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<Date>{03/03/2020}3.3.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0064/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 185kWORD 76k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Environment Agency for the financial year 2018</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2070(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 THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY
 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 Environment Agency for the financial year 2018

(2019/2070(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Environment Agency for the financial year 2018,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ 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 Agency in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2018 (05761/2020 – C9‑0037/2020),

 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 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network[5], and in particular Article 13 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) 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 Council7, and in particular Article 105 thereof,[7]

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

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0064/2020),

1. Grants the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency discharge in respect of the implementation of the Agency’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 Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, 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 Environment Agency for the financial year 2018

(2019/2070(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Environment Agency for the financial year 2018,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on EU agencies for the financial year 2018, together with the 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 Agency in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2018 (05761/2020 – C9‑0037/2020),

 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 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network[12], and in particular Article 13 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) 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 Council7, 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0064/2020),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Environment Agency for the financial year 2018;

2. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, 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 Environment Agency for the financial year 2018

(2019/2070(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Environment Agency 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0064/2020),

A. whereas, according to its statement of revenue and expenditure[14], the final budget of the European Environmental Agency (the ‘Agency’) for the financial year 2018 was EUR 65 800 176,52, representing a decrease of 6,57 % compared to 2017; whereas the Agency’s budget derives mainly from the Union budget (65,45 %) and the contributions under specific agreements, namely the Copernicus and European Human Biomonitoring Programmes (34,55 %);

B. whereas the Court of Auditors (the ‘Court’), in its report on the annual accounts of the Agency for the financial year 2018 (the ‘Court's report’), has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Agency’s annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;

Budget and financial management 

1. Notes with satisfaction that the budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2018 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 99,96 %, representing a slight decrease of 0,01 % compared to 2017; notes that the payment appropriations execution rate was 91,06 %, representing an increase of 2,03 % compared to the previous year;

Performance

2. Welcomes the fact that, according to the Agency, substantial progress was made in the sharing of resources on overlapping tasks among other agencies with similar activities; also notes that the Agency shared efforts with other science-based agencies, including the European Chemicals Agency and the European Food Safety Authority, on issues related to human health; welcomes the fact that there is a growing interest in the Agency’s information and data; is of the opinion that dissemination of environmental information is of key importance in light of the new Commission’s policies and the dangers of climate change;

3. Notes that the Agency achieved its 2018 objectives as referred to in the Agency’s Annual Work Programme and provided European decision-makers and citizens with access to timely and relevant information: the Agency’s website gained 500 000 users (+17%) in 2018 to reach a total of 3,45 million users, registering 10,7 million page views (+15%);

4. Encourages the Agency to pursue the digitalisation of its services;

5. Recalls that the Agency provides sound and independent information on the environment; commends the quality of the output of the Agency in 2018, such as its reports on air quality in Europe, on mercury in Europe’s environment and on the circular economy; underlines the fact that it is still difficult to obtain clear and reliable information on some sectors of the Union's economy, which prevents the Agency from undertaking a fully comprehensive analysis of the state of the Union's environment;

6. Notes the key role of the Agency in delivering quality data on the state of our environment, which becomes increasingly important in light of the huge challenge that the Union faces in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis, and its role in finding answers through the European Green Deal; welcomes the fact that the Agency's opinion is being heard through the institutions and recommends that the scientific committee of the Agency play a key role in advising the Commission;

7. Encourages the Agency to work together with the other relevant agencies of the Union in order to better assess environmental impacts of human activity;

8. Recalls that the Agency started, in 2018, its work on Energy Union Governance and streamlining of environmental reporting;

9. Regrets that some activities could not be fully delivered in 2018 due to a number of circumstances, including limited IT and staff resources; notes with concern that the Management Board stressed that the Agency’s capacity to further respond adequately to policy developments will depend on an increase in allocated core resources or the further prioritisation and/or discontinuation of current core tasks;

10. Notes the conclusions of the evaluation of the Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) carried out by the Commission;

11. Stresses that that the aims of the Agency are pan-European and for this reason it is necessary for it to cooperate closely with third countries located in Europe.

