Procedure : 2016/2157(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0141/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0141/2017

Debates :

PV 26/04/2017 - 19
CRE 26/04/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.20

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0151

REPORT     
PDF 363kWORD 60k
31.3.2017
PE 593.840v02-00 A8-0141/2017

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section VII – Committee of the Regions

(2016/2157(DEC))

Committee on Budgetary Control

Rapporteur: Bart Staes

AMENDMENTS
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 2015, Section VII – Committee of the Regions

(2016/2157(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015(1),

–  having regard to the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2015 (COM(2016)0475 – C8‑0275/2016)(2),

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2015, 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 2015, 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 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(5), and in particular Articles 55, 99, 164, 165 and 166 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0141/2017),

1.  Grants the Secretary-General of the Committee of the Regions discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the Committee of the Regions for the financial year 2015;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the resolution forming an integral part of it to the Committee of the Regions, the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the European Ombudsman, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European External Action Service, 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 the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section VII – Committee of the Regions

(2016/2157(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, Section VII – Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0141/2017),

A.   Whereas in the context of the discharge procedure, the discharge authority stresses the particular importance of further strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the Union institutions by improving on transparency and accountability, implementing the concept of performance-based budgeting (PBB) and good governance of human resources;

1.  Notes that the Court of Auditors (the “Court”), in its annual report for 2015, observed that no significant weaknesses had been identified in respect of the audited topics relating to human resources and procurement for the Committee of the Regions (the “Committee”);

2.  Notes with satisfaction that on the basis of its audit work, the Court concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended 31 December 2015, the administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error;

3.  Notes that the Committee's budget is mostly administrative, with a large amount being used for expenditure concerning persons working within the Committee and the remaining amount relating to its buildings, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous running costs; stresses, however, that introducing the PBB should not apply only to the Committee’s budget as a whole but should also include the setting of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based (SMART) targets to individual departments, units and the annual plans of members of staff; in this respect, calls on the Committee to introduce the PBB principle more widely in its daily operations;

4.  Notes that in 2015, the Committee had an approved budget of EUR 88 900 000 (compared with EUR 87 600 000 in 2014), of which EUR 87 200 000 comprised commitment appropriations with a utilisation rate of 98,2 %; notes the slight decrease of the utilisation rate in 2015;

5.  Notes the conclusion of a new administrative bilateral cooperation agreement between the Committee and the European Economic and Social Committee (the “EESC”) signed in 2015; trusts that that agreement ensures further efficiency in the performance of the Committee and the EESC;

6.  Notes with satisfaction that the report on the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between Parliament and the Committee (the “Agreement”) was timely and positively assesses the cooperation between both institutions; observes, however, that the nature of the “intensified” cooperation referred to in the Agreement needs to be better clarified;

7.  Welcomes the Committee’s interest in having a more systematic approach to the cooperation with Parliament, particularly in political areas and with Parliament’s research service (EPRS); believes that further development of synergies brings positive results to both institutions;

8.  Reiterates its request for a joint assessment of the budgetary savings resulting from the Agreement to be included in the next follow-up report of the Agreement;

9.  Notes with concern that none of the targets set by the Committee in 2015 to increase involvement of Parliament and Council in activities related to the Committee opinions were achieved;

10.  Notes that the direct access between the RMD and the REM buildings was closed by Parliament due to security concerns after the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks; trusts that Parliament will re-assess the security concerns as reopening of the passage would certainly be beneficial to all three institutions;

11.  Notes with concern a consistent decrease in the payment execution rate in 2015 in some budgetary items; takes note that 2015 was the starting year of the sixth term in office of the Committee; is of the opinion, nevertheless, that the Committee should not allow it to impact in the budgetary management; calls on the Committee to improve its performance and better prepare for the starting year of the seventh term in office of the Committee;

12.  Urges the Committee to further improve the transparency of its operations and include all the data available on the missions undertaken by its Members in its annual activity report, with detailed expenses;

13.  Calls on the Committee to join the future Inter-Institutional Agreement on a mandatory transparency register;

14.  Notes with concern the continued gender imbalance in senior and middle management posts (25 % / 75 % in senior management and 38 % / 62 % in middle management); urges the Committee to improve its gender balance and report back to the discharge authority on the measures taken to tackle this issue, and the results achieved;

