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

Texts tabled :

A7-0328/2013

Debates :

PV 22/10/2013 - 5
CRE 22/10/2013 - 5

Votes :

PV 23/10/2013 - 11.2

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0437

REPORT     
PDF 576kWORD 337k
11 October 2013
PE 519.566v03-00 A7-0328/2013(Par1)

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014

(13176/2013 – C7-0260/2013 – 2013/2145(BUD))

Part 1: Motion for a resolution

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteurs: Anne E. Jensen (Section III – Commission)

Monika Hohlmeier (Other sections)

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 OPINION of the Committee on 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
 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 2014

(13176/2013 – C7-0260/2013 – 2013/2145(BUD))

The European Parliament,

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

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

–   having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(2),

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section III

General overview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Payment appropriations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heading 1a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heading 1b

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heading 2

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

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

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

Heading 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heading 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

62. Proposes the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for EUR 50 million in order to finance the real needs for the Union's contribution to the Middle East peace process; reiterates, therefore, its support for long-term programming and sufficient funding for assistance to United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Palestine and the Peace process; suggests to put the EUR 50 million of additional appropriations in reserve pending an assessment from the Commission of the sound management of the aid by the Palestinian authorities and in the measures taken in the fight against corruption; highlights the importance of endowing UNRWA with the necessary means to enable them to provide the essential services for which UNRWA has been mandated by the UN General Assembly, and to safeguard the safety and livelihood of refugees in the light of the instability in the region;

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

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

Heading 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

71. Splits the line for OLAF expenditure related to officials and temporary staff, to reflect the widened mandate and strengthened independence of the Secretariat of the OLAF Supervisory committee provided for in the new OLAF Regulation;

Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs)

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

Other sections

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

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

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

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

87. Requests an amending budget to cover the backlog and the respective salary adjustments, should the Court of Justice rule in favour of the salary adaptation prescribed by the Staff Regulations; notes that there are minor additional savings as a result of the adoption of the Staff Regulations which were not yet integrated in the draft budget; awaits the Commission's proposal for the Letter of amendment No 2/2014 with exact details; asks to redeploy those savings from the Staff Regulations for the upcoming backlog, should the Court of Justice rule in favour of the salary adaptation; asks the Commission to send the Letter of amendment No 2/2014 in due time to Parliament and the Council in order to reflect the Letter's content in the 2014 budgetary procedure;

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

Section I – European Parliament

General framework

89. Recalls that it insisted, when adopting its estimates for 2014(7), on the need to exercise a high degree of budgetary responsibility, control and self-restraint and to make further efforts to implement changes, savings and structural reforms with the intention of keeping the budget increase closer to the rate of inflation;

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

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

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

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

94. Approves the following adjustments to the estimates:

     –   incorporation of the impact of the adoption of the new Staff Regulations and the related changes to the establishment plan;

     –   the taking into account the savings stemming from the replacement in Luxembourg of the PRES building by the GEOS building;

     –   reduction in the appropriations for the House of European History due to the contribution of the Commission towards the operating costs and internal savings;

     –   incorporation of the savings stemming from the implementation of "paperless Parliament" working methods;

     –   transfer of the management of Members’ pensions under the Statute for Members, like officials’ pensions, to the specific budget line under Section III;

     –   endowing the new DG for Parliamentary Research Services with human and financial resources following the succesful conclusions of cooperation agreement with the two committees (European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions);

Joint Working Group

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

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

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

Staff Regulations reform

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

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

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

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

Cooperation with Advisory Committees

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

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

Contingency reserve

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

Transfer of Member's pensions

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

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

Additional savings

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

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

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

Sections IV to X

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

Section IV – Court of Justice

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

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

Section V – Court of Auditors

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

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

Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

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

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

Section VII – Committee of the Regions

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

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

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

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

Section VIII – European Ombudsman

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

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

Section IX – European Data Protection Supervisor

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

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

Section X – European External Action Service

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

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

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

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

o

o o

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

(1)

OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.

(2)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(4)

Texts adopted of that date, P7_TA(2013)0304.

(5)

Texts adopted of that date, P7_TA(2013)0081.

(6)

Text adopted of that date, P7_TA(2013)0173.

(7)

Texts adopted of 17 April 2013, P7_TA(2013)0173.

(8)

Texts adopted P7_TA(2012)0359.

(9)

Texts adopted P7_TA(2013)0048.

(10)

O J 286, 17.10.2012, p.1.


ANNEX

JOINT STATEMENT

Dates for the budgetary procedure and modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANNEX

Modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10.   With a view to completing the work of the Conciliation Committee, Institutions will act

in a spirit of loyal cooperation, timely exchanging relevant information and documents at formal and informal level, and regularly maintaining contacts at all levels throughout the entire budgetary procedure through a proactive role of their respective negotiators.

(1)

         The various steps will include: 2013 budget (including adopted amending budgets); the initial draft budget; the Council's position on the draft budget; the European Parliament's amendments on the Council's position and the letters of amendment presented by the Commission. For comparison purposes, the initial draft budget will include only those letters of amendment taken into consideration by both the Council's and the European Parliament's readings.

(2)

        Budget lines deemed technically closed will be highlighted in the input material. A budget line deemed technically closed is a line for which there is no disagreement between the European Parliament and the Council, and for which no letter of amendment has been presented, without prejudice to the final decision of the Conciliation Committee.

(3)

       Including a 'letter of executability' of the Commission on the Council's position and the European Parliament's amendments; a letter of amendment for agriculture (and other areas, if need be); possibly, the autumn Budget Forecast Alert Note prepared by the Commission; and possible letters from other Institutions on the Council's position and the European Parliament's amendments.

(4)

              Lines not modified with regard to the draft budget or to the Council's position will be highlighted.

(5)

        Including letters of amendment taken into consideration by both the Council's and the European Parliament's readings


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (6.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra

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.  Deplores the substantive cuts of 12.5% in commitment appropriations and a cut of 8.2% in payment appropriations compared with the 2013 budget for Heading 4; emphasises that even in times of increased budgetary discipline and constraints, it is of vital importance to maintain appropriate funding for the EU's global activities to enable it to live up to its ambitions outlined in the Lisbon treaty; stresses that all efforts should be made to limit the deep cuts and their repercussions for the EU as a global actor;

2.  Notes that the provisions of the 2014 Draft Budget do not match the initial ambitions of the proposal of the European Commission for the MFF 2014-2020 in order to make the EU a relevant global actor;

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

4.  Emphasises thus the importance of trying to as far as possible match the level of the 2013 budget in terms of commitments to the EU's major foreign policy financial instruments to ensure that the EU's international role is not unnecessarily weakened;

5.  Regrets the especially severe reductions applied to the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), which could considerably endanger relations with the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, one of the main priorities of the EU's external action; stresses that without adequate funding, the ‘more for more’ principle as core mechanism in the relevant financial instruments will be fundamentally undermined; strongly urges to restore a substantial amount of the cuts in commitments to the ENI, also taking into consideration civil society;

6.  Emphasises that in the Southern Mediterranean, there is an urgent need for the EU to play an active role and that it is in the EU's interest to pursue closer cooperation and support further democratic developments, conflict resolution activities, as well as the legal approximation with the countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood in particular with regards to the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius; expresses its concern that with deep cuts in the relevant instruments, there would be little room to react to sudden developments and maintain the level of support required to help countries in transition which could fundamentally undermine the EU's policy objectives in the area; expresses the need to further support the efforts of the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean to develop concrete socioeconomic projects of regional scope;

7.  Stresses that the expectations and the objectives of the Eastern Partnership Vilnius summit will need an effective follow-up and calls, therefore, for adequate financial support that enables the Union to deliver on its promises;

8.  Regrets that the distribution of the decreases in commitments among the different instruments remains largely unexplained which is especially disconcerting given the enormous differences in the depth of the cuts; asks the Commission to provide further clarification on the reasons for this distribution of cuts;

9.  Notes that the margin for Heading 4 has been reduced this year and leaves less room for flexibility with regard to policy priorities; believes that such thin margins can limit Parliament's role in the budget negotiations;

10. Stresses that the search for peace and political stability in the Middle East plays a key role in the EU's foreign policy; reiterates therefore its call for long term programming and sufficient funding for assistance to UNRWA, Palestine and the Peace process;

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

12. Questions whether the level of payments for the Emergency Aid Reserve will be sufficient to ensure the EU's capacity to respond rapidly to any urgent crisis;

13. Welcomes the savings the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been able to make in its budget but notes with concern rising costs and suggests steps should be taken towards the purchase of delegation buildings where economically sensible; similarly welcomes attempts made to reduce the number of senior level posts but emphasises that the efforts made so far are still insufficient; continues to believe that the special situation of the EEAS requires a partial exemption from the strict savings goals imposed on other institutions; urges in line with its recommendation on the 2013 review of the organisation and the functioning of the EEAS to carry out a systematic and in-depth audit to overcome current duplications with EU external policy-related structures of the Commission and Council Secretariat, which could result in considerable administrative cost-savings;

14. Stresses that in line with the recommendations contained in the EEAS Review, EU Special Representatives should be an intrinsic part of the EEAS in accordance with Article 33 TEU; proposes a 40% cut in the budget line for EUSRs pending an agreement with the Council on the transfer of this budget line to the EEAS budget.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