12. Notes that the outcome of the internal review of the functioning of the Board and Bureau carried out in 2018 will be implemented in 2019; calls on the Agency to report to the discharge authority on the measures taken in this regard;

Staff policy

13. Notes that, on 31 December 2018, the establishment plan was 98,39 % executed, with 3 officials and 119 temporary agents appointed out of 124 posts authorised under the Union budget (compared with 127 authorised posts in 2017); notes that, in addition, 63 contract agents and 19 seconded national experts were working for the Agency in 2018;

14. Notes the uneven gender balance reported for 2018 with regard to senior managers (seven men and two women), but the good balance achieved within the management Board (15 men and 17 women);

15. Notes with concern from the Court’s report that the Agency does not have an up-to-date policy covering sensitive posts; notes from the Agency’s reply that the Agency has carried out an inventory of its sensitive posts since 2009, which is currently under review to reflect the changes resulting from the Agency’s reorganisation in September 2018; calls on the Agency to adopt and implement that sensitive posts policy without delay;

16. Supports the suggestion of the Court to publish vacancy notices also on the website of the European Personnel Selection Office in order to increase publicity; understands the issue raised in the Agency’s reply concerning the translation costs triggered by such publication; notes that the Agency publishes vacancy notices on the EU Agencies Network’s website and on social media to increase publicity;

Procurement

17. Deplores the fact that, following the termination of a EUR 1,4 million contract due to a contractor’s unsatisfactory performance, the Agency signed, a few months later, a new EUR 2 million contract “in cascade” for the same type of service with the same contractor, without inserting in the technical specifications elements to neutralise the risk of similar problems arising again under the new contract; is of the opinion that such contracting behaviour raises serious concerns as to the agency’s sound financial management; calls on the Agency to award contracts only if satisfactory performance can be expected; and asks the Agency to report back to the Court and the discharge authority on the performance of the contractor;

18. Notes with concern from the Court’s report that for the provision of Copernicus local land monitoring services, the Agency concluded a contract for services for an amount above the ceiling of the governing framework contract, but did not formalise it through a contract amendment; notes from the Agency’s reply that it considers that the increase of the budget ceiling was made in accordance with the guidance from the Commission; nevertheless calls on the  agency to formalise contract modifications only in line with public procurement provisions;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

19. Acknowledges the Agency’s existing measures and ongoing efforts to secure transparency, prevent and manage conflicts of interests, and provide whistleblower protection; raises concerns that the Agency has not put in place a system for declarations of conflict of interest for in house experts;

20. Stresses that the publication of CVs and declarations of interest of management board members should be obligatory;

Other Comments

21. Notes the Agency’s efforts to provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly working place and to preferably reduce and offset its CO2 emissions in the areas of premises and travel;

22. Calls upon the Agency 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;

 

o

o  o

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY (23. Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of … March 2020[15] on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.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 Environment Agency for the financial year 2018</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2070(DEC))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Pascal Canfin</Depute>

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Budgetary Control, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Notes that in 2018, the total budget of the European Environment Agency (the ‘Agency'), was EUR 65 800 177 (-6,8 % compared to 2017), of which EUR 37 724 481 (+4 % compared to 2017) was made available through the general budget of the European Union; notes that the Agency's budget will increase in 2020, which is welcome; calls for a further increase in funding in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) period, given the essential role that the Agency plays; notes that any future cuts will negatively impact the functioning of the Agency;

2. Notes with satisfaction that the Agency’s budget monitoring efforts resulted in a 99,96 % budget implementation rate of the available core-budget appropriations (Union subsidy and contributions from other member countries);

3. Recalls that the Agency provides sound and independent information on the environment; commends the quality of the output of the Agency in 2018, such as its reports on air quality in Europe, on mercury in Europe’s environment and on the circular economy; underlines that it is still difficult to obtain clear and reliable information on some sectors of the Union's economy, which prevents the Agency from undertaking a fully comprehensive analysis of the state of the Union's environment;

