REPORT on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006 as modified by the Council (all sections)

    6.12.2005 - (14864/2005 – C6‑0415/2005 – 2005/2001(BUD))

    and Letters of amendment Nos 1/2005 (14862/2005 – C6‑0413/2005), 2/2005 (14863/2005 – C6‑0414/2005), 3/2005 (00000/2005 – C6‑0000/2005) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006
    Section I                       –  European Parliament
    Section II                      –  Council
    Section III                     –  Commission
    Section IV                     –  Court of Justice
    Section V                      –  Court of Auditors
    Section VI                     –  European Economic and Social Committee
    Section VII                   –  Committee of the Regions
    Section VIII (A)            –  European Ombudsman
    Section VIII (B)            –  European Data Protection Supervisor
    Part 1: Motion for a resolution
    Committee on Budgets
    Rapporteurs: Giovanni Pittella (Section III – Commission)
    Valdis Dombrovskis (Other sections)

    Procedure : 2005/2001(BUD)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    Texts tabled :
    Debates :
    Texts adopted :


    on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006, as modified by the Council (all sections) (14864/2005 – C6‑0415/2005 – 2005/2001(BUD)) and Letters of amendment Nos 1/2005 (14862/2005 – C6‑0413/2005), 2/2005 (14863/2005 – C6‑0414/2005), 3/2005 (00000/2005 – C6‑0000/2005) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 272(4), penultimate paragraph thereof,

    –   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 177 thereof,

    –   having regard to Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources[1],

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

    –   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure[3], to the decision of the European Parliament and of the Council 2003/429/EC of 19 May 2003 on the adjustment of the financial perspective for enlargement[4] and to the decision of the European Parliament and of the Council 2003/430/EC of 19 May 2003 on the revision of the financial perspective[5],

    –   having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006, which the Council established on 15 July 2005 (C6-0299/2005),

    –   having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2005 [6]on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006, Section III - Commission (C6-0299/2005),

    –   having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2005 [7]on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006, Section I - European Parliament, Section II - Council, Section IV - Court of Justice, Section V - Court of Auditors, Section VI - Economic and Social Committee, Section VII - Committee of the Regions, Section VIII(A) - European Ombudsman, Section VIII(B) - European Data Protection Supervisor (C6-0300/2005),

    –   having regard to its amendments and proposed modifications of 27 October 2005 to the draft general budget[8],

    –   having regard to the Council's modifications to the amendments and proposed modifications adopted by Parliament to the draft general budget (14864/2005 - C6-0415/2005),

    –   having regard to the budget conciliation of 24 November 2005 as concluded at the Trialogue of 30 November 2005,

    –   having regard to its decision of .....[9] to mobilise the flexibility instrument provided for in point 24 of the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 6 May 1999[10] in favour of the European Union's external actions (reconstruction following the tsunami, reconstruction in Iraq, support measures following reforms in the sugar sector and CFSP),

    –   having regard to Rule 69 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

    –   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0396/2005),

    A.  whereas social cohesion, economic growth, job creation, an added value of European policies and a spirit of solidarity, both within and outside Europe's borders, must underpin the 2006 budget making a contribution to the challenges of today and to restoring confidence in the European Union,

    B.   whereas a substantial effort towards the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategy should be made also in terms of budgetary commitments and in view of a possible new financial agreement for the coming years,

    C.  whereas involving and supporting young people across Europe and in EU programmes is of high importance and whereas the 2006 budget should make a special contribution in this field,

    1.   Reiterates once again the fundamental priorities reflected in the budget for 2006 and highlights the contribution to the Lisbon and Gothenburg Strategy, to EU information policy engaging with citizens and to funding of crucial international commitments; also believes that the 2006 budget serves as a transition towards a new (possible) medium-term budgetary agreement for the years to come;

    2.   Stresses the crucial importance of providing sufficient payment appropriations to avoid piling-up of outstanding commitment; establishes the payments in the 2006 budget at a level of 1,01% of the Community GNI compared to 1,00% in the 2005 budget; is disappointed that the Council was not willing to agree to a higher amount, but is willing to accept this payment level as a part of the global compromise on the 2006 budget;

    3.   Underlines the 2006 priority given to young people and the specific budgetary effort made to reinforce important European programmes in this respect;

    4.   Notes that the Commission every year submits to Parliament in October an amending letter to the pre-draft budget forecasting the necessary level of expenditure in Heading 1 for next years budget; asks the Commission to submit similar documents to Parliament for all the other budget headings, so as to enable the Parliament to be fully informed when establishing the budget for the following year;

    Heading 1: Agriculture

    5.   Regrets the Council's reductions to various lines in this sector in accordance with its prerogative for compulsory expenditure, but warmly welcomes, at the same time, the reinforced funding for the food programme for deprived persons; notes the Council's acceptance of the Commission's Letter of amendment No 2/2005;