4.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

5

1

Members present for the final vote

Sir Robert Atkins, Bastiaan Belder, Elmar Brok, Tarja Cronberg, Mário David, Susy De Martini, Michael Gahler, Marietta Giannakou, Ana Gomes, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Tunne Kelam, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Evgeni Kirilov, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Eduard Kukan, Krzysztof Lisek, Marusya Lyubcheva, Willy Meyer, Francisco José Millán Mon, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Raimon Obiols, Kristiina Ojuland, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Tonino Picula, Mirosław Piotrowski, Cristian Dan Preda, Libor Rouček, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Werner Schulz, Davor Ivo Stier, Charles Tannock, Eleni Theocharous, Geoffrey Van Orden, Nikola Vuljanić, Sir Graham Watson, Karim Zéribi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Göran Färm, Roberto Gualtieri, Elisabeth Jeggle, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Doris Pack, Jean Roatta, Marietje Schaake, Alf Svensson, Janusz Władysław Zemke

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

Dubravka Šuica


OPINION of the Committee on Development (1.10.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014

(13176/2013 - C7-0260/2013 – 2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Ricardo Cortés Lastra

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.   Welcomes the EU Member States' reconfirmation of all the Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments into which they have entered individually and collectively, including that to raise the level of ODA to 0.7% by 2015; reminds the Member States that in addition to reconfirming their commitments, they should honour them; reiterates its own firm support for the 0.7% target and its determination to contribute to its attainment;

2.   Underlines that with the hugely insufficient progress in relation to several of the Millennium Development Goals and the need to mobilise resources for the pursuit of the now emerging global post-2015 development agenda, this is no moment to start to cut development assistance;

3.   Deeply regrets the fact that the 2014 ceiling for the Global Europe heading in the draft MFF is significantly lower than the corresponding ceiling for 2013 and that this generates pressure; recognises that savings should even so not be made on the backs of particularly vulnerable people and that the prospects for honouring of ODA commitments must not be undercut; affirms that the 2013 levels of the development and humanitarian expenditure must therefore be maintained;

4.   Emphasises that the payment appropriations in the Development Cooperation Instrument chapter must be set at a level which allows effective delivery on the EU's political commitments, as well as its budgetary ones;

5.   Draws attention to the specific nature of the humanitarian aid, which brings relief to people in acute danger or deep distress, and to the chronic, grave and further worsening lack of payments money in this chapter; deplores that this lack threatens the EU's ability to take timely and efficient action in places where this is direly needed and the EU has already decided to enter or to step up its engagement; insists on the need to remedy this abnormal situation and calls on the Council to accept a major increase in the Emergency Aid Reserve; invites the Commission to mobilise swiftly this Reserve in case of need and if necessary to table an amending budget in order to increase appropriations;

6.   Recognises that through numerous links in today's interconnected world, the costs of failures to effectively address deep development and humanitarian needs, as well as the costs of insufficient climate action, will have to be borne also by the EU itself; points out that development assistance and humanitarian aid, as well as climate financing, which should be additional to ODA, are therefore necessary investments in the longer-term security and well-being of our own societies.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Véronique De Keyser, Charles Goerens, Mikael Gustafsson, Eva Joly, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Gay Mitchell, Bill Newton Dunn, Maurice Ponga, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Alf Svensson, Daniël van der Stoep, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Emer Costello, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Fiona Hall, Edvard Kožušník, Krzysztof Lisek, Isabella Lövin, Gesine Meissner

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

Josefa Andrés Barea, Tanja Fajon, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Barbara Lochbihler, Marusya Lyubcheva, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Hans-Peter Mayer, Eleni Theocharous


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (6.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 – all sections

(2013/2145(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.   Welcomes, in a context of scarcity of resources, the proposal to increase, in terms of both payments and commitments, several key budget lines within the Commission's trade policy title; is concerned, however, that these slight increases may not be sufficient to ensure that the Commission has the capacity to cope with its expanding bilateral negotiating agenda, including free trade agreements (FTAs) with the USA and Japan, to efficiently implement the EU´s trade defence instruments and to do its utmost to help shore up the multilateral trading system by drawing up new proposals and taking concrete initiatives;

2.   Stresses that this slight increase of the budgetary line devoted to the trade policy of the EU should be complemented by adequate resources and staff reallocation within the Commission; is satisfied with the proposal of a significant increase in staff working in the Union delegations on trade-related matters, which should support the Union´s trade and economic influence in third countries;

3.   Recommends that the increase in resources within the Commission's trade policy title should partly be used to help build up Parliament's and civil society's capacity to adequately monitor the growing complexity and proliferation of bilateral EU trade negotiations;

4.   Regrets the sharp decrease in commitments for the Instrument for Macro-Financial Assistance and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), which could undermine the EU's capacity to stabilise and assist its neighbouring countries, including those with whom it negotiates deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs); believes that the ENI funding should, given its restrictions, focus on trade-related technical support and assistance to our partners, especially those countries in the Eastern Partnership which could soon implement DCFTAs concluded with the EU as well as the Euromed countries;

5.  Deplores also the fall in real terms in funding for Aid for Trade, particularly as this is proposed in tandem with a sharp decrease in funding for the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI);

6.   Notes the substantial increase in funding for the Partnership Instrument (former ICI/ICI+), which reflects the widened scope of this instrument; supports the significant financing for activities in support of EU businesses on third markets; welcomes the fact that the proposed resources for COSME and for the Partnership Instrument should allow for a whole range of activities in support of SMEs internationalisation and recalls the relevance of finally implementing the coordination platform for SMEs as of 2014;

7.   Notes with interest that the Partnership Instrument will fund the expansion of the EU business centres in Asia, after thorough reviews of the existing structures in China and India, and the creation of a Business Centre in Latin America; believes that this renewed funding implies that the Commission will take into account all the lessons drawn from the first experiences of business centres, in terms of outreach to SMEs, complementarities with existing public and private structures of the EU and of Members States and sustainability of these projects;

8.   Regrets that the funds previously available in the 'Preparatory action: Opportunities for internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises' have been divided up into different lines, and this at a time of economic crisis when international trade is the only way out for many SMEs.

9.   Believes that the drop in the annual ceiling for possible use of the European Globalisation Fund for 2014-2020 could affect its effectiveness, in particular as the EGF's scope of recipients has been expanded to anticipate the possibility of some negative social impact of future trade liberalisation by the Union;

10.  Supports the extension for a third year, into 2014, of the Preparatory Action 'Euromed innovation entrepreneurs for change', on 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;

11.  Considers it necessary to provide specific funds as part of international aspects of customs in order to implement the fight against counterfeiting and pirating, a growing problem that poses a threat to legitimate trade, consumer health and business investment;

12.  Considers it necessary to increase the amount allocated to the ILO to promote better labour standards, as called for in trade agreements with third countries, which is a key element in ensuring that trade brings people prosperity;

13.  Expresses concern at the ability of Parliament and of civil society adequately to monitor the growing complexity and proliferation of bilateral EU trade negotiations, and therefore stresses the need to set up a pilot project to create an umbrella organisation (Trade Watch) which would systematically gather together all the independent analytical knowledge that parliamentarians require in order to exercise Parliament's prerogative of granting rapid and informed approval for EU trade agreements; considers that this is now particularly crucial so that Parliament can monitor EU-US negotiations on what will be one of the most significant trade agreements in the world, which will have numerous consequences for all sectors and which therefore requires public monitoring.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Maria Badia i Cutchet, David Campbell Bannerman, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, George Sabin Cutaş, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Franziska Keller, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Paul Murphy, Franck Proust, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Jan Zahradil

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Salvatore Iacolino, Jörg Leichtfried, Emma McClarkin, Miloslav Ransdorf, Marietje Schaake

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

Birgit Collin-Langen, Ingeborg Gräßle, Elisabeth Jeggle, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (3.10.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014

(13176/2013 - C7-0260/2013 - 2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Jens Geier

SUGGESTIONS

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

A.  whereas in a situation of limitation of resources, caused by the economic and financial crisis, the institutions of the Union and the Members States should fully cooperate in order to efficiently implement the general budget of the European Union and adequately protect it by preventive and corrective actions;

B.   whereas one of the main objectives of the 2014 draft budget is to accelerate the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion;

C.  whereas the dialogue between Parliament and the Commission provided for in Article 318 TFEU should stimulate the culture of performance inside the Commission;

1.   Notes that the cumulative implementation of financial corrections for previous years imposed by the Commission on Member States that fail to implement sound systems and recoveries across all policy areas amount to about EUR 4,5 billion in 2012 (EUR 1,8 billion in 2011)(1);

2.   Points out that the significant increase compared to the previous year is mainly explained by the closure exercise of the ERDF programme for the 2000-2006 period and the resulting financial corrections;

3.   Asks the Commission to clearly indicate which amounts recovered in 2012 have been booked as revenue in the accounts of the Union or have been off-set and the extent to which financial corrections and recoveries decided in 2012 may impact on payment needs for the 2013 and the 2014 budgets;

4.   Recalls that the Communication to the European Parliament(2) adopted by the Commission for the first time in September 2013 with a view to making public, in a user friendly way, all the amounts in nominal terms recovered in the course of the preceding year through financial corrections and recoveries is a priority action required by Parliament; is of the opinion that this Communication should also indicate to which extent the financial corrections and recoveries impact on the revenue and expenditure side of the budget;

