority should ensure a level of appropriations which will guarantee the smooth functioning of the institutions and respect for legal obligations and provide a high-level administration to serve EU citizens;

Section I – European Parliament

General framework

79. Recalls that it insisted, when adopting its estimates for 2013(7), on the need for strict budgetary control and identifying further savings during this budgetary procedure;

80. Welcomes the agreement reached during the conciliation of 26 September 2012 between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets; points out that the overall level of its 2013 budget is EUR 1 750 463 939, and represents therefore a net reduction of EUR 18,3 million compared to the preliminary draft estimates of February 2012;

81. Points out that the level of its 2013 budget is 1,9% above the 2012 budget including the costs for Croatian accession; highlights that, due to the current inflation rate of 1,9%, there is thus a real decrease of the operating budget, despite recently added competences, new posts and actions, the financing of Croatia's accession and the costs for preparing the 2014 elections;

82. Approves the following adjustments to the estimates:

     –   reduce the appropriations in the contingency reserve,

     –   internalise the security service in a budget-neutral manner,

     –   pursue the internalisation of ICT activities and, as consequence, create 30 new posts in the establishment plan in a budget-neutral manner (offset by savings),

     –   adjust the appropriations for the European Parliamentary Association;

83. Also reduces appropriations for the House of European History by EUR 5,3 million;

84. Furthermore, recognising the challenging economic situation across the EU, recalls the decision taken not to index Members' individual allowances until the end of the mandate, highlights that staff mission allowances have not been indexed since 2007, and reconfirms the decision in the 2012 budget resolution(8) to reduce all budget lines related to travel;

85. Welcomes the information and analyses contained in the 2011 Parliament's budgetary and financial management report and in the DGs annual activity reports, regarding budget lines that were under-implemented in 2011, and calls for further objective analysis of this type concerning the 2012 budget in order to more readily identify potential future savings to be offset by investment where needed and useful for the proper and smooth functioning of Parliament;

Working arrangements of Parliament

86. Believes that, like every directly elected parliament, the European Parliament should have the right to decide on its own seat and working place arrangements;

87. Declares, therefore, that Parliament's seat and places of work for Members and officials should be decided upon by Parliament itself;

88. Urges the two arms of the budgetary authority (the Council and Parliament), in order to make financial savings and to promote a more sustainable climate- and environmentally friendly solution, to raise the issue of a single seat and Parliament's working places for Members and officials in the upcoming negotiations on the next MFF for 2014-2020;

89. Urges the Member States to revise the issue of Parliament's seat and working places in the next revision of the Treaty by amending Protocol 6;

90. In the meantime, calls on the Council to start elaborating a road-map with the Parliament towards a single seat and a more efficient use of Parliament's working places, taking into account specific up-to-date figures detailing the cost of each place of work and working conditions for staff, as well as economic, societal and environmental factors – to be presented in a report by 30 June 2013;

91. Suggests that the agreement between the Luxembourg authorities and Parliament on the number of staff to be present in Luxembourg should be revised, taking into account a revision of Parliament's needs;

Joint working group

92. Welcomes the establishment of a joint Working group on Parliament's budget between the Committee on Budgets and the Bureau; in particular, strongly supports its work on the launch of a comparative study Parliament's budget with the budgets of the US Congress and a sample of Member States' parliaments; recalls that this study is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012; expects this study to create long-term savings in the European Parliament's budget and present ideas for improving its efficiency in 2013 and the following years;

93. Considers that the Joint Working Group should reflect the democratic balance within Parliament; believes that the working group should consider, inter alia, further alternatives relating to the opening hours of the Members' Register and measures to encourage the use of cheaper and greener modes of transport; furthermore, calls on the working group to report back to the Committee on Budgets and the Bureau in order to achieve medium and long-term structural and organisational savings in Parliament's budget;

94. Welcomes the joint working group's proposal to close the Members' Register on Fridays in constituency (turquoise) weeks;

95. Calls on the Bureau to implement the proposals for savings agreed by the joint working group without delay;

Travel

96. Welcomes the efforts made to seek further savings in Members' and staff travel; notes the savings made on mission expenses incurred by staff; notes that the related budgetary line decreased in 2012 and that these savings have been made possible by better management, use of video-conferencing and a reduction in the number of missions;

97. Calls on the administration to evaluate developments in the low-cost travel market, to keep up to date with new developments in the market and to exploit any possibilities for savings; furthermore, calls on the administration to allow and encourage the use of low-cost air tickets and the purchase of flexible economy tickets; believes that further measures should be examined in order to reduce the number of business class flights purchased by Members;

IT/travel

98. Notes that the savings made on travel in 2011 thanks to the increased use (+56.6%) of video-conferencing are estimated at EUR 1,4 million; believes that further savings in mission costs can be achieved by progressively replacing missions with video-conferencing, which will also limit the Parliament's carbon footprint; requests, therefore, the results of an analysis carried out by the Parliament's administration on the need for further video-conferencing equipment by no later than February 2013;

Buildings

99. Believes in, and calls for, a transparent decision-making process in the field of buildings policy through close and open cooperation with the Committee on Budgets;

100.    Requests timely information about the Secretary General's findings on, and schedule of, the renovation works and office relocation in the coming years; underlines the importance of proper planning and entering appropriations into the budget at the appropriate stage;

Translation

101.    Reiterates that savings on translation should not jeopardise multilingualism; draws attention to the fact that the quality of translations and of the working conditions of the services concerned need to be safeguarded;

Section IV – Court of Justice

102.    Notes that, despite major structural changes and a continually growing caseload, the Court has limited the increase of its operating budget to 1,56% (in addition to 1,49% due to Croatian enlargement);

103.    Therefore restores appropriations for translation in order to avoid delays in proceedings and for IT resources as recommended by auditors;

104.    Partially restores remunerations and fixes the standard abatement rate at 4,5% in order to allow the Court to correctly carry out its functions; furthermore, partially restores appropriations for maintenance and energy;

105.    Supports the ongoing revision of the Statute of the Court and commits to processing any amending budget linked to this issue without delay;

Section V – Court of Auditors

106.    Notes that the Court reduces its establishment plan by 9 posts in 2013; therefore restores the initial standard abatement of 1,8% to limit the risk on the implementation of the Court’s strategy and the delivery of the planned Audit Reports; also restores appropriations for recruitment relating to Croatian accession to the level of the DB;

Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

107.    Partially restores remunerations and allowances, to apply a 5,5% standard abatement rate, which will still mean a reduction of the current occupancy rate; partly undoes other arbitrary cuts made by Council, such as expenditure linked to the Official Journal and operating expenditure such as interpretation, already reduced in 2012 to its 2009 outturn level;

108.    Fully restores appropriations for annual lease payments which are linked to legal obligations under existing contracts and subject to annual indexation depending on Belgian inflation;

Section VII – Committee of the Regions

109.    Partially restores appropriations for the Committee of Regions to meet its existing statutory and legal obligations in the field of annual lease payments and staff salaries; notes that Council's drastic cut on remunerations and allowances would amount to applying twice the 1% staff cut (already included in the DB) to this institution;

Section VIII – European Ombudsman

110.    Notes the 3,49% increase of the European Ombudsman's budget; notes that part of this increase is linked to unavoidable rental costs; reinstates appropriations for remuneration and allowances which are required due to previously vacant posts being filled;

Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

111.    Fully restores the EDPS budget; notes that its increase is in line with the forecasted inflation rate; in particular, reinstates two new posts and corresponding appropriations which are foreseen to help carry out core activities of the institution;

Section X – European External Action Service

112.    Notes that the EEAS is a relatively new institution in a growing phase and that its network still needs to be enhanced in order to meet the EU’s political priorities and that, with 141 delegations, the EEAS is uniquely - among the EU institutions - exposed to inflation in third countries and to exchange-rate fluctuations;

113.    Welcomes the fact that, for 2013, the EEAS has frozen appropriations in nominal terms on a number of budget lines and made targeted reductions on other lines, savings which could reach 1,3% of its 2012 budget;

114.    Notes that the EEAS is showing self-restraint as no new posts are created in its establishment plan for 2013;

115.    Highlights that the proposed increases in the EEAS budget are required to meet statutory staff costs and other legal obligations, as well as to respond to the political expectations for the EEAS to be present in priority countries;

116.    Rejects, therefore, the Council's decision to freeze the EEAS budget in nominal terms at the 2012 level, and proposes an adequate increase in view of its overall financial context;

117.    Undoes the cuts made by Council that would entail a reduction in the number of officials and would contradict the efforts made since the creation of the EEAS to recruit and to redeploy staff to meet increased operational requirements;

118.    Reinstates appropriations needed to comply with rental contracts in force and service-level arrangements with the Commission and the Council, and to gradually replace and streamline inherited outdated and overlapping IT systems;

0

0 0

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

(1)

OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.

(2)

OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(4)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0077.

(5)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0109.

(6)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0289.

(7)

Texts adopted, 29 March 2012, P7_TA(2012)0109.

(8)

Texts Adopted, P7_TA(2011)0461.


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (12.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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.  Recalls that, while the EU budget cannot be exempted from budget discipline that affects all national budgets, this cannot take the form of across the board cuts as decided by the Council; is of the opinion that the efforts to rationalize external relations budget should primarily take the form of a search for synergies and for improvement of management procedures to increase efficiency; stresses that EU's vital foreign policy interests shall not be jeopardised;

2.  Underlines that the European Union as a global player has the responsibility to promote peace and stability, economic development and respect for fundamental values and human rights throughout the world;

3.  Recalls its critical assessment(1) of the Draft Budget proposed by the Commission which already falls short of delivering all Union's political priorities in the field of external relations; is therefore determined to endow the EU budget with the necessary means to deliver its political priorities, including through the use of all means available in the 17 May 2006 IIA, in particular points 21 to 23, and point 27;

4.  Regrets, in that regard, the position of the Council reducing commitments by EUR 171.7 million and payments by EUR 1 034.3 million under heading 4;

5.  Reiterates that Eastern and Southern neighbours and particularly the developments in the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring remain a priority, and that the Draft Budget represents an adequate basis for the Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, based on the "more for more" principle and to guarantee an efficient and ambitious role of the EU; considers important the support and guarantee by the EU to the projects funded through microcredit programs carried out by the EIB or the EBRD due to the positive impact that these projects have on sustainable and local development in these countries;

6.  Points that cuts in both commitment and payment appropriations proposed by Council for administrative expenditures linked to all Multi annual programs (DCI, IPA, ENPI, EIDHR, IFS, ICI) could jeopardize the good implementation of these programs;

7.  Stresses that the search for peace and political stability in the Middle East plays a key role in the EU foreign policy; reiterates therefore its call for long term programming and sufficient funding of the assistance to UNRWA, Palestine and the Peace process; stresses that, thanks to Parliament’s strong commitment, the Union’s annual contribution over the last years amounts, at a minimum, 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; rejects the principle of ad hoc requests for additional funding which do not allow predictability and planning and calls, in this regard, for a funding commitment that reflects actual needs from the beginning of the budgetary year in order to ensure that the Union can effectively support sustainable peace-building;

8.  Is of the conviction that EU assistance should aim at generating a development autonomous from EU assistance and believes that a form of priority should be given to projects whose design and prospects advance sustainable economic growth of the beneficiary countries; underlines the importance of involvement of civil society in all stages of the Union's assistance delivery process, with the aim of encouraging local engagement and ownership;

9.  After thorough analysis of their added-value, decides to launch two pilot projects on "Twinning EU democratic actors and their emerging counterparts in Belarus" and on "The Rule of Law in action", and a preparatory action on the "Strengthening of peace mediation capacities";

