Procedure : 2020/2265(BUI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0046/2021

Texts tabled :

A9-0046/2021

Debates :

PV 24/03/2021 - 20
CRE 24/03/2021 - 20

Votes :

PV 25/03/2021 - 2
PV 25/03/2021 - 17
CRE 25/03/2021 - 2
CRE 25/03/2021 - 17

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0106

<Date>{17/03/2021}17.3.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0046/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 499kWORD 194k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>


<Commission>{BUDG}Committee on Budgets</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Karlo Ressler</Depute>

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND TOURISM
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON CULTURE AND EDUCATION
 POSITION IN THE FORM OF AMENDMENTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETARY CONTROL
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
 LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission

(2020/2265(BUI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of 8 October 2018 on Global Warming of 1.5°C,

 having regard to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,

 having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

 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[1],

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027[2], and to the joint declarations agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission in this context[3], as well as to the related unilateral declarations[4],

 having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources[5],

 having regard to Council Decision (EU, Euratom) No 2020/2053 of 14 December 2020 on the system of own resources of the European Union and repealing Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom[6],

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 2020/2094 of 14 December 2020 establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument to support the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis[7],

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 8 June 2020 entitled ‘Demographic Challenges – The Way Ahead’,

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget[8],

 having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2021[9] and the joint statements agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed hereto,

 having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015 entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, which entered into force on 1 January 2016,

 having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights, and its resolution of 19 January 2017 thereon[10],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[11],

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 February 2021 on the 2022 budget guidelines,

 having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2018 on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in Bulgaria and Romania: abolition of checks at internal land, sea and air borders[12],

 having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak’ (C(2020)1863),

 having regard to Rule 93 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Culture and Education,

 having regard to the position in the form of amendments of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

 having regard to the letters from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0046/2021),

Back on track: 2022 budget for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

1. Believes that, given the particular uncertainty about the economic outlook, which is not expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, and the imperative need for a quick, fair and inclusive recovery from the economic, social and employment-related damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Union budget should play an even more pivotal role in ensuring a positive and tangible impact on citizens’ lives and contributing to boosting the European economy, leveraging sustainable investments and supporting job preservation and the creation of quality jobs throughout the Union, as well as meeting the challenges of climate change and digital transition, and the Union’s enhanced climate ambition for 2030, with a view to reaching climate neutrality by 2050, and facilitating the reduction of economic, social, territorial, educational, generational and gender disparities;

2. Intends, therefore, to set up a forward-looking budget that will be instrumental in the recovery process, and will enable the Union to boost investments and tackle unemployment, foster the digital and green transitions, focus on a strong European Health Union, promote an inclusive recovery with a focus on the young generation and ensure a safe and prosperous environment for EU citizens; considers these priorities to be essential in order to uphold the recovery and lay the foundations for a more resilient Union, in line with the Paris Agreement;

A vibrant economy to boost investment and tackle unemployment

3.  Recalls that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute the backbone of the European economy, representing almost 99 % of all businesses in the Member States, and providing around three-quarters of all jobs; underlines the significant contribution of SMEs to the creation of jobs, economic growth and stability; is concerned by the severe and long-lasting consequences of the crisis on SMEs and intends to secure sufficient funding for them through various EU programmes;

4.  Underlines, in this context, the importance of an adequately funded Single Market Programme to boost competitiveness, promote entrepreneurship, improve access to markets and effectively support small businesses, including through the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills; underscores, furthermore, the potential of the InvestEU programme in leveraging sustainable, innovative and social investments, but also in providing capital support to SMEs negatively affected by the crisis; acknowledges the urgent need to create an SME-friendly business environment and to support SME clusters and networks, as well as to reduce the administrative burden for companies; underlines, particularly, the need to support initiatives at EU level that aim to facilitate the creation of new start-ups and improve their access to finance, as a means to foster innovation, job creation and youth entrepreneurship;

5.  Emphasises the continued need to massively boost investment in research, development and innovation, in order to enable the EU to be a driving force in delivering the European Green Deal and the digital transition; underlines, in that respect, the particular merits of Horizon Europe, including the activity of the European Research Council; considers that it is essential to provide SMEs, start-ups and universities with adequate, tailor-made support in research and innovation so that they can actively take part in these immense challenges; points to the importance of fostering collaboration between academia and industry; stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of European research on pharmaceutical products and vaccines as a means to strengthen the EU’s resilience in the event of a health crisis;

6. Stresses that the Union’s response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic must be enabled by fast and targeted budgetary decisions; requests, in this context, that the unexpectedly high amount of research decommitments be made available in their entirety under Horizon Europe, in full compliance with Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation, as one of the key means by which to neutralise new variants of the virus while anticipating future threats, in the interest of public health and saving lives; stresses that this level of decommitments was not anticipated and, consequently, not incorporated in the multiannual financial framework (MFF) agreement;

7. Underlines the pivotal role of EU cohesion policy as the prime investment policy of the Union and one of the cornerstones of a sustainable and inclusive recovery, and points to its unique European added value and contribution to the overall harmonious development of the EU and its Member States and regions; stresses, in particular, its potential to stimulate economic growth and create more quality jobs, which are central to the recovery process; highlights its key role in reaching EU strategic objectives such as economic, social and territorial cohesion and convergence between and within Member States, just transition, quality employment, a competitive, social, green and circular economy, and innovation, and as a driving force of a fair, inclusive and sustainable Union;

8. Points out the long-term effects of the extension of derogation to the State Aid rules during the ongoing crisis on the Single Market for the Member States with limited public funds and limited fiscal capacity; underlines that the EU budget has a key role in ensuring that the Member States and the EU will work closely to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the pandemic while finding concrete solutions to preserve the level playing field in the Single Market and to strengthen the economic and social cohesion between EU regions;

9. Stresses that the common agricultural policy (CAP) and the common fisheries policy (CFP) are cornerstones of European integration which aim to ensure a safe, affordable, high-quality food supply and food sovereignty for Europeans, the proper functioning of agricultural markets, the sustainable development of rural regions and generational renewal of farmers; recalls the key role of these policies in contributing to stable and acceptable earnings for farmers, fisherwomen and fishermen, especially in the current difficult context; asks for particular attention to be paid to small-scale agriculture, young farmers and small fishing businesses and maintaining a stable and secure food chain for European citizens; points out that a number of agricultural sectors have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak and other crises, and supports, where appropriate, targeted reinforcements of the relevant budget lines for market support measures; recalls that these challenges have to be addressed while simultaneously preparing for a reform of the CAP which is expected to play a more instrumental role in fulfilling the ambitions of the European Green Deal;

10. Stresses the need to give a particular boost to the tourism sector, especially the hospitality industry, which has experienced a particularly severe contraction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a devastating impact, notably on those regions that depend heavily on tourism; highlights that the tourism sector represents an important pillar of the Union’s economy and employs a significant share of its labour force, especially in SMEs and family businesses; expects that the relevant EU programmes, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), regional policy, Digital Europe and InvestEU, will contribute decisively to the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the sector and that the necessary resources will be made available through the EU budget in 2022; reiterates its disappointment that Parliament’s request for a dedicated EU programme on tourism was not followed through;

11. Stresses the need for a comprehensive European space strategy and recognises the added value of the EU space programme; stresses, in particular, the need for the Union to foster the development of innovative and competitive upstream (heavy space industry) and downstream (applications based on space data) sectors; points to the important role of the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) and the need to secure the necessary level of funding and staffing;

Meeting the challenge of digital and green transitions

12. Stresses the urgent need, heightened by the COVID-19 crisis, to close the digital divide, notably by completing the European Education Area and implementing the digital education action plan in order to deliver on the digital skills objectives, and fostering inclusive learning, and to ramp up Europe’s digital transformation; points out to the importance of ensuring sufficient funding and synergies between EU programmes to create conditions conducive to accelerating the market uptake of breakthrough technologies and innovations, and enable Europe’s economy and public sector to be at the forefront of the digital transition; considers that the Digital Europe programme is essential to improving Europe’s competitiveness in the global digital economy and achieving technological sovereignty; expects that this programme will boost investments in EU high-performance computing, ethical artificial intelligence, 5G technology and cybersecurity, as well as the promotion of advanced digital skills across the economy and society; calls on the Member States and the Commission to respect the criteria which state that a minimum of 20 % of RRF funding should be allocated to the digital transition;

13. Stresses the central role of the EU budget in ensuring the success of the European Green Deal, including the biodiversity strategy, and the application of the ‘do no harm’ principle, boosting the Member States’ economic and social recovery from the coronavirus crisis by turning green challenges into investments and structural reforms opportunities and facilitating the fair transition towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy; recalls that this transition requires significant structural change and that not all Member States, regions and cities are starting the transition from an equal level or have the same capacity to address it; stresses in particular the need to ensure that adequate resources, including recovery funds as well as the Just Transition Mechanism, underpin the new growth strategy, in order to enable the Union to deliver on its commitments while ensuring no-one is left behind, and intends to monitor closely the implementation of the strategy in the 2022 budget; underlines, in this context, that investing in energy efficiency, circular economy, sustainable and affordable smart mobility and modern and resilient EU infrastructure are key factors in restoring competitiveness, contributing to the achievement of the EU climate objectives and building up the EU’s strategic autonomy, as well as promoting sustainable industries; acknowledges, furthermore, the key role played by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in interconnecting the Union and all of its regions, including the outermost, insular and sparsely populated ones, in the transport, digital and energy sectors;

14. Underlines the importance of supporting climate action and environmental protection by providing additional resources for the relevant programmes and instruments in the EU budget, in particular the LIFE programme; emphasises, moreover, that in the spirit of climate mainstreaming, efforts should be enhanced across all policy areas with a view to achieving the climate overall spending target over the entire MFF 2021-2027 of at least 30% of the total amount of the Union budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument expenditures; stresses, furthermore, the need for continuous work towards providing 7.5 % of annual spending under the MFF for biodiversity objectives in 2024, and 10 % as of 2026 ; calls for Parliament to be fully involved in the development of more robust, transparent and comprehensive methodologies for implementing and tracking such expenditure, and looks forward to the annual consultations with the Commission and the Council, as laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement;

15. Calls on the Commission and Member States to secure sufficient funding for the implementation of the EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, including by boosting research and innovation for the transition towards safe and sustainable-by-design chemicals, materials and products and by ensuring adequate and sustainable resources for ECHA, of the Circular Economy Action Plan based on non-toxic material cycles and upcoming of the Zero Pollution Action Plan for water, air and soil;

A strong European Health Union

16. Reaffirms the importance and potential of the EU4Health programme, which under the new MFF became the largest health programme to ever be funded by the EU budget; expects that synergies will be strengthened between all EU programmes involved in strengthening the capacity of EU health systems, as well as their preparedness and prevention capacity in case of crises, and those providing additional investments in the health sector such as the ESF+, the ERDF, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe; considers that the stockpiling of reserves should remain a priority in the EU budget through the RescEU and EU4Health programmes; highlights the importance of the EU civil protection mechanism in ensuring that the EU will be better prepared for and able to respond to all types of natural disasters, pandemics and emergencies;

17. Recalls that the COVID-19 crisis has put Member States’ health systems under unprecedented stress and exposed shortcomings in production capacities for vaccinations and other essential medical products in the Union; stresses, therefore, that the Union needs solidarity and collective responsibility, which translate into more EU health competences and more concrete steps towards a stronger European Health Union; underlines the need for stronger investment in healthcare infrastructure and skills that has been revealed by the ongoing crisis, and the need to recover from past under-investment; welcomes, in this context, the Commission communication on the HERA incubator (COM(2021)0078) as a tool to step up efforts to detect COVID-19 variants, adapt vaccines, improve clinical trial efficiency, speed up regulatory approval and scale up vaccine production; points out that much of the production capacity is located outside the Union, which complicates the delivery of medicines in times of need and constitutes an obstacle to be overcome in building up the European Health Union; stresses the importance of ensuring sufficient funds to help increase production capacities for vaccines, antidotes and other essential drugs in Member States and enable the 2022 EU budget to react swiftly in case of emergency ;

18. Deplores that 2.7 million people in the EU were diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and approximately 1.3 million people lost their lives to it; welcomes the Europe’s Beating Cancer plan, which is an important pillar for a stronger European Health Union; recognises, in line with the plan, the need for a strengthened and enforced Union approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care; requests proper budget allocation in 2022 for the relevant EU programmes, namely EU4Health, the Health cluster within Pillar II of Horizon Europe, and Digital Europe, to finance new technologies, research and innovation as part of the Union’s fight against cancer;

19 Points, in particular, to the critical role played by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; calls for adequate funding in the 2022 budget to allow these key agencies to continue their work; looks forward to the proposal to establish the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) to ensure effective, coordinated Union preparedness and response capability in the event of future health crises; recalls the need to provide fresh resources to HERA to ensure that it does not adversely impact existing programmes, policies and agencies and to ensure effective synergies with the EMA and the ECDC;

Inclusive recovery with a focus on the young generation

20. Underlines that, as was the case in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, young people are once again particularly hard hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, with increasing youth unemployment and negative impacts on education and mental health, especially for those entering the labour market; highlights, therefore, that all funding possibilities must be fully explored in order to successfully improve labour market inclusion, in particular via vocational training, measures to improve social inclusion, working conditions and social protection, including for persons with disabilities, as well as family and life prospects for young people, taking into account the work-life balance directive;