5.   Emphasizes that recovered amounts are considered revenues that should remain in the Union budget and therefore contribute to a stabilisation of the budget; points out that this delivers a strong message and incentive to Member States to improve their management and control systems; regrets that while approximately 80 % of the budget is actually spent by Member States there is no clear commitment from most of the Member States for a Member State declaration justifying that the money is well spent;

6    Asks to be informed by the Commission about all amounts received during the year 2013 from agreements with the major tobacco companies including penalty payments as foreseen in the agreements, fines from companies that breach EU rules and regulations, including the total amount which was attributed to the budget of the Union;

7.   Welcomes the programme statements of operational expenditure accompanying the 2014 draft budget, which contain besides numerical data related to the programme also information in terms of EU added value, the contribution to Europe 2020 Strategy (Headline targets and Flagship initiatives) as well as general and specific objectives supported by indicators and targets; notes that it is a first step towards acting on the recommendations expressed by the Committee on Budgetary Control when it examined the discharge to the Commission for the year 2011;

8.   Recalls in particular that, in its resolution accompanying the decision to grant the 2011 discharge to the Commission, Parliament urged the Commission to develop a new culture of performance, to propose a clear definition of European added value until the mid-term review in the various areas of policies and programmes and to focus, within the section relating to the internal policies of the evaluation report provided for by Article 318 TFEU, also on the Europe 2020 Strategy as being the economic and social policy of the Union, the emphasis being placed on the progress made in the achievement of the flagship initiatives;

9.   Welcomes the agreement reached on a new Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management accompanying the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 with regard to the evaluation report foreseen by Article 318 TFEU which specifies that "the Commission shall distinguish the internal policies, focused on the Europe 2020 Strategy, from the external policies and shall use more performance information, including performance audit results, to evaluate the finances of the Union based on the results achieved";

10.  Regrets the fact that the 2014 budget will increase the RAL with an expected amount of EUR 6 billion(3) ; calls upon the Commission and the Council to take the still increasing amount of outstanding commitments into account and come forward with measures to reduce the amount of outstanding commitments.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

2.10.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

12

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Inés Ayala Sender, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Ingeborg Gräßle, Bogusław Liberadzki, Crescenzio Rivellini

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Philip Bradbourn, Karin Kadenbach, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Markus Pieper, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Barbara Weiler

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

María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Spyros Danellis, Wolf Klinz, Gesine Meissner

(1)

        See the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors of 5 June 2013: Synthesis of the Commission's management achievements in 2012 (COM(2013)0334).

2          idem.

(2)

           Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament: Protection of the European Union budget to end 2012 (COM(2013)0682 final/2.

(3)

Compare working document BUDG_DT(2013)510689 on the outstanding commitments for 2013 and calculation methods.


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (5.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the General budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Sven Giegold

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, whilst the economic and financial crisis is continuing to grip Europe, the rigid austerity measures and bold reforms introduced by the Member States are beginning to bear fruit; there will be no need for an increase in the EU budget; notes with deep concern that the economic and financial crisis is continuing to grip Europe. Given that simultaneous austerity measures across many Member States is leading to contraction, Elements of the Union budget which spur economic development and employment need to be boosted, better targeted and more efficiently used for the EU to be able provide stronger counter-cyclical stabilization.

2.  Stresses that while efficiency gains should be striven for in all parts of the EU budget, saving gains should be concentrated on budget lines which contribute little to accomplishing the EU 2020 objectives, including future investments; research, innovation, training, the creation of employment, the fight against poverty and sustainable development; therefore expresses its concerns with respect to the Commission proposal for a 9,3 % decrease in payment appropriations for the heading 1a "Competitiveness for growth and jobs";

3.  Recalls that the EP in its resolution of 7 February 2013 on the 2011 Annual Report of the European Investment Bank stresses that "further increase in [...] capital would be greatly beneficial to the Union in the context of its need for economic growth".

4.  Acknowledges that the European Parliament has been strongly in favour of the creation of the ESAs and believes that the Authorities are key actors in order to create more stable and safer financial markets. The European Union needs stronger and better coordinated supervision at the European level.

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

6.  Concludes that the current financing of ESAs, with a mixed-financing arrangement, is inflexible, creates administrative burden, and poses a threat to the agencies' independence.

7.  Considers that where the supervisory fees, which are levied by ESAs on the industry, are used to finance staff within the ESAs, these staff should not be considered as the overall head-count of that institution.

8.  Calls for the Commission to explore options for a new long-term sustainable financing of the ESAs, which safeguards its independence in the next review of the Agencies' work and financing arrangements; the Commission shall present the review of the agencies by 2 January 2014.

9.  Welcomes evolving independent expertise and capacity building with regard to financial market regulation, which for continuity and consolidation purposes requires further EU funding.

10. Given the need for more, better, and speedily delivered European statistics, supports Eurostat raising its fees with a view to boosting its budget;

11. For the fight against secrecy jurisdictions and cross border tax evasion to succeed, stresses the need to strengthen the budgetary provisions in the field of international governance and cooperation in the tax area; recalls that investment in this field will yield additional revenue for member states as well as the European Union.

12. Points out that the programme Prince for the "Communication on economic and monetary union, including the euro" receives substantial funding, and that reductions should be envisaged.

13. Stresses that the Union programme to support specific activities in the field of financial reporting and auditing for the period of 2014-2020 as proposed by the European Commission requires modifications, in particular with regard to transparency and accountability, before it can be adopted by the co-legislators. Considers it therefore vital to put the draft amounts into reserve and to explore the option of cutting the foreseen envelope as well as the move to a shorter funding commitment.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

12

7

Members present for the final vote

Marino Baldini, Jean-Paul Besset, Sharon Bowles, George Sabin Cutaş, Rachida Dati, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Syed Kamall, Wolf Klinz, Jürgen Klute, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Philippe Lamberts, Werner Langen, Astrid Lulling, Ivana Maletić, Hans-Peter Martin, Arlene McCarthy, Marlene Mizzi, Sławomir Nitras, Ivari Padar, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Olle Schmidt, Peter Simon, Peter Skinner, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Sampo Terho, Marianne Thyssen, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Sari Essayah, Ashley Fox, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Andreas Schwab, Emilie Turunen

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

Richard Falbr, Stephen Hughes


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (6.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Csaba Őry

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.   Stresses that the draft Budget 2014, with 142.01 billion Euros in commitments and 135.9 billion Euros in payments, is 6% lower than Budget 2013; underlines that despite the cuts, the commitments in the area of competitiveness, growth and employment have risen by 3.3%; regrets, however, the decrease by 13.1 % of the Category 1b;

2.   Stresses the need of an adequate MFF which allows reaching social and employment goals in line with the Europe 2020 strategy;

3.  Welcomes the fact that the available funding in the MFF for the Youth Employment Initiative will be frontloaded in the first 2 years to combat youth unemployment; calls therefore on the Member States to absorb the available funding for this instrument efficiently and swiftly and expects from the Member States unbureaucratic programmes on combating youth unemployment as soon as possible;

4.   Calls on the Commission to clarify how the allocations dedicated to the fight against youth unemployment will be used, which amounts will be directly dedicated to the youth guarantee and which method will be used to the annual margins for this purpose as agreed in MFF;

5.   Welcomes the fact that EGF budget line includes payment appropriations even if those should be higher; is, however, disappointed with the annual ceiling allocated to this Fund in MFF agreement and reiterates its demand to increase the annual ceiling to 500 million Euros, given that part of this sum will be allocated to combating youth unemployment;

6.  Emphasises, in view of soaring youth unemployment, the need for new appropriations for the ‘Youth on the Move’ preparatory action;

7.  Stresses the need for increased commitments to support migrant and posted workers via the preparatory action "Information centres for posted and migrant workers" and to enhance measures to promote employee shareholding schemes via the pilot project on employee ownership and participation;

8.  Proposes to launch a pilot project on the feasibility and added value of a European unemployment benefit scheme, which could become a key component of the social dimension of the EMU;

9.  Proposes to improve social convergence and cohesion through a pilot project on Social Mark and a pilot project on Anti-discrimination watchdog and the development of a network by NGOs safeguarding and promoting rights of people with disabilities;

10. Demands enhanced support for the EURES axis of EaSI, in order to provide easier access to available job vacancies in other countries for unemployed youth and counselling for mobile workers and employers through cross-border-partnerships;

11. Stresses the need for increased financial support for the Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis within EaSI, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, to give people the opportunity to enter the labour market and thereby to contribute to economic growth;

12. Highlights that addressing poverty in Member States and regions is primarily a Member State responsibility, whilst acknowledging the importance of EU level action as a demonstration of political solidarity and a means of showing leadership and best practice in relation to increased poverty rates; therefore welcomes intensification of and more financial support for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived and for the part of the European Social Fund which refers to combating poverty and social exclusion.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Heinz K. Becker, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Phil Bennion, Pervenche Berès, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, David Casa, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Minodora Cliveti, Marije Cornelissen, Emer Costello, Frédéric Daerden, Sari Essayah, Richard Falbr, Marian Harkin, Stephen Hughes, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Jean Lambert, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Elisabeth Schroedter, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Jutta Steinruck, Ruža Tomašić, Traian Ungureanu, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Malika Benarab-Attou, Richard Howitt, Anthea McIntyre, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Csaba Sógor


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (9.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(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.        Notes the political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 of 27 June 2013 which will allow the continuation of policy financing focussing on new priorities to aim at achieving the goals of the 2020 strategy; notes that the MFF includes an important deal on flexibility which will allow making a maximum use of funds the level of which has been substantially reduced by the Member States as compared to the original Commission´s proposal; is convinced that a high level of environmental protection in the European Union, health as a precondition for economic prosperity, food and feed safety and mechanisms to help protect against natural and man-made disasters are of core value to all European citizens;

2.        Stresses that the MFF is a spending plan that translates Union priorities into financial terms. It is not a seven-year budget, but the basis for the annual budgetary exercise. It sets the maximum annual amounts which the Union may spend in different political fields. It therefore provides a political as well as budgetary framework for the benefit of 500 million Europeans.