10. Reiterates its concern about the lack of parliamentary scrutiny over CFSP, and especially its budget; considers, as a branch of the budgetary authority, that a clearer and more detailed breakdown of missions and operations conducted on the basis of Council Decisions is necessary; adopts consequently a more detailed budgetary nomenclature, being confident that this measure will not infringe on the necessary flexibility and reactivity required for the CFSP;

11. Welcomes the savings achieved by the EEAS in 2012, and the continuation of this trend in 2013, and takes note of the necessary phasing-in period; considers that, despite high structural expenses (in great majority payroll), the Service should increase its efforts for an efficient management of its budget; rejects the Council's decision to freeze EEAS budget at 2012 level (without even taking into account inflation), and proposes an adequate increase;

12. Encourages the Union to cooperate at budgetary level with bodies that fight for gender equality and the empowerment of women in the international sphere, especially with UN-Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women; rejects, in this regard, the decrease of appropriations for the gender equality;

13. Regrets, in particular, the ongoing decrease of appropriations in the field of development cooperation; wonders how this is compatible with the Union'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 Council to ensure a more coherent, realistic and better planned approach to the financing of DCI;

14. Recalls that the Instrument for Stability provides funds in situations of crisis or emerging crises, when timely financial help cannot be provided from other Union's sources; considers that the proposed reduction of the IfS budget for 2013 is disproportionate and inconsistent with political priorities and ignores the fragile political climate in many regions in our neighbourhood and beyond.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

6

0

Members present for the final vote

Frieda Brepoels, Elmar Brok, Mário David, Andrzej Grzyb, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Ioannis Kasoulides, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Evgeni Kirilov, Maria Eleni Koppa, Andrey Kovatchev, Paweł Robert Kowal, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Eduard Kukan, Vytautas Landsbergis, Krzysztof Lisek, Sabine Lösing, Ulrike Lunacek, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Raimon Obiols, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Cristian Dan Preda, Nikolaos Salavrakos, György Schöpflin, Werner Schulz, Adrian Severin, Marek Siwiec, Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Sir Graham Watson, Boris Zala, Karim Zéribi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Charalampos Angourakis, Andrew Duff, Tanja Fajon, Hélène Flautre, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Jean Roatta, Carmen Romero López, Helmut Scholz, Indrek Tarand, Ivo Vajgl

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

Danuta Jazłowiecka, Georgios Papanikolaou, Sophocles Sophocleous

(1)

Text adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2012)0289 - 4.7.2012 - on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget (2012/2016(BUD))


OPINION of the Committee on Development (19.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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.  Underlines that worldwide development efforts in 2013 will critically determine whether the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) can still be met in 2015; reminds Council of the EU's responsibility towards its developing partners and the clear commitments EU donors, both individually and collectively, have made in terms of their contributions to fighting poverty in the developing world; calls therefore on the Member States, assisted by the Commission, to establish a definite time frame for meeting the target of 0.7% of GDP to be allocated to development aid;

2.  Is firmly opposed to the Council's proposed cuts by over EUR 50 million to commitments and over EUR 150 million to payment levels of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI); is of the opinion that it is crucial for the EU's credibility as a significant, reliable development partner to provide adequate levels of development financing that allow the EU to honour the commitments it has taken in the framework of the mutually agreed, ongoing multiannual programming;

3.  Stresses that the limited EU aid resources must be used as effectively as possible; underlines that the EU is now widely considered a global leader in aid effectiveness and transparency, with measurable and substantial results in terms of tangible improvements to the lives of millions of people in developing countries;

4.  Considers it essential to increase budget flexibility to enable the Union to meet the new global challenges effectively; wider flexibility margins are indeed crucial for a better allocation of resources for cooperation and development;

5.  Is particularly concerned at the proposed cuts in the areas of food security, health and education, which are key sectors for achieving the MDGs; recalls, in addition, that structural interventions in agriculture, food security and nutrition, as well as specific measures to eradicate the phenomenon of land grabbing, are essential for promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and for preventing food crises in vulnerable regions such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa from recurring year after year;

6.  Reiterates the need to lay down rules at EU and international level targeted at economic and financial institutions with the aim of reducing the volatility of markets and prices, especially with regard to food commodities, and the need to introduce mechanisms for taxing income from short-term financial speculation and to strengthen current efforts to abolish the system of financial and tax havens;

7.  Reiterates its firm conviction that climate finance must be new and additional to programmed development cooperation under the DCI; warns that, in cutting funding for the environment and sustainable management of natural resources, Council may jeopardise the EU's contributions to a number of major initiatives in the fight against climate change and the promotion of universal energy access, in particular the UN-led Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the EU's own Global Climate Change Alliance;

8.  Warns that the proposed cuts to funding for non-state actors and local authorities in developing countries will send a strong negative signal at a time when, on the contrary, the EU should reaffirm its support for these actors, who make an essential contribution towards achieving the MDGs by 2015 at a local level;

9.  Understands the need for the EU to demonstrate its support to the people and democratic transitions in its southern Neighbourhood; emphasises, however, that this support should not be at the expense of the Union's multiannual commitments to developing countries benefiting from funding under the DCI; underlines, in particular, that the Council's proposed cuts to cooperation with Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Yemen seem out of touch with the political reality and do not recognise the EU's crucial role in the long-term stabilisation and development of each of these regions;

10. Rejects the proposed cuts to administrative expenditure under the DCI and humanitarian aid; underlines that adequate staffing, technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation and audit activities, both at headquarters and in EU delegations abroad, are key to upholding the most rigorous implementation standards and that, although they may result in short-term savings, these cuts entail real risks in terms of quality of the financial management of EU aid.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Michael Cashman, Véronique De Keyser, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Catherine Grèze, Eva Joly, Filip Kaczmarek, Patrick Le Hyaric, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Maurice Ponga, Jean Roatta, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Alf Svensson, Keith Taylor, Eleni Theocharous, Patrice Tirolien, Ivo Vajgl, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Isabella Lövin

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

María Irigoyen Pérez, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (5.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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.  Notes that ongoing smart fiscal consolidation is likely to result in scarcity of budgetary resources for the year in 2013; in this regard, expresses its willingness to identify both positive and negative priorities, as called for in paragraph 4 of the Parliament's report on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget, that, while allowing for fiscal consolidation, will foster sustainable growth;

2.  Believes that the external dimension of the EU must remain a key priority of the EU budget, reflecting the EU2020 strategy, and that growth coming from international trade under the Commission´s Section III Title 19 devoted to the external actions and Title 20 devoted to the trade policy of the budget should be supported as much as other sources of growth under heading 1;

3.  Considers that the budget for 2013 should feature slight increases for the funding for the Macro financial assistance, the external trade relations, the Aid for Trade and the DCI, provided that, as a principle of sound financial management, the budgetary authority should first seek to fund these increases with reallocations and transfers from other areas of spending with less added value; stresses, however, that increases in funding for Aid for Trade should not come at the expense of development funds;

4.  Stresses, in reaction to proposals for the draft budget, that the budgetary articles covering ICI/ICI+ and "cooperation with developing countries other than development assistance" should not be affected by budgetary cuts, in order to facilitate a smooth transition of these budget lines to the broader Partnership Instrument from 2014 onwards;

5.  Supports the inclusion in the budget 2013's lines on trade relations and its administrative support expenditure of the funding for reviewing the EU trade policy strategy in line with the EU2020 strategy and for achieving the objective of reducing the time gap between conclusion of trade negotiations and the subsequent signature of that agreement;

6.  Calls for an expansion of the existing projects of Internationalisation of the European SMEs to cover new priority markets, pending assessment of the implementation of centres already existing in several Asian countries; expects further actions to be taken in the course of 2013 to implement the coordination platform for the EU businesses which is already part of the EU budget 2012;

7.  Supports the extension into 2013 of the preparatory action ‘Euromed innovation entrepreneurs for change’ and the raise the budget lines related to European Neighbourhood overall, on the condition that the funding is used to promote sustainable economic development, deepened regional co-operation, a decrease in unemployment and a rise in living standards for the population as a whole;

8.  Is concerned about Parliament's and civil society's capacities to adequately monitor the growing complexity and proliferation of bilateral EU trade negotiations and therefore supports the proposal for a Pilot Project to establish an umbrella organization ("Trade Watch") gathering systematically the independent analytical knowledge needed for Parliamentarians to implement Parliament's prerogatives to supply a timely and informed consent to EU trade agreements;

9.  Regrets the decision of the Commission to disregard the wish of the Parliament as expressed in the budget exercise 2011 to promote Fair Trade by extending the budget line under Article 20 02 01 under the sub-heading "Actions aiming to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to participate in the world trading system" and asks for the re-introduction of actions specifically designated to promote Fair Trade in the Budget 2013, with an appropriate budget allocation;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

3.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

0

1

Members present for the final vote

David Campbell Bannerman, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Yannick Jadot, Franziska Keller, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Helmut Scholz, Robert Sturdy, Gianluca Susta, Henri Weber, Iuliu Winkler, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Catherine Bearder, George Sabin Cutaş, Béla Glattfelder, Jörg Leichtfried, Emma McClarkin

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

Jürgen Klute


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (4.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Ashley Fox

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The current economic climate in most Member States of the Europe Union is one of national austerity, weak growth, recession and lack of international competitiveness. With this bleak picture in mind, the Parliament must act responsibly.

The Parliament should approach Budget 2013 both with an understanding of Member States' fiscal policy, but also with a vision of how the budget can be utilised to deliver growth and competitiveness to the European Union.

Many Member States refused to consolidate during consecutive years of impressive growth and spent too much on an unsustainable public sector, contributing to the economic crisis in which Europe finds itself. This has led to Member States making extraordinary efforts to reduce debt and national deficits, putting their fiscal policy and national finances on a sustainable footing.

European Union public spending must be subjected to the same discipline as that in the Member States. The EU cannot be exempt from the concerted effort by responsible Governments across the Union. Unless the EU shows understanding and respect for the current economic crisis gripping Europe, our citizens will view the EU with contempt.

Budgetary constraint and sound financial management of the European budget does not mean the EU cannot prioritise spending in certain areas, or indeed, spend it better. Your Rapporteur firmly believes in the need to allocate resources to programmes which will deliver maximum benefit to citizens, namely those that deliver growth. Only with growth can Europe pull itself out of the current crisis and provide jobs and wealth for its citizens.

It is therefore vital that the Parliament ensure that its priorities and ideas are incorporated into the 2013 budget. The Parliament must provide the Council with a clear budget that calls for a budgetary freeze, increasing spending where it matters and cutting it where it does not. Only by approaching the budget process in this way will the Council accept the Parliaments ideas. The Parliament's approach to budget 2013 must be different if we are to avoid the failures of the past.

With this approach in mind, your Rapporteur has identified increased funding for the European Supervisory Authorities as being ECON's main priority. Effective financial supervision and financial market stability will be vital to delivering a healthy financial sector within Europe which will drive growth, providing jobs and prosperity to citizens.

Increases to ESAs budgetary lines should be balanced with corresponding cuts to other ECON lines to deliver an overall budgetary freeze. Setting out clear priorities will provide the BUDG committee with a responsible proposal and will assist in delivering an acceptable budget proposal to the Council.