21.  Insists that the Union cannot find a sustainable path to recovery without a structured strategy for its young generation; points, in that respect, to the extreme relevance of increasing financial resources for Union programmes such as Erasmus+, whose success in broadening education, training and job opportunities across the Union is undisputable; stresses that Erasmus+ is a flagship programme of the Union that is widely known among its citizens and has delivered tangible results; highlights the potential of this programme in promoting excellence and in ensuring access for young people to innovation and entrepreneurship by providing guidance and education in an inclusive manner, as well as the need for training and mobility actions in adult education; deplores the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Erasmus+ programme, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of participants able to benefit from this experience; underlines, in this context, the importance of the 2022 budget to make up for missed opportunities; calls on the Commission to further promote European citizenship education and civic engagement; reiterates its call for Member States to dedicate at least 10 % of funding under their recovery and resilience plans to quality and inclusive education;

22. Stresses that sustainable and long-term solutions must be found to successfully fight structural demographic challenges, as well as to mitigate brain drain in rural, insular, remote and less developed areas and regions of the EU; emphasises the need for financial resources to revitalise regions suffering from population decline through investments in social and demographic policies that support families and to provide ageing populations in Europe with adequate support in terms of access to healthcare, mobility and public services; highlights the need to set up appropriate structures to study trends and propose measures to adequately address demographic change by adding, for instance, special criteria to the allocation methodology for structural funds in the future;

23. Highlights that women have been disproportionately affected by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis; underlines the importance of the implementation of gender-responsive budgeting to ensure that women and men benefit equally from public spending; calls, in this context, on the Commission to accelerate the introduction of an effective, transparent and comprehensive methodology, in close cooperation with Parliament, to measure relevant gender expenditure, as set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement, in order to be able to show tangible results for the 2022 budget and in view of the extension of the methodology to all MFF programmes; calls, furthermore, for the swift implementation of the EU gender equality strategy; stresses the worrying and increasing backlash against gender equality and women’s rights and the importance of mobilising all EU instruments to combat this situation; calls for additional resources to support the protection, promotion and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to support women human rights defenders;

24. Underlines that the recovery process must leave no-one behind and that the Union and the Member States must therefore tackle the risk of poverty and social exclusion; stresses that the Union’s 2022 budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument (EURI) should contribute to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights by supporting life-long learning, reinforcing social dialogue and guaranteeing access for all to vital services such as healthcare, mobility, adequate nutrition and decent housing; underlines, in that respect, the added value of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and believes that adequate funding should be allocated under shared management to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and the forthcoming Child Guarantee; welcomes the focus on the Europe’s social dimension at the next Social Summit in Porto;

25. Underlines that the cultural and creative sectors, as well as cultural tourism, are and will continue to be among the main sectors that bear the burden of the crisis the EU is experiencing; calls for additional measures for those sectors and additional funding for related EU programmes, notably the Creative Europe programme; welcomes the New European Bauhaus creative and interdisciplinary initiative;

Ensuring a safe and prosperous environment for European citizens

26. Considers that economic growth and prosperity, internal security, protection of the EU’s external borders, fundamental rights, proper functioning of the Schengen area and freedom of movement within the EU are inextricably linked and mutually beneficial; stresses that further integration of the Schengen area, based on expert assessments, would provide Member States on the Union’s external borders with enhanced financial opportunities for border management; recalls that the Schengen area brings economic benefits to its participant states; stresses that the EU economy could be boosted by the accession to the Schengen area of the candidate countries that already meet all the technical requirements; stresses that the accession of these Member States to the Schengen area would amplify the impact of the EU budget and recovery funds and that it would have a direct impact in bringing about a faster economic recovery; reiterates its call for the speedy integration of Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia into the Schengen area; underlines the importance of robust EU investment in the area of internal security with a view to enhancing EU law enforcement and judicial response to cross-border criminal threats, and promoting information exchange;

27. Takes note of the fact that the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework provides for higher amounts than in previous years for the implementation of migration, asylum and integration policies; expects asylum and migration to remain high on the EU’s agenda; stresses that solidarity measures such as relocation programmes, resettlement or humanitarian admission remain crucial pending meaningful reform of the Common European Asylum System; highlights, in that regard, that Member States will continue to require financial support for the reception, registration and examination of asylum applications, as well as for returns and relocation; calls for more funding to be directed towards coordination with transit countries and countries of origin of irregular migration with the aim of controlling and stopping human trafficking and human smuggling; is deeply concerned by the continuing loss of life in the Mediterranean and believes that search and rescue is a responsibility that cannot be left exclusively to non-state actors; adds that non-EU countries at the Union’s external borders that are faced with migration flows to the EU will also continue to require financial support; highlights the important role of the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) in this regard and its recently enhanced mandate, and calls for adequate funding for Frontex to enable it to deliver in all areas of responsibility falling under its new mandate; insists that the effective management of the external borders must comply with Union and international law, respecting, in particular, the right to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement, especially in the context of recent allegations concerning possible involvement in pushbacks; recalls, therefore, the need for recruitment of fundamental rights officers, in line with article 110 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1896, in order to contribute to the promotion of fundamental rights as part of European integrated border management; underlines that increases in the budgetary allocations to Frontex need to be accompanied by a corresponding increase in accountability and transparency and are conditional on the Agency’s commitment to Union law;

28. Highlights the need for adequate funding, staffing and staff training for all agencies operating in the field of security, justice, law enforcement, fundamental rights, asylum and migration, and border management in order for them to fulfil their increased responsibilities, and draws attention to the importance of cooperation between them, the need for technological innovation and adaptation, and their vital role in reinforcing cooperation and coordination among the Member States; highlights the importance of the proper implementation and operational management of large-scale EU IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice;

29. Strongly supports strengthened EU efforts to tackle rising security threats such as terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, criminal smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cybercrime and hybrid threats within Europe and neighbouring countries, and disinformation campaigns against European democracies steered from third countries as well as to improve coordination of such programmes at EU level; recalls that recent terror attacks prove that improvements to the interoperability of information systems in the area of justice and home affairs are necessary to strengthen the Union’s internal security; notes that the pandemic has led to new criminal challenges; welcomes, therefore, the strategy for a security union presented by the Commission on 24 July 2020, and calls for adequate funding for the action plans contained therein;

30.  Recalls that respect for the rule of law is an essential precondition for compliance with the principles of sound financial management enshrined in Article 317 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); welcomes the entry into force on 1 January 2021 of the Rule of law Regulation, which sets a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, and stands strongly committed to ensuring its full, immediate and correct implementation; calls for a considerable strengthening of funding devoted to ensuring the protection of these fundamental principles; stresses, therefore, the importance of a well-equipped and sufficiently funded and staffed European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) to fight crimes against the Union budget, and insists that it must be able to follow up on the backlog of open cases and have the capacity to review and investigate all new cases;

31. Stresses that the promotion of European values and cultures plays an active role in supporting democracy, non-discrimination and gender equality, and in tackling disinformation and fake news; expresses concern at the deterioration of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in some Member States and underlines the need for financial resources to support press, media and artistic freedom in the Union; highlights that the new Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme is of strategic importance to strengthen European citizenship and democracy, equality and the rule of law in the EU, as well as to support victims of gender-based violence; recalls also that the justice programme includes a specific objective aimed at supporting and promoting judicial training, with a view to fostering a common legal, judicial and rule of law culture; calls for the funding of these programmes to be evenly spent during the MFF period and urges full expenditure of annual funds for the specific objectives highlighted; welcomes, furthermore, the continuous, comprehensive work in covering the law and practice of Member States in those areas carried out by the Fundamental Rights Agency; believes that the Conference on the Future of Europe is among the tools to tackle a number of democratic and fundamental rights challenges and considers it paramount that each EU institution involved in the setting up and management of the forthcoming Conference should be adequately equipped with administrative budgets;

32. Recalls the key contribution of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) to addressing the root causes of migration and forced displacement, to promoting sustainable development, democracy, political and economic reforms the rule of law and human rights, and to supporting electoral processes; underlines, furthermore, the strategic importance of enlargement policy in the Western Balkan countries; calls, in this regard, for additional funding for the Western Balkans and the countries of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, as well as for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and humanitarian aid; underlines the responsibility of the EU to ensure it has the adequate resources to address the geopolitical consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, ensure a secure and stable global environment and show solidarity with heavily-affected third countries by mobilising the EU’s external financing instruments to help these countries to strengthen the capacities of their health systems, including improving their access to vaccines, and to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the crisis; emphasises the importance of complying with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution system, COVAX, in order to ensure equitable access to vaccines for the most fragile countries; welcomes, furthermore, the fact that direct support will be provided to the EU’s neighbourhood, and notably its immediate neighbourhood;

33. Recalls the importance of providing the EU budget with a sufficiently detailed nomenclature to allow the budgetary authority to fulfil its decision-making role effectively and for Parliament in particular to fulfil its democratic oversight and scrutiny roles across all headings; insists, therefore, on the need for the budget nomenclature to fully and as soon as possible reflect the agreement on the NDICI Regulation; invites the Commission, in this sense, to present a draft amending budget to the 2021 EU budget, implementing the agreement reached in the negotiations on the NDICI Regulation on five separate envelopes for geographic programmes in Asia, notably the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, North and South-East Asia and the Pacific, through the creation of corresponding separate budget lines; believes that such a harmonisation could and should be carried out ahead of the 2022 budgetary procedure;

34.  Emphasises the importance of ensuring adequate financial support, both from the Member States and through the European Defence Fund, in order to implement a progressive framing of the EU’s common defence policy and to increase the EU’s security and strategic autonomy; underlines, furthermore, the need to improve competitiveness and innovation in the European defence industry, which can contribute to stimulating growth and job creation, and the need to enhance deployability and operational effectiveness through increased efforts in joint military and civilian capability development;

Specific and cross-cutting issues of the 2022 budget

35. Expects, in the run-up to the adoption of the 2022 budget, the full potential of the MFF package to be put into practice and intends to monitor closely the implementation of all elements of the agreement reached; recalls that 2022 will be the first year of application of the programme-specific adjustments under Article 5 of the MFF Regulation, regarding, inter alia, the envelopes of EU flagship programmes to be financed from the new fines-based mechanism;

36. Points to the serious delays in the implementation of EU programmes and funds, especially those under shared management, during the 2014-2020 period; calls on the Member States to accelerate the implementation of those programmes, in order not to jeopardise the timely launch of new EU programmes under the 2021-2027 MFF, as well as those financed by the EURI; is concerned by the risk of further delays in the implementation of the new MFF programmes, owing to the need for Member States to comply first with the very tight timetable for RRF implementation;

37. Regrets, moreover, the late adoption of the 2021-2027 MFF and considers that the consequences of this delay will be felt throughout the current MFF period; underlines that, consequently, the launch of all EU flagship programmes, as well as the financing of the European Green Deal and digitalisation strategy, were significantly delayed; expects, therefore, that every effort will be made to ensure that all new EU programmes are fully operational in 2022; recalls, in that respect, the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on tackling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, issued in the joint conclusions on the 2021 budget, which states namely that particular attention should be paid to the sectors of the economy that are hardest hit by the crisis, such as tourism and SMEs, as well as to the people that are most affected by the crisis;

38. Expects, furthermore, a sufficient level of payment appropriations to be entered in the 2022 budget to cover both new programmes and the completion of past ones, especially in the context of higher expected need for payments in the area of cohesion and rural development, and to ensure that the Union budget provides the necessary economic stimulus; is determined to prevent any future payment crisis, like that experienced at the beginning of the previous MFF period, and intends, to that end, to monitor very closely the level of outstanding commitments (RAL); calls on the Commission to present without delay any draft amending budget that is deemed necessary for an increase of payments linked to a further acceleration of EU programmes;

39. Stresses that the EU budget will be significantly reinforced by the EURI in 2022, with at least 60 % of its total allocation to be committed under the different programmes by the end of that year; stresses that the overall EURI implementation will be monitored closely by Parliament, while particular focus will be placed on the scrutiny of the RRF; is concerned, however, about the delayed start to borrowing and lending operations under this instrument, as the new own resources decision (ORD), providing the authorisation for these operations, is not yet in force; stresses, therefore, the need for urgent ratification by the Member States of the new ORD, in order not to jeopardise the timely recovery, to the detriment of future generations;

40. Points to the legally binding nature of the roadmap to introduce new own resources in the course of the current MFF, which is enshrined in the Interinstitutional Agreement, and reaffirms its strong commitment to this process; underlines that the 2022 Union budget will constitute a bridge between the first and second steps of this roadmap; calls, in particular, on the Council to start deliberating without delay, as soon as the Commission presents the legislative proposals on the new own resources based on a carbon border adjustment mechanism, a digital levy and the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), with a view to making a decision by 1 July 2022; expects, moreover, that discussions on the financial transaction tax under enhanced cooperation will be positively concluded by the end of 2022, which will allow the Commission to come forward with a proposal for a new own resource; points, in that respect, to the need for smooth implementation so that new own resources cover at least the expenditure related to the repayment of the capital and interest of the EURI;

41. Highlights furthermore that the EU budget and national budgets are negatively affected by tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance; calls for enhanced coordination in the field of taxation in order to protect EU and national revenue sources;

42. Underlines the pivotal role played by the Union’s decentralised agencies in providing operational support and expertise to ensure the effective implementation of EU policy objectives; recalls that agencies must be properly staffed and adequately resourced so that they can fully execute their responsibilities and deliver the best possible results; underlines that agencies’ tasks evolve in line with policy priorities and stresses that new responsibilities must be accompanied by fresh resources;

43. Underlines the value of pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs) in trialling new policy initiatives and laying the groundwork for future Union actions; intends, therefore, to propose a package of PP-PAs in line with its political priorities; calls on the Commission to ensure that PP-PAs adopted in the budget are implemented in full, in a timely manner and in cooperation with Parliament, and are given greater visibility in order to maximise their impact;

44.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of Parliament’s political and budgetary priorities, set out in this resolution, when preparing the draft budget for 2022; stands ready, however, to make optimal use of existing flexibility and other provisions set out in the MFF Regulation and the Financial Regulation, in order to reinforce key EU programmes in the 2022 budget and to adequately respond to urgent needs that arise in relation to the COVID-19 health crisis and the recovery process, among others; insists, in this context, on the timely activation of the Emergency Support Instrument as well as on the mobilisation of the MFF special instruments, such as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, to provide financial support whenever needed;

45. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors.