3.        Underlines that it is necessary to help Europe recover from the crisis. The spending plan seeks to encourage greener agriculture and establish a more environment-conscious Europe. Climate spending is expected to represent at least 20% of Union spending in the period 2014-2020.

4.        Is fully aware that these policies and financing instruments in the remit of this committee are small and do not receive as much attention as other programmes and funds; is therefore alerted not to accept any further reduction of funding of programmes and budget lines as the impact would not be tolerable; calls especially on Member States and regions to perceive the implementation of environmental and climate-friendly policies, actions and projects as a chance to foster growth and not as a burden;

5.        Draws attention, in general terms, to the Draft Budget 2014 suggesting EUR 142 467,6 million in commitment appropriations, representing a decrease of 6% compared to the budget 2013; stresses, moreover, that EUR 136 065,8 million are foreseen as payment appropriations, a decrease of 5,8% compared to 2013; stresses further that only EUR 10 700 million of the payment amount are foreseen to cover obligations from the new programs and EUR 70 700 million are dedicated to outstanding payment commitments;

6.        Takes note of the Council's position on the Draft Budget 2014 proposing EUR 142 226,9 million in commitment appropriations and EUR 135 004,6 in payment appropriations decreasing even more Commission's initial proposal;

7.        Is concerned that, in the event of insufficient payments, the Commission might decide to not use commitment appropriations to the full, which would counteract Parliament's repeated commitment in the areas of environment, health, food and feed safety; concludes, in addition, that the lack of payments will damage the reputation of the Union as beneficiaries under the respective programs are left unpaid;

8.        Takes note that a vast majority of programmes run out on 31 December 2013 like Civil Protection Financial Instrument, LIFE and the Health Programme. Urges the adoption of new legal bases under the ordinary legislative procedure before beginning of 2014 in order to ensure the funding for millions of Union beneficiaries; stresses that the legal bases have to be finalised before that date.

9.        Notes that the LIFE programme constitutes a share of 0,28% of the whole Draft Budget 2014 and accounts for 0,68% of Heading 2 (in commitments); points out that the increase of LIFE funding compared to 2013 has to be seen in the context of an extended scope of the programme, including all actions related to climate change; recognises, in this context, that 'Title 34' has been created solely under the responsibility of DG CLIMA;

10.      Is alarmed by Council's proposal to cut payments related to environmental and climate action activities by EUR 10,7 million against the past, current or expected budget implementation; will not accept these payment cuts as implementation in this policy area has always been very satisfactory; considers therefore Council’s argument as flimsy and the approach as a pure arithmetic exercise by Council to bring down payment appropriations in total;

11.      Is supportive to spotlight regions in Europe which have an integrated climate-friendly approach on transport, environment, energy and waste; suggests the awarding of a prize by the Commission every five years to those regions fulfilling the objectives which will honour their efforts; invites the Commission to present the first outline for the prize by the end of 2013;

12.      Believes that the Public health programme with a share of 0,04% in commitments in the Draft Budget 2014 does not fully reflect the importance of health as a value in itself and as a prerequisite to promoting growth also in relation to cross-border threats to health;

13.      Recalls that Horizon 2020 will contribute to objectives in the remit of this committee with research projects in the areas of climate, health and environment; affirms its commitment to monitor the alignment of the projects with the corresponding objectives and the progress of the implementation;

14.      Considers it noteworthy that the respective shares in Headings 2 and 3 in the Draft Budget 2014 or increases and decreases of those respective headings by the Commission and the Council during the MFF negotiation procedure have to be considered as prestidigitation as, for instance, Chapter 17 04 ' Food and feed safety, animal health, animal welfare and Plant health' has been moved from Heading 2 to 3;

15.      Underlines the successful implementation of Union programmes or parts thereof by Executive Agencies; points out that, in future, not only will the implementation of the Health programme be under the responsibility of the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) but in addition parts of the new LIFE programme are foreseen to be executed by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI); stresses, however, that the delegation of responsibilities and the secondment of staff from the Commission to Executive Agencies are at the cost of operational appropriations of the programmes while at the same time decreasing administrative obligations of the Commission;

16.      Stresses that Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions are valuable tools to initiate new activities and policies; reiterates that several ideas of this committee have been implemented successfully in the past; will therefore make further use of those instruments; encourages the full use of margins available under each heading;

17.      Believes that decentralised agencies have to bear their fair share of cost savings as do other institutions; notes that enhanced cooperation between agencies and continuous commitment to increase efficiency has already led to better spending and use of funds; is, however, seriously concerned about the approach taken by the Commission on decentralised agencies as cuts imposed on them, especially in human resources, are unfair and inadequate in comparison to other Union institutions; will not tolerate that the increase of staff in certain agencies or in newly set up agencies has to be offset in other agencies to come to an overall staff reduction of 2% for all agencies while, for instance, the Commission (including Croatia) proposes for itself a decrease of only 0,1%; is determined to return to a proper case-by-case evaluation of respective needs for each agency;

18.      Will reverse the Council's position to cut the budgets of the agencies under the responsibility of this committee by EUR 2 051 898; considers Council's justification that the reduction would correspond to the salary adjustment amounts from 2011 and 2012 as smokescreen because agencies are seen by Council as administrative burden;

19.      Takes note that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Environment Agency have very stable structures and at this point are facing no major additional assignments and according to the Commission' approach are facing cuts in staff of 2%;

20.      Is aware that through the "Reach review" numerous new tasks, for example in the areas of increased support to SMEs or the identification of chemicals of very high concern, are foreseen to be assigned to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA); is concerned that the Draft Budget 2014 foresees for REACH and CLP activities staff cuts of even more than 2 % (equivalent to a reduction of 10 posts); notes further that against the Commission's announcement to pay the full subsidy to the agency as a contribution to the European School Type II from Heading 5 has not applied to activities under REACH and CLP, leaving the agency alone responsible for the payment; considers that this approach is not tolerable as ECHA is not in a position to factor-in those costs in the respective fee-regulation;

21.      Notes the additional demands put forward to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) such as environmental risk assessments, responding to the public demand for more transparency and the reinsure the independence of the opinions issued; is informed that EFSA had planned to internalise certain expertise to guarantee best possible independence but had to abandon those plans due to staff decrease of 7 posts instead of a tolerable decrease of 4 posts;

22.      Stresses that the European Medicines Agency is one of the industry-driven agencies which, in the last three years, has not received one additional post for the implementation of the Pharmacovigilance legislation resulting in a slow-down of handling files; will not accept the Commission's approach in this regard as well as the foreseen cut of 2% (equivalent to a reduction of 12 posts) applied to the whole agency staff while 5/6 of staff is fee-financed;

23.      Is in general not convinced that the externalisation of services aiming at reducing staff in establishment plans will be more cost-efficient in the long-run as service contractors need supervision and guidance while looking for profit at the same time.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

4

3

Members present for the final vote

Martina Anderson, Elena Oana Antonescu, Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Pilar Ayuso, Sandrine Bélier, Sergio Berlato, Franco Bonanini, Biljana Borzan, Milan Cabrnoch, Martin Callanan, Yves Cochet, Chris Davies, Esther de Lange, Edite Estrela, Jill Evans, Elisabetta Gardini, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Dan Jørgensen, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Jo Leinen, Peter Liese, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Gilles Pargneaux, Andrés Perelló Rodríguez, Mario Pirillo, Oreste Rossi, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Carl Schlyter, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Dubravka Šuica, Sabine Wils

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Mark Demesmaeker, José Manuel Fernandes, Julie Girling, Jutta Haug, Marusya Lyubcheva, Michèle Rivasi, Christel Schaldemose, Renate Sommer, Vladimir Urutchev

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

Ashley Fox


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (27.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014

(13176/2013 - C7-0260/2013 - 2013/2145(BUD))

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.  Insists that the Parliament has not yet given its consent to the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) Regulation and that the Commission should first draw up the Draft Budget 2014 on the basis of its own proposal for the MFF 2014-2020;

2.  Deeply regrets that the Council has cut EUR 38 billion in Heading 1a, under which main Union policies on innovation, research, infrastructure, SMEs, youth and education, needed to address the current economic crisis and important societal challenges, are financed; stresses that appropriations under Heading 1a should be made possible and could help meet EU priority policies in areas such as: measures to combat unemployment, Union industrial policy, research and innovation and energy;