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Notes that the economic crisis is continuing to grip Europe, resulting in austerity measures across many Member States leading to reductions of public spending and increases in taxation; underlines that EU spending must be based on the same approach of responsibility as for Member States;

2.  Believes that the EU budget is an effective and important instrument for promoting competitiveness, growth and jobs in Europe; underlines, therefore, that it is a crucial tool for growth and cohesion across the EU at a moment when the efforts of Member States to balance public revenues and spending, so as to return public finances to sustainability, are considerable in size;

3.  Encourages a priority driven approach to budget 2013 with a focus on creating European added value supporting the Europe 2020 strategy, whilst striving to match budget increases with cuts;

4.  Believes that the EU budget must be compatible with the reform efforts for the whole of the European Union meaning, among other things, that less prioritised items should be reduced or phased out;

5.  Believes that the EU budget for 2013 should be approached in the same way as Member States' national budgets with a clear priority for programmes and funding that will deliver sustainable growth and jobs in the European Union in line with the Europe 2020 strategy;

6.   Welcomes the preference of the Commission for putting strong emphasis on innovation, competitiveness, growth and jobs by making subheading 1a – where the key policies promoting positive developments in those fields are concentrated – the most highly prioritised area in its draft budget;

7.  Notes the long array of important additional tasks delegated to the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) which will require commensurate budgetary increases in order for them to fulfil their supervisory role;

8.  Rejects the cuts proposed by the Commission to the budgets of the ESAs, especially given the crucial role they will play to promoting financial market stability and enabling our financial system to deliver growth; is particularly concerned by the further cuts proposed by the Council, making it nearly impossible for the ESAs to fulfil their duties;

9.   Is surprised by the Council's approach of not relating its ESA proposals to actual needs but of simply making them subject to a mechanical reduction scheme applied without differentiation to all decentralised agencies;

10. Stresses that the cuts proposed by the Commission and the Council for the ESAs run contrary not only to the build-up plans for these fledgling authorities and the well-founded budgetary estimates made by the authorities themselves but also to repeated calls from Parliament for the authorities to be adequately funded;

11. Believes that when the ESAs are given additional tasks in the future there should be a detailed cost assessment made also at a later stage in the legislative process, before trilogue negotiations, in order for MEPs and Member States to get an updated and comprehensive picture and fully understand the cost consequences of the proposals they are making;

12. Calls on the Commission to investigate additional funding models, such as industry fee mechanisms, aimed at strengthening the ESAs so as to ensure their independence and objectivity, taking note of Article 62 of the ESA regulations; stresses that every such mechanism must ensure the integrity of the ESAs vis-à-vis the financial sector;

13. Welcomes the increases suggested by the Commission for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) as an essential step in the right direction, in particular when it comes to facilitating access to financing for SMEs; regrets the markedly less ambitious approach of the Council to a programme of such key importance for the creation of growth and jobs;

14. Believes that enforcement of competition policy is essential and should be strengthened and that, therefore, more resources are needed to ensure that competition authorities are more proactive and more efficient and are able to deal properly with their rising workload;

15. Underlines that, in order for the crucial economic governance reforms to be implemented in an effective way, the human resources situation at the Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) must be gradually upgraded so that it matches all the extended and new responsibilities; welcomes, in this regard, the reinforcement of this DG proposed by the Commission; stresses that additional resources will probably need to be allocated following the adoption of the "two pack" legislative package (COD(2011)0385 and 0386);

16. Believes that international cooperation in the field of taxation (good governance in the area of tax) needs to be reinforced if the announced fight against tax havens is to lead to concrete action;

17. Stresses that the resources allocated to Eurostat must continuously reflect the expanding workload and the enhanced quality demands in the key field of economic and financial statistics; points out that this aspect is particularly important in the process of making the new economic governance framework work; believes, against this background, that the increase below the rate of inflation as proposed by the Commission for staff expenditure in the 'Statistics' policy area is not big enough; calls on the Commission to clarify, as soon as possible, exactly what appropriations are needed for 2013 in the context of a new and more ambitious Union Statistical Programme (for 2013-2017) replacing the existing one;

18. Welcomes the important Commission initiative of 27 June 2012, outlined in a concrete and forward-looking Communication, to reinforce the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion in the EU and in relation to third countries; believes that the 2013 budget should lay a reasonable foundation for the enhanced work in this area outlined in the Communication; stresses, therefore, that:

-     the modest budget increases suggested by the Commission for the Fiscalis 2013 and Customs 2013 programmes should at least be confirmed,

-     staff expenditure in the 'Taxation and customs union' policy area should be expanded by more than the increase proposed by the Commission, which is below the rate of inflation, and

-     the international dimension of this work should be promoted by maintaining the line on 'Good governance in the area of tax' with appropriate funding;

19. Calls on all institutions during the 2013 budgetary procedure to collaborate efficiently and constructively allowing for a smooth budgetary procedure and the establishment of a budget for 2013 within the deadlines set out by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

3.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Paul Besset, George Sabin Cutaş, Leonardo Domenici, Diogo Feio, Markus Ferber, Elisa Ferreira, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Gunnar Hökmark, Othmar Karas, Wolf Klinz, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Philippe Lamberts, Werner Langen, Astrid Lulling, Hans-Peter Martin, Sławomir Witold Nitras, Ivari Padar, Alfredo Pallone, Anni Podimata, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Edward Scicluna, Peter Simon, Peter Skinner, Ivo Strejček, Kay Swinburne, Sampo Terho, Marianne Thyssen, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Pervenche Berès, Sari Essayah, Vicky Ford, Ashley Fox, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Olle Ludvigsson, Marisa Matias, Nils Torvalds

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

Andrew Duff


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (6.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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.  Welcomes the increase in commitment appropriations for small and medium-sized enterprises, young people and employment; points out that the social crisis means that we cannot afford to make reductions in the ‘Employment and social affairs’ chapter;

2.  Regrets that the commitment appropriations for PROGRESS have been reduced by EUR 5.3 million compared to the financial programming; an increase of EUR 6 million would be more appropriate given the demand and the crucial role this programme plays in the field of employment and social inclusion in the European Union;

3.  Reiterates the need for appropriate training to promote youth employment and calls for the Lifelong Learning programme to at least be restored to the level of commitments in 2012;

4.  Welcomes the increase in commitment appropriations and payments for the ESF as the Structural Funds aim to develop competitiveness and employment;

5.  Lays particular emphasis on the need to maintain an adequate level of payments for the ESF and the Structural Funds as a whole, so that the Commission may honour the undertakings entered into in the last financial year and the Structural Funds may play a full part in boosting Europe’s economy, in line with the European Council conclusions of 28 and 29 June 2012;

6.  Proposes that the EUR 22 billion to be redeployed from the European Social Fund benefit all Member States that wish to improve youth employment and are not just reserved for the eight Member States designated by the European Council in 2012;

7.  Points out that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is geared to ensuring workers are qualified and employable; recalls its resolution of 29 September 2011 on the future of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund which stresses that in future the focus should be on sustainable labour market policies to pursue Union objectives and promote new skills, including in connection with new, sustainable, high-quality 'green' jobs; calls for over EUR 50 million in payment appropriations for its budget heading;

8.  Emphasises that the communication on the European Year of Citizens (2013) requires commitment appropriations that are at least equal to those for 2012;

9.  Proposes three pilot projects and two preparatory actions to revitalise social convergence and cohesion through a European social label for companies, support for migrants and posted workers and measures to promote employee shareholding schemes, as well as support for the homeless in the European Union and measures to promote the introduction of a minimum wage in all Member States;

10. Emphasises the need for new commitment appropriations for the ‘Youth on the Move’ preparatory action in order to encourage Member States to take part in the pilot phase of this project launched in 2012 and to implement the European Youth Guarantee ensuring that young people are either in a job or training or resume their studies within months of leaving school.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

2

3

Members present for the final vote

Heinz K. Becker, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Philippe Boulland, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Minodora Cliveti, Marije Cornelissen, Andrea Cozzolino, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Sari Essayah, Richard Falbr, Thomas Händel, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Stephen Hughes, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Martin Kastler, Jean Lambert, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Konstantinos Poupakis, Sylvana Rapti, Elisabeth Schroedter, Nicole Sinclaire, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Jutta Steinruck, Andrea Zanoni, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kinga Göncz, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Anthea McIntyre, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Birgit Sippel

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

Fiona Hall, Vladimir Urutchev


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (7.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Jutta Haug

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Underlines the importance of excellent performances of European policies and programmes in their final year of implementation under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2007-2013; considers this principle as key element to achieve the Europe 2020 targets and to secure awareness and acceptance of EU actions in the Union's general public;

2.  Reiterates that climate action and environmental objectives are of a cross-cutting nature which must be translated into concrete actions to be implemented under the various programmes and policies to foster sustainable growth in Europe; notes that the EU's environmental policy contributes to the Europe 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; welcomes the recurrent commitment by all EU institutions for a more sustainable, smart, resource-efficient and ecological European economy; is worried, however, that the present economic and fiscal constraints in some Member States lead to negligence of achieving climate action and environmental objectives;

3.  The EU budget has an important role to play in promoting climate action in all sectors of the European economy and in catalysing the specific investments that will be needed to meet the climate targets and to ensure climate resilience. These investments relate to a wide range of technologies that improve energy efficiency, to renewable energy sources and related infrastructures, and to investments for adaptation to climate change;

4.  Is aware that the main responsibility for Public Health measures lies with the Member Sates, underlines, however, the complementarity role of the Union's supported programs and actions, offering economies of scale; is convinced that the European Union has a fundamental role as a catalyst for action and reform within Member States in this policy area; considers, therefore, EU related actions in this regard as key factor in securing Europe's smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

5.  Is aware that the 2013 Draft Budget shows for Title 07 ‘Environment and Climate Action’ an overall amount for operational expenditure of EUR 418,5 million, an increase of 0.72 % in commitment appropriations (CA) in comparison to the voted 2012 budget; notes at the same time that the increase is below the inflation rate of 2% and de facto a decrease;

6.  Stresses that climate action is integrated into many policy areas and implemented through a range of instruments that support multiple EU objectives, for instance both biodiversity and climate change mitigation policies. A proportion of the EU budget is related to climate mainstreaming and thus contributes to Europe's transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society. In order to reach the Europe 2020 objectives, the climate-related share of the future EU budget must be significantly increased, including investments in projects that are not exclusively climate-related but which have a significant climate component;

7.  Takes note that an overall level of EUR 366,591 million is suggested for the last year of implementation for LIFE+, the main financial instrument in support and implementation of Environment Policy and Climate Action; underlines the increase of 3.34% compared to 2012 budget level but is concerned that the level is slightly below the multi-annual financial programming for 2013; explores all provisions as stated in paragraph 37 of the Inter-Institutional Agreement(1);

8.  Welcomes the specified objectives under LIFE+ which shall be implemented in 2013 such as the further support and the development of a sustainable and a more resource efficient economy with improved waste management and a continued fostering of eco-innovation, the protection, conservation and restoration of eco-systems and natural habitats aiming at halting the loss of biodiversity and the assurance and promotion of compliance and awareness raising;

9.  Observes a decrease of EUR 61 million of operational appropriations proposed under Title 17 for Veterinary measures compared to the 2012 voted amount of EUR 334 million; is alarmed that with the decreased resources foreseen for the Public Health Programme the number of activities in the Member States is limited; notes therefore, that action at EU level needs to focus solely on real added value in those areas where Member States can not act on their own initiative such as cross-boarder health issues, the exchange of best practise and transfer of knowledge, data collection and measuring as well as pooling resources at EU level e.g. for rare diseases and orphan drugs;

10. Welcomes every EU intervention to minimise negative impacts on human and animal health, to reduce risks all along the food chain through preventive actions and the management of crises; recognises that the financial needs in the area of veterinary measures depends mostly on forecasts provided by Member States; considers the Draft Budget 2013 in commitment appropriations as realistic;

11. Is generally concerned on the level of payment appropriations; points out that the slow start of 2007-2013 programmes resulted in a low level of payment needs during the first half of the programming period; stresses that commitments made in the past need to be paid in the final year of the current financial period; reminds Member States in this context on their political and budgetary commitment which needs to be converted into payment appropriations for the successful implementation of programmes and measures in the area of environment, public health and food safety; will therefore reinstate the payment levels as proposed in the Draft Budget 2013;