 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY (26.2.2021)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgets</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget - Section III</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Christian Ehler</Depute>

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Stresses that 2022 should be a year for boosting a rapid recovery for a socially, ecologically and economically resilient Europe; considers that Union action should be directed to alleviate the effects of the economic downturn; emphasises that recovery will need to foster Europe’s twin-transition and believes, therefore, that funding for digital and energy related investments play a key role in recovery, while taking into account the two distinct yet interlinked phases as identified by Parliament in its report on the New Industrial Strategy for Europe; stresses that the 2022 Union budget should support enterprises in crisis, help create quality jobs, support re-and upskilling to improve employability and contribute to energy poverty alleviation; underlines the importance of efficient deployment of Next Generation EU (NGEU) funds to implement national recovery plans; recalls the crucial role of strategic foresight;

2. Highlights the need to support research and innovation in the context of the current pandemic and the EU’s green and digital ambitions; welcomes, therefore, the additional EUR 4 billion (in 2018 prices) for Horizon Europe, including EUR 1 billion for the European Research Council, from competition fines, margins and decommitments, as agreed in the compromise on the multiannual financial framework (MFF), as well as the additional EUR 5 billion (in 2018 prices) from NGEU; recalls that these additional commitments should be spent in accordance with the outcome of the final trilogue on Horizon Europe reached on 11 December 2020, and endorsed by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 17 December 2020, including the joint declaration of the three EU institutions on the re-use of decommitted funds in Horizon Europe, and that these commitments should maintain the principle of budgetary continuity by stabilising variation in annual commitments, especially with regard to the increase of commitments from NGEU in the first years; considers it essential for the ITRE committee to be closely involved in the annual decisions on the structure of the Horizon Europe budget in order to ensure an optimal impact for Europe’s researchers;

3. Calls for the full use of Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation, for all available decommitments from former EU Research Framework Programmes to Horizon Europe to be allocated, on top of the additional commitments mentioned in point 2, while keeping in mind the future additional needs that will arise after 2023 and at the end of NGEU commitments;

4. Expects the Commission to fully abide by the Joint Declaration on the re-use of decommitted funds for Horizon Europe by funding the three clusters mentioned, and to honour its agreement to provide funding for the establishment of a European cultural heritage collaborative space; calls for continuity of funding under Horizon Europe for the projects established as future emerging technologies (FET) Flagships under Horizon 2020 and for the implementation of the Research Agendas developed by the instrument’s preparatory actions for a new generation of FET Flagships in line with the recitals set out in the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 May 2020 establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination (COM(2020)0459); highlights the fact that sufficient funding should also be made available to allow the initial activities of the new knowledge and innovation community on the cultural and creative sectors and industries to take place in 2022;

5. Welcomes the new European space programme, with an overall budget of EUR 14.8 billion for the 2021-2027 period; recalls that space is a key sector for the Union, with an important spillover effect into other economic sectors, and that it fosters the digital transition; believes that the European space programme will play a particularly important role for the European Green Deal through its earth observation programme, which will lead to tangible benefits, such as environmental monitoring;

6. Underlines the need for the swift and full implementation of the Just Transition Fund in order to support a fair and socially acceptable energy and climate transition, which will mitigate negative socio-economic impacts in affected territories, communities and labour markets in transition and assist the diversification of local economic activities, in particular in those regions in transition that rely heavily on fossil fuels for energy use – especially coal, lignite, peat and oil shale – or greenhouse gas intensive industries; underlines the need to maintain economic competitiveness, energy security and affordability; highlights that a just climate and energy transition must not leave anyone behind and must include measures to address energy poverty;

7. Recalls Parliament’s resolution of 16 September 2020 on the draft Council decision on the system of own resources of the European Union[13]; considers that fresh new own resources are vital for the 2022 Union budget;

8. Expects the promotion of gender equality in the implementation and monitoring of all programmes; highlights the importance of gender equality in the twin transitions and particularly with regard to women’s participation in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;

9. Underlines the importance of ensuring sufficient funding to contribute to the twin transition towards the achievement of the 2030 energy and climate targets and climate-neutrality by 2050 and in order to shape Europe’s Digital Decade; believes that the digital transition should also facilitate and contribute itself to the green transition; notes in this regard the key role of sufficient funds for Horizon Europe, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), in particular CEF-Energy and CEF Digital, the European space programme, the digital Europe programme, InvestEU and the European Partnerships, as well as the Just Transition Fund, which should be combined and aligned with further NGEU funding where possible;

10. Recalls the importance of research and innovation to address the key challenge of tackling climate change and to secure the EU's strategic leadership; underlines the need to reform European industry and hard-to-abate sectors in order to achieve a sustainable, clean and competitive Union and ultimately our climate and energy goals; stresses that the 2022 Union budget should fund projects to provide secure and affordable energy supply to European citizens in line with the Paris Agreement, the objectives set out in the European Green Deals and the do-no-significant-harm principle;

11. Stresses the importance of the Fit for 55 package in policy areas such as renewables and energy efficiency; highlights the essential role of implementing the EU circular economy action plan to achieve the abovementioned policies; expects the 2022 Union budget to ensure substantial and early mobilisation of funding and investments in energy and resource efficiency measures, including the acceleration of deep energy renovation of buildings, the expansion of decentralised renewable energy sources and future-proof infrastructures, so as to avoid lock-in effects and stranded assets;

12. Recalls the targets agreed under the 2021-2027 MFF for achieving a biodiversity spending level of 10 % and a climate-mainstreaming spending level of 30 %; reiterates its call to continue work on the tracking methodologies for climate and biodiversity-related expenditures, while applying a more robust, transparent and comprehensive methodology; calls for the full involvement of Parliament in the development of these methodologies and looks forward to the annual consultations on the climate and biodiversity targets as laid down in the interinstitutional agreement;

13. Welcomes the Europe fit for the digital age programme and calls for investments in digitalisation and digital connectivity, a clear definition of 2030 digital targets and the tackling of challenges related to cybersecurity, interoperability, free flow of data, safety and liability and artificial intelligence; underlines the fact that in order to shape Europe’s digital decade, Union programmes supporting digital transformation need to receive sufficient funding; underlines the importance of securing the continuity of investments in high-performance computing and quantum technologies, and calls for an appropriate level of funding for the European High-Performance Computing (HPC) Joint Undertaking , given the high amount of resources that will be needed to develop its ecosystem, and for the further implementation of the ambitions of the Quantum Flagship;

14. Highlights the importance of strengthening EU strategic autonomy and the resilience of the EU’s economy; calls for the development of EU competitiveness and the sustainability of EU industries in order to become a globally competitive player and to achieve the objectives of achieving the green and digital transitions, technological autonomy, sustainable and inclusive growth, quality job creation and innovation;

15. Underlines the fact that given the current economic situation, it is highly important to establish and strengthen the support mechanism for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); calls in this regard for sufficient and accessible funding to support SMEs, microenterprises and start-ups, which have been severely affected by the crisis; welcomes, in this respect, the additional funds attributed in the MFF negotiations to InvestEU and believes that this funding should focus on long-term investment to help the economic recovery of the EU; stresses the need to enable micro enterprises and SMEs to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from the European Green Deal and of their own business transformation towards environmental sustainability and digitalisation, and the need to avoid discriminating against companies experiencing difficulties that need assistance for their transition;

16. Considers it of utmost importance that the 2022 budget addresses industrial recovery strategically, in particular in the context of the green and digital transformations; recalls that industrial competitiveness and climate policy should be mutually reinforcing and stresses, therefore, that spending on innovative and climate-neutral reindustrialisation will lead to the creation of jobs in the EU and will boost the competitiveness of the EU’s economy; highlights, in this regard, the success of the European Battery Alliance in creating a competitive, circular, sustainable and safe value chain for batteries in Europe; underlines the importance of strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy and notes the importance of programmes such as the European Defence Fund in this regard;

17. Stresses the fact that the impact and consequences of the outbreak of COVID-19 demonstrated the need for public and private investment in health research; calls, therefore, for sufficient funding in the 2022 budget for research and the development of production capabilities for vaccines and medicines; stresses the importance of ensuring access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines and medicines for all;

18. Calls for sufficient funding and staffing for EU agencies in particular for the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity and the new space programme agency; recalls the fact that ACER has been underfunded and understaffed for many years, thus putting at risk its functioning and ability to perform its tasks, including those additional tasks conferred to it through recent legislation, including through the Clean Energy Package.

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

23.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

57

2

19

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Nicola Beer, François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Michael Bloss, Manuel Bompard, Paolo Borchia, Marc Botenga, Markus Buchheit, Martin Buschmann, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Carlo Calenda, Andrea Caroppo, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Josianne Cutajar, Nicola Danti, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Martina Dlabajová, Christian Ehler, Valter Flego, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Claudia Gamon, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, András Gyürk, Henrike Hahn, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Ivars Ijabs, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Seán Kelly, Izabela-Helena Kloc, Łukasz Kohut, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Andrius Kubilius, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Thierry Mariani, Marisa Matias, Eva Maydell, Georg Mayer, Joëlle Mélin, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Ville Niinistö, Aldo Patriciello, Mauri Pekkarinen, Mikuláš Peksa, Tsvetelina Penkova, Morten Petersen, Markus Pieper, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Sira Rego, Manuela Ripa, Jérôme Rivière, Robert Roos, Maria Spyraki, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Isabella Tovaglieri, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Jakop G. Dalunde, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Susana Solís Pérez, Tomas Tobé

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

 

57

+

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Pilar Del Castillo, Christian Ehler, András Gyürk, Seán Kelly, Andrius Kubilius, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Eva Maydell, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Maria Spyraki, Tomas Tobe, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

S&D

Carlo Calenda, Josianne Cutajar, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia, Carlos Zorrinho

RENEW

Nicola Beer, Nicola Danti, Martina Dlabajova, Valter Flego, Claudia Gamon, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, Ivars Ijabs, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen, Susana Solís Pérez

Verts/ALE

François Alfonsi, Michael Bloss, Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Jakop Dalunde, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Mikuláš Peksa, Manuela Ripa

 

2

-

ECR

Rob Roos, Jessica Stegrud

 

19

0

ID

Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Thierry Mariani, Georg Mayer, Joëlle Mélin, Jérôme Rivière, Isabella Tovaglieri

ECR

Izabela-Helena Kloc, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Evžen Tošenovský

The Left

Manuel Bompard, Marc Botenga, Marisa Matias, Sira Rego

NI

Martin Buschmann, Andrea Caroppo, Clara Ponsatí Obiols

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention


 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND TOURISM (26.2.2021)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgets</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget - Section III</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Isabel García Muñoz</Depute>

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the EU transport sector is essential for the Union’s competitiveness, economic, development and social cohesion, for its sustainability and for ensuring the territorial accessibility and connectivity of all regions of the EU, with particular attention for peripheral, rural, island and outermost regions and other disadvantaged geographical areas;

B. whereas transport will be key to achieving climate neutrality by 2050; whereas sufficient targeted investment is needed to advance towards the green transition in the sector and to accelerate the shift to sustainable and smart mobility in line with the goals of the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, as well as the digital transition by ensuring the highest level and performance of digital infrastructure and ensuring that key digital enablers are in place;

C. whereas tourism is an essential sector for the EU economy, and its fourth largest export industry, and plays an important role for the EU economy, competitiveness, employment and the promotion of social well-being;

D. whereas the transport and tourism sectors and the jobs generated by these are among the hardest hit by the recent COVID-19 crisis, in particular due to the restrictions to the freedom of movement introduced in 2020, which impacted the functioning of the internal market; whereas the recovery of the transport and tourism sectors is key to the proper functioning of the internal market, as well as for connectivity, competitiveness and job creation in the EU; whereas transport has proven vital to ensuring the continuous flow of goods across the EU during the crisis, and will be of the utmost importance in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine;