3.  Wishes to know the approximate amount of unused payment appropriations from the period 2007 – 2013, in particular for the final year, 2013, and to this end asks the Commission to provide a financial statement on the take-up of payment appropriations under the current financial perspectives for 2007-2013, indicating the amounts provided for and committed for the period 2007-2012; take-up shortfall; amounts still to be committed and all financial information regarding the utilisation of payment appropriations;

4.  Calls on the budgetary authorities to establish the maximum possible flexibility to direct unused annual appropriations towards the programmes under Heading 1a, in particular Horizon 2020, COSME and the Connecting Europe Facility;

5.  Strongly opposes any attempt to cover the necessary resources through redeployment from Heading 1a to settle any future, potential failure to cover all unpaid payment claims of the actual financial year of the next MFF;

6.  Reminds the Council's of its statement whereby funding for the Horizon 2020 programme must represent a real growth compared to 2013 level; calls therefore for an ambitious allocation of funds to the Horizon 2020 programme and firmly objects to any proposal for 2014 ceilings below the 2013 levels; calls on the Commission to establish a dedicated budget for the SME Instrument, and dedicated budget lines for the Science in Society and Widening Participation Programmes, as well as for the follow-up of Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) Eco-innovation and Intelligent Energy Europe programmes;

7.  Calls for one single budget allocation for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in order to provide stakeholders in the Knowledge and Innovation Communities with a stable and predictable framework to make investments;

8.  Calls for an ambitious allocation of funds to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in order to reach the critical mass needed to establish the new foreseen Knowledge and Innovation Communities;

9.  Believes that the Connecting Europe Facility plays an important role in the Union’s economic recovery; calls for an increased share of financial resources to be allocated to this financial instrument in order to ensure leverage of other public and private investments; calls, in particular, for a focus on renewable energy project bonds and ICT infrastructure project bonds and for sufficient allocation to smart grids, especially in view of the potential synergies with the ICT sector;

10. Stresses the need to address the problems faced by SMEs through an ambitious COSME programme; believes that the level of funding currently proposed is insufficient and restates Parliament's position to double the amount allocated to the programme over the MFF period; in view of the particularly difficult situation for accessing finance, calls for the allocation of at least 60% of the COSME budget to the most effective financial instruments; insists that the MFF should continue to provide for microfinancing programmes (such as the European Progress Microfinance Facility and the JASMINE); calls in addition for closer networking of existing and future tools for the promotion of entrepreneurship, e.g. the European Social Fund, the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the Youth Guarantee and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, with a view to generating incentives and synergies at national and local levels;

11. Insists that the major Union infrastructure projects (such as Galileo, ITER and Copernicus) must be financed over and above the MFF ceilings so that, where necessary, additional appropriations can be released by the Member States and insists that the funding and successful implementation of other Union programmes should not be threatened by possible cost overruns of these large-scale projects;

12. Believes that better governance and coordination of spending between the Union, the Member States and the regions is needed in order to implement the Europe 2020 strategy; calls for optimal use of existing Union financing with a focus on Union added value, effective streamlining and leveraging effects, together with appropriate and urgent implementation in the Member States; asks for the European Semester process to monitor investments in research, innovation, industrial policy, SMEs, energy and ICT infrastructures.

JUSTIFICATION

The priorities of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (hereinafter the ITRE Committee) in the EU 2014 Draft Budget were expressed in its opinion of 20 June 2013 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2014 Draft Budget and they remains also valid for the ITRE opinion on budgetary lines. The result of the vote on mandate for budgetary trilogue is attached to this justification.

The amendments on budgetary lines as modified by the Council were adopted in ITRE Committee on 2 September 2013. Several budget lines within the remit of the ITRE Committee have been concerned by the Council's position of 18 July 2013, providing for an overall reduction of 240,68 million EUR in commitments and 1,06 billion EUR in payments compared to the Commission's draft 2014 EU Budget.

As regards the heading 1A, the Council reduction amounts to 60 million EUR in commitment appropriations and concerns primarily support expenditures for research and innovation programme including Horizon 2020, the COSME for SME and enterprises and the Connecting Europe Facility. The reduction in payments under heading 1A is of 426.5 million EUR of which 154 million EUR in large infrastructure projects, 120.7 million EUR in Horizon 2020, 86.9 million EUR in the Connecting Europe Facility and 61.3 million EUR in other programmes.

This proposal is unacceptable for the ITRE Committee and incompatible with the Council's Conclusions of March 2013 where the Council committed to maintaining a real increase for research and innovation programmes compared to 2013 levels and to put emphasis on support to SMEs. It also is not in line with the deal struck with the Parliament in the negotiations on MFF 2014-2020, where it was agreed that the COSME and Horizon 2020 programme would be frontloaded in 2014.

Given these facts, the ITRE Committee voted to restore the Draft Budget as proposed by the Commission for activities of heading 1A programmes that were cut by the Council.

In addition, ITRE Committe also supported the proposal by the rapporteur to use the margin of heading 1A (125.9 million EUR) and the funds foreseen under the Flexibility Instrument (471 million EUR) to increase the funds for SMEs and Research and Innovation. Notably this includes requests for support for the following priorities:

•  budget line 02 02 01 : support to Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs under the COSME programme (+20 million EUR in commitment appropriations (CA) and +6 million EUR in payment appropriations (PA));

•  budget line 02 02 02: support for the financial instruments under the COSME programme (+60 million EUR in CA and +40 million EUR in PA);

•  budget line 02 04 02 03: for increasing innovation in SMEs (+30 million EUR in CA and +20 million EUR in PA)

•  new budget line 02 04 02 04 for establishing a single budget line to implement the SME instrument in H2020 as agreed with the Council during Horizon 2020 negotiations (+320 million EUR in CA and +160 million EUR in PA);

•  new budget line 32 04 03 02 for ensuring the continuation of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme as a separate energy programme under Horizon 2020 as agreed with the Council during Horizon 2020 negotiations (+110 million EUR in CA and +60 million EUR in PA);

•  new budget line 08 02 04 01 for the establishment of a Science for and with Society programme as a cross- cutting programme in Horizon 2020 as agreed with the Council during Horizon 2020 negotiations (+60 million EUR in CA and +35 million EUR in PA).

Finally, the ITRE Committee supported an increase of funds to be allocated broadband deployment in the ICT Connecting Europe Facility.

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 three new PP&PA that are carrying political priorities of the Committee and have a clear potential to develop into future EU activities and programmes:

· Pilot project Techno-economic models for district heating networks with multiple inputs (after existing budget line 07 02 77 25, 2.000.000 EUR), to increase the total efficiency of district heating and cooling networks, in developing a next generation district heating and cooling;

· Pilot project REIsearch (Research Excellence Innovation Framework) - Enhancing the competitiveness of the European Research Area by increasing communication among researchers, citizens, industry and policy makers (after existing budget line 09 03 77 01, 1.200.000 EUR), to accelerate the full use of Europe’s intellectual capital to the benefit of citizens, entrepreneurs and scientists through new media tools and

· Preparatory action A regional strategy for the North Sea Region (after line 13 03 41, 1.200.000 EUR), to analyse the region’s growth potential and use the findings to investigate the added value of having a future shared macro regional strategy for the North Sea area, given the fact that a strong North Sea Region has the potential to act as an engine for growth in Europe and contribute to the objectives of the EU2020 strategy.

In addition to these new PP&PAs, the ITRE Committee also requested to keep the level of payment appropriations for the existing preparatory action Erasmus for young entrepreneurs (existing budget line 02 02 77 03, +665.000 EUR) at least at the 2013 level, in order to ensure that obligations from previous years can be fulfilled.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

26.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

0

4

Members present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Jan Březina, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Giles Chichester, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Dimitrios Droutsas, Christian Ehler, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Robert Goebbels, Fiona Hall, Jacky Hénin, Romana Jordan, Judith A. Merkies, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Aldo Patriciello, Vittorio Prodi, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Amalia Sartori, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Konrad Szymański, Britta Thomsen, Patrizia Toia, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Marita Ulvskog, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Kathleen Van Brempt, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Elisabetta Gardini, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Bernd Lange, Werner Langen, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Hannu Takkula, Hermann Winkler

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

Britta Reimers


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (6.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on General budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz,

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 the recent economic downturn has exposed a number of shortcomings and inconsistencies in the Single Market, which have had adverse implications for consumers' and citizens' confidence; acknowledges the budgetary constraints under which the Union is currently operating; asks for commitments and payments to reflect clear added value and maximum management efficiency, and better spending of the budget by providing adequate financial means aimed at supporting a strategy for smart and sustainable growth;

2.  Is convinced that consumer policy is a main priority for the European Union and the budget for this policy area should reflect this; in this regard, calls on the European Commission to pay all due attention to the particulars specified in the report on a new agenda for European consumer policy (2012/2133 (INI)) for 2014-2020 adopted by the European Parliament on 11 June 2013;

3.   Urges to keep the financial envelope initially proposed by the Commission within the Multiannual Financial Framework on the Consumer programme (i.e. EUR 197 000 000); considers necessary to use a limited amount of the "margin" foreseen for Heading 3 of Multiannual Financial Framework (i.e.  EUR 40 million over the entire period from the total margin available for Heading 3, EUR 686 900 000) to finance the multilingual tool for the ODR platform; recalls that this multilingual facility was agreed upon by the two co-legislators and adopted in the European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 March 2013 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on ODR; notes that the use of the margin devoted to the MFF Heading is in line with the draft Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, European Council and Commission on "the budgetary discipline, cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management" (Part II, point B, paragraph 16);

