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    REPORT on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2006

    27.4.2005 - (2005/2012(BUD))

    Part 1: Motion for a resolution
    Committee on Budgets
    Rapporteur: Valdis Dombrovskis


    Proċedura : 2005/2012(BUD)
    Ċiklu ta' ħajja waqt sessjoni
    Ċiklu relatat mad-dokument :  
    A6-0106/2005
    Testi mressqa :
    A6-0106/2005
    Votazzjonijiet :
    Testi adottati :

    MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

    on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2006 (2005/2012(BUD))

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to Article 272(2) of the EC Treaty,

    –   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[1],

    –   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure[2],

    –   having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2005 on the guidelines for Sections II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII (A) and VIII (B) and on the European Parliament's preliminary draft estimates (Section I) for the 2006 budgetary procedure[3],

    –   having regard to the Secretary-General's report to the Bureau on the preliminary draft estimates of Parliament for the financial year 2006,

    –   having regard to the preliminary draft estimates drawn up by the Bureau on 11 April 2005 pursuant to Rules 22(6) and 73 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to Rule 73 of its Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6‑0106/2005),

    A. whereas the ceiling in heading 5 (Administrative expenditure) of the financial perspective has, as a result of a technical adjustment, been fixed at EUR 6 528 million for the 2006 budget[4]; whereas this technical adjustment represents an increase of EUR 45 million at 2006 prices over the amount forecast in the 2004 report by the Secretaries-General,

    B.  whereas 2006 is the last financial year of the current financial perspective,

    C. whereas the 2004 enlargement has to be consolidated and the next enlargement prepared for,

    D  whereas the 2006 estimates are based on the following key parameters: 40 working weeks, including four constituency weeks, 12 ordinary part-sessions and six additional part-sessions, a 2.3% salary adjustment, and a 7% standard abatement for non-enlargement posts,

    E.  whereas a number of proposals currently being prepared by the Bureau, and their financial consequences, will not be available for examination until first reading of the budget in autumn,

    Political priorities

    Consolidating the 2004 enlargement and preparing for the next enlargement

    1.  Is of the opinion that finalising the consolidation of the 2004 enlargement and the preparations for the next enlargement constitute an important challenge in Parliament’s budget for 2006;

    2.  Is concerned about the high number of the as yet unfilled enlargement posts created in the 2004 and 2005 budgets, of which probably only 78% will be filled by the end of 2005; finds the delays in enlargement-related recruitment procedures regrettable; requests its Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 July 2005 on the recruitment situation; expects its Secretary-General to include specific proposals to deal with the vacancies in the linguistic sector;

    3.  Notes the proposal to allocate EUR 13.8 million to be entered against the proposed budget items for pre-enlargement preparations for Romania and Bulgaria (observers, staff, interpreters and conference technicians, equipment, operating expenditure and information) and expects the amount to be fine-tuned at first reading;

    4.  Notes the proposal to create 135 enlargement-related posts -113 posts in Parliament's Secretariat (73 A*5/AD5 posts, 4 A*7/AD7 posts, 14 B*3/AST3 posts and 22 C*1/AST1 posts) and 22 posts in the political groups (10 A*5/AD5 posts, 4 B*3/AST3 posts and 8 C*1/AST1 posts) - and, subject to more detailed justifications for the proposed posts, will enter the necessary appropriations at first reading;

    Efficient and rational use of appropriations

    5.  Stresses, once again, the importance of applying the principles of sound financial management and budgetary rigour to Parliament’s administrative expenditure;

    6.  Calls for redeployment of posts and reallocation of resources to increase efficiency; considers that the level of occupancy of posts in general should be improved;

    7.  Considers that Parliament’s participation in interinstitutional cooperation, as regards both expenditure and potential savings, should be clearly identified in budgetary documentation; expects the relevant expenditure and revenues resulting from loans or rents or provision of services to be clearly indicated in Parliament's budget;

    8.  Points to the impact of the increase in staff receiving pension payments in the years to come; looks to the Commission Administration for proposals preventing the burden on the ordinary operating budget from becoming excessive, for instance by means of a pension fund;