12. Recalls that under the Budget 2012 seven Pilot Projects (PPs) and three Preparatory Actions (PAs) tabled by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety were adopted amounting to EUR 12 million in CA; reminds also that the PA on 'Climate Action' has been included in the Budget 2012 with EUR 5 million; intends to carefully analyse the implementation of ongoing PPs and PAs as well as to explore objectives and contents of all new proposals tabled in this committee;

13. Stresses that the successful implementation and monitoring of legislation needs sufficient and skilled administrative support; reminds that the Public Health Programme is implemented mainly by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC); is concerned that the freeze or even reduction of administrative expenditure will have a negative impact on the quality of Commission's activities;

14. Recalls that decentralised agencies deliver diverse tasks, inter alia adopting individual decisions which are legally binding to third parties, providing direct assistance to the Commission and, where necessary, to Member States and gathering and analysing objective, reliable information and data; reiterates that decentralised agencies need adequate funding and staffing in order to fulfil their existing and newly assigned tasks; is concerned in general about the reduction of more than 1% in real terms of expenditure for EU agencies(2), despite the extension of tasks and some ongoing start-up phases;

15. Has carefully assessed the financial needs for the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA); can not accept any further cuts as suggested by the Council in financial terms which would endanger the implementation of all newly assigned tasks agreed upon by the EU legislator;

16. Is not convinced that financial statements accompanying legislative proposals by the Commission meet the budgetary and staff requirements after the completion of the legislative procedure defining new tasks for agencies such ECHA for handling biocides and the PIC regime and EMA to implement the pharmacovigilance legislation; calls on the Commission to adapt timely the financial statements after the adoption by the legislator and to inform Parliament accordingly;

17. Notes that the Draft Budget foresees a reduction of the ECDC establishment plan by two and for the EFSA by four posts; recognises at the same time that the EEA receives two additional posts which need to be budgetary neutral achieved by a reduction of two national experts and two contract agents; is aware that 36 additional posts are foreseen for ECHA of which 16 posts will be financed from additional fees as well as 21 posts for EMA; is in this context concerned that the recruitment of staff needs to be postponed when the fee income is lower than estimated for 2013; can not accept any further cuts in any establishment plan as suggested by the Council without jeopardising the implementation of new assigned tasks agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council.

18. Recalls that the implementation and monitoring of the different policies and programmes requires highly qualified and multilingual staff committed to the European project and drawn on the widest possible geographical balance; stresses that an insufficient allocation of financial resources to meet staff requirements may jeopardize the success of these policies and programmes to the detriment of the Union and the Member States.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

General Background

On 25 April 2012, the European Commission presented the Draft Budget (DB) for 2013 with a total of EUR 150.9 billion in commitment appropriations (CA.), corresponding to 1,13 % of GNI. This leaves a global margin of EUR 2 420 million on the overall annual ceiling set by the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2007 - 2013). For payment appropriations (PA), the total amounts to EUR 137.9 billion, corresponding to 1.03 % of GNI.

According to the Commission the DB 2013 is striking a balance between investment for growth and fiscal consolidation while leaving room for manoeuvre for unforeseen needs. It is a responsible and realistic budget with commitments which do not rise beyond inflation of 2%. The requested payments correspond to the obligations which need to be met, i.e. the PA increase higher than CA.

Individual budgets under the competence of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Life +

The Draft Budget 2013 proposes a 3,34 % increase in commitment appropriations, from EUR 354,8 million in 2012 to EUR 366,6 million in 2013. This is somewhat below the financial programming for LIFE+. Payment appropriations will increase by a slightly higher level (7,4 %), from EUR 254,4 million in 2012 to EUR 273,3 million in 2013. The reasons for the increase in payment appropriations is needed in particular in relation to action grants, to meet the payment obligations under the terms defined in the grant agreements, taking into account increases in commitment appropriations since 2007; interim and final payments of ongoing projects (in particular projects financed under the 2009 budget, when the budgetary authority voted a budget increase of EUR 30 million in commitments); and pre-financing payments on the 2012 grant agreements.

According to the Commission the core amount of commitment appropriations for LIFE+ in 2013 will support measures related to the resource efficiency aspects of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This entails supporting innovative and demonstrative projects at national, regional and local levels to enhance nature protection and biodiversity, to reduce waste production and greenhouse gas emissions, to increase resource efficiency, to develop clean technologies and to improve air quality management. The Commission requests that parts of the LIFE+ envelope is allocated towards climate action (EUR 22,9 million in CA and EUR 21,4 million PA) to support the Commission’s role to prepare and implement policy legislation, including the development of the EU emissions trading scheme and to pave the way for a move to a low carbon economy by 2050.

With regard to administrative support under Title 7 the increase by EUR 1,25 million is planned to be dedicated to support measures needed for the selection, monitoring, audit and evaluation of the growing number of projects which have significantly increased over the years and for enhanced security measures against market abuse and cyber-attacks, maintenance and hosting of IT systems.

Public Health

Commitment appropriations for Heading 3b 'Citizenship' is proposed to be decreased by 3.6 % to EUR 689,4 million. Corresponding the credits for the Public health programme is decreased by an amount of EUR 1,5 million resulting in EUR 48,3 million suggested for the Draft Budget. With limited resources the Commission suggests to focus on new actions improving the health care systems with a clear EU-added value, including cross-border systems, patients rights, health systems sustainability and innovative technologies, with particular regard to health information and health security, such as preparing for and counteracting emerging health threats.

It seems noteworthy that under the programme EUR 8,9 million are proposed to be dedicated to the Anti-tobacco campaign.

Veterinary measures

The proposed decrease by EUR 62 million to EUR 272 million is related mainly to the Eradication programmes and is in line with the total forecasted amount of the 2012 Eradication programme decisions. The Eradication budget will concentrate mainly on the tuberculosis, melitensis, brucellosis and swine diseases, TSE surveillance, BSE eradication and scrapie programmes. Only a limited amount, EUR 10 million is earmarked for emergency measures.

The credits will also cover the eradication of harmful plant organisms, better training for safer food actions and the financing of reference laboratories.

Decentralised Agencies

As part of the preparation of the 2013 Draft Budget, the Commission has assessed the needs based upon translating the first 1 % instalment of the 5 % staff reduction over the years 2013-2017, which the Commission proposes to apply to all EU Institutions and bodies, into the actual level of the EU contributions to the decentralised agencies. Overall, this exercise has allowed the Commission to arrive at a 0.4 % increase of expenditure for all decentralised agencies combined as compared to the 2012 budget. That means a reduction of more than 1 % in real terms, despite the extension of tasks and the ongoing start-up phase for a number of agencies.

The Draft Budget 2013 as presented by the Commission allocates EUR 748 million to decentralised agencies for operational and administrative tasks. This amount represents 0.5% of the total EU Draft Budget 2013. The establishment plans foresee 5115 posts in decentralised agencies (not including contract agents).

· European Environment Agency

Considered as agency at cruising speed the EEA has still to implement additional long-term tasks which are a result of new legislation specifically involving the EEA under the GMES Regulation, new air quality reporting legislation, new noise data reporting activities supporting existing noise legislation, new activities on climate adaptation, the Effort Sharing Decision and the newly proposed Regulation for a Monitoring Mechanism for greenhouse gases, which directly will support the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. In the first instance these tasks have been covered by redeployment of staff wherever technically feasible, secondment of national experts and recruitment of short-term contract agents. In agreement with the Commission it was decided to deploy these 4 new posts over the years 2012 and 2013 (2 in 2012 and 2 in 2013).It is now proposed to include two posts in the 2013 establishment plan by a conversion of short term employments into two temporary agents which is countered by a reduction of two National Experts and two Contract Agents.

The DB 2013 proposes EUR 36,309 million as EU contribution to the EEA, the same amount as 2012.

· European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

As agency at cruising speed ECDC is proposed to receive the same amount of EU subsidy of EUR 56,727 million which is the same amount as 2012. The establishment plan is proposed to be reduced by two posts.

· European Food Safety Authority

The Authority is considered at cruising speed. An amount of EUR 74,334 million is entered into the DB which is more than 700.000 less compared to 2012. It is also proposed that the establishment plan is reduced by four posts.

· European Chemicals Agency

Due to Biocides activities and the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regime ECHA is considered to be an agency with start-up activities.

In the long run, the Biocides activity is expected to be self-financed by fee revenue from industry. However, in the first years it requires a bridging contribution from the EU budget. The Commission proposal is just below the amount stated in the revised legislative financial statement (EUR 6,1 million). In terms of human resources, the Commission requests 36 additional posts for these activities, of which 16 posts are assumed to be financed from additional fees from industry already in 2013.

In the case of the export and import of dangerous chemicals, the Commission request for the 2013 Draft Budget of EUR 1,6 million is also slightly below the amount foreseen in the legislative financial statement accompanying the initial Commission proposal.

· European Medicines Agency

EMA has to implement the pharmacovigilance legislation, a new task given to the Agency. The DB requests no additional EU contribution for this activity. The Financial Statement attached to this legislation anticipated fees to cover the cost of this activity. However, as for 2013 a revised Fee Regulation for pharmacovigilance fees will not be in force, the Agency will have to scale its pharmacovigilance activities back in line with existing resources.

The DB foresees an increase of EUR 8,586 million compared to 2012 to cover costs for additional 21 posts and required investment for the agreed relocation of the Agency in 2014. The DB establishment foresees the downgrading a temporary post from AD 16 to AD 5.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

7

0

Members present for the final vote

Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Pilar Ayuso, Milan Cabrnoch, Tadeusz Cymański, Bas Eickhout, Jill Evans, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Matthias Groote, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Holger Krahmer, Corinne Lepage, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Linda McAvan, Gilles Pargneaux, Andres Perello Rodriguez, Anna Rosbach, Oreste Rossi, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Kārlis Šadurskis, Richard Seeber, Theodoros Skylakakis, Sabine Wils

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, José Manuel Fernandes, Christofer Fjellner, Vicky Ford, Julie Girling, Jutta Haug, Romana Jordan, Jiří Maštálka, Judith A. Merkies, James Nicholson, Vittorio Prodi, Christel Schaldemose, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Rebecca Taylor, Vladimir Urutchev, Kathleen Van Brempt, Andrea Zanoni

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

Emma McClarkin

(1)

Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management - Including the multiannual financial framework 2007-2013

(2)

excluding the new ageny for the management of large-scale IT systems in Heading 3A, wich willbecome operational at the end of 2012


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (25.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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 Europe 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 the 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 the 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 Commission of the need to enhance the 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 SMEs’ 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 1 trillion(2) 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 in December 2011 on financing the additional costs of ITER, 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 Europe 2020 strategy during this last year of the programming period, and specifically opposes any redeployments that infringe on this budgetary priority.

JUSTIFICATION

Introduction

The priorities of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (hereinafter the ITRE Committee) in the EU 2013 Draft Budget were expressed in its opinion of 31 May 2012 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2013 Draft Budget and the result of the vote is attached to the justification. The amendments on budgetary lines as modified by the Council were adopted in ITRE Committee on 3 September 2012.

The ITRE Committee expresses its clear convictions that the EU budget should in first line focus on the EU policies and programmes that substantially contribute to the revitalisation of sustainable growth in the EU and address major societal challenges.

In particular the ITRE Committee wants to stress following priorities in 2013 Draft Budget:

­ Long-term investments in research, development and innovation (RDI) as well as investments for the transition towards a low-carbon, green economy.

­ EU needs to implement enhanced support policies for SMEs, programmes and resources to fully unlock their growth potential.

­ The annual European Union budget must, with its leverage effect, support the Member States’ recovery policies through a more coordinated funding.

­ Finally it is important to recall that 2013 will be the last year of the current programming period and it is therefore essential to meet the EU’s commitments to ongoing projects. Regrets the cuts proposed by the Council and supports the proposed increased in payments put forward by the Commission in its Draft Budget.