E. whereas the EU’s Vision Zero objective sets the goal of reducing road deaths by 50 % by 2030 and of achieving zero fatalities by 2050; whereas investments in road safety are a key element of the EU’s Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety; whereas the persistent high road fatality numbers suggest that more investment should be provided to guarantee road and user safety;

1. Requests the strengthening of the actions needed to reduce emissions and to ensure a just transition to climate neutrality by 2050; requests, therefore, sufficient funding for the flagship projects, objectives and initiatives in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – in accordance with the Green Deal’s regulatory requirements and the Paris Agreement – and, in particular, for the boosting of financial support for smart and sustainable mobility actions, including an increase in the production and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels, together with recharging points, as well as in sustainable infrastructure projects, including infrastructure necessary for monitoring air pollution related to transport activity, while maintaining technology neutrality; stresses that this Strategy should contribute to improving the attractiveness, efficiency and capacity of public transport systems, also through innovative ticketing systems; highlights that consultation with relevant stakeholders is of the utmost importance to achieve the objectives set out in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy; welcomes the multiannual financial framework (MFF) agreement on a simpler, more efficient and results-oriented own resources system that takes into account EU priorities, in particular its environmental and digital ambitions;

2. Reiterates that the digital and green transition should be just, inclusive and non-discriminatory in order to ensure that the transport sector’s workforce, businesses and SMEs can adjust to this transition, and to support the regions and communities most affected; considers it important to allocate proper funding for this adjustment process while promoting higher social standards in the sector, as well as for the upskilling, reskilling and professional training of the sector’s workforce with new expertise and skills for new job prospects and requirements; highlights that the latter will help to increase the attractiveness of the sector and address the ageing of the workforce, women’s representation and the shortages of labour;

3. Calls for an ambitious budget for the EU transport and tourism sectors; considers that the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as decided for the 2021-2027 MFF is insufficient for the sector’s needs and challenges; highlights that the CEF is the main instrument to finance infrastructure development with the highest EU-added value in terms of economic, social and territorial cohesion and connectivity, in particular as regards cross-border connections and missing links, and mainstreaming the Green Deal and digital objectives while fostering competitiveness; reiterates the CEF’s crucial role in fostering the development and timely completion of a high-performance trans-European network (TEN-T) that is sustainable, safe, multimodal, interoperable and interconnected across the areas of transport, energy and services infrastructure; reiterates that appropriate funding for transport projects will be instrumental in boosting its recovery and accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility;

4. Notes with regret the sharp decrease in the Cohesion Fund allocation to the CEF for transport in 2021; requests that the 2022 budget re-establish the level of funding to its 2020 level to reflect the crucial role that Union transport policy and investment play in enhancing territorial, social and economic cohesion in the Union, in particular through the completion of the TEN-T core and comprehensive networks; requests, therefore, that the funding of TEN-T be maintained as part of cohesion policy, including the support component for the development and modernisation of secondary, regional and local links; highlights, in this regard, the need to reinforce investment in the connectivity of peripheral and outermost regions;

5. Regrets the reduction of the financing for the InvestEU programme compared to Parliament’s demands given the programme’s role in fostering sustainable and safe infrastructure; regrets, further, the subsequent considerable reduction in financing for the InvestEU annual budget of more than 40 % (commitment appropriations) from 2020 to 2021; welcomes, however, the incorporation of the sustainable infrastructure policy window, which provides key investment opportunities for sustainable and safe transport infrastructure, mobility solutions and equipment and for the deployment of innovative technologies; calls for investments in the transport sector, particularly those with financing from the Union’s budget, to take due consideration of its clearly defined environmental priorities;

6. Reiterates the need to promote a just transition while advancing towards sustainable, smart and resilient mobility that is affordable and accessible for all regions and all passengers; underlines the crucial role of a public sector loan facility under the Just Transition Mechanism as a means to offset the costs of the energy transition, by investing in safe and sustainable transport and tourism infrastructure in the regions that are most affected by transition challenges, such as rural and sparsely populated areas, disadvantaged regions and environmentally vulnerable territories, and for all passengers, including those with disabilities and reduced mobility;

7. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to drive the research and deployment of innovative and sustainable technologies in transport in order to contribute to sustainable mobility services; highlights EU research programmes such as the CEF, the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and InvestEU, which will be crucial for the deployment of these technologies;

8. Calls for an evaluation of the potential impacts of a specific fund focused on the transport networks of outermost regions – a POSEI Transport Fund – compared with the current financing model;

9. Considers that improved maintenance of a network contributes to its efficiency and seamless continuity, enhances the sustainability, performance, and thus the resilience of TEN-T infrastructure, while also improving road safety, with particular emphasis on vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, moped riders and other micro-mobility users; notes in particular the importance of addressing and upgrading the existing high-risk infrastructure, especially ageing and underdeveloped network segments; calls on the Commission to facilitate and incentivise investments in network maintenance and to implement a core network monitoring plan on maintenance at European level with a view to ensuring the smooth connectivity of all territories in the EU; calls on the Commission to give priority to the regions where particular challenges have been identified in network maintenance and to provide for advisory, technical and financial support to the relevant authorities;

10. Regrets the drastic cut of 75 % in the funding of military mobility under the transport pillar compared to the initial action plan of March 2018, which considerably reduces the ambition of this new policy objective that aims to adapt parts of the TEN-T networks for a dual use of the transport infrastructure with a view to improving both civilian and military mobility;

11. Reiterates the need to reflect on ways to promote sustainable modes of transport including through budgetary incentives taking into consideration the example of the initiative of the European Year of Rail 2021; encourages the Commission in that regard to give continuity to 2021 as the European Year of Rail and further promote the revitalisation of comfortable European night trains as a possible and sustainable alternative to short-haul flights and long-distance car travel while ensuring fair competition between all modes of transport as well as between public and private operators; recalls Parliament’s proposal on designating 2022 as the ‘European Year of Greener Cities’, which could be an opportunity to promote sustainable and smart urban mobility;

12. Reiterates Parliament’s urgent and repeated request for the creation of a specific programme on sustainable tourism at European level and the creation of a specific budget line with an allocated amount in line with the needs of the sector; highlights that this would help this sector that has strong links to transport to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and would be a first step towards improving EU tourism policies for the benefit of the Union’s economy, competitiveness, employment, social development and environmental goals, as well as boost the number of local, quality and permanent jobs in the sector; welcomes in that regard that the European Court of Auditors has launched an audit to assess tourism projects co-funded with EUR 6.4 billion in the period 2007-2013 and EUR 4 billion so far in the period 2014-2020 by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund;

13. Requests that the funding of European transport agencies and joint undertakings be aligned with their level of responsibility and their role as key players in the transition towards decarbonisation of transport modes; regrets in particular the significant reduction in the budget of the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) and recalls its role, along with the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, in achieving a lasting shift from road to rail, and the progress in the establishment of the Single European Railway Area; requests in this regard that the ERA’s 2022 budget is increased to at least its 2020 level; recalls, similarly, the significant workload generated for the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) by the Boeing 737 Max investigations, and the role the Agency plays – along with the Clean Sky 2 and SESAR Joint Undertakings – in reducing CO2 emissions per passenger; recognises also the EASA’s important contribution, in close coordination with the Commission, as regards the immediate and longer-term impact of Brexit in the aviation field, as well as its contribution towards a safe and healthy return to aviation operations with the conclusion of the COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol; stresses the role that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) could play in supporting Member States in mitigating shipping-related environmental risks and in improving the sustainability of the maritime sector if provided with further resources;

14. Reiterates that the EASA, which is classified as a ‘European strategic investment’ agency, received in 2018 significant new core tasks with regard to cybersecurity in aviation, drones and urban air mobility, environmental protection, research and development, and international cooperation; calls, therefore, for an adequate budget for the Agency in order to equip it with the necessary resources for its tasks; underlines the role of the Agency in the Green Deal through its work to improve the environmental impact of aviation, inter alia through the development of new CO2 standards, the monitoring of environmental fraud prevention and the concept of an EcoLabel programme and of the LifeCycle project, sustainable fuels, and the green renewal of airline fleets;

15. Highlights the important role that European partnerships could play in boosting innovation and research, and in improving the transport sector’s performance and safety while promoting reductions in transport emissions based on technological progress, a science-based approach and rules; points out that partnerships envisaged for Horizon Europe such as ‘Batteries’, ‘2Zero’ and ‘Clean Hydrogen’, could play a key role in promoting partnerships with EU Member States, the private sector and all related stakeholders, and could contribute to the supply of innovative vehicle technologies and to the development of a needed comprehensive policy to stimulate demand for zero- and low-emission vehicles across the EU; requests therefore that the financial means available to the Horizon Europe research programme be increased;

16. Highlights that the European Investment Bank (EIB) revision of its lending policy should enable private investment to improve resilience and accelerate the deployment of sustainable and smart technologies in all transport modes in line with the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy; further highlights that the revised lending policy should boost public and private investment in more sustainable multimodal transport modes, such as rail, as well as in fleet renewals in aviation and waterborne transport; welcomes the EIB’s intention to support, alongside public authorities, ambitious investment programmes fostering sustainable mobility at local and regional level, such as sustainable urban mobility plans and public transport projects;

17. Welcomes the role of the new Recovery and Resilience Facility and related national plans in mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in stimulating the recovery in the transport and tourism sectors, as well as in advancing towards the green and digital transition; highlights that the national recovery and resilience plans should focus on policy areas, such as green transition, digital transformation, economic cohesion, competitiveness and social and territorial cohesion; notes the potential of these areas in the recovery of the transport and tourism sectors and suggests that the Facility should be used inter alia for building their resilience so as to increase crisis-preparedness for management of crises of a similar magnitude in the future; supports in particular the financing of recharging infrastructure with the objective of installing 500 000 hydrogen recharging points by 2025 and one million by 2030;

18. Stresses the importance of transparency of EU funding in the transport sector; recalls that public investment in infrastructure is particularly sensitive to fraud; stresses the importance of guaranteeing a transparent and competitive tendering process for large-scale transport infrastructure projects financed by the EU.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

25.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

3

5

Members present for the final vote

Magdalena Adamowicz, Andris Ameriks, José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Marco Campomenosi, Massimo Casanova, Ciarán Cuffe, Jakop G. Dalunde, Andor Deli, Karima Delli, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Ismail Ertug, Gheorghe Falcă, Giuseppe Ferrandino, João Ferreira, Mario Furore, Søren Gade, Isabel García Muñoz, Jens Gieseke, Elsi Katainen, Elena Kountoura, Julie Lechanteux, Bogusław Liberadzki, Peter Lundgren, Benoît Lutgen, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Tilly Metz, Giuseppe Milazzo, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Philippe Olivier, Rovana Plumb, Dominique Riquet, Dorien Rookmaker, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Vera Tax, Barbara Thaler, István Ujhelyi, Petar Vitanov, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Lucia Vuolo, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Clare Daly, Carlo Fidanza, Marianne Vind

 


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

41

+

ECR

Carlo Fidanza, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

NI

Mario Furore, Dorien Rookmaker

PPE

Magdalena Adamowicz, Andor Deli, Gheorghe Falcă, Jens Gieseke, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Benoît Lutgen, Marian‑Jean Marinescu, Giuseppe Milazzo, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Barbara Thaler, Elissavet Vozemberg‑Vrionidi

Renew

José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Søren Gade, Elsi Katainen, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Dominique Riquet

S&D

Andris Ameriks, Ismail Ertug, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Isabel García Muñoz, Bogusław Liberadzki, Rovana Plumb, Vera Tax, István Ujhelyi, Marianne Vind, Petar Vitanov

The Left

Elena Kountoura

Verts/ALE

Ciarán Cuffe, Jakop G. Dalunde, Karima Delli, Anna Deparnay‑Grunenberg, Tilly Metz

 

3

-

ECR

Peter Lundgren

The Left

Clare Daly, João Ferreira

 

5

0

ID

Marco Campomenosi, Massimo Casanova, Julie Lechanteux, Philippe Olivier, Lucia Vuolo

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (5.3.2021)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgets</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on guidelines for the 2022 Budget – Section III</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Pina Picierno</Depute>

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Highlights the important role that both agriculture and rural development play in achieving the Union’s objectives in the fields of food security, sustainable economic growth, social inclusion, territorial and environmental balance, animal welfare, preserving biodiversity and combating climate change, in full accordance with the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Farm to Fork Strategy;

2. Points out that the future common agricultural policy (CAP), in view of its high budget share and relevance to climate and biodiversity goals, will play a key role in achieving the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy; stresses the need, in this connection, to ensure sufficient funding as a swift and effective response to the new requirements incumbent on the agricultural sector with the implementation of those objectives, including for structures classed by the Member States as strategic structures of public interest in the agri-food sector;

3. Calls on the Commission to analyse the extent to which the current CAP reform proposal contributes to these goals; invites the Member States to promote rural development actions geared towards helping farmers make the ecological transition and comply with the European Green Deal objectives; considers that effective protection against irregular imports incompatible with Union standards will help to safeguard consumer health and farmers’ incomes in the Union;

4. Advocates stability for the agriculture budget; therefore opposes any cuts to agriculture in the 2022 budget, especially in view of the serious crises and price volatility experienced by the agricultural sector in recent years, not least due to the COVID-19 crisis;