15.  Notes with satisfaction the good geographical balance within the management positions;

16.  Is deeply concerned with the high number of days of sick leave within the Committee staff; calls on the Committee to assess the reasons, focus its human resources’ governance to improve the situation and target its well-being activities to include as many staff members as possible to help prevent this kind of absenteeism;

17.  Is concerned that the audit recommendations on performance of IT projects for internal application lag adequate implementation; calls on the Committee to correct this situation without further delay;

18.  Welcomes the provision of translation data according to the harmonised methodology settled by the inter-institutional committee for translation and interpretation; notes that the undergoing revision of the Code of Conduct for Translation is to be made jointly with the EESC;

19.  Notes that the outsourcing rate of translation increased from 2,57 % in 2014 to nearly 10 % in 2015 due to the transfer of staff to Parliament under the Agreement; calls on the Committee for an assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the new arrangement now in practice;

20.  Notes the Committee adoption of rules on whistleblowing in December 2015; also notes that one whistleblowing file was opened in 2015; asks the Committee to keep Parliament informed of developments in of the case;

21.  Considers it to be fundamental that the Committee immediately follow up on the two Union Civil Service Tribunal’s rulings(6) and the European Anti-Fraud Office’s (“OLAF”) case report(7), the Commission’s PMO department’s report(8) and Parliament’s resolutions(9) and brings the whistleblower case of the former internal auditor of the Committee to a just, honourable and equitable settlement before the end of 2017;

22.  Considers it to be fundamental that the Committee work together with the EESC to follow-up immediately the ruling of the Union Civil Service Tribunal in a harassment case involving officials from both institutions(10), that it reports to Parliament on the progress and that it review its procedures for handling future allegations of harassment to ensure that they are in line with the case-law of the Civil Service Tribunal;

23.  Notes with great satisfaction the efforts and results so far achieved in improving the environmental footprint of the Committee and the renewal of the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certification;

24.  Notes the Committee’s efforts and achievements in stepping up its information and communications policy;

25.  Welcomes the information on the Committee’s building policy in its annual activity report, in particular given that it is important that the costs of such a policy are properly rationalised and not excessive.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.3.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Luke Ming Flanagan, Ingeborg Gräßle, Jean-François Jalkh, Bogusław Liberadzki, Notis Marias, Georgi Pirinski, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Hannu Takkula, Derek Vaughan, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Markus Pieper, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Raymond Finch, Jens Geier, Arne Lietz, Piernicola Pedicini, Lieve Wierinck

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

22

+

ALDE

Martina Dlabajová, Hannu Takkula, Lieve Wierinck

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan, Dennis de Jong

PPE

Tamás Deutsch, Ingeborg Gräßle, Markus Pieper, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Patricija Šulin, Joachim Zeller

S&D

Inés Ayala Sender, Jens Geier, Karin Kadenbach, Bogusław Liberadzki, Arne Lietz, Georgi Pirinski, Derek Vaughan

Verts/ALE

Benedek Jávor, Bart Staes

4

-

ECR

Notis Marias

EFDD

Raymond Finch, Piernicola Pedicini

ENF

Jean-François Jalkh

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

OJ L 69, 13.3.2015.

(2)

OJ C 380, 14.10.2016, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 375, 13.10.2016, p. 1.

(4)

OJ C 380, 14.10.2016, p. 147.

(5)

OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

(6)

Judgments of the Civil Service Tribunal of 7 May 2013, case F-86/11 (ECLI:EU:F:2011:189), and of 18 November 2014, case F-156/12 (ECLI:EU:F:2014:247).

(7)

OLAF Final Case Report dated 8 October 2003.

(8)

The Commission PMO department’s report of 8 May 2008.

(9)

Parliament’s resolutions of 29 January 2004 (OJ L 57, 25.2.2004, p. 8), 21 April 2004 (OJ L 330, 4.11.2004, p. 153), 12 April 2005 (OJ L 196, 27.7.2005, p. 54), 27 April 2006 (OJ L 340, 6.12.206, p. 44), 29 April 2015 (OJ L 255, 30.9.2015, p. 132) and 28 April 2016 (OJ L 246, 14.9.2016, p. 152) in support of the Committee’s Internal Auditor’s case.

(10)

Affaire F-124/10: Vassilliki Labiri contre Comité économique et social européen (CESE).

Legal notice - Privacy policy