4.   Acknowledges the importance of the ‘Single Market Forum’ and calls for the extension of its Preparatory Action to the year 2014 (EUR 1 200 000 for both Commitment and Payment Appropriations); points out that this forum should be integrated into an ongoing campaign at Union level to raise awareness about consumer rights and interests;

5.   Considers it important to establish a new Pilot Project on "Your Europe Travel (YET) Application for Mobile Devices" in order to offer general information on cross-border issues in any of the EU languages via a one-stop shop and to help travellers when they encounter problems while they are abroad and have limited access to information and advice services (EUR 650 000 for Commitment Appropriations and EUR 350 000 for Payment Appropriations); this project should provide practical information for consumers and focus on real-life, cross-border situations, on topics ranging from travel and visa information, passenger and consumer rights, health cards, payment systems, road signs and the European Consumer Centres (ECCs) that can provide assistance and advice in each EU country, Norway and Iceland;

6.  Welcomes the increased financing of the Internal Market Governance tools (budget line N° 12 02 02); Emphasises that SOLVIT has proved its effectiveness in resolving problems affecting citizens; reiterates its support for the budget line on the single market instruments, takes the view that more efforts should be undertaken to better integrate SOLVIT into the range of assistance services and enforcement tools available at national and Union level;

7.  Believes that supporting the real economy should be a key priority for the EU; urges that the uptake of this financial support by SMEs be maximised;

8.   Points out that SMEs accounts for most of the output and employment in the private sector and that they are currently finding credit conditions particularly difficult in terms of loan guarantees, capital adequacy and changes in risk aversion impacts SME lending; calls, therefore, for Members States to keep the financial envelope for the COSME programme and to restore the budget line 02 01 04 01;

9.  Acknowledges the need to keep a balanced financial envelope for the Customs programme which should be at least equal to the amount laid down in the original Commission proposal, i.e. EUR 548 080 000; stresses the need to strengthen the original general objective of the programme to support the functioning of the customs union and to reinforce the internal market through new specific objectives and operational objectives.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Claudette Abela Baldacchino, Adam Bielan, Preslav Borissov, Birgit Collin-Langen, Lara Comi, Cornelis de Jong, Małgorzata Handzlik, Malcolm Harbour, María Irigoyen Pérez, Philippe Juvin, Hans-Peter Mayer, Franz Obermayr, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Phil Prendergast, Zuzana Roithová, Heide Rühle, Andreas Schwab, Olga Sehnalová, Catherine Stihler, Emilie Turunen, Barbara Weiler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Olle Schmidt, Marc Tarabella, Wim van de Camp, Patricia van der Kammen


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (12.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 – all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Isabelle Durant

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.  Points out that investments in transport are vital in order to sustain long-term growth and help create jobs, and that this is particularly important in a context of economic crisis with such high unemployment;

2.  Stresses that the EU budget contribution to the transport-related agencies should be commensurate with the additional responsibilities allocated to them by the EU co-legislators; underlines, in this regard, that the EU decisions on surveying marine pollution and offshore oil and gas installations, in the framework of the competences of the European Maritime Safety Agency, should be matched with adequate budgetary funding and adequate staffing plans; in view of the entry into force of the Fourth Railway Package, stresses the need to establish the conditions for the European Railway Agency to prepare for the new tasks which will be entrusted to it; deplores, therefore, the proposal to reduce its budget by 5% compared to 2013 (from EUR 24 871 400 to EUR 23 573 064); recalls that, following the agreement on TEN-T and CEF, particular attention should also be paid to the budget of the TEN-T Executive Agency;

3.  Furthermore, recalls that there are EU Agencies such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to which the legislator has assigned tasks that are fundamental for the functioning of the European Union and its industry; up to 80% of EASA's budget and staff is financed by fees and charges paid by the aviation industry; requests, in this regard, that the Budgetary Authority take this into account and limit the budgetary and staff reductions to the part of the budget financed by the EU, thus allowing EU Agencies such as the EASA to recruit the necessary human resources to be able to carry out the tasks requested and paid for by the industry;

4.  Stresses the need for the EU transport budget to focus on infrastructure projects that will deliver growth and greater competitiveness in the European economy; particularly at a time of economic difficulty, it is essential that EU money give taxpayers value for money and focus on deliverable key infrastructure projects which improve the lives of EU citizens;

5.  Underlines that while co-financing infrastructure projects through CEF, cohesion and regional funds the Commission must strictly apply the criteria on the European added value, climate and economic-social impact analysis, environmental legislation, minimising external costs and must give priority to upgrading or revitalising missing cross-border rail connections;

6.  Recalls the incoherence between the financial cuts proposed by the Council to the Connecting Europe Facility in the context of the MFF negotiations and the long [...] list of [...] transport infrastructure projects to be completed by 2030; notes that the Connecting Europe Facility should make it possible to support projects with high European added value and that it will help to boost growth and employment in Europe, both directly, through the jobs created by the projects themselves, and indirectly, when the infrastructure is used, with anticipated benefits in terms of competitiveness for the Union and its Member States; recalls, furthermore, that during the negotiations the Council refused to give the necessary leverage to better use financial instruments, which in some cases may allow greater funding;

7.  Welcomes the CEF and TEN-T agreements, which will enable investments to be made in key projects with high European added value for the creation of a more sustainable and integrated European transport network; points out that the headings and agreed amounts in budget lines 06 02 01 for the CEF should be adjusted in line with the outcome of CEF negotiations, particularly as regards interoperability, which should be removed from line 06 02 01 03 and included in line 06 02 01 01;

8.  Highlights that innovation and research, particularly in the areas of modal shift, accessibility for all, intermodality, interoperability, integrated ticketing and sustainability (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution), are of crucial importance for the transport and tourism sectors; stresses, therefore, the importance of defending the amounts allocated to transport in the corresponding budget lines under Horizon 2020;

9.  Stresses the importance of the large-scale implementation of intelligent transport systems, as defined in Directive 2010/40/EU on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport, in order to make European transport eco-efficient;

10. Calls for the further development of intelligent transport systems, including ERTMS, RIS, VTMIS, SESAR and ITS, in the road transport sector, which allow for rational use of logistics, a reduction in the environmental impact of transport and a reduction in costs for transport users; calls for the development of the requisite infrastructure for electric mobility, including trains, tramways, trolleybuses, electric bikes and e-cars; believes that reduction in non-legislative (administrative and technical) barriers is needed;

11. Reiterates its support for the establishment, in all modes of transport, of passenger rights harmonised at EU level, which should lead to the drafting of a common charter with which everyone is familiar; regrets, therefore, the 38% reduction in commitment appropriations proposed by the Commission under the corresponding budget line (from EUR 26 150 000 to EUR 16 019 000), given that this is a particularly sensitive subject for European citizens;

12. Points out that it is vital to build infrastructure for the development of an alternative fuel network that will foster sustainable development and greater energy independence in the Union, and calls for the use of innovative financing instruments at European level to be promoted in order to achieve these objectives;

13. Regrets that, even though tourism has been within the scope of the EU’s competence since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it still does not have its own budget line; calls on the Commission to integrate into the COSME programme the results of the preparatory actions on ‘sustainable tourism’ (soft mobility, cycling networks, eco-tourism and nature protection) as a priority; urges the Commission to support the diversity of the European tourism industry by focusing as well on the aspects of cultural, natural, and in particular industrial and historical heritage, including through specific financial initiatives, as well as to follow up on the preparatory action on accessibility for all, particularly for people with reduced mobility and for socially disadvantaged people;

14. Calls on the Commission to introduce an initiative to follow up on the results of the preparatory actions on ‘sustainable tourism’ (soft mobility, cycling networks, eco-tourism and nature protection), focusing, at a later stage, on the aspects of cultural, natural, industrial and historical heritage, as well as to follow up on the preparatory action on accessibility for all, particularly for people with reduced mobility and for socially disadvantaged people;

15. Believes that better use should be made of innovative financial instruments, which could play a decisive role in the implementation of certain infrastructure projects; points out that such instruments can be used to mobilise private capital, thereby compensating for the scarcity of public money as a result of budgetary consolidation efforts at national and EU level.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

5

0

Members present for the final vote

Magdi Cristiano Allam, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Antonio Cancian, Philippe De Backer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Saïd El Khadraoui, Ismail Ertug, Carlo Fidanza, Knut Fleckenstein, Jacqueline Foster, Franco Frigo, Mathieu Grosch, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Georgios Koumoutsakos, Werner Kuhn, Jörg Leichtfried, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Gesine Meissner, Hubert Pirker, Dominique Riquet, Petri Sarvamaa, Olga Sehnalová, Brian Simpson, Keith Taylor, Patricia van der Kammen, Dominique Vlasto, Roberts Zīle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Phil Bennion, Spyros Danellis, Michel Dantin, Isabelle Durant, Geoffrey Van Orden, Janusz Władysław Zemke


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (26.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014

(13176/2013 - C7-0260/2013 - 2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Georgios Stavrakakis

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Introduction

While acknowledging that the economy of the Union is slowly recovering and is showing some positive trends, full recovery is still some way away. In this context, the Commission recommends focusing on the five priorities identified in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey, notably "pursuing differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation", "restoring normal lending to the economy", "promoting growth and competitiveness for today and tomorrow", "tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis" and "modernising public administration".