Explanations by titles

Title 01 - Economic and financial affairs

The Council decrease by 30.000.000 EUR in payment appropriations for the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme” (line 01 04 04) under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme would seriously jeopardise achieving its objectives. With the Council’s proposed budget, the Commission expects to exhaust payments by the summer of 2013, causing serious legal implications for the Commission and financial implications for the SMEs involved. The ITRE Committee therefore proposes to restore the Draft Budget.

Title 02 – Enterprise

The cuts proposed by the Council under Title 02 are undermining the achievement of EU 2020 strategy in several important areas related to enterprise and industry policy, in particular the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (lines 02 01 04 04, 02 01 04 30 and 02 02 01) which is vital for supporting European SMEs. In addition, restoration of draft budget in space research (lines 02 02 15, 02 04 01 01, 02 04 01 03) and support to the European GNSS Agency (02 05 02 01) is also proposed.

Title 08 - Research

Title 10 - Direct research

The ITRE Committee calls in its amendments for restoration of budget lines under the titles “Research” and “Direct Research”, for all areas addressing important societal challenges. The ITRE Committee has always supported the full implementation of the 7th Framework Programme and believes it is even more necessary in 2013 to support through research and innovation, the re-launching of the European economy. Therefore, the cuts proposed by the across the framework programme are unacceptable and would seriously undermine the achievement of the EU 2020 strategy objectives.

Title 09 - Information society and media

The ITRE Committee asks to restore budget lines which contribute significantly to the EU 2020 Digital Agenda flagship initiative, in particular all lines related to supporting research and innovation activities.

Title 32 – Energy

The ITRE Committee asks to restore several vital budget lines under Title 32 in Commission Draft Budget. Moreover the ITRE Committee also recognised the need for granting the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER, line 32 04 10 01) some additional funds (ca. 3m€), in order to ensure that it can develop the necessary software tools for the implementation of the REMIT Regulation (No 1227/2011). The development costs of the software are not foreseen in the 2013 Draft Budget and without additional financing in 2013 the deadline for the implementation of REMIT may not be met.

Pilot projects and preparatory actions

The ITRE Committee has considered and evaluated all pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP&PA), proposed by the Members, and adopted four new PP&PA that are carrying political priorities of the Committee and have a clear potential to develop into future EU activities and programmes:

· Preparatory action “Social Innovation Driven by Social Business and Young Entrepreneurship” (after line 04 04 17), to identify, develop, promote and disseminate the good practice of national, regional or local governments and of financial intermediaries in assisting young or social entrepreneurs in times of high youth unemployment;

· Pilot project “Demand response program for public institutional energy consumers for the grid balancing market “ (after line 08 05 03), to demonstrate an innovative scheme for demand response type ancillary services for power grid balancing using a capacity portfolio of public buildings;

· Pilot project “Recovering critical raw materials through recycling: an opportunity for the EU and AU” (after line 08 06 02), to establish the basis for a solid cooperation between Europe and Africa on research and innovation in the field of recycling and recovery of raw materials;

· Pilot project “Innovative finance model for renovating multi-family residential housing and properties in the Danube region” (after line 32 04 20), to showcase how to leverage private sector investment to mobilise significant amount of investment in the low carbon multi-family housing refurbishment market across Europe.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Amelia Andersdotter, Josefa Andrés Barea, Jean-Pierre Audy, Ivo Belet, Reinhard Bütikofer, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Giles Chichester, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Robert Goebbels, Jacky Hénin, Edit Herczog, Kent Johansson, Romana Jordan, Philippe Lamberts, Judith A. Merkies, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Vittorio Prodi, Jens Rohde, Paul Rübig, Amalia Sartori, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Evžen Tošenovský, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Kathleen Van Brempt

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Daniel Caspary, António Fernando Correia de Campos, Ioan Enciu, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Elisabetta Gardini, Françoise Grossetête, Andrzej Grzyb, Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Roger Helmer, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Werner Langen, Pavel Poc, Vladimír Remek

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

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Keith Taylor

(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)0394.

(2)

Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network, COM(2010)0677.


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (17.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Cornelis de Jong

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that, as a consequence of the current economic crisis and the difficult budgetary situation in many Member States, it is important that the commitments and payments included in the budget of the European Union reflect clear added value and maximum management efficiency;

2.  Stresses, however, that the internal market is a key policy area for economic growth and that austerity policies should be accompanied by growth policies for overcoming the crisis; therefore considers that the budgetary allocation should reflect this;

3.  Takes note of the efforts made to lower expenditure on external staff; is of the opinion that, as a standard, the budget for external staff should not exceed 10 % of total staff expenditure;

4.   Acknowledges the need for continuous financing of the ‘Single Market Forum’, an annual event organised jointly by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council Presidency; highlights the importance of the Single Market Forum for bringing together representatives of citizens, businesses and consumer organisations as well as representatives of the Member States and the institutions of the European Union, in order to establish a clear commitment to transposition, application and enforcement of single market legislation;

5.   Calls, therefore, for financing of the Preparatory Action ‘Single Market Forum’ (budget line 12 02 05), which follows a Pilot Project implemented under the 2011 and 2012 budgets (budget line 12 02 03);

6.  Notes that the commitments for budget line 02 03 01 are 4 % higher than in the previous year and is of the opinion that this increase can be avoided by setting the right priorities;

7.  Welcomes the creation of budget line 02 03 04 02 which will allow consumers and SMEs to be more involved in standardisation practices;

8.  Agrees that the budget for payments for budget line 12 02 01 should be raised in order to match the needs of Eurobarometer and Your Europe Advice; is sceptical, however, about the budget proposed for studies in this section;

9.   Deplores the lack of commitment appropriations for budget line 12 02 02 on the SOLVIT Programme and the Single Market Assistance Services action plan for the second year in a row; stresses that, despite being an effective out-of-court dispute settlement mechanism, SOLVIT still needs better promotion so that citizens and businesses can benefit from its services and that further efforts are still needed to rationalise Single Market Assistance Services;

10. Welcomes, in this respect, the fact that SOLVIT, Your Europe, Your Europe Advice and the IMI system are already working together on certain issues; stresses that, against that background, it would be better to merge the budget for these governance tools in one budget line; proposes to increase the budget for this new budget line by EUR 1.3 million, in order for SOLVIT to be fully functional and to transfer the amount of EUR 1.7 million currently foreseen for Your Europe Advice under budget line 12 02 01 to the consolidated budget line 12 02 02;

11. Acknowledges the need to raise the budget for the Customs programmes; is, however, convinced that this can in part be paid for by cutting back on events and seminars;

12. Is convinced that consumer policy is a top priority for the IMCO committee and that the budget for this policy area should reflect this.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Adam Bielan, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Birgit Collin-Langen, Lara Comi, António Fernando Correia de Campos, Cornelis de Jong, Christian Engström, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Evelyne Gebhardt, Louis Grech, Małgorzata Handzlik, Malcolm Harbour, Sandra Kalniete, Toine Manders, Hans-Peter Mayer, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Phil Prendergast, Robert Rochefort, Zuzana Roithová, Heide Rühle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Jürgen Creutzmann, María Irigoyen Pérez, Emma McClarkin, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Marc Tarabella, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Sabine Verheyen


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (7.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Gesine Meissner

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Stresses that EU transport policy is key to achieving the priority of sustainable development of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the 20-20-20 and safety targets, and facilitating the functioning of the EU internal market, boosting the quality of services and increasing territorial cohesion; recalls that the transport sector accounts for 6,3% of the Union's GDP and for approximately 13 million jobs;

2.  Reminds fiscal consolidation efforts undertaken by most Member States in national budgets; considers that the draft budget strikes an appropriate and reasonable balance between the fiscal austerities on the one side and need to implement EU programmes and deliver EU added value on the other one; points out that austerity policies will bear fruit only if they are backed by growth-enhancing measures;

3.  Calls on the Council to ensure that the necessary budgetary resources are made available to cover outstanding payments;

4.  Stresses that the TEN-T programme, through investment in high European added value infrastructures, is essential to raise the competitiveness of the EU as a whole, by removing bottlenecks and building as well as improving trans-border infrastructure, such as rail links, within the internal market; and highlights that, in particular, the improving and upgrading of existing infrastructure projects contribute to more efficient investment by stimulating employment; underlines the role of the TEN-T programme for meeting the adaptation to climate change goal by ensuring the future sustainability of the EU transport networks, achieving economic growth and cohesion objectives and objectives relating to completion of the internal market in the transport sector; calls for adequate funding of the TEN-T Executive Agency to be able to cope with preparatory work for the implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility;

5.  Underlines that at a time of fiscal constraint, innovative solutions are urgently required to mobilise a greater share of private savings and to improve the range of financial instruments available for infrastructure projects, thereby stepping up the promotion of public-private partnership projects; calls for fast implementation of the recently adopted pilot phase of Project Bonds initiative; recalls that results of that pilot phase are of key importance for implementation of the operational phase of the initiative under the Connecting Europe Facility for the period 2014-2020;

6.  Highlights the importance of developing the transport infrastructure of new Member States in order to establish a single European transport area; calls for the necessary funding to meet the increased needs of the new Member States in terms of transport infrastructure development and the connection of these states’ infrastructures with those of the European Union neighbouring states; calls for the transport infrastructure development needs of new Member States to be reflected accordingly in the 2012 financial year;

7.  Calls for interoperability between all modes of transport and for the further development of intelligent transport systems, allowing in particular a smart use of logistics as well as for the development of the requisite infrastructure for electric vehicles; considers that 'decarbonising' the transport sector and making it sustainable will require innovation, new technologies and financial resources;

8.  Underlines the importance of sufficient budgetary allocations to programmes to support the further development of the Single European Sky, Single European Railway Area, Integrated Maritime Policy, links with inland waterways, electronic intermodal reservation and ticketing alternative fuels, renewable energies and urban mobility; reiterates its disappointment on the absence of a budgetary line on tourism and regrets the constant decrease in the road safety budgetary allocation;

9.   Express its concern and its disappointment at the position adopted by the Council on 24 July 2012 on the draft 2013 budget, as it places the Commission at risk of being unable to fulfil its transport-related obligations stemming from the Union's legislation;

10. Stresses that EU agencies' budget allocations are far from consisting in administrative expenditure alone, but instead contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 goals and EU objectives in general, while aiming at making savings at national level, as decided by the legislative authority; recalls the importance of ensuring, within the Union, the highest level of safety in the field of transport, which EASA, EMSA and ERA provide at EU level and which was handled before by 27 national administrations;

11. Recognises that the budget and staffing of the Union's agencies should be carefully considered against the scope and dimension of the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them, and that all agencies cannot be placed under the same budget envelope. The Union's agencies are not homogeneous and the risks they face and the potential liability attached to the execution of their tasks can differ widely;

12. Underlines that, taking into account the new tasks and responsibilities assigned to it by the legislator, to be implemented as of 2012 and 2013, the EASA should be regarded as an agency "with new tasks" and not "at cruising speed" as classified by the Commission;

13. Underlines the fact that the current budget and staffing proposals of the Commission for 2013 would result in a Union budget for the EASA, including assigned revenues, at the same level as in 2012 and a cut of all 12 new posts requested by the EASA, mainly for the implementation of the new tasks, plus a reduction of two existing posts; points out that nine of the 12 new posts are assigned to directly ensure the safety of air traffic and aerodromes within the Union.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Introduction

Enhancing economic growth and job creation will be at the heart of EU activity in 2013. The year 2013 will be the last year of the current programming period, catching up will be necessary in terms of payments, as has always been the case at the end of financial perspectives, owing to the start of the completion process for the 2007-2013 programmes. Consequently, the 2013 draft budget foresees significant increases in payments (+ 6, 8 %) for key policy areas geared towards investments.

On the side of commitments, the Commission proposed, globally, a nominal freeze in commitments between 2012 and 2013. However, for some programmes important for Europe 2020 objectives, in particular TEN-T, an increase has been proposed.

