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<Date>{03/03/2020}3.3.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0058/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 189kWORD 68k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2089(DEC))</DocRef>


<Commission>{CONT}Committee on Budgetary Control</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Ryszard Czarnecki</Depute>

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018

(2019/2089(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on EU agencies for the financial year 2018, together with the agencies’ replies[1],

 having regard to the statement of assurance[2] 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 2018, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2020 on discharge to be given to the Institute in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2018 (05761/2020 – C9‑0056/2020),

 having regard to Article 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[3], and in particular Article 208 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012[4], and in particular Article 70 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1922/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing a European Institute for Gender Equality[5], and in particular Article 15 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council[6], and in particular Article 108 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2019/715 of 18 December 2018 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies set up under the TFEU and Euratom Treaty and referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council[7], and in particular Article 105 thereof,

 having regard to Rule 100 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0058/2020),

1. Grants the Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality discharge in respect of the implementation of the Institute’s budget for the financial year 2018/;

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 Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

 


 

2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the closure of the accounts of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018

(2019/2089(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on EU agenciesfor the financial year 2018, together with the agencies’ replies[8],

 having regard to the statement of assurance[9] 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 2018, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 18 February 2020 on discharge to be given to the Institute in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2018 (05761/2020 – C9‑0056/2020),

 having regard to Article 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[10], and in particular Article 208 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012[11], and in particular Article 70 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1922/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing a European Institute for Gender Equality[12], and in particular Article 15 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council[13], and in particular Article 108 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2019/715 of 18 December 2018 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies set up under the TFEU and Euratom Treaty and referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council[14], and in particular Article 105 thereof,

 having regard to Rule 100 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0058/2020),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018;

2. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

 


 

3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018

(2019/2089(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018,

 having regard to Rule 100 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0058/2020),

A. whereas, according to its statement of revenue and expenditure[15], the final budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality (the “Institute”) for the financial year 2018 was EUR 7 981 001,45, representing an increase of 3,34 % compared to 2017; whereas the entire budget of the Institute derives from the Union budget[16];

B. whereas the Court of Auditors (the “Court”), in its report on the annual accounts of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018 (the “Court’s report”), states that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Institute’s annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;

Budget and financial management

1. Notes with appreciation that the budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2018 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 99,38 %, representing an increase of 0,46 % compared to 2017; notes that the payment appropriations execution rate was 81,15 %, representing an increase of 0,20 % compared to the previous year;

Performance

2. Notes the fact that the Institute uses certain key performance indicators in relation to operational objectives and management of financial and human resources to assess the added value provided by its activities and to improve its budget management; further notes that the Institute completed 98,80 % of the single programming document activities in 2018;

3. Notes that the Institute chaired the Justice and Home Affairs agencies’ network and coordinated regular updates and information sharing among agencies; notes that at the end of 2018 the Institute, with other agencies, agreed to explore possibilities for enhanced interagency cooperation in implementing joint capacity-building projects with third countries; commends this cooperation as an example for other agencies worth following; encourages the Institute to seek further and broader cooperation with Union agencies; encourages the Institute to initiate discussions on the topic of resource sharing on overlapping tasks among other agencies with similar activities;

4. Calls on the Commission to conduct a feasibility study in order to assess the possibility of, at the very, least setting up shared synergies with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), if not fully merging them; calls on the Commission to evaluate two scenarios: the transfer of the Institute to FRA’ headquarters in Vienna and the transfer of FRA’s headquarters to the Institute’s headquarters in Vilnius; notes that such an act would mean sharing corporate and support services and the management of the common premises, as well as shared ICT, telecommunications and internet-based infrastructures, saving huge amounts of money which would be used to fund the Institution and FRA further;

5. Encourages the Institute to implement the Court's recommendations;

6. Encourages the Institute to pursue the digitalisation of its services;

7. Recalls that the Institute was established in order to contribute and to strengthen the promotion of gender equality in the Union, including gender mainstreaming in all Union policies and the resulting national policies, the fight against discrimination based on gender, and raising Union citizens’ awareness of gender equality;

