Procedure : 2013/2201(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0218/2014

Texts tabled :

A7-0218/2014

Debates :

PV 02/04/2014 - 24
CRE 02/04/2014 - 24

Votes :

PV 03/04/2014 - 7.19

Texts adopted :


REPORT     
PDF 145kWORD 67k
21 March 2014
PE 521.733v02-00 A7-0218/2014

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

(COM(2013)0570 – C7-0278/2013 – 2013/2201(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Bogusław Sonik

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

(COM(2013)0570 – C7-0278/2013 – 2013/2201(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012(1),

–    having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012 (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0278/2013)(2),

–    having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012, together with the institutions' replies(3),

–    having regard to the statement of assurance(4) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2012 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–    having regard to Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–    having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

–    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(6), and in particular Articles 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

–    having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0218/2014),

1.  Grants the Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee discharge in respect of the implementation of the European Economic and Social Committee's budget for the financial year 2012;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

2. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge for implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee

(COM(2013)0570 – C7-0278/2013 – 2013/2201(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012(7),

–   having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012 (COM(2013)0570 – C7-0278/2013)(8),

–   having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2012, together with the institutions' replies(9),

–   having regard to the statement of assurance(10) as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2012 pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Article 314(10) and Articles 317, 318 and 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(11), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

–   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(12), and in particular Articles 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

–   having regard to its previous discharge decisions and resolutions,

–   having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0218/2014),

1.  Welcomes the fact that, on the basis of its audit work, the Court of Auditors concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error;

2.  Notes with satisfaction that in its 2012 annual report, the Court of Auditors observed that no significant weaknesses had been identified in respect of the audited topics related to the human resources and the procurement for the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC);

3.  Notes that in 2012 the EESC budget amounted to EUR 128 816 588 (EUR 128 600 000 in 2011), with a utilisation rate of 96,8 %; stresses that the EESC budget is purely administrative, with a large amount being used on expenditure concerning persons working within the institution and the remaining amount relating to buildings, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous running costs;

4.  Notes that the 96,8 % budget implementation rate for 2012 is higher than the 95,4 % rate for 2011, but still lower than the 98 % rate for 2010; calls on the EESC to ensure even better budget implementation rates in subsequent periods;

5.  Notes the rise by 0,2 % in the 2012 budget compared to the previous annual budget; supports the EESC's efforts to limit the budgets of the coming years, thereby ensuring a flat rate increase;

6.  Takes note of the follow-up observations to Parliament's 2011 discharge resolution attached to the EESC annual activity report; asks to be informed about the measures taken by the EESC in the financial year of the discharge to carry out a detailed spending review and about the results of that exercise;

7.  Takes note of the decision of the Council with regard to the level of allowances of EESC members in September 2013 and notes with satisfaction that the EESC has implemented the new reimbursement rules of members’ travel expenses based on real costs as recommended by Parliament;

8.  Notes with satisfaction that the decision to make the declarations of financial interests of the EESC members public was implemented in 2012;

9.  Takes note of the cooperation between the EESC members and Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control, in particular in relation to the discharge exercise;

10. Takes note of the information provided on the energy used from renewable sources; notes with satisfaction that all electricity used by the EESC is coming from renewable sources;

11. Is pleased with the achievements in the area of translation following the renewed EESC-Committee of the Regions (CoR) Cooperation agreement; notes with satisfaction that the drop in external translation was about 1 % in 2012, compared with 2011; finds evidence in these figures that further improvements to efficiency continue to be possible;

12. Strongly believes that some improvements should be made to rationalise human resources in the Joint Services and in translation; finds the on-going contacts between the EESC, the CoR and Parliament in this matter a positive contribution to the rationalisation of resources;

13. Asks the EESC to continue to monitor the staff structure in order to ensure that the organisation of posts is fully efficient and contributes to a better spending of the allocated budget;

14. Expects the EESC, when preparing the negotiations of the new administrative cooperation agreement with the CoR, to create a more regular screening of the budgetary savings resulting from its implementation, as stated in last year’s recommendations; requests detailed information on the results of this cooperation and on the precise amount of budgetary savings that will ensue from this new cooperation;

15. Anticipates that the new administrative cooperation agreement with the CoR will also lead to the strengthening of cooperation in the management of common services;

16. Notes that a mid-term review of the cooperation between the EESC and the CoR is a useful tool to evaluate the benefits of the cooperation and plan for better solutions in the future;

17. Considers the videoconferencing tool a very useful mechanism to make budgetary savings and be efficient at the same time by having members from different places participate in the same conference; asks to be informed about progress within the EESC concerning the use of existing devices;

18. Wishes to be kept informed about the budgetary impact of using videoconferencing tools, including in terms of savings on mission costs;

19. Takes note of the developments undertaken by the EESC to self-assess its work with the assistance of the European Institute for Public Administration;

20. Welcomes the project to modernise document management at the EESC;

21. Considers positive the decrease of the unused rate of interpretation services requested from 8,9 % in 2011 to 7,6 % in 2012; takes note of the measures taken to reduce this rate; emphasises, however, that the rate is still high and calls for further reductions of interpretation costs;

22. Calls on the EESC to cooperate with other institutions to come up with a unified methodology of presenting the translation costs in order to simplify the analysis and comparison of the costs;

23. Takes due note of the modernisation of the IT infrastructure; asks for more in-depth information on the improvements to be included in the annual activity report;

24. Calls on the Court of Auditors to include in its next annual report a review of the follow-up by the EESC of Parliament’s recommendations in this resolution.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.3.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Inés Ayala Sender, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Tamás Deutsch, Martin Ehrenhauser, Jens Geier, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Ingeborg Gräßle, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Rina Ronja Kari, Monica Luisa Macovei, Jan Mulder, Eva Ortiz Vilella, Monika Panayotova, Crescenzio Rivellini, Paul Rübig, Bogusław Sonik, Bart Staes, Georgios Stavrakakis, Michael Theurer, Derek Vaughan

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Amelia Andersdotter, Philip Bradbourn, Esther de Lange, Vojtěch Mynář, Jan Olbrycht, Markus Pieper, Barbara Weiler

(1)

      OJ L 56, 29.2.2012.

(2)

      OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 1.

(3)

      OJ C 331, 14.11.2013, p. 1.

(4)

      OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 122.

(5)

      OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(6)

      OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(7)

      OJ L 56, 29.2.2012.

(8)

      OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 1.

(9)

      OJ C 331, 14.11.2013, p. 1.

(10)

    OJ C 334, 15.11.2013, p. 122.

(11)

    OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(12)

    OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

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