RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council regulation on quarterly financial accounts for general government
(15172/1/2003 – C5‑0020/2004 – 2003/0095(COD))

28 January 2004 - ***II

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Rapporteur: Astrid Lulling

Procedure : 2003/0095(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


At its sitting of 21 October 2003 Parliament adopted its position at first reading on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on quarterly financial accounts for general government (COM(2003) 242 – 2003/0095(COD)).

At the sitting of 15 January 2004 the President of Parliament announced that the common position had been received and referred to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (15172/1/2003 – C5‑0020/2004).

The committee had appointed Astrid Lulling rapporteur at its meeting of 4 June 2003.

It considered the common position and the draft recommendation for second reading at its meetings of 10 September 2003, 19 January 2004 and 27 January 2004.

At the latter meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: John Purvis (acting chairman), Philippe A.R. Herzog (vice-chairman), Astrid Lulling (rapporteur), Generoso Andria, Paolo Bartolozzi (for Renato Brunetta pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Pervenche Berès, Roberto Felice Bigliardo, Hans Blokland, Hans Udo Bullmann, Manuel António dos Santos (for Helena Torres Marques), Harald Ettl (for Christa Randzio-Plath), Jonathan Evans, Ingo Friedrich, Carles-Alfred Gasòliba i Böhm, Lisbeth Grönfeldt Bergman, Mary Honeyball, Christopher Huhne, Pierre Jonckheer (for Alain Lipietz), Othmar Karas, Giorgos Katiforis, Werner Langen (for Christoph Werner Konrad), Thomas Mann (for Hans-Peter Mayer), Ioannis Marinos, Helmuth Markov (for Armonia Bordes), Peter Michael Mombaur (for Piia-Noora Kauppi), Fernando Pérez Royo, Bernhard Rapkay, Peter William Skinner, Diemut R. Theato (for Alexander Radwan pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Bruno Trentin, Ieke van den Burg (for Robert Goebbels), Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca (for José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil pursuant to Rule 153(2)) and Theresa Villiers.

The recommendation for second reading was tabled on 28 January 2004.


on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council regulation on quarterly financial accounts for general government

(15172/1/2003 – C5‑0020/2004 – 2003/0095(COD))

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (15172/1/2003 – C5‑0020/2004),

–   having regard to its position at first reading[1] on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2003) 242)[2],

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 78 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5‑0039/2004),

1.   Approves the common position;

2.   Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;

3.   Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;

4.   Instructs its Secretary-General duly to sign the act and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

  • [1] P5_TA(2003)0436.
  • [2] Not yet published in OJ.


1.   Objective of the proposal for a regulation

The proposal for a regulation under consideration here seeks to impose on Member States a requirement to forward quarterly data concerning financial transactions, financial assets and liabilities for all units classified in the general government sector. This compilation of quarterly data must be consistent with the definitions laid down in the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 95). The proposal lists which data should be forwarded to the European Commission: all forms of general government debt, all loans issued on the markets or contracted directly with financial intermediaries, and all financial assets held by government units. In addition, counterpart information will have to be supplied in connection with some of these instruments. Finally, the proposal lays down the conditions by which estimates may be forwarded rather than data ‘provided directly by sources’, i.e. the central government sectors themselves.

The new proposal for a regulation represents a logical extension of the previous regulations in this field, such as the regulation on quarterly non-financial accounts for general government. It will in addition help and give reliable statistics to the European Central Bank when compiling quarterly financial accounts for the euro zone

The proposal laid down a single intermediate starting date, 30 June 2003, prior to the final starting date of 30 June 2005. Given the timetable for consideration of the regulation by the European Union's legislative bodies, the intermediate starting date was asked by the European Parliament to be put back put back to 31 December 2003 (Article 6 of the proposal). Parliament also suggested that, if necessary, Member States should be able to submit to the Commission a request for a derogation of a maximum of 2 years.

2.    The common position

The Council's common position amends the Commission proposal only in Article 6, in respect of the timetable for the transmission of quarterly data. The amendments are supported by the Commission, and add a further 6 months to the changes suggested by the European Parliament, reflecting the timetable for adoption of the Regulation. Also, to be coherent with this new deadline, the Common Position reduced the maximum derogations allowed from 2 years to 18 months.

3.   Rapporteur’s opinion

After examining the Common Position, your rapporteur recommends adoption of the common position without further amendment. The modifications introduced are fully in line with the objectives of the proposed Regulation and Parliament's amendments have been taken into account.