8. Welcomes the ongoing cooperation between the Institute and Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (the “FEMM Committee”) and welcomes the Institute’s contribution to the ongoing efforts of the FEMM Committee, including on the issues of the gender digital gap, work-life balance, the gender pay and pension gap, gender budgeting, combating violence against women, women’s health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s rights and the development of a gender-sensitive parliament tool; notes the valuable contribution the Institute can make to all of Parliament’s committees in order to better integrate the gender perspective horizontally and better realise gender mainstreaming in policies and actions in Union policy making by, for example, providing other committees with training and data;

9. Notes the new Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy 2019-2021, which is aimed at engaging gender equality stakeholders and monitoring the Institute’s communication channels;

10. Strongly supports the work of the Institute, which, by means of studies and research, enables the FEMM Committee to obtain data that is indispensable in order for it to do its work properly by providing official, high-quality and objective data;

11. Welcomes the Institute’s achievements in 2018 and asks it to update the Gender Equality Index 2017 (the Index) on an annual basis from 2020 onwards; calls for more methodological tools to be developed to better ensure gender mainstreaming in all policies and actions;

12. Insists on the role of the Institute, as the Union centre of expertise on gender equality, to monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention;

13. Raises concerns over claims made by former temporary agency workers and over the rulings of the Vilnius City District Court and Vilnius Regional Court; calls for a clear process of recruitment and asks the Institute to adopt measures to solve the situation.

Staff policy

14. Notes that, on 31 December 2018, the establishment plan was 100 % executed, with 27 temporary agents appointed out of 27 temporary agents authorised under the Union budget (compared with 27 authorised posts in 2017); notes that, in addition, 14 contract agents and four seconded national experts worked for the Institute in 2018;

15. Notes the ruling of the Vilnius City District Court in February 2019 in favour of five former employees of the Institute who had accused the Institute of exploiting the “temporary employee” status for a period of five years in order to pay them less than staff with long-term employment statuses; calls on the Commission to carry out an overview analysis of the ways in which agencies employ their staff and of the Institute itself and to inform the discharge authority of the final outcome of the analysis;

16 Notes that, according to the Court’s report, as one of the main obligation under Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council[17] and Lithuanian labour law, interim workers should work under the same working conditions as workers employed directly by the user undertaking; notes, however, that the contracts did not require the temporary work agencies explicitly to respect those conditions and that there is no evidence that the Institute itself carried out any comparison between the working conditions for its own and interim staff, which causes litigation and reputational risks; calls on the Institute to analyse the working conditions of its interim workers and ensure they are in line with Union and national labour law;

17. Notes with concern the unbalanced representation of men (seven members) and women (23 members) on the management board;

18. Notes that the Institute publishes vacancy notices on its own website and social media in order to increase publicity, but not on the website of the European Personnel Selection Office;

Procurement

19. Notes with concern that, at the end of 2017, the Institute was a defendant in four cases related to three procurement procedures which were brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) by unsuccessful tenderers; notes that in 2018 the Court of Justice ruled on two of the four cases and dismissed the actions of the claimants, finding that the Institute was not liable, and that in 2019 the Court of Justice ruled on the two remaining cases linked to the same award decision and contract; notes that, according to the Institute’s reply, it further improved procurement procedures in order to minimise the risk of potential dissatisfaction among unsuccessful tenderers and of future legal cases;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

20. Notes the Institute’s existing measures and ongoing efforts to secure transparency, prevention and management of conflicts of interests, and whistleblower protection; welcomes the publication of the CVs of the Institute’s senior management on its website;

Internal audit

21. Notes that the final audit report, issued on 17 October 2017, of the Internal Audit Service audit on stakeholder management and external communication did not identify any critical or very important issues; notes, however, that the audit report recommended further improvements in a number of areas including knowledge management and communication strategy, key performance indicators, monitoring and reporting, management of main stakeholder projects and external communication; notes that the Institute developed an action plan on all recommendations and sub-recommendations to be implemented during 2017-2018 and that several sub-recommendations were implemented in 2017 and the rest during 2018;