    Towards more comprehensive budgeting

    9.  Welcomes the objective of creating a common interinstitutional approach to budget presentation; calls, however, for a more far-reaching reform of budget presentation to make the budget more comprehensive and clear; notes the proposals for the revised nomenclature, and requests the Administration to provide a comparison between the previous and the proposed nomenclature with details at item level and reasons for the proposed changes; recalls the provisions of the Financial Regulation and its internal rules regarding transfers;

    Bringing Parliament closer to citizens

    10. Notes that proposals to enhance Parliament’s information and communication policy are currently under preparation; looks forward to the Bureau’s proposals as regards Parliament’s overall communication strategy and on the role of the information offices;

    11. Is awaiting the Bureau’s proposals on strengthening the role of external offices with a view to better reaching citizens; expects appropriations to be provided for the new external offices in Romania and Bulgaria; considers that information provided to each Member State should take national differences into account; expects detailed information on the appropriate human resources to be allocated to the external offices, including a press officer per office, together with a timetable for their recruitment;

    12. Looks forward to proposals to improve the visitors service; is prepared to take the necessary action to ensure that the costs reimbursed to visitor groups is better aligned to the differences in real costs, the visitors programme is provided for in all official EU languages and the quality of the programme offered to visitors improved;

    13. Is of the opinion that the Europarl website is an important tool for Parliament’s information policy and that it should be made more user-friendly;

    Quality and efficiency of Parliament’s work

    14. Notes the proposals by the Secretary-General to consolidate the “Raising the Game” reform of Parliament’s Administration so as to improve services for Members; calls for the proposals to be put into practise, especially those for assisting Members in their legislative work, including the setting-up of project teams; stresses that expertise should also be available to Members at relatively short notice;

    15. Urges improvements in language support for parliamentary work; calls for an expansion in translation capacity so that Members can work on documents in their own languages; calls for greater availability of interpreters for political groups and their working parties, and calls on the Administration to take the necessary measures with regard to premises and staff; proposes a coordinated approach involving the other institutions in order to be able to exploit any synergetic effects;

    16. Insists that the European Parliament should act within its own prerogatives; therefore awaits concrete proposals concerning the development of actions related to better monitoring of all stages of preparation, adoption, transposition and implementation of legislation, necessary to assist the Members in the respective committees in the exercise of their democratic control functions; points out that citizens and media should have easy access to an improved "Legislative Observatory" on Parliament's website;

    Personnel policy and requests for non-enlargement-related posts

    17. Considers it essential to improve, simplify and speed up staff recruitment procedures to avoid making them exceedingly long; notes with concern that there are 750 unfilled posts in Parliament's Secretariat and that a further 150 posts are occupied by auxiliary or contract staff;

    18. Notes that no new posts are being requested at this stage for non-enlargement needs in Parliament's Secretariat and expects any requests at first reading to be duly substantiated;

    19. Notes that proposals concerning new posts, upgrading of permanent posts, upgrading of temporary posts, conversion of posts and possible ad personam promotions in Parliament's Secretariat have been deferred until first reading; considers that unfortunate; notes the proposal on upgrading of 48 posts in the political groups: 4 A*12 to A*13, 2 A*11 to A*12, 2 A*10 to A*11, 2 A*6 to A*9, 2 A*8 to A*9, 1 A*5 to A*6, 7 B*10 to B11, 1 B*8 to B*9, 5 B*7 to B*8, 4 B*6 to B*7, 2 B*5 to B*6 , 2 B*3 to B*4, 11 C*6 to C*7, 2 C*2 to C*3, 1 C*2 to C*2;

    20. Underlines the need to create a truly merit-based promotion system for staff to provide accelerated promotion opportunities for the best-performing officials; invites the Secretary-General to submit the progress report requested on the current situation, including specific proposals, by 1 July 2005; is also awaiting the results of the examination conducted by the Secretary-General and the directors-general into the functioning of the promotion system;

    21. Notes the accelerated shift from auxiliary staff to contract staff; requests the Secretary-General to submit a report by 1 July 2005 on the situation of auxiliary, freelance and contract staff in Parliament's Secretariat and the political groups, including the budgetary effect of this change for all institutions; expects Parliament's Administration to indicate clearly the reasons for this accelerated shift and the implications of this modification to the status of staff, including for the language teachers;