5. Stresses that agriculture has played a frontline role in the provision of food during the health crisis and that many agricultural sectors have been heavily impacted by the restrictions resulting from the pandemic; calls for a plan to support the agricultural sector in tackling the effects of the pandemic with a dedicated budget; stresses the importance of using the funds under the EU recovery plan to alleviate the difficulties that some agricultural and livestock sectors are experiencing as a result of the length of the pandemic period and the effects of the closure of the hotel, restaurant and catering (Horeca) sector on many areas of production;

6. Expresses its disquiet at the continued punitive duties imposed by the US administration on European products; considers it unacceptable that the agri-food sector is bearing a large part of the costs of the Airbus-Boeing trade dispute, which originated in a completely unrelated sector; highlights, in particular, the US tariffs on wine and spirits which entered into force on 12 January and will further undermine the stability of many producers, who are already struggling to overcome the initial sanctions and the COVID‑19 crisis; stresses that the losses suffered by many farmers in all sectors concerned go beyond the immediate impact on sales margins, as the countermeasures also have knock-on effects resulting in the displacement of high EU value wines by products from other origins; urges the Commission to introduce a compensatory fund for all farmers affected by the US sanctions while a diplomatic solution is sought, which should exclude agricultural sectors from the litigation procedures; urges the Commission, to this end, to negotiate a moratorium with the new US administration;

7. Supports the extension beyond 15 October 2021 of the exceptional measures for the wine sector to help farmers overcome the COVID-19 crisis, in view of the deterioration of the market situation due to protracted lockdowns and the economic consequences of the crisis, which threaten to significantly alter consumer trends; underlines that the wine sector is facing a significant two-fold impact from the pandemic and the US sanctions imposed in the light of the Airbus-Boeing dispute;

8. Calls on the Commission to allocate rural funding properly under agricultural and cohesion policy, taking account of the objectives of both of these policy areas, as set out in Articles 39 and 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in order to limit financing from CAP funds for investments not directly related to agriculture;

9. Emphasises that over 31 % of farms in the Union are held by farmers over the age of 65, while young farmers account for a mere 6 % of the Union’s farming community; draws attention to the phenomena of depopulation and population ageing in rural areas and stresses the need to implement appropriately-funded measures to counteract these in the medium and long term; urges the Member States to strengthen existing support measures and create additional measures such as facilitating access to preferential credit and expert advice for young farmers and potential new entrants in 2022 and forward-looking investments, such as in digitalisation and robotics applications, in view of the lack of generational renewal in farming, which is currently one of the biggest challenges for European agriculture and environmental survival; stresses the need to facilitate access to land and farm succession as a key prerequisite to enable young and new farmers to enter the sector;

10. Calls on the Commission to take account of the increased financial demands for meeting the targets of the Farm to Fork Strategy, in particular in the areas of pesticides reduction, the expansion of organic farming, the reduction of antimicrobials and the improvement of animal welfare, and to propose a corresponding increase in the budget;

11. Insists that any revenue to the Union budget deriving from any assigned revenues or repayments of irregularities from agriculture in previous years should remain under Heading 3;

12. Notes the increase in appropriations intended to combat animal diseases and plant pests and stresses the need to implement the action plans coordinated by the Commission for the prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases and plant pests in view of the considerable risks and increased outbreaks in the Union; underlines, in this context, that new phytosanitary threats may hinder or prevent the achievement of the objectives of the Union’s pesticide reduction strategy; calls, meanwhile, for the Union’s import regime to continue to be strengthened, while respecting the provisions of the International Plant Protection Convention;

13. Calls for targeted funding for both research and innovation and for the introduction of agroecological pest management methods; reiterates, however, that border controls remain inadequate to combat the introduction of pests and invasive species, which are particularly harmful to the citrus sector;

14. Welcomes the increased support for research and innovation dedicated to the supply of safe and high-quality food, in particular in the broader context of the Farm to Fork Strategy; stresses that it is essential that funds earmarked for research in the agri-food sector, in particular from the new Horizon Europe budget and via European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs), also remain fully available to farmers and livestock breeders in order to improve competitiveness and stimulate innovation and smart solutions in the agricultural and rural development sectors; stresses the need to facilitate access to state-of-the-art agricultural technologies in order to increase the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production and encourage young people to invest in smart agriculture;

15. Highlights the necessity to ensure that the outcomes of research and innovation reach farms; points out, meanwhile, that there is an imbalance in the participation of the Member States in research and innovation framework programmes, to the detriment of non-EU-15 countries; considers that Horizon Europe projects should therefore reflect the priorities of all countries and regions;

16. Stresses the need to further streamline the provision of aid in order to simplify it and to reduce the enormous administrative burden that it places on national administrations and aid recipients, especially in a transitional phase prior to the application of the new CAP;

17. Underscores the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions for innovation in the agricultural and rural development sectors; asks for continued support for ongoing and new pilot projects and preparatory actions; stresses, in particular, the need for digitisation in villages in order to increase the profitability of production and improve quality of life and local employment and development;

18. Stresses that the long-term vision for the Union’s rural areas requires demographic aspects and the increasing depopulation of the rural environment to be taken into consideration when coordinating policies and distributing funds more effectively;

19. Questions once more the value of the current crisis reserve and financial discipline mechanism, which remains unused despite demands for support during the COVID-19 pandemic, while in the case of the 2022 budget it will simply create an administrative burden once again; therefore reiterates its position in favour of introducing a multiannual reserve that is decoupled from direct payments;

20. Welcomes the recovery funds for supporting agri-food operators in their efforts to adapt to climate change and provide European consumers with sustainable and local products; stresses that special attention must be paid to quality agri-food products hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis;

21. Stresses the need, notwithstanding the implementation of the CAP in 2022 in accordance with the rules for 2014-2020, to implement measures in such a way as to deliver more positive changes and ensure a sustainable transition for the benefit of farmers, the environment, climate and food security;

22. Calls on the Commission not to concentrate promotional funds on specific production models and to continue to promote awareness and consumption of foods from the Mediterranean diet, as well as quality products with high added value, geographical indications and designations of origin;

23. Recalls that food security, the sustainability of the food supply chain, and the 2030 climate and environment targets are priorities that require investment and support for farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural areas; highlights the need, therefore, for a substantial European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and for the swift disbursement of Next Generation EU funds in 2022, while taking account of the Union’s commitments thereunder;

24. Stresses the importance of fully utilising fossil substitution and the renewable bioeconomy in pursuing the objectives of the European Green Deal and creating a resource-efficient circular economy; recalls the importance, therefore, of greater support for research and innovation under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Horizon Europe, as laid down in the Commission’s Bioeconomy Strategy;

25. Urges the Member States to take a decision on new own budgetary resources in order to speed up the implementation of the EU’s Next Generation initiative; calls on the Commission to allow Member States, in the meantime, to start implementing their recovery plans in the framework of the rural development programmes, pending the formal decision;

26. Trusts that the 2022 budget will serve to better communicate the benefits of livestock farming in Europe, in particular extensive livestock farming and its contribution to the environment, biodiversity and the sustainability of rural areas;

27. Stresses that there is considerable demand to adjust the CAP sectoral programmes in order to address the market crises in certain key agricultural sectors and rural territories in the Union that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis; insists that some of the COVID-19 crisis measures to support agricultural sectors should continue in 2022, with a focus on diversifying and shortening supply chains;

28. Expresses its satisfaction at the pace of spending of rural development allocations for the 2014-2020 programmes and encourages Member States that have not made full use of their 2014-2020 financial envelopes to continue this trend during the CAP transition period;

29. Highlights the importance of small, rural farms, ecological farms and young farmers, which require particular attention and increased financial resources;

30. Considers that the agri-food sector should be made one of the beneficiaries of the new Brexit Adjustment Reserve, as it is worst affected by the adverse consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the Union and facing a significant increase in administrative costs as a result of border controls, which put SMEs at the greatest disadvantage;

31. Points to the need to counteract the negative effects of other trade agreements and of tariff measures imposed by third parties and calls for the necessary budgetary resources to be put towards market measures for the sectors affected; demands that import standards on agricultural products from outside the Union should be equal to Union standards;

32. Recalls, in addition to improving legislative standards, the benefits of improved labelling and education to help EU citizens to transform their consumption habits towards more sustainable and local agricultural products; recommends that concerns over healthy food, nutrition, organic production and animal welfare be reflected in public procurement rules;

33. Reaffirms the significance of the Union’s school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme for helping children to follow a healthy diet; invites the Member States to make full use of their allocations and to prioritise sustainable, local and high-quality production;

34. Calls for Union programmes to focus on projects which safeguard existing jobs in agriculture, create quality jobs with labour rights, stable and regulated pay and working conditions, and combat poverty and social exclusion in rural areas effectively and decisively.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

4.3.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

1

5

Members present for the final vote

Mazaly Aguilar, Clara Aguilera, Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Álvaro Amaro, Eric Andrieu, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian-Dragoş Benea, Mara Bizzotto, Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais, Asger Christensen, Angelo Ciocca, Ivan David, Paolo De Castro, Jérémy Decerle, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Luke Ming Flanagan, Dino Giarrusso, Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Martin Hlaváček, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elsi Katainen, Gilles Lebreton, Norbert Lins, Colm Markey, Alin Mituța, Marlene Mortler, Ulrike Müller, Maria Noichl, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Maxette Pirbakas, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Bronis Ropė, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Veronika Vrecionová, Sarah Wiener, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Substitutes present for the final vote

Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Petros Kokkalis

 

 

 


 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

42

+

ECR

Mazaly Aguilar, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Veronika Vrecionová

ID

Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca, Gilles Lebreton, Maxette Pirbakas

NI

Dino Giarrusso

PPE

Álvaro Amaro, Daniel Buda, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Jarosław Kalinowski, Norbert Lins, Colm Markey, Marlene Mortler, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Renew

Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Asger Christensen, Jérémy Decerle, Martin Hlaváček, Elsi Katainen, Alin Mituța, Ulrike Müller

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Eric Andrieu, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian-Dragoş Benea, Isabel Carvalhais, Paolo De Castro, Maria Noichl, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno

The Left

Luke Ming Flanagan, Petros Kokkalis, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

 

1

-

ID

Ivan David

 

5

0

Verts/ALE

Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Bronis Ropė, Sarah Wiener

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON CULTURE AND EDUCATION (26.2.2021)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgets</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on guidelines for the 2022 Budget – Section III</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Rapporteur for opinion: <Depute>Romeo Franz</Depute>

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Is deeply concerned that the unprecedented disruption in learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the education gap and, with it, the inequalities in our education systems; urges the Commission to enhance the coordination of approaches with specific inclusion measures aimed at helping to prevent persons with disabilities, disadvantaged children and students from vulnerable and marginalised backgrounds from falling further behind;

2. Stresses that the COVID-19 crisis has produced significant changes, moving towards a transition to digital school education; highlights that a large number of students do not have the necessary equipment and web infrastructure to participate in digital education and underlines the need to improve access to distance teaching and learning materials at all levels, in school and academic education, as well as for lifelong learning, so that all education personnel and learners are able to participate in or receive quality education; stresses, furthermore, the obstacles encountered by education and research facilities in their daily work, which have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic;

3. Urges the Commission to step up its efforts in supplying researchers, teachers and their institutions with adequate infrastructure and tools, such as digital technology, software and financial support for training courses on delivering digital courses, to overcome the increased education gap and difficulties in carrying out successful research caused by the pandemic; sees the current opportunity to increase resilience and prosperity for the future with additional financial support for education and innovation opportunities;

4. Calls on the Commission to examine the possibility of redirecting unused or saved resources to culture, education, youth, sports and media programmes;

5. Notes that the transition to digital school education was made for reasons of urgency due to the pandemic, but also that suggestions are already being made for new hybrid models of education, combining traditional and digital modules; suggests, therefore, measures to ensure that digital education does not come at the expense of the financing of traditional models of education; recalls that the ultimate goal of schooling is to cultivate the building of society and cohesion, which is mostly achieved through traditional models of education;

6. Considers that education is one of the pillars of democracy; is concerned by the rise of national populism, misinformation and social polarisation since the euro crisis of 2010; considers, therefore, that the Commission should increase funding in this area, particularly for the promotion of EU citizenship education and civic engagement in the Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps (ESC) and Rights and Values programmes to foster a sense of common belonging;

7. Is equally alarmed about the disproportionately serious impact of the pandemic on the cultural and creative sectors and industries, as well as sports-related sectors, which play a crucial role in generating economic growth and employment, specifically for SMEs, and in promoting social cohesion and the well-being of communities, for which the current crisis has led to serious economic and social problems; urges the Commission to take all necessary and suitable measures to support the beneficiaries of Union programmes in these fields and to increase the number of financed projects, as an acknowledgment of the specific role these sectors play in overcoming the societal challenges we are facing, making it a priority to recover lost jobs;

8. Reiterates the importance of implementing the European Semester specific recommendations for culture, youth, education, sports and media by committing sufficient budgetary allocations to related programmes;

9. Recalls that the European Parliament has identified culture and education as priority sectors deserving support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility; urges, therefore, the Member States to dedicate at least 2 % of the overall budget of national recovery and resilience plans to the cultural and creative sectors and industries, 10 % to investments in quality and inclusive education, in other words, education that aims to achieve excellence, that provides training in the skills of the future, paying particular attention to the issue of access in the case of digital education, and 20 % to the digital transition, which should be allocated in part to specific needs, actions and policies related to the cultural, educational, youth, media and sports sectors;