22. Notes the Institute’s efforts to ensure a cost-effective and environmentally friendly working place; observes that while the Institute does not have any specific measures in place to reduce or offset CO2 emissions, it participates in meetings, consultations and presentations to that end and that it also has parking spaces for bicycles;

23. Calls on the Institute to focus on disseminating the results of its research to the public and to reach out to the public via social media and other media outlets;

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24. Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of ... March 2020[18] on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.


 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY (22.1.2020)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgetary Control</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality for the financial year 2018</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2089(DEC))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Frances Fitzgerald</Depute>

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas gender equality is one of the values on which the Union is founded and the Union is committed to promote gender mainstreaming in all of its actions as enshrined in Article 8 TFEU;

B. whereas gender budgeting is an application of gender mainstreaming in the budgetary process and means a gender based assessment of budgets, incorporating the gender perspective at all levels of the budgetary process and restructuring revenues and expenditures in order to promote gender equality[19]; whereas the Commission and Court of Auditors should ensure the principle of gender mainstreaming throughout the Union’s budgetary and legislative processes;

1. Recalls that the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) was established in order to contribute and to strengthen the promotion of gender equality in the Union, including gender mainstreaming in all Union policies and the resulting national policies, the fight against discrimination based on gender, and raising Union citizens’ awareness of gender equality;

2. Welcomes the ongoing cooperation between the EIGE and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and welcomes the EIGE’s contribution to the ongoing efforts of the Committee including on the topic of the gender digital gap, work-life balance, the gender pay and pension gap, gender budgeting, combating violence against women, women’s health including sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s rights  and the development of a gender-sensitive parliament tool; notes the valuable contribution the EIGE can make to all committees of the European Parliament in order to better integrate the gender perspective horizontally and better realise gender mainstreaming in policies and actions (by providing other committees training and data for instance) in Union policy making;

3. Welcomes the outcomes of EIGE’s participation and recent chairmanship of the European Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ network, particularly the promotion of actions aimed at combating sexual harassment[20] at workplace;

4. Takes note of the fact that EIGE has achieved a high execution of the budget with commitment appropriations up to 99.38% in 2018 (98.92% in 2017), and payment appropriations up to 81.15% in 2018 (80.95% in 2017); furthermore encourages EIGE to keep maintaining the level of carry-overs at a reasonable level following the path of the last three years (36.67% in 2018; 34.25% in 2017 and 51.29% in 2016);

5. Takes note of the new Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy 2019-2021, which is aimed at engaging gender equality stakeholders and monitoring EIGE’s communication channels;

6. Takes note that the EIGE has advanced on some recommendations of the External Evaluation (2015) and welcomes the effort to implement an action plan addressing the recommendations and calls on the Institute to further continue this process to improve governance and efficiency;

7. Strongly supports the work of the EIGE, which, by means of studies and research, enables the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality to obtain data that is indispensable in order for it to do its work properly by providing official, high-quality and objective data;

8. Welcomes the EIGE’s achievements in 2018 and asks to update on an annual basis since 2019 the Gender Equality Index 2017 (the Index); calls upon more methodological tools to be developed to better ensure gender mainstreaming in all policies and actions;

9. Insists on the role of EIGE, as the Union expertise centre on gender equality, to monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention;

10. Raises concerns over claims of former temporary agency workers and over the District Court of Vilnius City's ruling and Vilnius Regional Court's ruling; calls for a clear process of recruitment and asks EIGE to adopt measures to solve the situation.