On the basis of the alignment of the Union's policies and of Cohesion policy in particular, with the EU2020 Strategy, the Commission emphasises the role that this policy area can play in contributing to the achievement of the EU2020 Strategy, while restating that the general objective of Cohesion policy is the reduction of disparities between regions and the achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion.

The Commission also recalls that the successful closure of the current programmes requires an adequate level of payment appropriations, in order to allow obligations towards beneficiaries of EU funding to be met.

Your Rapporteur underlines the indisputable added value of Cohesion Policy that constitutes a fundamental investment tool of the Union, contributing to long-term structural development, serving as a catalyst for growth and job creation, which can help the Union's Member States and regions to weather the current financial and economic crisis. It is therefore mandatory to provide for a sufficient level of funding that will allow the reduction of outstanding payments, which is very high, especially in Heading 1b.

Draft Budget

In making its budgetary provisions, the Commission has assessed budgetary needs taking into account the provisions and envelopes of the multiannual financial perspective 2014-2020, as proposed on the basis of the European Council Conclusions of 7-8 February 2013 and on which there was a political agreement reached by the Institutions on 27 June 2013.

Your Rapporteur considers that, in spite of the particular circumstances of the adoption of the Draft Budget 2014, the Commission is the only Institution which has the information available to give it an overview of the real budgetary needs of all regions. However, he questions whether the Commission has calculated the impact of the agreed frontloading of specific resources contained in the agreement on the MFF and of the proposed increase in the co-financing rates to those Member States which are experiencing or are threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability and the impact of the proposed one-year extension of the automatic de-commitment period for some Member States.

Share-out of resources between the funds

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

Within the proposed total level of commitment appropriations of EUR 47 560,6 million for Heading 1b (-13,5% compared to 2013), the total commitment appropriations for the Structural Funds (ERDF and ESF) amount to EUR 38 088,2 million, of which EUR 1 804,1 million is for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) top-up application, EUR 8 922,4 million for the Cohesion Fund and EUR 365,1 million for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived.

The proposed level of payment appropriations is significantly lower, i.e. -9,3% relative to 2013, amounting to EUR 51 093,7 million, established on the basis of the estimates regarding the evolution of 2007-2013 interim payments (EUR 46 765,5 million, i.e. 91,4 % of the overall payments estimates for 2014 under Heading 1b) and on an 83% decrease of payment appropriations for the closure of the period 2000-2006, as well as on the new initial reduced pre-financing amount in 2014 of 1% in the context of the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund (or 1,5% for Member States under financial assistance).

Your Rapporteur regrets that the Commission has used as a basis for pre-financing the level that was agreed in the European Council Conclusions in February 2013, underlying that it is a subject of the ongoing inter-institutional sectoral negotiations on the future Cohesion Policy, which falls under the remit of co-decision, thus running the risk of pre-empting the outcome of those negotiations.

He also expresses his surprise that, while more than half of the payment appropriations (52%) are intended to fulfil the EU's obligations by honouring past commitments, the growth of RALs continues.

It should be noted that the Commission bases its overall estimates on the assumption that the additional EUR 11, 2 billion payment appropriations as requested through DAB 2/2013 will be fully authorised in the course of 2013, which is particularly relevant for Heading 1b.

Main policy out puts for 2014

The Commission establishes four key priorities for the 2014 budget implementation: enhancing the actions for Youth and SMEs; putting in place the new programmes under the 2014-2020 MFF, fulfilling the EU's obligations and, finally, restraining administrative expenditure. One of the most representative actions in the context of the next financial framework is the new Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), for which the Commission has proposed to frontload a total of EUR 6 billion in commitment appropriations within the first two years, starting with a commitment amounting to EUR 3, 4 billion in 2014.

On the basis of the alignment of Cohesion Policy with the EU2020 Strategy, the Commission seeks to focus on the timely adoption and launch of the new programmes, on maximising the impact of the policy and on reinforcing the strategic programming process by ensuring European added value and improving the quality of spending.

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.  Questions whether the amounts entered in the Draft Budget (DB) 2014 for Heading 1b are sufficient to cover the minimum needs and objectives of regional policy as set by the Union in the Treaty;

2.  Notes with concern the decrease in commitment appropriations under Heading 1b by 13,5% to EUR 47 560,6 million and the decrease in payment appropriations by 9,3%, to EUR 51 093,7 million over 2013, this latter sum including the amount of EUR 46 765,5 million foreseen for 2007-2013 interim payments, and a reduction of 83% to EUR 592,0 million in payments for the closure of the 2000-2006 period;

3.  Notes that, according to the Commission, DB2014 is a transitional one, with more than half of the payment appropriations (52%) dedicated to covering outstanding commitments and for the completion of old programmes; nevertheless, expresses its surprise at the fact that the level of RALs will continue to grow;

4.  Requests further clarifications on whether the Commission has calculated the impact of the agreed frontloading of specific resources contained in the agreement on the MFF, of the proposed increase in the co-financing rates for those Member States which are experiencing or are threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability and the impact of the proposed one-year extension of the automatic de-commitment period for some Member States;

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

6.  Reiterates the European Parliament's position that the consent vote on the MFF Regulation cannot be granted unless there is an absolute guarantee that the 2013 outstanding payment claims will be covered in full; insists that the Council stick to its political commitment to adopt without delay a further amending budget to avoid any shortfall in payment appropriations which could lead to a structural deficit of the EU budget at the end of 2013; states that the European Parliament will not give its consent to the MFF Regulation or will not adopt the Budget 2014 until this new amending budget, covering the remaining deficit as identified by the Commission, has been adopted by Council;

7.  Notes that the Youth Employment Initiative adopted by the European Council on 27-28 June 2013 applies to regions where youth unemployment exceeds 25%, and that it is essential therefore for the relevant statistics to be provided by Eurostat for all Europe’s regions, which is not currently the case;

8.  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

24.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

44

0

3

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Charalampos Angourakis, Catherine Bearder, John Bufton, Francesco De Angelis, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Constanze Angela Krehl, Jacek Olgierd Kurski, Petru Constantin Luhan, Vladimír Maňka, Iosif Matula, Miroslav Mikolášik, Jens Nilsson, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Younous Omarjee, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ovidiu Ioan Silaghi, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Andrea Cozzolino, Joseph Cuschieri, Ivars Godmanis, Juozas Imbrasas, Karin Kadenbach, Andrey Kovatchev, James Nicholson, Heide Rühle, Elisabeth Schroedter, Richard Seeber, Giommaria Uggias, Iuliu Winkler

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

António Fernando Correia de Campos, Sabine Verheyen


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (18.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(13176/2013 - C7-0260/2013 - 2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă

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, given the ceiling imposed by the 7-8 February 2013 European Council for Heading 2 of the 2014-20 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), all the major categories of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) spending are likely, in practice, to be cut in 2014, including direct payments, market measures and rural development;

2.  Notes that under the Draft Budget (DB) the Heading 2 budget will see cuts of 1.1% in commitments and 2.3% in payments respectively in 2014 relative to 2013;

3.  Notes that under DB 2014 funding for rural development under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) will be cut by 5.5% in commitments and 10.8% in payments respectively;

4.  Insists, in this context, that the Council respect its promises to provide sufficient payment appropriations in the 2013 budgetary procedure to allow the Union to meet its outstanding commitments, if necessary via a third draft amending budget to be presented by the Commission in mid-October 2013;

5.  Reiterates that measures to bring the level of unpaid commitments under control are a precondition for making a successful start to the new programming period for 2014-20, notably due to the reduced level of rural development payment appropriations foreseen in DB 2014;

6.  Asks the Commission to closely monitor the situation in order to ensure that the 10.8% cut in payments appropriations in DB 2014 does not negatively affect the ability of Member States to successfully start their rural development programmes, notably for investments;

7.  Notes that, while the budget for direct payments and market measures under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) will be increased in 2014 by 0.3% relative to 2013, for both commitments and payments, the Commission must explain in detail the practical measures required to meet increased needs linked to the phasing-in of direct payments in the EU-12 and the creation of the fund for agricultural crises;

8.   Regrets, in particular, the application of the 'financial discipline' mechanism, meaning that a large number of the Union's farmers will suffer a cut of around 5% in direct payments paid out in the 2014 financial year;

9.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that funds allocated to the Reserve for crises in the agricultural sector in the 2014 budget which are subsequently left unspent are made available in full as direct payments in the following budgetary year;

10. Calls on the Commission and Member States to monitor the significant price volatility of agricultural products, which has adverse effects on farmers’ incomes, and to react promptly and effectively when needed;

11. Welcomes the steps taken towards the establishment of the European Prices Monitoring Tool for Food Products and calls on the Commission to regularly inform the European Parliament and the Council about the activities and findings of this Tool and ensure that such information is made public to as wide an audience as possible;

12. Welcomes the allocation of funds to support beekeeping and hopes that they will be used effectively in the Member States;