I. Transport budget

Title 6 - Mobility and transport of the Commission’s draft budget for 2013 (DB) contains all the budget lines relating to EU transport policy. The DB proposes a 4,4 % increase in commitment appropriations (up from EUR 1 664 million in 2012 to EUR 1 740 million in 2013) and 1% decrease in payment appropriations (down from EUR 1 079 million in 2012 to EUR 1 069 million in 2013). The decrease in payments is mainly due to the completion of pre-2006 programmes in 2012. The administrative expenditures were also cut in the DB.

In particular, the Rapporteur would like to draw your attention to:

Trans European Networks -Transport (06 03)

This is an essential budget line for transport. In the period 2007-2013, TEN-Ts concentrates on 30 priority projects. The commitment appropriations are set at EUR 1 410 million, which corresponds to the amount required to finance the realisation of the projects currently in the pipeline. This represents an increase by 6,4 % over 2012, to reflect the overall good implementation of the programme.

The payment appropriations are to decrease by 3,6 % to EUR 763 million. This is due to completion of the pre-2006 programmes in 2012.

Support activities to the European transport policy and passenger rights (06 02 03)

There is a decrease in the DB in both commitment appropriations (down from EUR 31 770 00 in 2012 to EUR 25 000 000 in 2013) and payments (down from EUR 16 307 145 to EUR 15 126 157) for this line.

Marco Polo II programme (06 02 06)

There is a reduction in commitments (by 4,5 % to EUR 60 million) and substantial increase in payment appropriations (from EUR 24 187 314 to EUR 50 million).

SESAR (lines 06 03 05 and 06 06 02 03)

There are two separate lines for SESAR in the budget, with the two sources of funding being the framework research programme and the TEN-T programme. In line with the financial programming, there would be no new commitments from the TEN-T programme to the SESAR Joint Undertaking. However, the financing of SESAR through the research line will continue with payments of EUR 45 million (10% higher than in 2012). The DB figures appear satisfactory. The funding is intended mainly to cover research into and development and validation of new ATM (air traffic management) systems.

Research related to transport (06 06)

The cut in commitments and payment s provided for in the DB stems from the completion of the pre-2006 programmes. The DB figures (EUR 60 980 795 in commitments and EUR 60 088 742 in payments) appear satisfactory.

Agencies

It is important that the agencies have sufficient resources to carry out their tasks. The "Europe 2020" strategy and the Commission strategy on transport, defined in the 2011 White Paper on transport -Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area, put the European transport agencies as a central pillar of European action in the coming years. EASA, EMSA and ERA develop actions and policies that are European priorities, politically supported by the European Union and the Member States. These agencies maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of Member States' finances and help reduce total expenditure in one of the core fields of public policy close to the citizen: transport safety by providing at EU level what was before handled by 27 national administrations. This is clear EU added value that the EU budget should finance. It should also be underlined that these agencies develop activities in areas for which the cost of non-Europe would be high. Media and public interest in transport safety is substantial and sustained; media and political attention to aircraft, ship and rail accidents more than corroborates that fact.

European Aviation Safety Agency (06 02 01)

The EU contribution to EASA budget would rise from EUR 33 296 776 to EUR 34 555 811, an increase of 3,8 %.

European Maritime Safety Agency (06 02 02)

The amounts proposed in the DB for EMSA represent an overall increase in commitment appropriations of 1,2 %, up to EUR 53 871 513. The increase is foreseen for the anti-pollution measures and would be covered by redeployment mainly from the TEN-T operational line. There is a decrease of 9,6 % in payment appropriations to EUR 50 191 174.

European Railway Agency (06 02 08)

The European Union subsidy to ERA would rise by EUR 384 000 to EUR 24 871 400 in 2013, in both commitment and payment appropriations.

II. Tourism

Tourism budget falls under Title 2 - Enterprise. It has no specific budget line in the DB. TRAN Committee agreed to continue in the two existing preparatory actions on tourism in 2013. As far as the new programming period 2014-2020 is concerned, the European Parliament called, in its resolution of 27 September 2011 on Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe, for a specific tourism target to be involved in a Programme on Competitiveness and SMEs.

III. Pilot projects and preparatory actions

The continuation of the three existing projects has been supported by TRAN Committee. They are: Promotion of European and transnational tourism products with special emphasis to cultural and industrial one, Tourism and accessibility for all, and European transport information and booking interface across transport modes.

IV. Possible amendments

The Rapporteur acknowledges the fiscal consolidation efforts undertaken by most Member States because of the financial and budgetary crisis and therefore calls for the adoption of a responsible, realistic, and result-oriented budget. At the same time, the Rapporteur stresses that the EU budget represents an investment directed towards policies demonstrating EU added value and supporting economic growth and job creation. The current programming period 2006-2013 is coming to its end and all transport related programmes are fully running. Therefore, catching up will be necessary in terms of payments in order to meet contractual obligations and EU commitments.

The overall level of the Commission’s draft budget strikes an appropriate and reasonable balance between the fiscal austerity on the one side and need to implement EU policies and deliver EU added value, on the other side.

In particular, the Rapporteur will table amendments aiming at continuing the three existing preparatory actions. Depending on the Council's position to the DB, the Rapporteur reserves her right to restore draft budget in individual budget lines in order to take into account the Parliament’s priorities for action. It concerns especially budgetary lines on TEN-Ts, SESAR, safe transport, transport research, and passengers' rights. It should also be noted that the Commission already took a rigorous approach towards the Agencies' budgets in its DB. Any cuts made by the Council in Agencies' budgets could jeopardise the smooth implementation of EU transport policies as set by legislative authority. The Rapporteur would therefore propose to restore draft budget in response.

The Rapporteur would not propose any increase compared to the draft budget.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Philip Bradbourn, Antonio Cancian, Michael Cramer, Joseph Cuschieri, Philippe De Backer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Christine De Veyrac, Saïd El Khadraoui, Ismail Ertug, Carlo Fidanza, Knut Fleckenstein, Mathieu Grosch, Jim Higgins, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Georgios Koumoutsakos, Werner Kuhn, Jörg Leichtfried, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Gesine Meissner, Petri Sarvamaa, Olga Sehnalová, Debora Serracchiani, Brian Simpson, Keith Taylor, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Georgios Toussas, Giommaria Uggias, Artur Zasada, Roberts Zīle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Anna Rosbach, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Sabine Wils, Janusz Władysław Zemke


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (20.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Georgios Stavrakakis

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Introduction:

Although economic recovery is uneven across Member States, the Commission is building on a forecast of a return to growth in the second half of 2012, thus designing measures in order to enhance growth and job creation, and aiming at providing Europe's economy the much needed investments and jobs. In this context, while proposing a strict increase in commitment appropriations, limited to inflation correction, and targeting a significant increase in the level of payments, the Commission has established five main priorities for the 2013 Draft Budget, namely investments for job-friendly growth, a responsible and realistic budget, scrutinising performance, implementing administrative restraint and integrating Croatia.

Your rapporteur shares the Commission's view on the indisputable added value of the Union's Cohesion Policy and on its role as a key policy area geared towards investment, which offers the best means of creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Stresses, however, that whilst the budgetary resources under heading 1b should be used so as to align policy areas with the objectives of the EU2020 Strategy, the objectives of Cohesion Policy, and in particular the reduction of regional disparities and social, economic and territorial cohesion, remain of utmost importance.

Reinstating the Draft Budget:

In making its budgetary provisions, the Commission has therefore assessed budgetary needs taking into account the provisions and envelopes of the financial perspective 2007-2013 and the Interinstitutional Agreement, bringing all figures in line with the relevant decisions and provisions.

Your rapporteur considers that the only institution which has the available information to have an overview of the real budgetary needs of all regions is the Commission. Consequently, he proposes that any reductions proposed by the Council be cancelled and that the sums initially proposed by the Commission in the Draft budget, be reinstated.

Share-out of resources between funds:

The share-out between the different appropriations and funds is as follows:

Total commitment appropriations for the Structural Funds (ERDF and ESF) amount to EUR 42 144,7 million and for the Cohesion Fund to EUR 12 354,2 million, representing an overall increase of 3,3% relative to 2012. The increase in payment appropriations is significantly higher - 11,7%, relative to 2012, amounting to EUR 48 975 million, also representing an effort to limit the growth of outstanding commitments. However, it should be noted that the Commission's estimate strictly relates to 2013 and assumes that payment needs from previous years will have been covered, and therefore any deviation from this will lead to insufficient payment appropriations.

Main policy out puts for 2012:

The main policy outputs, as established by the Commission, include again the alignment of Cohesion Policy with the objectives with the Europe 2020, as well as the use of Cohesion Policy as an effective instrument for fighting the crisis, namely by supporting Member States which are in particular need, like those under EU/IMF programmes. In this context, the Commission has taken the initiative to propose to Member States to re-programme not yet allocated funds under the Structural Funds, where possible, to reinforce their efforts to address youth unemployment and support SME's, launching a joint initiative with eight Member States in this framework. Other main areas of focus will also be the legal framework, the delivery mechanisms for the future programming period, and the implementation of the Common Strategic Framework. The Commission therefore wants to concentrate on discussing with Member States the strategic investment priorities for 2014-2020, and on the preparatory stages of the operational programmes. Moreover, work on the EU Baltic Strategy and the EU Danube Strategy is expected to continue, while the cooperation on the Atlantic Strategy will be further developed with DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Finally, the Commission plans to work on consolidating the position of Croatia as Member State from 1 July 2013.

Pilot projects and Technical Assistance:

This year Members have again proposed a reduced number of potential pilot projects and preparatory actions, most of which concern extensions of previously approved measures, namely the "Atlantic Forum for the EU Atlantic Strategy", "Towards a common regional identity, reconciliation of nations and economic and social cooperation including a Pan-European Expertise and Excellence Platform in the Danube macro-region", "Enhancing regional and local cooperation through the promotion of EU regional policy on a global scale", "The definition of governance model for the European Union Danube Region – better and effective coordination", as well as "Supporting Mayotte, or any other territory potentially affected, with the switchover to outermost region status ".

The new measures proposed include a preparatory action for the development of macro-regional strategies in the Mediterranean, a pilot project with regards to the current and the targeted economic potential in Greek regions other than the Athens capital region as a model for convergence regions in the EU, and finally a pilot project for the development of a services platform for SMEs exports.

The continuation of the measure of “Technical assistance and dissemination of information on the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and an improved knowledge of macro-regions strategy”, is also proposed, and should therefore also be tabled as an amendment to the Draft Budget.