11. Calls for additional funding to be allocated to EIGE to increase the number and the quality of statutory workers by replacing the temporary contracts with statutory contracts; and deplores the circumstances of constant risk of budgetary cuts and lack of human resources under which EIGE must work (the issue of unequal treatment with interim workers, especially in terms of salary and workers rights);

12. Takes note of the Court of Auditors' opinion that the EIGE's annual accounts present fairly, in all material respects, its financial position as at 31 December 2018 and the results of its operations, its cash flows and the changes in net assets for the year then ended, in accordance with the provisions of its Financial Regulation and the accounting rules adopted by the Commission's accounting officer;

13. Notes the Court of Auditors' opinion that the revenue and payments underlying the EIGE's annual accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018 are legal and regular in all material respects;

14. Is of the opinion, on the basis of the data available now, that discharge can be granted to the Director of the EIGE in respect of the implementation of its budget for the financial year 2018;


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

22.1.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

5

0

Members present for the final vote

Annika Bruna, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Belinda De Lucy, Frances Fitzgerald, Heléne Fritzon, Alice Kuhnke, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Karen Melchior, Sandra Pereira, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Samira Rafaela, Evelyn Regner, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Christine Schneider, Irène Tolleret, Isabella Tovaglieri, Ernest Urtasun

Substitutes present for the final vote

Maria da Graça Carvalho, Nicolaus Fest, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Marina Kaljurand, Predrag Fred Matić, Alessandra Moretti, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

20

+

GUE/NGL

Sandra Pereira, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

PPE

Maria da Graça Carvalho, Frances Fitzgerald, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Christine Schneider

RENEW

Karen Melchior, Samira Rafaela, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Irène Tolleret

S&D

Heléne Fritzon, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Marina Kaljurand, Predrag Fred Matić, Alessandra Moretti, Evelyn Regner

VERTS/ALE

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Alice Kuhnke, Ernest Urtasun

 

5

-

ECR

Jadwiga Wiśniewska

ID

Annika Bruna, Nicolaus Fest, Isabella Tovaglieri

NI

Belinda De Lucy

 

0

0

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 


 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

19.2.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Matteo Adinolfi, Olivier Chastel, Caterina Chinnici, Lefteris Christoforou, Ryszard Czarnecki, Luke Ming Flanagan, Daniel Freund, Isabel García Muñoz, Cristian Ghinea, Monika Hohlmeier, Jean-François Jalkh, Joachim Kuhs, Sabrina Pignedoli, Michèle Rivasi, Angelika Winzig, Lara Wolters, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Maria Grapini, David Lega, Mikuláš Peksa, Ramona Strugariu

Substitutes under Rule 209(7) present for the final vote

József Szájer

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

18

+

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan

NI

Sabrina Pignedoli

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, Monika Hohlmeier, David Lega, József Szájer, Angelika Winzig, Tomáš Zdechovský

RENEW

Olivier Chastel, Cristian Ghinea, Ramona Strugariu

S&D

Caterina Chinnici, Isabel García Muñoz, Maria Grapini, Lara Wolters

VERTS/ALE

Daniel Freund, Mikuláš Peksa, Michèle Rivasi

 

4

-

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki

ID

Matteo Adinolfi, Jean-François Jalkh, Joachim Kuhs

 

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] OJ C 417, 11.12.2019, p. 1.

[2] OJ C 417, 11.12.2019, p. 128.

[3] OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

[4] OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.

[5] OJ L 403, 30.12.2006, p. 9.

[6] OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

[7] OJ L 122, 10.5.2019, p. 1.

[8] OJ C 417, 11.12.2019, p. 1.

[9] OJ C 417, 11.12.2019, p. 128.

[10] OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

[11] OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.

[12] OJ L 403, 30.12.2006, p. 9.

[13] OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.

[14] OJ L 122, 10.5.2019, p. 1.

[15] O.J. C 128, 05.04.2019, p.16

[16] O.J. C 128, 05.04.2019, p.18.

[17] Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on temporary agency work (OJ L 327, 5.12.2008, p. 9).

[18] Texts Adopted, P9_TA-PROV(2020)0000.

[19]  https://rm.coe.int/1680596143

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