10. Stresses that Member States must also provide adequate and broad support to culture, as well as education and training, from national budgets; urges the Member States to refocus structural funding and support to the affected sectors also through the Corona Response Investments Initiative (CRII) and Corona Response Investments Initiative Plus (CRII+) under cohesion policy;

11. Deeply regrets the fact that the budgetary envelope of the ESC was significantly reduced compared to the Commission’s initial proposal; appreciates that Parliament secured substantial increases to the envelopes of the Erasmus+, Creative Europe and Rights and Values programmes from 2022 to 2027, to be derived mostly from fines; asks the Commission to provide greater clarity on the timing and the allocation of these fines; stresses the need to further increase financial support beyond 2022 to help education and the creative and cultural sectors and industries to grow and recover from the COVID-19 crisis; urges the Commission to maximise synergies and use complementarities between these programmes and others under the current multiannual financial framework; insists that sufficient funding should be allocated to the cultural and creative sectors and industries through the InvestEU Fund;

12. Calls on the Commission to include cultural research in the Horizon programme, since culture is facing the challenge of an overall re-invention in order to cope with the digital transition, which was accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, without any preparations having been made in advance; believes that the pandemic and the measures related to hygiene protocols have also created an urgent need for new and innovative forms of cultural and artistic creation, production and presentation, throughout all the supply chain stages of culture; highlights, therefore, that it is of great importance to financially support relevant research in the cultural and creative sectors;

13. Calls for the implementation of the EU priorities, agendas and policies in the fields of education, culture, youth, media and sports; calls for the full and timely implementation of the EU Digital Education Action Plan and of the European Education Area;

14. Stresses that, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, sports education has been suspended in most cases and calls for more efforts to establish and resume this type of education across Europe, while helping it to digitalise without impacting the quality of the activities involved;

15. Is deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people with regard to education, mental well-being and employment; calls for the timely adoption of the Child Guarantee and a vigorous implementation by the Member States of the Youth Guarantee;

16. Stresses the need to increase financial support for cultural heritage after the impacts of the pandemic which add to the overall challenges and threats to heritage; indicates that maintenance works have stopped or massively decreased, hygiene protocols have absorbed an important part of the available personnel and financial resources, and illicit trafficking in heritage artefacts has increased during the lockdowns owing to the decrease in safeguarding processes and personnel, while climate change and environmental degradation have continued leading to the deterioration of monuments and adding challenges to heritage conservation; urges the Commission, therefore, to increase financial support measures specifically for heritage;

17. Urges the Commission to implement the inclusion provisions of Erasmus+ and the ESC by establishing an inclusion framework within six months of their entry into force and by helping national agencies to design action plans, including communication plans, to raise awareness among European citizens and to target potentially interested participants and beneficiaries more effectively; emphasises that this will require specific financial support measures;

18. Expects to see a substantial increase in ESC funding for volunteering, as it is an experience-based activity that strengthens social cohesion and solidarity, particularly focusing on young people; emphasises the importance of capping in-country activities at 20 % and keeping an indicative budget proportion of 6 % for the humanitarian strand, while strengthening capacity-building in this strand;

19. Welcomes the solution adopted with an increased age limit of 35 years for ESC volunteers in the humanitarian strand, in particular the possibility of engaging experts and coaches without an age limit, for training and the optimisation of the learning benefits for younger volunteers through enhanced capacity-building;

20. Recalls that the European Green Deal needs to be reflected, mainstreamed and budgeted for in all EU actions, including in education and culture and innovation therein; underlines that boosting citizens’, in particular young people’s, knowledge and empowerment and innovative ideas will help protect ecosystems and biodiversity, and accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050;

21. Is convinced that the cultural and creative sectors and industries play a key role in promoting the behavioural changes necessary to bring about this transition; urges the Commission to include educational and cultural activities in the European Green Deal funding programmes, as they provide the most effective tools to move towards changing consumption and production patterns sustainably, with a special focus on young people;

22. Welcomes the creative and interdisciplinary New European Bauhaus initiative that will contribute to shaping and building a sustainable future; sees a crucial and essential role for the cultural and creative sectors in the development and establishment of this initiative; considers that the New European Bauhaus should contribute to the recovery of the cultural and creative sectors and industries following the COVID-19 crisis; insists that funding for the initiative should not be drawn from the Creative Europe Programme; considers that the success of the initiative will be based on its capacity to build synergies across EU programmes;

23. Calls for a comprehensive review of EU expenditure on multimedia actions and a clearer, more predictable engagement strategy to improve citizens’ knowledge and understanding of EU affairs;

24. Commits to carefully scrutinising annual work programmes as part of the annual budgetary procedure to ensure that spending is properly implemented, in accordance with the relevant Regulations, and that the work programmes are not being used as policy-making instruments; on Erasmus+, expects to see a clear distinction in the budget lines of the 2022 draft budget between directly and indirectly managed funds for education and training;

25. Invites the Commission to draft an open and transparent evaluation of the objectives with regard to cultural, educational, youth, media and sports actions in the implementation of the budget, making it available to the European Parliament;

26. Invites the Commission to actively support the pilot projects initiated by the European Parliament, to give more visibility to and ensure the full implementation and development of the successful initiatives.

 


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

25.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Andrea Bocskor, Ilana Cicurel, Gilbert Collard, Gianantonio Da Re, Laurence Farreng, Tomasz Frankowski, Romeo Franz, Alexis Georgoulis, Hannes Heide, Irena Joveva, Petra Kammerevert, Niyazi Kizilyürek, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Predrag Fred Matić, Dace Melbārde, Victor Negrescu, Peter Pollák, Marcos Ros Sempere, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Monica Semedo, Andrey Slabakov, Massimiliano Smeriglio, Michaela Šojdrová, Sabine Verheyen, Theodoros Zagorakis, Milan Zver

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marcel Kolaja

 

 


 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

25

+

ECR

Dace Melbārde

ID

Gilbert Collard

PPE

Asim Ademov, Andrea Bocskor, Tomasz Frankowski, Peter Pollák, Michaela Šojdrová, Sabine Verheyen, Theodoros Zagorakis, Milan Zver

Renew

Ilana Cicurel, Laurence Farreng, Irena Joveva, Monica Semedo

S&D

Hannes Heide, Petra Kammerevert, Predrag Fred Matić, Victor Negrescu, Marcos Ros Sempere, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Massimiliano Smeriglio

The Left

Alexis Georgoulis, Niyazi Kizilyürek

Verts/ALE

Romeo Franz, Marcel Kolaja

 

2

-

ECR

Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Andrey Slabakov

 

1

0

ID

Gianantonio Da Re

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 


 

 

 

POSITION IN THE FORM OF AMENDMENTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (25.2.2021)

<CommissionInt>for the Committee on Budgets</CommissionInt>


<Titre>on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget - Section III </Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

On behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs: <Depute>Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová</Depute> (Chair)

 

 

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs presents the following amendments to the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible:

<RepeatBlock-Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>1</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Citation 8 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

 having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), proclaimed by the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission in November 2017;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>2</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital A (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

A. whereas the pandemic and the restrictive measures put in place in the attempt of containing it have had a severe effect on deteriorating living conditions in Europe and in exposing the financial fragility of many European households; whereas at the height of the Covid19 crisis in 2020, almost half of people living in Europe had difficulties making ends meet and 4 Europeans out of 10  expressed the feeling that their financial situation had worsened since the start of the pandemic; whereas 54% of respondents reported their inability to maintain their standard of living for more than three months without an income showing the utmost importance of social protection and of policy initiatives to smooth the economic and social impact of the crisis on European citizens;1

 

_________________________

 

1 Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19, COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>3</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital B (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

B. whereas due to the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, job insecurities, and fear of losing employment  remains widespread and that the number of households under financial strain continues to be high;  whereas 13% of self-employed respondents without personnel, and 8% of respondents who worked for an employer, became unemployed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic;2 whereas respondents in the youngest age group (18-34), and those with primary or secondary education, were more likely to have become unemployed during the pandemic;3

 

_________________________

 

2 Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19, COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

 

3 Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19, COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>4</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital C (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

C. whereas a high number of individuals have left employment into inactivity during the first phase of the COVID-19 crisis, which exceeds transitions into unemployment; whereas of those who worked before the outbreak of the pandemic and then lost their job, 4% of women became inactive against 1% of men; whereas special efforts will be required, as evidence shows, that re-integration from a status of inactivity is more difficult to achieve than from a status of unemployment;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>5</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital D (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

D. whereas the immediate employment impact of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that workers with more precarious employment conditions such as workers on temporary contracts, in casual work, with multiple jobs or certain types of platform workers are more exposed to job loss; whereas these types of workers tend to be less covered by social protection and are found to have less access to public support; whereas in order to ensure medium- to long-term labour market integration to avoid inequalities and labour market segmentation, targeted measures addressing the transition from unemployment or inactivity of these workers need to be established and enforced to contribute to well-functioning and inclusive labour markets;4

 

__________________________

 

4 Eurofound (2021), COVID-19: Some implications for employment and working life, (forthcoming)Eurofound (2020), New forms of employment: 2020 update

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>6</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital E (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

E. whereas the outbreak of the pandemic has shed light on the inherent link between fair and safe mobility; whereas numerous cross-border and seasonal workers are in a particularly vulnerable situation as regards their working conditions and occupational health and safety in the context of the COVID-19 crisis; whereas disturbing reports regarding breaches and lack of enforcement of cross-border and seasonal workers’ rights in terms of working and living conditions have surfaced during the crisis; whereas many cross-border and seasonal workers are essential to the provision of critical goods and services in key economic sectors such as agriculture and food production, transport, logistics, construction, social services including care, social work and tourism, but also food processing and packaging, fisheries, forestry, healthcare and research, the IT and pharmaceutical industries, critical infrastructure industries and other sectors, and are vital to any economic recovery effort;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>7</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital F (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

F. whereas the next years will undoubtedly be characterised by an economic and labour market crisis with high levels of unemployment and consistent labour shortages must not be neglected, in particular in sectors with traditional shortages aggravated due to the pandemic such as the health sector, but also newly emerging shortages, related to COVID-19 as well as the transition to the digital age and a climate neutral economy; whereas the green and digital transitions are a priority and consideration of fairness and ongoing learning priorities in light of these transitions should be included in support for short-time working, including the EU SURE initiative; whereas the take-up of training during ‘downtime’ associated with short-time working and temporary unemployment remains limited and the use downtime to enhance human capital remains linked to a lack of planning for training requirements, limited resources due to the crisis, the continued absence of suitable training offers, particularly in the sectors most impacted by the pandemic and difficulties in predicting the duration of downtime;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>8</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital G (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

G. whereas short-time schemes will be needed to be combined with activation policies for the recipients when emergency measures start to be lifted; whereas it will be important not to wean off the income support too early but at the same time, it is becoming clear that many jobs and companies have disappeared as a result of the crisis and therefore there should be appropriate active labour market policies to support for those that will have to move on to enable them to get good jobs; whereas such activation policies could end up forcing workers into precarious jobs without prospect and this practice should be avoided;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>9</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital H (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

H. whereas the COVID-19 crisis and the unintended consequences of lockdown measures risk to jeopardise decades of gains achieved in gender equality with tangible risks of women disengaging from the labour market and of developments reinforcing gender roles; whereas due to the sectoral and occupational segregation, with women being overrepresented in low-paying jobs and part-time work and sectors highly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, women are more at risk of other groups of suffering the employment and social fallout of the crisis; whereas this could bring to additional deterioration of the gender employment gap that costs more than €320 billion, or 2.4% of EU GDP, to Europe;5

 

_________________________

 

5 Eurofound (2020), Women and labour market equality: Has COVID-19 rolled back recent gains?, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>10</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital I (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

I. whereas with the closure of schools and people working from home, tangible is the risk of an exacerbation of the gender divides, with an escalation of work-life where mothers of small children often bear the brunt of the impact; whereas almost one-third of women with small children found it hard to concentrate on their work, as against one-sixth of men, while family responsibilities have prevented more women (24%) than men (13%) from giving the time they wanted to work;6 whereas policy initiatives to support women, their labour market participation and their economic independence, are urgent in these challenging times in order to preserve the gains achieved in gender equality in the last decades;

 

_________________________

 

6 Eurofound (2020), Women and labour market equality: Has COVID-19 rolled back recent gains?, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>11</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital J (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

J. whereas the pandemic is likely to have accelerated the trend to telework despite that this has not been an option for all workers; whereas 37% of dependent employment in the EU is currently teleworkable and teleworking is likely to become much more commonplace post-crisis based on the generally positive response of employees and employers to the COVID-19 teleworking experience; whereas increased telework has the potential to deepen labour market divides and those teleworking are more likely to report work-family conflicts, a blurring of boundaries between work and non-work life, feelings of anxiety, fatigue as well as headaches and eyestrain;7 whereas telework can also lead to extended working hours, shorter rest breaks between working days and intensification of work with implications for health and well-being; whereas policy measures need to be developed and the working conditions of teleworkers need to be monitored, for example through harmonised EU-wide surveys like the European Working Conditions Survey, and evidence needs to be collected on the effectiveness of current labour law regulations to protect the health and well-being of teleworkers and to address the potential for emerging inequalities;8