4. Notes the key role of the Agency in delivering quality data on the state of our environment, which becomes increasingly important in light of the huge challenge that the Union faces in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis and finding answers with the European Green Deal; welcomes that the Agency's opinion is being heard through the institutions and recommends that the scientific committee of the Agency play a key role in advising the Commission;

5. Encourages the Agency to work together with the other relevant agencies of the Union in order to better assess environmental impacts of human activity;

6. Recalls that the Agency started in 2018 its work on Energy Union Governance and streamlining of environmental reporting;

7. Regrets that some activities could not be fully delivered in 2018 due to a number of circumstances, including limited IT and staff resources; notes with concern that the Management Board stressed that the Agency’s capacity to further respond adequately to policy developments will depend on an increase in allocated core resources or the further prioritisation and/or discontinuation of current core tasks;

8. Notes the conclusions of the evaluation of the Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) carried out by the Commission;

9. Stresses that the agency is all-European, and so it also necessarily involves close cooperation with non-EU European countries.

10. Notes that the outcome of the internal review of the functioning of the Board and Bureau carried out in 2018 will be implemented in 2019; calls on the Agency to report to the discharge authority on the measures taken in this regard;

11. Welcomes the fact that the Court has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Agency’s annual accounts for 2018 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;

12. Recommends, based on the facts available, that discharge be granted to the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency in respect of the implementation of the Agency’s budget for the financial year 2018;


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

21.1.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

65

6

2

Members present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Aurelia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Malin Björk, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Esther de Lange, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Fredrick Federley, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Anja Hazekamp, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Petros Kokkalis, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ewa Kopacz, Joanna Kopcińska, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, César Luena, Anthea McIntyre, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Rory Palmer, Jutta Paulus, Rovana Plumb, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Christine Schneider, Günther Sidl, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Caroline Voaden, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Michal Wiezik, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Maria Arena, Hildegard Bentele, Catherine Chabaud, Martin Häusling, Lídia Pereira, Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Christel Schaldemose, Tiemo Wölken

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

Krzysztof Hetman, Aušra Maldeikienė, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

65

+

ECR

Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Anthea McIntyre, Rob Rooken, Alexandr Vondra, Anna Zalewska

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Anja Hazekamp, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig, Mick Wallace

NI

Eleonora Evi, Athanasios Konstantinou

PPE

Hildegard Bentele, Agnès Evren, Krzysztof Hetman, Ewa Kopacz, Esther de Lange, Peter Liese, Aušra Maldeikienė, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Lídia Pereira, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Christine Schneider, Edina Tóth, Michal Wiezik, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

RENEW

Pascal Canfin, Catherine Chabaud, Fredrick Federley, Andreas Glück, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Caroline Voaden

S&D

Maria Arena, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Jytte Guteland, César Luena, Alessandra Moretti, Rory Palmer, Rovana Plumb, Christel Schaldemose, Günther Sidl, Tiemo Wölken

VERTS/ALE

Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Martin Häusling, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Jutta Paulus, Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips

 

6

-

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Aurelia Beigneux, Marco Dreosto, Catherine Griset, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Silvia Sardone

 

2

0

ID

Sylvia Limmer

NI

Ivan Vilibor Sinčić

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

19.2.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Olivier Chastel, Caterina Chinnici, Lefteris Christoforou, Ryszard Czarnecki, Luke Ming Flanagan, 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

Michael Bloss, József Szájer

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

19

+

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki

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

Michael Bloss, Mikuláš Peksa, Michèle Rivasi

 

2

-

ID

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. 34.

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

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

[5] OJ L 126, 21.5.2009, p. 13.

[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. 34.

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

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

[12] OJ L 126, 21.5.2009, p. 13.

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

[14] OJ C 416, 15.11.2018, p. 1.

[15] Texts adopted, P9_TA-PROV(2020)0000.

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