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.  Takes the view that the amounts entered in the Draft Budget (DB) for heading 1b correspond to the minimum needs and objectives of regional policy as set by the Union and therefore requires that budget lines of heading 1b, as proposed by the Commission, be maintained or, where necessary, restored;

2.  Stresses that the effective and efficient implementation of regional policy is key to the economic recovery and to the achievement of the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, as it contributes not only to creating the right framework for a stable and sustainable economic growth and job creation, but also, and equally important, to the effective reduction of regional disparities and the achievement of social, economic and territorial cohesion;

3.  Welcomes the commitment appropriations' increase of heading 1 b by 3,3 % to EUR 54 499 million, and the payment appropriations' increase by 11,7 %, to EUR 48 975 million, over 2012, this latter sum including the reduction of 33,2% to EUR 1 923 million in payments for the closure of the 2000-2006 period;

4.  Welcomes the Commission's initiative of reprogramming where possible resources not yet spent from the Structural Fund appropriations in some Member States in favour of SMEs and youth employment, in line with Parliament's priorities; considers that this could result in a major boost to EU economic recovery and achievement of growth and employment objectives and 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;

5.  Stresses the outstanding importance of pilot projects, preparatory actions and technical assistance measures as key tools for the formulation of priorities and paving the way for new initiatives, and calls on the Commission to support and implement all the pilot projects, preparatory actions and technical assistance measures as proposed by the Committee on Regional Development for heading 1b.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

3

0

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Charalampos Angourakis, Victor Boştinaru, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Francesco De Angelis, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Ana Miranda, Jens Nilsson, Jan Olbrycht, Younous Omarjee, Markus Pieper, Ewald Stadler, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Oldřich Vlasák, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ivars Godmanis, Karin Kadenbach, Andrey Kovatchev, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Derek Vaughan


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (19.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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 the Commission's Draft 2013 Budget for agriculture is already fairly restrictive, proposing increases in commitments of 0.4 % and 1.3 % for agriculture and rural development respectively and in payments of 0.5 % and 5.4 %, inferior to the proposed increase of the Draft Budget as a whole;

2.   Notes, however, that, given the budgetary difficulties and painful savings made in many Member States, the Union's budget should also show realism and constraint, while respecting existing legal commitments;

3.   Believes that savings can for example be made by means of a phased reduction of export refunds to zero euros; takes the view that export refunds must be retained as budget headings, however, as they can be an important crisis and assistance instrument on the agricultural market; notes that the future form and use of export refunds as a crisis and assistance instrument in the context of the WTO should be based on the principle of reciprocity;

4.   Asks the Commission 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 under Heading 2, and to weigh them against the EU's political commitments;

5.   Strongly criticises the Council for its arbitrary and often unfounded way of proposing cuts to the Draft Budget, which gives the impression of window-dressing, rather than realistic budgeting;

6.   Believes that improvements can be made in the clearance of accounts of previous years and calls on the Commission to urge Member States to improve their administrative performance in this area; believes, however, that this involves a long-term effort and therefore considers the Council's estimates of income in 2013 from the clearance of accounts to be highly unrealistic; insists on partly reinstating the Commission's estimates contained in the 2013 Draft Budget; additionally, rejects the Council's proposed cuts in the School Fruit Scheme, coupled direct aid and international agricultural agreements;

7.   Notes that the CAP is expected to be reformed in the near future and therefore proposes an increase in the budget line aimed at raising awareness of the CAP and an information campaign which is as structured and organised as possible with target groups in mind; furthermore proposes to increase the budgets available for promotion measures and producer organisations, which is also in line with the current CAP reform;

8.   Notes that expenditure on aid to producer groups for preliminary recognition has considerably exceeded the Commission's forecasts in recent years; accepts that the expenditure estimated for 2013 largely results from existing legal commitments and therefore proposes to reinstate the Commission Draft Budget figures; calls, however, on the Commission to thenceforth adopt measures to bring expenditure on preliminary recognition of producers groups under stricter control;

9.   Reinstates the Commission Draft Budget as regards payments for rural development measures, as second-pillar programmes will be drawing to a close in 2013, the last year of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), when a higher level of payments is traditionally required; nevertheless calls on the Commission to closely monitor the correct implementation of these programmes. It is also important that flexibility is given to Member States to move unspent funds between axes, axes which have a proven track record of delivering for farmers and rural communities;

10. Calls on the Commission and Member States to monitor the volatility of agricultural markets and to react swiftly and effectively when needed; insists on the necessary flexibility in order to take account of the fact that a generally positive development in agricultural markets never impacts equally on all sectors; strongly urges the Commission to provide effective instruments of action for times of crisis and calls for an urgent study into the level of information among farmers about the use of risk management instruments and the availability of training or courses in this area;

11. Underscores the fact that the agricultural market liberalisation that is being sought must be accompanied by a fairer distribution of profits along the food chain so that farmers can have an appropriate standard of living; welcomes the steps taken towards the establishment of a European Farm Prices and Margins Observatory and calls on the Commission to continue this pilot project, notably with a view to including retail prices within the Observatory's framework and improving the accessibility of data;

12. Calls on the Commission to provide special incentives for the production and marketing of high-quality products at local level and thus promote short supply chains; points out that the issuing of designations of origin and geographical indications can make a major contribution towards this;

13. Notes that consumers are insufficiently aware of the comparatively high production standards for European foodstuffs; calls accordingly for improved information management so as to bring about the necessary public acceptance of European agricultural policy and aids;

14. Calls for the establishment of a pilot project on 'climate-smart agriculture in practice' bringing together operational groups to focus on practical on-farm solutions aimed at adaptation of agricultural practices to climate change;

15. Supports the creation of a preparatory action for a third EU programme aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of plant and animal genetic resources in agriculture.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

0

0

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, José Bové, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Michel Dantin, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Diane Dodds, Herbert Dorfmann, Hynek Fajmon, Mariya Gabriel, Iratxe García Pérez, Julie Girling, Béla Glattfelder, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Elisabeth Jeggle, Elisabeth Köstinger, Agnès Le Brun, George Lyon, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Mairead McGuinness, James Nicholson, Rareş-Lucian Niculescu, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Georgios Papastamkos, Marit Paulsen, Britta Reimers, Ulrike Rodust, Alfreds Rubiks, Giancarlo Scottà, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Alyn Smith, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Janusz Wojciechowski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Maria do Céu Patrão Neves


OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries (6.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Crescenzio Rivellini

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Stresses that, in the form proposed by the Commission, the Draft Budget is not entirely sufficient to cover the financial needs of all sectors of fisheries and maritime affairs, despite the importance of these activities for regional balance, the conservation of marine ecosystems and economic issues as identified by the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy;

2.  Notes that the Draft Budget does not take account of the accession of Croatia and that it will then be essential to rectify the budget in sufficient time to ensure an adequate level of financing for this coastal country;

3.  Considers it extremely damaging in the short and medium term to reduce significantly commitment appropriations for Title 11 (-2.7% if the reserves are excluded), and recalls that the common fisheries policy is currently being reformed and that, in order for the reform to be a success, ample funding will need to be provided so as to ensure the industry’s sustainability and supplies of fisheries and aquaculture products throughout the Union;

4.  Calls for total commitment appropriations to be maintained at the levels of the 2012 budget in order to preserve the sustainability of projects in the sector launched by the Commission and, at the same time, to control spending in the context of budgetary austerity;

5.  Considers the proposal to increase total payment appropriations by 3.1% to be the consequence anticipated at the end of the multiannual budget programming period and in the light of the commitments entered into in previous years, particularly in relation to the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), and that it should not be regarded as an attempt by the Commission to support this sector;

6.  Considers it vital to set priorities in the policies on fisheries and maritime affairs and, first of all, with regard to the appropriations for the EFF (11 06), control and enforcement of the common fisheries policy and more particularly concerning appropriations for the European Fisheries Control Agency (11 08 05) and those for conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources (11 07);

7.  Deplores the cut of more than 10% in the appropriations for the chapter on fisheries markets (11 02) and notes that this cut is motivated by the implementation rate of the 2011 budget and the current economic context;

8.  Observes that the funds available for the external dimension of the common fisheries policy (11 03) are reduced excessively, as it is assumed that the next international fisheries agreements will be more costly because of the scarcity of resources and the establishment of sectoral support;

9.  Considers the absence of commitment appropriations for the integrated maritime policy (11 09) to be unacceptable, and takes the view that this will seriously jeopardise its future implementation;

10. Rejects categorically the cuts in appropriations for the European Fisheries Control Agency and calls on the Council, on the contrary, to support by means of a further increase in appropriations the efforts made by this agency in the interests of the Union;

11. Calls on the Council to revise its position on the overall level of appropriations for Title 11, in order to maintain commitment appropriations at the 2012 level and provide for payments to cover actions already planned, thus supporting the priorities set for maritime affairs and fisheries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Kriton Arsenis, Alain Cadec, Chris Davies, João Ferreira, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo, Ian Hudghton, Werner Kuhn, Isabella Lövin, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Crescenzio Rivellini, Ulrike Rodust, Struan Stevenson, Isabelle Thomas, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Paul Besset, Julie Girling, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Antolín Sánchez Presedo


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (24.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Morten Løkkegaard

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Notes that 2013 will be the last year for the multiannual programmes in the field of education, training, youth, culture, media and citizenship; highlights the importance of maintaining a sufficient payment level for these programmes in order to ensure their full functioning until the end of the programming period;

2.  Recalls that both the Lifelong learning programme (LLP) and the Youth in Action programme bring clear and demonstrated European added value and are vital to the success of the Europe 2020 strategy; reminds of their high performance rates and notes that in the Erasmus sub-programme, there is far more demand than can be satisfied; calls for a substantial increase in appropriations for these programmes; recalls that an increasing amount of successful online distance learning initiatives exists world-wide; calls for the inclusion of investments in online distance learning initiatives;

3.  Underlines the significant role played by the Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes, not only in supporting the production and dissemination of films and audiovisual material and supporting artists and professionals in the cultural sector, but also in ensuring cooperation in this field between the EU and third countries, and thereby encouraging greater respect for, and promoting, cultural and linguistic diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; considers that the appropriations for these programmes need to be substantially increased, with particular emphasis on small projects;

4.  Recalls that the MEDIA and MEDIA MUNDUS programmes increase the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry; underlines the relevant role of Culture 2007 in terms of cultural diversity and mobility but also as a contribution to the economy;

5.  Underlines the important role of grassroots sport in promoting health-enhancing physical activity and social inclusion; notes that the ongoing Preparatory Action "European Partnerships on sport" focuses at testing new areas, such as the fight against match-fixing, the protection of the health of athletes through intensified medical monitoring, the development of community-led grassroots sporting initiatives and the promotion of active ageing, with a view to developing the European dimension in sport; asks for sufficient funding for programmes in the field of sport, and for all areas of the preparatory action, also for cross-border sporting competitions;

6.  Notes that the European Youth Guarantee is an initiative with the potential of generating significant economic results by 2014;

7.  Reminds that an effective communication policy plays a significant role in raising awareness, not least in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections, and in encouraging citizens to participate actively in those elections; calls for more investment in appropriations for the EU communication actions to ensure that both large and small national media pay more attention to European Union issues; underlines the important role of online social media in reaching young Europeans;

8.  Emphasises that the EU communication policy has also a crucial role in promoting democratic life in the Union and creating better links between the Union and its citizens; notes that EU communication strategy is mainly based on a top-down approach; therefore foresees an important role for a bottom-up strategy for EU communication, in particular through cooperation and exchange of content between local and regional media;

9.  Reminds that the media, especially television, forms the primary source of information for European citizens; therefore urges the EU institutions to form partnerships with both public and private media in order to reach a much broader audience;

10. Recalls that social media and internet are a growing news source for European citizens as well as an opportunity to connect to politicians and policy-makers in an interactive and collaborative manner; calls on the EU institutions to open up more public sector information using social media and interact more actively with citizens;

11. Emphasises the need for the appropriate funding of programmes aimed at raising public awareness of the European Union in European Neighbourhood Policy countries;

12. Welcomes the designation of 2013 as European Year of Citizens, but deeply regrets the fact that, at EUR 1 million, the budget allocated to it is one of the smallest budgets ever assigned to a European Year; calls, therefore, for the budget of the 2013 European Year of Citizens to be increased and stresses that sufficient funding has to be foreseen, as the European Year of Citizens will help to set out an ambitious new citizens program for the new Multiannual Financial Framework;

13. Welcomes the initiatives of the Commission with regard to the promotion of the cultural routes within the preparatory action on sustainable tourism and calls for the continuation of this action in 2013;

14. Believes that the EU's diverse and rich cultural heritage and contemporary high quality cultural activity give the EU a unique position in the world; therefore calls for increased appropriations to ensure greater access to the EU's culture abroad through the means of cultural diplomacy and the use of new media;

15. Believes that, in times of austerity and economic stress, cultural investment should not be decreased; considers, however, that some cultural programmes could be run more efficiently; therefore calls for more cooperation and consolidation of programmes for culture, media and communication;