    6.   Welcomes the agreement between Parliament and Council to revise the financial sub-ceilings of this heading in order to make possible the modulation measures related to CAP reform;

    Heading 2: Structural Actions

    7.   Welcomes the continued strong implementation in 2005 for many countries and notes the Commission's forecasts that this positive development should be sustained for 2006;

    8.   Is however disappointed that, contrary to the positive indications earlier in the year, the implementation of structural actions in the new Member States has not developed as well as hoped; believes that this is largely due to a difficult start-up period affecting the new programmes, and, especially, new procedures in the Member States themselves; recalls that at the beginning of the current financial perspectives period the same occurred in EU- 15 countries; stresses therefore that these start- up problems can in no way be interpreted as a general problem of absorption capacity in new Member States; is optimistic that, with the support of the Commission, these countries will be able to considerably strengthen their implementation in 2006;

    9.   Is determined to ensure the effective implementation of structural actions and to      provide the necessary budgetary means; considers that, given the unexpected delays in   implementation, the payment appropriations proposed in the Commission's budget   proposal provides the most accurate estimate of the needs for 2006 and will enable a   sufficient basic level of implementation;

    10. Approves the draft Joint Declaration annexed to this resolution specifically to ensure that further payment appropriations can be made available, if needed, by an amending budget in 2006;

    Heading 3: Internal Policies

    11. Underlines the importance of the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategy for sustainable development, competitiveness, job creation and social cohesion and considers it important to provide adequate budgetary means for its implementation; has therefore increased these policies for 2006 and decided to reinstate a number of Lisbon-related amendments amounting to some EUR 130 million;

    12. Welcomes the political agreement with Council to reinforce a number co-decided programmes in this area, going above the amounts foreseen in the corresponding financial frameworks; points out that this agreement was made pursuant to the means offered by the Interinstitutional Agreement and that the Commission has confirmed the possibility of implementing the additional funds;

    13. Highlights in this respect the additional funding made available for SMEs, research policy, Socrates, LIFE III, the YOUTH programmes and the cultural organisations advancing the idea of Europe;

    14. Considers the Erasmus programme a major priority and has decided to reinforce funding for student exchanges and, importantly, to allow an increase of the individual student allowances, making the programme more accessible and equitable by improving the possibilities for students from all backgrounds to participate;

    15. Has approved a number of pilot projects, amongst others, - to promote and speed up the implementation of mobility actions (visits and exchanges) for upper secondary pupils which should start effectively within the Comenius programme as of 1 January 2007, - on cross border cooperation in fight against natural disasters, - on security along the trans-European road network and -  the continuation of the pilot project on 'fight against terrorism'; calls on the Commission to propose constructive and innovative ways on implementing the projects in cooperation with the Parliament;

    16. Has decided to reinforce a number of budgetary lines for information policy in support of the re-launch of these actions after the presentation by the Commission of the White Paper on Communication and Democracy; stresses the need to pursue the new strategy in close cooperation with the Parliament; has decided to lift part of the reserve in second reading;

    17. Insists that much can be done in the area of simplifying procedures and cutting down on red tape for the benefit of people and organisations that receive EU funding; has therefore decided to maintain a set of simplification amendments while recognising that some progress has already been made, notably in connection with the work on the financial regulation;

    18. Reiterates its traditional support to the agencies, and especially to the new ones; reminds, however, that their establishment plans can not be increased year after year without assuring the budgetary authority the respect of the rules common to all institutions regarding recruitment and promotion;

    19. Expects that the guidelines on the staff policy will be finalised by the Commission by the end of March 2006 and will be transmitted to the budgetary authority;

    Heading 4: External Policies

    20. Stresses that the external programmes must be adequately funded in order to respond to real needs and that the EU's increased undertakings, particularly in the fields of reconstruction aid and humanitarian matters, have taken place within a financial framework agreed in 1999, which has proved to be insufficient as new demands have been added;

    21. Confirms its resolve to support the EU's new actions and responsibilities while at the same time making sure that this will not be at the expense of traditional priorities such as ongoing cooperation programmes, actions relating to the Millennium Development Goals, and important thematic programmes such as the human rights programme;

    22. Welcomes, therefore, the decision to mobilise the flexibility instrument for a total amount of EUR 275 million for the reconstruction programme following the tsunami, the reconstruction programme in Iraq, for new support measures for ACP countries following sugar reform, and for the Common Foreign and Security Policy;

    23. Agrees to a substantial increase for the Common Foreign and Security Policy actions in order to respond to the international situation, especially the need for conflict prevention and resolution, and to make sure that the Union can play its role in this area; approves the Draft Joint Declaration annexed where the Council and Parliament agreed that the significantly higher funding for CFSP from the Community budget will be accompanied by improved information and consultation measures; welcomes that the Council committed itself to being represented at ambassador level in this political consultation process;