13. Draws attention to the need for the resources provided to be married as closely as possible with the commitments made, in order to achieve the objectives of increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of European agriculture;

14. Calls for the full alignment of direct payments in the EU-28 as soon as possible.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Eric Andrieu, Liam Aylward, José Bové, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Hynek Fajmon, Mariya Gabriel, Iratxe García Pérez, Julie Girling, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Elisabeth Jeggle, Elisabeth Köstinger, Agnès Le Brun, Mairead McGuinness, James Nicholson, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Britta Reimers, Ulrike Rodust, Alfreds Rubiks, Giancarlo Scottà, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Alyn Smith

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Pilar Ayuso, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves


OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries (6.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the 2014 EU budget – Section III – Commission

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur for the opinion: 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.   Notes the delay by the Commission in drawing up the 2014 draft budget and that such delay is directly attributable to the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020;

2.   Notes the new budgetary structure for maritime affairs and fisheries;

3.   Calls for the budget appropriations for 2014 to be sufficient to meet the challenges of the recently reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the development of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP);

4.   Urges the Member States, therefore, to achieve the necessary synergies between the various EU funds, including the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, in order to address the stiff challenges posed by the general economic crisis in Europe and by the need to foster the development of European coastal and sea regions and the sustainability and competitiveness of the fisheries sector;

5.   Stresses the importance of pilot projects, as requested by Parliament, and calls on the Commission to continue its efforts to implement them;

6.   Notes the shift in management mode from direct management to shared management of the support to Member States' expenditure in the field of control and data collection; considers that this shift should facilitate the implementation by the Member States of their obligations in these fields, which are an essential element for the proper functioning of the CFP;

7.   Notes that significant amounts related to Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements have been put in reserve; urges the Commission to pursue negotiations with third countries with a view to a timely conclusion of sustainable and mutually advantageous fisheries agreements, leading to the consumption of the appropriations requested in the budget and allowing the EU fleet to gain the maximum benefit from the 2014 fishing season;

8.   Observes that the majority of the payment appropriations entered in the draft budget 2014 will serve to cover the needs of the 2007-2013 programmes; acknowledges that these payment appropriations are necessary to honour the commitments of the past;

9.   Deplores the proposal of the Council to make cuts in necessary payment appropriations in the 2014 budget, as this will have a specific impact on projects and programmes undertaken under the previous programming period; particularly impacted will be the completion of the European Fisheries Fund/Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (shared management), where the payment appropriations in the draft budget for 2014 are already below the level of the 2013 budget;

10. Deplores the proposal of the Council to make cuts in appropriations in the 2014 budget, as this will have a damaging effect on this first year of the new programme which has been designed to support the policy reforms and initiatives in line with Europe 2020 priorities;

11. Demands that the draft 2014 budget of the Commission be restored accordingly.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

0

0

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Antonello Antinoro, Kriton Arsenis, Chris Davies, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Werner Kuhn, Isabella Lövin, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Crescenzio Rivellini, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Struan Stevenson, Isabelle Thomas, Nils Torvalds

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean Louis Cottigny, Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández, Jens Nilsson, Nikolaos Salavrakos

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

Jan Kozłowski


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (5.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(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 2014 will be the first year for the launch and implementation of the new multiannual programmes in the fields of education, training, youth, sport, culture, media and citizenship; welcomes the fact that for the first time, the European dimension in sport is supported by an EU programme; highlights the importance of sufficient commitment and payment appropriations to ensure the full functioning of the programmes right from the beginning of the programming period;

2.      Insists that sufficient payment appropriations are made available for the correct and full implementation of the 2014 policy engagements;

3.      Emphasises that the new programme for education, training, youth and sport is crucial for the success of the Europe 2020 strategy; recalls that in the past, there has been particularly high demand for mobility under the Erasmus scheme; stresses the importance of this programme and the Youth Employment Initiative for the employability of young people; asks therefore to pay particular attention to the level of payments for mobility and to the accountability of the organisation related to the guarantee facility from the first year on; stresses however that these programmes cannot replace structural efforts and reforms which must make the education systems and labour markets in Member States fit for the challenges of the future;

4.      Recalls the problems related to the insufficient levels of payments regarding the Lifelong learning programmes, in particular Erasmus in the amending budget 2012 and the budget 2013; calls on the Council to ensure a proper implementation of the programme taking into account the high execution rates;

5.      Insists that the budget appropriations for youth actions are established through a separate budget line, reflecting their specific objectives;

6.      Believes that the Special Olympics should be supported under a separate budget line to secure EU funding for this European event in line with the 2009 Declaration of the European Parliament on support for Special Olympics in the European Union;

7.      Underlines that the Creative Europe Programme has a significant role to play in supporting the cultural and creative industries, which contribute not only to cultural diversity but also to the economy; regrets that the level of commitment appropriations for this programme in the Commission Draft Budget is significantly lower than for its predecessors in 2013 and calls for an increase;

8.      Deplores the fact that the Commission Draft Budget foresees lower commitment appropriations for the Europe for Citizens Programme in 2014 than in 2013; calls for an increase of appropriations;

9.      Emphasises that the EU communication policy is of crucial importance in order to bring the EU closer to its citizens and to promote their awareness, understanding and involvement in the EU policy-making process; calls for increased inter-institutional cooperation on communication policies ahead of the 2014 elections.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Lorenzo Fontana, Petra Kammerevert, Morten Løkkegaard, Emma McClarkin, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Marietje Schaake, Marco Scurria, Hannu Takkula, Sabine Verheyen, Milan Zver

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Ivo Belet, Seán Kelly, Iosif Matula, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier

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

Raffaele Baldassarre, Marino Baldini, Preslav Borissov, Jens Nilsson


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (9.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Jan Mulder

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 decrease of 9.4% in commitments and 11.9% in payments in Heading 3 on Security and Citizenship compared to the 2013 budget, which strengthens the concept of European citizenship by creating an area of freedom, justice, security and access to basic public goods and services; this concept needs re-enforcement during these times of economic crisis and in view of the forthcoming European elections;

2.  Considers it difficult to express its position on the draft budget when most of the legal bases of the programmes and funds are still being negotiated;

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

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

5.  Insists that the Agencies should have adequate resources to implement the systems and projects which were recently approved; considers, therefore, that the budget of the Frontex Agency should be increased to provide them with sufficient resources to operate Eurosur as a pan-European border surveillance system; considers that adequate financial provisions will enable Eurosur to reduce the number of irregular migrants entering the EU undetected, reduce the number of deaths of irregular migrants lost at sea and to contribute to the prevention of cross-border crimes; considers further that the budget of Europol and of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) should be increased in order to provide for the new established European Cybercrime Centre as well as the recently adopted asylum package and the new tasks resulting thereof for the three agencies;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

9

0

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Edit Bauer, Emine Bozkurt, Arkadiusz Tomasz Bratkowski, Carlos Coelho, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Frank Engel, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Anna Hedh, Salvatore Iacolino, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Timothy Kirkhope, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Véronique Mathieu Houillon, Anthea McIntyre, Nuno Melo, Roberta Metsola, Claude Moraes, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Georgios Papanikolaou, Jacek Protasiewicz, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Renate Sommer, Rui Tavares, Nils Torvalds, Wim van de Camp, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Josef Weidenholzer, Cecilia Wikström, Auke Zijlstra

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Mariya Gabriel, Monika Hohlmeier, Stanimir Ilchev, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Franziska Keller, Jan Mulder, Jens Rohde, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Manfred Weber

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

Davor Ivo Stier


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (4.9.2013)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

(2013/2145(BUD))

Rapporteur: Morten Messerschmidt

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. whereas many Member States face severe budgetary difficulties and the Union budget needs to reflect that; 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;

B.  whereas the changes introduced into the budgetary procedure by the Lisbon Treaty must be respected.

1.  Stresses that 2014 is an election year, which calls for a coherent budgetary approach to the provision of information about the European elections; calls for a campaign to inform citizens about their electoral rights, the impact of the Union on their daily life and the role of the European Parliament as the institution, to be provided in all languages of the Union;

2.  Calls for an evaluation of the communication strategy for the 2009 elections and stresses the need for a similar evaluation for the 2014 elections;

3.  Notes that 2013 is the European year of Citizens and asks that the appropriation in the 2014 budget be also used for a thorough assessment of that initiative;

4.  Regrets the continued problems with the European Citizens' Initiative and emphasises the need for priority in the budget not only for the initiatives themselves, but also for their communication; notes that the logistical problems have been immense and that these need to be solved in order to improve the popularity and trustworthiness of the European Citizens' Initiative;

5.  Takes the view that openness must be a horizontal keyword in the budgetary process of all EU institutions; regrets that it has still not been possible to reach an agreement on full transparency.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

4.9.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

14

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Ashley Fox, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, Paulo Rangel, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Indrek Tarand, Rafał Trzaskowski, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Dimitrios Droutsas

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

Marino Baldini, Susy De Martini, Andrej Plenković


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

9.10.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

3

3

Members present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Francesca Balzani, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jean-Luc Dehaene, Isabelle Durant, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ivars Godmanis, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Barbara Matera, Vojtěch Mynář, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Frédéric Daerden, Ivana Maletić, Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný, Nils Torvalds

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

Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Oldřich Vlasák

Last updated: 14 October 2013Legal notice