 

_________________________

 

7 Telework and ICT-based mobile work: Flexible working in the digital age, New forms of employment series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

 

8 Eurofound (2020), Teleworkability and the COVID-19 crisis: a new digital divide

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>12</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital K (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

K. whereas research shows the huge impact of the Covid-19 crisis on youth, their mental health, their employment perspectives and human capital accumulation; whereas young people, already the victim of 2008 crisis, are most impacted by reductions in employment levels and are also highly represented among furloughed workers following the covid-19 crisis; whereas the impact of the pandemic on education is also damaging young people’s opportunities to accumulate human capital and skills, whereas the decision to close schools and rapid move to teaching online exposed the different levels of readiness across countries and training centres with the risk of deepening inequalities between the most privileged and the most vulnerable; whereas restrictions on social gatherings and mobility had detrimental effects on mental health of young people; whereas in 2020 55% of young people were at risk of depression and one out of five felt lonely and anxious, a much larger share than the rest of the population, whose traces of which remained visible even when societies and economies were reopened;9

 

_________________________

 

9 Eurofound 2021, The impact of COVID19 on Youth – forthcoming)

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>13</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital L (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

L. whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has a severe impact on all European countries, and there is a tangible risk that Member States  will be impacted differently by the COVID-19 crisis depending  on their economic structure and measures adopted to control it;  whereas to avoid the surge of new divergence patterns in the social performance of the Member States, governments and the European Union have put in place a wide range of policy initiatives and recovery packages, such as the NextGenEU and the SURE initiative,  in order to smoothen the economic and social hardship of the crisis; whereas effective social protection systems are crucial to prevent poverty, unemployment,  and informality, act as a powerful economic and social stabilizer while stimulating aggregate demand;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>14</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital M (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

M. whereas the EU and Member States have taken a wide range of actions in order to minimise the impact of the pandemic on businesses, workers and citizens; whereas the nature of the measures is changing and widening, for example with increased focus on the adaptation of workplaces and ways of working which require different approaches to managing and organising work; whereas instruments that gather and structure information on the approaches taken, such as Eurofound’s COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database or the more structuring instruments captured in the European Restructuring Monitor support instruments database, are essential to monitor developments and provide evidence on their evaluation;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>15</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital N (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

N. whereas the 2022 budget must address the social and employment-related challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as support workers and businesses in the move towards a more solidarity-based digital, greener and climate neutral economy; whereas in a time of unprecedented crisis the Commission’s key objectives for the budget 2022 should include helping to eradicate child poverty, supporting young people by giving them the education and opportunities they need to thrive, tackling unemployment and getting more women into the labour market;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>16</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Recital O (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

O. whereas social investment is about investing in people in order to improve their living conditions; whereas key policy areas for social investment include social security, healthcare, long-term care, education, housing, employment, justice and social services for disadvantaged groups; whereas well-designed social policies strongly contribute to sustainable development and growth as well as to protecting people from poverty and acting as economic stabilisers;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>17</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Title</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

Back on track: budget 2022 for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

Back on track: budget 2022 for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and priorities to tackle the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and ensure just transition and social resilience

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>18</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph -1 (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

-1. Stresses that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is of an unprecedented scope, extent, and magnitude, affecting the health and socioeconomic situation of millions of people in Europe, leading to an unprecedented crisis with disastrous consequences for people and their families, workers, and businesses; highlights in this context that 2022 will continue to be a critical year and therefore requires an unprecedented response and a social and sustainable budget that leaves no one behind including atypical households such as LGBTIQ+ families or single parent families, elderly, migrants and refugees, Roma people, children and youth, the most deprived and other disadvantaged groups;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>19</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 1</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

1. Believes that, given the particular uncertainty about the economic outlook, which is not expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, and the imperative need for a quick recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Union budget should play an even more pivotal role in ensuring a positive and tangible impact on citizens’ lives and contributing to sustaining the European economy, leveraging investments and supporting job creation throughout the Union, as well as facilitating the reduction of economic, social, territorial and generational disparities;

1. Believes that 2022 will be characterised by challenges, resulting from the European Green Deal and the digital transition, highly accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and especially affecting the labour market, by the particular uncertainty about the economic outlook, which is not expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, and the imperative need for a quick recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as by the need to build society resilient to possible future crises;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>20</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 1 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

1a. Stresses in particular that the recovery efforts should bring quality employment opportunities that fit in the context of Europe’s digital transformation and European Green Deal and sustainable development in a climate neutral economy, and be complemented by a strong social dimension, addressing social and economic inequalities and the needs of those hardest hit by the crisis, particularly current and potentially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>21</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 1 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

1b. Highlights, therefore, that the 2022 Union budget should have a strong social dimension, boosting sustainable growth, cohesion and upward social convergence, and promoting an economic governance; considers, furthermore, that it must play a pivotal role in ensuring a positive and tangible impact on citizens’ lives and their socio-economic well-being and in contributing to sustaining the European economy, leveraging investments and supporting job retention and quality job creation throughout the Union, as well as in facilitating the reduction of economic, social, territorial, intersectional and generational inequalities; stresses that the full impact of the crisis is yet to come, especially given the risk of rising unemployment, and it is essential therefore that safety nets are able to maintain their capacity to deliver in 2022;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>22</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

2. Intends, therefore, to set up a forward-looking budget that will be instrumental in the recovery process, and will enable the Union to boost investments and tackle unemployment, foster the digital and green transitions, improve the life prospects of the young generation and address demographic challenges, and ensure a safe and prosperous environment for EU citizens; considers these priorities to be essential in order to uphold the recovery and build up the foundations for a more resilient Union;

2. Stresses the need, therefore, to establish an ambitious and forward-looking sustainable budget for 2022 that will be instrumental in the recovery and resilience building process and will focus on prioritising and mitigating the social, economic and employment effects of the COVID-19 crisis to ensure that all workers in Europe are protected and no one is left behind, and to support companies' and Member States' recovery; considers that the budget for 2022 should enable the Union to boost investments and tackle unemployment, especially youth unemployment, and labour market transformation, fostering the digital and green transitions, improving the life prospects of the young generation and addressing demographic challenges, fighting poverty and social exclusion, in particular child poverty, and ensuring decent working conditions and their effective enforcement, long-term security, adequate social protection, opportunities for all without discrimination, and a working environment adjusted to people with disabilities, and fostering a safe and prosperous environment for EU citizens; considers these priorities to be essential in order to uphold the recovery and build up the foundations for a more resilient Union;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>23</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2a. Stresses, in this regard, that the agreement reached at the July Council is significant, both for giving Member States the right instrument to react to this unprecedented situation and to avert the crisis from hurtling towards a new asymmetric shock and highlights in this regard the need to effectively identify and support those who are in need and lack both the formal and informal support to cushion the impacts of the economic difficulties;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>24</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2b. Stresses the importance of the partnership principle, in order to ensure the involvement of social partners in the planning, implementation and monitoring of projects financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); considers it necessary that the partnership principle is included in the ESIFs, as well as in other relevant EU funds, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF), REACT EU; calls on all the Member States to invest at least 0.25% of ESF+ resources under shared management in each programme for the capacity building of social partners and civil society organisations, including in the form of training, networking measures, and strengthening of the social dialogue, and to activities jointly undertaken by the social partners in the delivery of employment, education and social inclusion policies;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>25</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2c. Stresses that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 100 million Europeans were struggling with poverty and material deprivation on a daily basis and that the situation will deteriorate further as a result of the pandemic; recognises the crucial role of all European funds and programmes in the social area, in particular the European Social Fund + (ESF+), the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI),the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), ReactEU, Recovery and Resiliency Facility (RRF), etc. will play in the next years’ recovery; insists therefore that all programmes in the social area and in particular the ESF+, and the FEAD, are adequately financed to overcome rising unemployment and poverty in Europe;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>26</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2d. Recalls that ESF + will be the main financial post-COVID-19 recovery instrument and an instrument to strengthen Europe’s social dimension by putting the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into practice; believes that any decrease of the ESF+ budget risks endangering effective recovery and implementation of its key objectives, in particular, tackling long-term unemployment and unemployment among young people and the elderly, child poverty, the risk of poverty and social exclusion, discrimination, to ensure a reinforced social dialogue, addressing long-term structural demographic change and guarantee access for all, and especially for ageing populations, to vital and key services such as healthcare, social protection, mobility, adequate nutrition, and decent housing;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>27</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 e (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2e. Notes the introduction of temporary measures under the ESF+ in response to exceptional circumstances; reiterates the necessity of preserving the thematic concentration obligations at all times, including in the event of exceptional obligations that would put at risk key objectives and investments of ESF+, as well as the good use and effectiveness of the investments made by the ESF+, as, in the event of exceptional circumstances, the Commission may adopt implementing acts extending the scope of the ESF+ itself, as well as reducing the thematic concentration obligations; calls therefore on the Member States to prioritise and utilise all available resources under the Recovery package in the final year of its availability as the ESF+ is not designed to be an emergency instrument and will remain the main European instrument to deliver on the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>28</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 f (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2f. Believes that short-time working schemes have to be reinforced and complemented by massive investments in active labour market policies, to avoid increases of structural unemployment, especially among young and 55+ workers; for that purposes stresses the importance of developing a common approach to active labour market policies, building on the experience of SURE and designing permanent EU reinsurance mechanisms of government’s expenditure on employment, social protection, and unemployment benefits; furthermore acknowledges, that the Commission has committed to introducing a permanent instrument in the form of a European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme and calls, in this regard, on the Commission to introduce the European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme without further delay;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>29</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 2 g (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

2g. Insists that Union support to short-time work schemes should be conditional on maintaining the same level of working and employment conditions and rights, including protection against dismissals and reduction of wages, and recipients of Union support should by no means pay bonuses to managers or dividend to shareholders, should not be based in tax havens, or subvert collective bargaining, workers’ participation or codetermination in company decision making processes;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>30</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Title</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

A vibrant economy to boost investments and tackle unemployment

A vibrant economy to boost investments and tackle unemployment and achieve full social, economic and territorial cohesion

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>31</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

3. Recalls that SMEs remain the backbone of the European economy and continue to play a vital role in job and growth creation; underlines the importance of an adequately funded Single Market Programme to boost competitiveness of small business with the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills; underscores, furthermore, the potential of the InvestEU programme in leveraging sustainable, innovative and social investments, but also in providing capital support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) negatively affected by the crisis;

3. Recalls that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remain the backbone of the European economy and labour market and will continue to play a vital role in job and growth creation; underlines the importance of an adequately funded Single Market Programme to boost competitiveness of small business with the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills; underscores, furthermore, the potential of the InvestEU programme in leveraging sustainable, innovative and social investments, but also in providing capital support and investment in human capital to SMEs negatively affected by the crisis; stresses, in particular, the crucial role of, and need to support, social economy enterprises which carry out important social functions and often provide employment to vulnerable and excluded groups;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>32</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

3a. Highlights the vulnerability of SMEs to the present crisis, the ongoing sharp labour market transformations and skill shortages; stresses, furthermore, that SMEs are particularly affected by excessive administrative burden, which is especially relevant in the context of the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>33</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

3b. Stresses that living wages are a key element of fair working conditions and a thriving social market economy, and that wage levels should enable workers to meet their needs and those of their families; believes that every worker in the EU should receive a wage which ensures at least a decent standard of living; stresses that the EU budget should underpin investments in quality employment and living wages;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>34</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

3c. Reiterates that all EU financial support to undertakings should be made conditional on their compliance with the applicable working and employment conditions and/or employer obligations resulting from the relevant collective agreements;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>35</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

3d. Stresses that the Union budget should support Member States in meeting their commitment to the ILO Labour Inspection Convention with regard to the number of labour inspectors by assisting Member States in increasing their enforcement capacity and in living up to the ILO recommendation of 1 labour inspector per 10 000 workers, and in strengthening the role of trade union workplace health and safety representatives;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>36</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 e (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

3e. Points out that financial means should be made available to ensure the correct and full application and enforcement of occupational safety and health (OSH) rules, a key measure to limit the spread of the SARS-COVID2 virus and to get economic activities back to normal again;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>37</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 3 f (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

3f. Reiterates that labour inspectorates should be strongly involved, both in enforcement of OSH measures aimed at preventing the COVID-19 infection and in developing guidance and assistance to employers and workers, and that particular attention should be given to high-risk sectors, such as healthcare, services, education and transport;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>38</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 4</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

4. Emphasises the continued need to invest in research and innovation, in particular for the EU to be a driving force in the green and digital transitions; underlines, in that respect, the particular merits of Horizon Europe, and considers essential to provide SMEs with adequate support in research and innovation so that they can actively take part in these immense challenges;

4. Emphasises the continued need to invest in education, research and innovation, in particular for the EU to be a driving force in the green and digital transitions; underlines, in that respect, the particular merits of Horizon Europe, and considers essential to provide SMEs with adequate support in education, including vocational education and training (VET), research and innovation so that they can actively take part in these immense challenges;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>39</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 4 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