16. Believes that digitisation offers a great opportunity for citizens to access Europe's diverse cultural heritage; therefore calls for increased appropriations in digitisation projects and access to cultural content.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Zoltán Bagó, Malika Benarab-Attou, Lothar Bisky, Piotr Borys, Jean-Marie Cavada, Silvia Costa, Lorenzo Fontana, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Petra Kammerevert, Morten Løkkegaard, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Marek Henryk Migalski, Katarína Neveďalová, Doris Pack, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Gianni Pittella, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Marietje Schaake, Marco Scurria, Emil Stoyanov, Hannu Takkula, László Tőkés, Marie-Christine Vergiat

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Heinz K. Becker, Nadja Hirsch, Iosif Matula, Bernd Posselt, Mitro Repo, Kay Swinburne


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (5.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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 the draft budget proposed by the Commission represents only a slight increase in commitment appropriations under subheading 3a in comparison with 2012; insists that the financial year 2013 is a bridge year to the new multiannual financial framework;

2.  Calls for a budget increase in the programme for preventing and fighting crime, considering the importance of this area for the EU and, in particular, for the European Parliament;

3.  Insists that the appropriations of the funds of the programme ‘Solidarity and management of migration flows’ should be consistent with the amounts provided for in the financial programming 2007-2013; calls for a balanced share of financial resources for the European Refugee Fund and the European Fund for Integration of third-country nationals; calls for a specific allocation for the development of protection-sensitive border controls that fully respect the fundamental rights of migrants;

4.  Calls for sufficient financial resources for the purpose of intra-EU relocation of migrants;

5.  Recommends that a substantial share of the budget for SIS II should be kept in reserve until operational progress has been achieved and the financial planning has been complied with;

6.  Considers it necessary to put in reserve a large share of the budgetary lines related to internal security until a satisfactory outcome is achieved on Schengen governance, following the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 15 June 2012 to block five files, including the 2013 budget, as regards internal security to express disagreement with the Council's decision on Schengen governance;

7.  Notes that EASO is a new agency that is still growing and that Frontex has new tasks under its amended Regulation; insists that the FRA, EASO and Frontex be given adequate financial resources and the necessary staff for them to carry out their mandate and tasks to the full;

8.  Considers necessary a budget increase for Europol, in particular for the upcoming European Cybercrime Centre, considering that the fight against cybercrime is one of the major priorities of the EU Internal Security Strategy.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

3.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

44

1

5

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Edit Bauer, Simon Busuttil, Philip Claeys, Carlos Coelho, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Ioan Enciu, Frank Engel, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Kinga Gál, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Anna Hedh, Salvatore Iacolino, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Timothy Kirkhope, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Monica Luisa Macovei, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Véronique Mathieu, Anthea McIntyre, Louis Michel, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Georgios Papanikolaou, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Rui Tavares, Nils Torvalds, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Josef Weidenholzer, Cecilia Wikström

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Cornelis de Jong, Evelyne Gebhardt, Monika Hohlmeier, Franziska Keller, Ádám Kósa, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Jan Mulder, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Glenis Willmott

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

Justas Vincas Paleckis, Iuliu Winkler


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (6.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(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 Member State level, and whereas the Union budget represents, among other things, a prime instrument that can act as a catalyst for investment, which should be stepped up at a time of crisis,

1.  Welcomes the increase in appropriations allocated for funding political parties at European level and European political foundations;

2.  Stresses that 2013 is a pre-election year, which calls for the creation of a specific budget heading in order 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; considers that, at a time of crisis, the Union ought to work to strengthen citizens’ confidence and make citizens the focal point of concerns to develop new policies;

4.  Regrets that the margin available in the Citizenship sub-heading is once again very limited, by comparison with other sub-headings, and does not make it possible to give the Union sufficient resources to introduce new initiatives or deal with unexpected events;

5.  Considers that pre-election year 2013 is particularly important in terms of communication and that, therefore, the appropriations allocated to the ‘Communicating Europe in partnership’ programme ought to be at least the same as in 2012;

6.  Believes that the European Parliament's own expenditure on the European elections should be targeted at the role of the social media in engaging citizens in debate about, and participation in, the campaign;

7.  Stresses that, since the introduction of the European citizenship initiative on 1 April 2012, several initiatives have already been registered by the Commission and may potentially result in a hearing in Parliament in 2013; considers that Parliament should make adequate financial provision for possible hearings.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Ashley Fox, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, David Martin, Morten Messerschmidt, Paulo Rangel, Algirdas Saudargas, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Marietta Giannakou, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Evelyn Regner, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin


OPINION of the Committee on Petitions (21.9.2012)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013

(12749/2012 – C7-0233/2012 – 2012/2092(BUD))

Rapporteur: Nikolaos Salavrakos

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Takes the view that the total amount of budgetary resources requested by the European Ombudsman for 2013 will enable him to meet the obligations under his Statute, the implementing provisions and the co-operation agreement and will allow him to perform his duties effectively;

2.  Notes that the Ombudsman's estimates for 2013 show a total of EUR 9 887 000, which represents an increase of 3.89% (+ EUR 370 500) compared to his budget for 2012;

3.  Points out that the relatively high increase compared to the 2012 budget results to a large extent from a significant increase in the rent which will be charged to the Ombudsman in 2013 due to the relocation of his offices in Brussels;

4.  Notes that the rise of the rental charges alone accounts for an increase of 2.4% of the estimates; points out that without this provision for higher rental charges the Ombudsman's budget would have increased by only 1.4%, which is below the forecast inflation of 1.9%;

5.  Notes that the Ombudsman's requests, one additional post (AD6) in his establishment plan and the upgrading of 8 existing posts (2 AST and 6 AD);

6.  Supports the Ombudsman's request for an increase in appropriations for contract agents in order to reinforce the Registry Unit, whose tasks have been extended with handling complaints which are outside the Ombudsman's mandate; stresses that the Ombudsman’s planned cut in appropriations for internships, so as to offset the increases in appropriations made necessary by the expansion of the Registry Unit, should not have an adverse impact on the value of the training provided through internships or on the working conditions of young interns;

7.  Is pleased that the Ombudsman has again been able to generate savings (EUR 211 000) by systematically scrutinising all his budget lines, enabling him to use these savings to contribute to the financing of planned projects in 2013;

8.  Notes with satisfaction that the Ombudsman, given the current economic situation in Europe, intends to continue to exercise the maximum possible restraint in future budgets to the extent that is consistent with his mandate.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Committee on Petitions has taken note of the European Ombudsman's estimates for the financial year 2013, which he submitted to the budgetary authority in accordance with Article of the Financial Regulation.

The Ombudsman's estimates for 2013 show a total of EUR 9 887 000. This represents an increase of 3.89% (+ EUR 370 500) compared to the Ombudsman's final budget for 2012 (EUR 9 516 500). The estimates include both the impact of inflation and the increased cost of living as anticipated by the European Commission.

Main features of the 2013 budget

The relatively high increase of the budget 2013 (+ 3.89%) compared to the budget 2012 results mainly from a considerable increase in the rent (+ EUR 230 000) the Ombudsman will have to pay in 2013.

In 2013 the Ombudsman's office in Brussels will move from its current location in the old Eastman building to a new building in Rue Montoyer. Since the rent for the Eastman building was low due to the rather poor state of the building, the Ombudsman has had to increase the appropriations for rent in Brussels (+ EUR 230 000).

Together with a minor rise in the rent for offices in Strasbourg (+ EUR 7000) the overall appropriations for rental charges in 2013 amount to EUR 725 000 (+ 49%). Also, the additional charges for the new building are higher (+ 33%) than for the old Eastman building.

The rise of the rental charges alone accounts for an increase of 2.49% of the budget. Without this change in the rent payments situation the Ombudsman's budget for 2013 would only have increased by 1.4% compared to last year's budget, which is below the forecast inflation of 1.9%.

Savings and redeployments

As in previous years the Ombudsman's services have prepared the budget estimates on the basis of the planned projects for 2013. Taking into account the current situation in Europe, the Ombudsman's services have systematically scrutinised all budget lines with a view to identifying savings which could contribute towards financing such projects.

The total amount generated by this exercise amounts to EUR 211 000, which represents more than 36% of the total increase in other budget lines (EUR 581 500).

Personnel

In his estimates for 2013 the Ombudsman requests one additional permanent post (AD6). The tasks of the Accounting Officer of the European Ombudsman have hitherto been carried out by an official from the European Parliament. However, changes in the Parliament's (IT) systems and policies have led to a situation in which it would be advantageous for both parties that the Ombudsman's office would perform the accounting tasks itself. No other posts are requested for 2013.

With regard to upgradings in 2013 the Ombudsman requests upgrades for 8 existing posts (2 AST and 6 AD). These upgradings are required in accordance with the Staff Regulations. The Ombudsman stresses that this does not mean that 8 staff are automatically promoted. The Ombudsman decides for each promotion whether the candidate is sufficiently deserving for a promotion.

In early 2012 the Ombudsman decided to assign the responsibility for handling complaints which are outside his mandate to the Registry Unit. This means that this Unit has to be reinforced with contract agents. For this reinforcement the Ombudsman requests an increase in appropriations for contract agents of EUR 113 000. The Ombudsman underlines that this increase is offset by an equivalent decrease in the appropriations for traineeships (- EUR 113 000).

Organisation

The activities of the Ombudsman's office can be divided into four areas: 1) handling complaints and carrying out inquiries, 2) communication and outreach, 3) support activities, and 4) strategy and governance.

In order to carry out the above activities a new organisation of the Ombudsman's services was set up which started working in January 2012. The two existing Departments were reorganised and two Directorates were created, each consisting of three Units: two Complaints and Inquiry Units and a Unit in charge of support activities.

In the new structure Complaints and Inquiries represents 57% of total staff, Communication and Outreach 17%, support activities 22%, and Strategy and Governance 4%.

Workload

In 2011 the Ombudsman registered 2 510 complaints of which 698 were within his mandate (in 2010 this was 2 667 complaints 744 of which were within the mandate). The Ombudsman opened 382 inquiries (335 in 2010). During 2011 he completed 318 inquiries (326 in 2010). In total he dealt with over 3 700 complaints and requests for information.

In over 65% of cases processed (1 667) the Ombudsman was able to help complainants by opening an inquiry, transferring the case to the competent body or giving advice. With regard to cases transferred or complainants advised to turn to another body, 47% of the complaints were directed to a member of the European Network of Ombudsmen (national and/or regional), of which the European Parliament is a full member. In 11% of cases complainants were referred to the Commission and 46% were advised to turn to other bodies such as SOLVIT.

In 2011 the Ombudsman was able to close 84 cases in which the institution concerned agreed to a friendly solution or settlement of the matter. In 47 cases maladministration was found and in 13 of these a positive outcome was reached, in which the institution concerned either fully or partially accepted the Ombudsman's draft recommendation. The Ombudsman closed 35 cases with critical remarks and in 39 cases issued further remarks. In 64 cases no maladministration was found.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Sonia Alfano, Margrete Auken, Elena Băsescu, Victor Boştinaru, Michael Cashman, Ágnes Hankiss, Roger Helmer, Peter Jahr, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Erminia Mazzoni, Judith A. Merkies, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Rainer Wieland

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Phil Prendergast, Angelika Werthmann

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

Elisabeth Köstinger


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

10.10.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

2

5

Members present for the final vote

Francesca Balzani, Reimer Böge, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jean-Luc Dehaene, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Ivars Godmanis, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Barbara Matera, Claudio Morganti, Jan Mulder, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Nadezhda Neynsky, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, Helga Trüpel, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann, Jacek Włosowicz

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jürgen Klute, María Muñiz De Urquiza

Last updated: 12 October 2012Legal notice