    22. Underscores the importance of personal assistants for Members' work; is looking forward to the forthcoming reports by the Bureau working group on Members’ Assistants; and, on financial transparency grounds too, supports the introduction of a Statute for Assistants;

    23. Requests the Administration, in order to facilitate the transition to the provisions of the new Staff Regulations concerning auxiliary staff, to make available to the political groups 40 additional posts for temporary assistant staff at B*6 level; requests that those posts be reserved for long serving auxiliary staff and auxiliary staff from the new Member States for whom competitions have not yet been completed; requests the Administration to earmark the relevant expenditure under Chapter 11;

    Other issues

    24. Calls for strict enforcement of the new rules on smoking on Parliament's premises;

    25. Reiterates its request to receive updated information on progress with regard to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) by 1 July 2005;

    26. Requests further information on the proposed increase in mission expenditure for staff in 2006;

    Global level of Parliament’s budget

    27. Notes that the Secretary-General's preliminary draft estimates proposal is to set the level of the budget, at this stage, at 20% of heading 5 (Administrative expenditure) of the financial perspective, which corresponds to EUR 1 341.6 million and represents an increase of 5.5% over the 2005 budget; reserves its final position on the total amount for Section I until Parliament’s first reading;

    28. Reiterates its position on the importance of determining the level of Parliament’s budget on the basis of justified, real needs to avoid cancellation of appropriations at the end of 2006; notes the proposal to enter a margin of EUR 90 456 885 in the contingency reserve until the new priorities have been formulated; considers that a more realistic and appreciably lower margin for new priorities and unforeseen expenditure should be set aside in the contingency reserve; decides therefore to enter the amount of EUR 60 456 885 in Article 101 (contingency reserve);

    29. Recalls that Parliament’s policy of purchasing its main buildings has led to significant savings; calls for an updated plan on building policy for acquisition of property in the short and medium term, including options to purchase premises for external offices and Europe Houses; decides to enter EUR 10 000 000 under Item 2009 'Provisional appropriation to cover the institution's property investments' in order to reflect Parliament's intentions to continue the same building policy as followed until now; points out that a number of uncertainties exist in relation with immovable property projects in Brussels and Luxembourg, which may have a significant impact on the budget;

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

    • [1]  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
    • [2]  OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1. Agreement as amended by Decision 2003/429/EC (OJ L 147, 14.6.2003, p. 25).
    • [3]  Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA-PROV(2005)0067.
    • [4]  Calculated net of staff contributions to the pension scheme (EUR 180 million at 2006 prices).

    PROCEDURE

    Title

    Estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2006

    References

    2005/2012(BUD)

    Legal basis

    Article 272(2) EC

    Basis in Rules of Procedure

    Rule 73

    Committee responsible

             Date of referral

    BUDG

     

    Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

             Date of referral

     

     

     

     

     

    Rapporteur
      Date appointed

    Valdis Dombrovskis
    6.12.2004

    Previous rapporteur

     

    Discussed in committee

    14.3.2004

    11.4.2005

    21.4.2005

     

     

    Date adopted

    21.4.2005

    Result of final vote

    for: 32

    against: 1

    abstentions: 1

    Members present for the final vote

    Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Herbert Bösch, Paulo Casaca, Gérard Deprez, Brigitte Douay, Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop, Hynek Fajmon, Szabolcs Fazakas, Markus Ferber, Neena Gill, Dariusz Maciej Grabowski, Ingeborg Gräßle, Louis Grech, Catherine Guy-Quint, Ville Itälä, Anne Elisabet Jensen, Wiesław Stefan Kuc, Zbigniew Krzysztof Kuźmiuk, Janusz Lewandowski, Vladimír Maňka, Jan Mulder, Gérard Onesta, Giovanni Pittella, Anders Samuelsen, Esko Seppänen, László Surján, Yannick Vaugrenard, Kyösti Tapio Virrankoski, Ralf Walter

    Substitutes present for the final vote

    Hans-Peter Martin, Paul Rübig, José Albino Silva Peneda, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Peter Šťastný

    Substitutes under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

     

    Date tabled – A6

    27.4.2005

    A6-0106/2005

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