    Heading 5

    24. Decides to confirm its first reading position on administrative expenditure; stresses the importance of striking a balance between applying budgetary rigour and providing the institutions with the necessary budgetary resources for their proper functioning; confirms its decision in the first reading to restore all posts not approved by Council but to maintain the reserve of EUR 16 million in administrative expenditure until all conditions are fulfilled;

    25. Has decided to release part of the reserve related to comitology, awaiting the results of the exploratory contacts between Parliament and Commission on a revision of the comitology decision;

    26. Welcomes the decision taken to increase the funds available for cultural organisations (15 04 01 03) by EUR 1 million voted under line 15 06 01 07; recalls its resolution of 27 October 2005 on the first reading for the 2006 budget, in particular paragraph 33 thereof;

    27. Requests the institutions to transmit, by 15 February 2006, a joint report on enlargement recruitment including statistics as of 15 January 2006 on number and grade of posts occupied by permanent staff by nationality, of posts occupied by temporary staff and of vacant posts; invites the institutions to include in the report an action plan with measures for further recruitment as well as addressing the problem of availability of candidates in certain categories from certain Member States;

    Heading 7: Pre-Accession Strategy

    28. Confirms its decision to provide for greater budgetary transparency in relation to Community assistance to candidate or ore-candidate countries, especially with a view to the entry into force of the new pre-accession instrument, which will consolidate into one single act a variety of geographical and thematic programmes;


    * *

    29. Instructs its President to declare that the budget has been finally adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

    30. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the other institutions and bodies concerned.

    • [1]  OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.
    • [2]  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
    • [3]  OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1. Agreement as last amended by Decision 2005/708/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 269, 14.10.2005, p. 24).
    • [4]  OJ L 147, 14.6.2003, p.25.
    • [5]  OJ L 147, 14.6.2003, p. 31.
    • [6] Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2005)0409.
    • [7] Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2005)0410.
    • [8]  Texts Adopted of that date, Annex.
    • [9]  Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2005)0000.
    • [10]  OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1. Agreement as last amended by Decision 2005/708/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 269, 14.10.2005, p. 24)



    1.      Payment appropriations

             If the execution of payment appropriations for the Structural Funds exceeds 40% by the end of July 2006, or if the Commission becomes otherwise convinced of a shortage in payment appropriations in the budget, it will, after having examined the possibilities of redeployment of payment appropriations within the totality of the budget, including Heading 2, and evaluated possible sources of additional revenue, present a PDAB to the budgetary authority at the latest by October. The European Parliament and the Council will decide in one single reading on the PDAB in order to have additional   appropriations needed available at the latest in early November 2006.

    2.      CFSP

    The European Parliament and the Council remain fully committed to the existing Joint Declaration on CFSP, as adopted at the budget conciliation of November 2002 and the subsequent exchange of letters of 5 December 2003 and their full implementation.

    They confirm that, as of 2006, the participation to the joint meetings (to take place at least quarterly in order to provide timely information on both the recent and forthcoming developments and their budgetary implications) shall be defined as follows:

    European Parliament: Members

    The Council: Ambassador (the Chairman of the Political and Security Committee).

    3.      CFSP and co-decided programmes

    The European Parliament and the Council invite the Commission to take the appropriate measures for the relevant transfers, as soon as possible in 2006, in order to put into effect this agreement reached on CFSP and co-decided programmes.




    Draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2006 as modified by the Council (all sections)


    (14864/2005 – C6‑0415/2005 – 2005/2001(BUD))

    Legal basis

    Articles 272 EC and 177 Euratom

    Basis in Rules of Procedure

    Rule 69 and Annex IV

    Committee responsible
      Date of referral



    Date appointed

    Giovanni Pittella (Section III)

    Valdis Dombrovskis

    (Other Sections)


    Previous rapporteur(s)



    Date of Parliament's first reading






    Date of Council's deliberations

    Date of result forwarded







    Letters of amendment






    Conciliation meetings






    Discussed in committee






    Date adopted


    Result of final vote

    for: unanimity





    Members present for the final vote

    Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Richard James Ashworth, Herbert Bösch, Gérard Deprez, Valdis Dombrovskis, James Elles, Szabolcs Fazakas, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Neena Gill, Ingeborg Gräßle, Catherine Guy-Quint, Jutta D. Haug, Ville Itälä, Anne E. Jensen, Janusz Lewandowski, Jan Mulder, Gérard Onesta, Giovanni Pittella, Antonis Samaras, Ralf Walter


    Substitutes present for the final vote

    Maria Badia I Cutchet, Constanze Angela Krehl, Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný

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


    Date tabled – A6