4a. Welcomes the additional funding available under REACT-EU for the year 2022, particularly as regards ESF and FEAD operations, and urges the Member States to quickly deploy these resources to mitigate the social impacts of the crisis;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>40</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 5</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

5. Strongly supports regional policy as the prime investment instrument of the EU budget that enables economic, social and territorial cohesion, and one of the cornerstones of the recovery; highlights its role in reaching EU strategic objectives such as employment, green economy and innovation, and as a driving force of a more inclusive and sustainable Union;

5. Strongly supports the European structural and investment funds as the prime funding instrument of the EU budget that enables economic, social and territorial cohesion, and one of the cornerstones of the recovery; highlights their role in reaching EU strategic objectives such as employment, the fight against poverty, climate neutral economy, and innovation, and as a driving force of a more inclusive and sustainable Union; underlines the new challenges regional policy is facing, and especially the just transition and the need to sustain and develop the industrial potential and human capital of the regions affected; highlights that regional policy must play a key role in boosting equal job opportunities for all and in supporting the re-skilling of workers by providing adequate lifelong training; highlights the importance of gender equality for the implementation of the funds as it is a necessary condition for the achievement of the EU objectives of growth, employment and social cohesion;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>41</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 5 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

5a. Stresses that during and in the aftermath of the pandemic, the priority is to preserve jobs, and to this end, the EU budget should better reflect and coordinate the continuation and extension of the emergency measures to protect all workers, including precarious and self-employed workers, as long as necessary until the full recovery of the economy;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>42</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 5 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

5b. Stresses that Union programmes should focus on projects that promote and enhance the safeguarding of existing jobs and the creation of new quality jobs with rights and stable and regulated pay and working conditions, as well as effectively and incisively combating poverty and social exclusion; further underlines the importance of eradicating poverty, including child poverty, and of addressing social inequalities and youth unemployment and young people's access to the labour market;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>43</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 5 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

5c. Is of the opinion that monitoring the effects of unemployment during the pandemic, especially where it has increased significantly, will be important, as these impacts may be harder to alleviate with temporary support and further highlights that revisiting unemployment protection standards and active labour market policies will be instrumental in dealing with anticipated changes in labour market structures;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>44</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 5 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

5d. Strongly believes that all workers, regardless of their employment status or work sector, should benefit from the protection provided by labour legislation regardless of their working contract or nature of their employment relationship and should be protected from any form of discrimination or derogations that penalise young workers or other vulnerable groups; acknowledges that most of the sectors which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis were feminised and essential sectors, some of which have precarious working conditions, and that special efforts should be made and special resources should be allocated during the recovery period to improve employment conditions and recognition of such sectors;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>45</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

6. Reaffirms the importance and potential of the EU4Health Programme, which under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) became the largest health programme to ever be funded by the EU budget; expects that synergies will be strengthened between all EU programmes that provide additional investments in the health sector like the ESF+, the ERDF, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe;

6. Reaffirms the importance and potential of the EU4Health Programme, which under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) became the largest health programme to ever be funded by the EU budget; calls for the use of Union funds to ensure access to health for all by promoting the establishment of medical practitioners and the maintenance of hospitals in rural areas; strongly encourages setting common standards to protect health of workers and set balanced solutions to ensure access to vaccine starting from most exposed groups; expects that synergies will be strengthened between all EU programmes that provide additional investments in the health sector like the ESF+, the ERDF, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>46</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6a. Underlines the need to reinforce universal and solidarity-based public health systems, as part of the EU social model and commitment to quality public services by investing in public, non-profit systems, to ensure there are sufficient levels of qualified, well-trained, and well-remunerated staff, who are able to cope with the population needs; strongly recommends investments in education and skills by improving the specialisation of occupational training programmes and provide workers with the right to have access to active labour market policies; calls on the Member States to tackle shortages in terms of healthcare professionals by investing in skills and by valuing and supporting healthcare professions and making them more attractive and accessible, with a specific focus on rural and remote areas;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>47</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6b. Stresses that there is a significant risk of suffering mental health problems and lower mental well-being that would be exacerbated by both job loss and job insecurity and is of the opinion that people will need extra support in getting back to normal and in coping with the issues brought on by the pandemic and calls on the Member States to pay attention to ways of mitigating mental health risks in the case of further waves of the coronavirus Covid-19;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>48</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Title (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

Social recovery and implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>49</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6c. Recalls that implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights on the basis of sustainable growth of a highly competitive social market economy, with the aim of achieving full employment and social progress, promoting equality for all and solidarity between generations, and safeguarding the rights of the child, as enshrined in the Treaty on the European Union are the key to the creation of quality employment and greater prosperity for all;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>50</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6d. Stresses the importance of access to equal rights such as social protection and income protection and the need for urgent action to tackle unemployment – including youth unemployment, especially during the COVID-19 crisis; recalls that through the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), those rights will be extended to all workers, irrespective of their employment relationship, and extends the same coverage rights to non-standard workers and self-employed people; believes that the implementation of the EPSR should be complemented by setting-up European reinsurance mechanisms to protect employment and fight against unemployment, including the preservation of jobs and workers’ income in situations of external shocks;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>51</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 e (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6e. Is of the opinion that ambitious high-level Action Plan to implement the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) with commitments for upward convergence will help deliver the EU of balanced and sustainable economic growth, promote social and territorial cohesion and deepening economic and political EU integration; strongly believes that the action plan will serve as a tool for the EU, Member States, and social partners to address the challenges facing Europe such as digitalisation, green transition and demographic change and will help alleviate the  negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, employment, social and economic aspects; stresses that adequate resources should be allocated to fund the action plan and until the economic effects of the pandemic are visible be complemented by the General Escape Clause supported by coherent ECB policies, as well as Stability and Growth pact that aim at an overall well-being of people, labour market inclusiveness, and workers’ protection;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>52</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 f (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6f. Is of the opinion that the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) must contribute to implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, in order to create stable quality jobs, social cohesion and inclusion and stresses that social objectives should be mainstreamed in all relevant legislation and regulations and implementing plans linked to Next Generation EU;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>53</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 6 g (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

6g. Recalls that social dialogue and social partners must be a cornerstone of the Recovery Plan, to create ownership for reforms and investment and to ensure that environmental and digital transitions are socially fair and believes that collective bargaining is key to providing for efficient employment and social outcomes, ensuring better enactment and implementation of social rights; stresses that social partners, both at national and EU level, should substantially contribute to the implementation of the EPSR and be systematically involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of national and European Recovery and Resilience Plans;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>54</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Title</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

Meeting the challenge of digital and green transitions

Meeting the challenge of digital and green transitions and social justice

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>55</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 7</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

7. Stresses the urgency, heightened by the COVID-19 crisis, to close the digital divide and ramp up Europe’s digital transformation; points out to the importance of synergies between EU programmes to create successful conditions to accelerate the market uptake of breakthrough technologies and innovations; considers that the Digital Europe programme is essential in improving Europe’s competitiveness in the global digital economy and achieving technological sovereignty; expects that this programme will boost investments in EU high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, as well as the promotion of advanced digital skills across the economy and society;

7. Recalls that the transition to a digital and climate-neutral economy should be based on social justice, increased wellbeing, social progress, security, prosperity, equality and inclusion and should deliver for decent working conditions and fully respect labour rights; highlight that it will require investments to adapt industrial production facilities and to improve related infrastructures, connectivity, network security, and the future organisation of work, as well as investments in new ways of delivering social and organisational support to workers, such as improving the working conditions of teleworkers and introducing a ‘right to disconnect’; stresses the urgency, heightened by the COVID-19 crisis, to close the digital divide and ramp up Europe’s digital transformation; highlights, moreover, the need to ensure that digital investments and the digital transition are inclusive and leave no one behind, particularly as regards disadvantaged groups and regions; in this context stresses the importance of ensuring widespread access for all, including in remote and rural areas, to the internet and to digital tools as well as to digital education and training, particularly for persons with disabilities and the elderly;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>56</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 7 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

7a. Points out to the importance of synergies between EU programmes to create successful conditions to accelerate the market uptake of breakthrough technologies and innovations; considers that the Digital Europe programme is essential in improving Europe’s competitiveness in the global digital economy and achieving technological sovereignty; expects that this programme will boost investments in EU high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, as well as the promotion of advanced digital skills across the economy and society; is of the opinion that the digital transformation must be based on the human-centric and ethical approach as human dignity and human rights need to be protected at all stages of the development and use of digital tools and artificial intelligence;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>57</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 7 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

7b. Stresses that a strong response is needed to the new challenges of the Gig Economy, with the proliferation of an increasing number of digital platforms, and lack of protections and rights of workers due to the extensive use of bogus self-employment or precariousness that hits mainly young workers, and other vulnerable groups; stresses it will be critical to make the best use of the 2022 general budget and address future skills policies and measures to support labour market transition and better adjustment to demographic change, automatisation and digitalisation, particularly by improved integration of potentially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the labour market;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>58</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 8</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

8. Stresses the central role of the EU budget in ensuring the success of the European Green Deal and the fair transition towards a more sustainable and resilient economy; stresses in particular the need to ensure that adequate resources underpin the new growth strategy, in order to enable the Union to deliver on its commitments whilst ensuring no one is left behind, and intends to monitor closely the implementation of the strategy in the Budget 2022; underlines, in this context, that a modern and resilient EU’s infrastructure is a key component of restoring competitiveness and building up EU’s strategic autonomy; recognises, therefore, the added value of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and EU space programmes;

8. Stresses the central role of the EU budget in ensuring the success of the European Green Deal and the fair transition towards a more sustainable and resilient economy by improving the well-being of all and reducing social inequalities and economic imbalances between Member States, and disparities between gender and generations; stresses in particular the need to ensure that adequate resources underpin the new growth strategy, in order to enable the Union to deliver on its commitments whilst ensuring that a just transition should leave no person and no place behind and should address social and economic inequalities and target the protection of workers in particular, and intends to monitor closely the implementation of the strategy, as well as climate and biodiversity mainstreaming in the Budget 2022; reiterates that the transition to a climate-neutral economy and a sustainable society must be carried out in conjunction with the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights; underlines, in this context, that a modern and resilient EU’s infrastructure is a key component of restoring competitiveness and building up EU’s strategic autonomy; recognises, therefore, the added value of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and EU space programmes;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>59</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 8 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

8a. Welcomes the Just Transition Fund (JTF) and highlights that the JTF must focus on the needs of individuals and social well-being and lead to social sustainability by supporting the creation of decent and sustainable jobs, reskilling of workers, and creating social infrastructure so no one is left behind; strongly believes that the just transition measures will enable a full implementation of green and digital transition, whilst reassuring workers that they will continue to have a stable job or an income that is sufficient to preserve a good standard of living for them and their families and promotes to this end access to quality job opportunities, active labour market policies, including retraining and training policies and massive investments in job creation and a governance based on social dialogue;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>60</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Title</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

Providing better prospects for the young generation and addressing demographic challenges

Providing better prospects for the young generation and addressing social and demographic challenges

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>61</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph -9 (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

-9. Advocates an EU budget that promotes equality at all life stages – from the beginning to the end of people’s lives; to this end, calls for the creation of a programme to support Member States that wish to establish or strengthen a public and universal network of childcare and elderly care, as well as a public network for those much reliant on care such as persons with disabilities or those with long-term care needs;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>62</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 9</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

9. Underlines that, as was the case in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, young people are once again particularly hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis; highlights, therefore, that all funding possibilities should be fully explored to successfully improve the labour market inclusion and life prospects for young people;

9. Points out the changes in the life habits and work patterns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; underlines that, as was the case in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, young people, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups, are once again particularly hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis; stresses that specific support should be provided to young workers, who are among the most hit by the crisis also due to the fact that they are often employed under precarious working conditions and in temporary jobs;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>63</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 9 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9a. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to make combating youth unemployment a priority, in particular as part of the European recovery effort, to make full use of financial instruments such as the Youth Guarantee (YG), as well as European programmes such as Erasmus+, and to take tailored action to tackle youth unemployment;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>64</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 9 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9b. Highlights, in this context, that all funding possibilities should be fully explored to successfully improve the labour market inclusion and life prospects for young people, thus creating better opportunities for them; welcomes in this regard the Youth Employment Support Package, particularly the reinforced Youth Guarantee, and stresses the need for Member States to implement this by investing relevant EU funds available under the ESF+, YEI, REACT-EU, ERDF and RRF for young people’s education, training, upskilling and employment; in this context, considers the importance of creating monitoring and evaluation programmes for the Youth Employment Initiative;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>65</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 9 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9c. Recalls that a reinforced and binding Youth Guarantee can play an important role in supporting Member States to invest in the context of the European Green Deal in the creation of employment opportunities in a climate neutral, energy-efficient and circular economy and to have a skilled labour force for these jobs ensuring that no young person, especially those belonging to disadvantaged groups, is left behind in the transition to a climate neutral economy;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>66</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 10</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

10. Insists that the Union cannot find a sustainable path to recovery without its young generation; points, in that respect, to the extreme relevance of increasing financial resources for Union programmes such as Erasmus+, whose success in broadening education, training and job opportunities across the Union is undisputable; highlights the potential of this programme in promoting, excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship in an inclusive manner;

10. Insists that the Union cannot find a sustainable path to recovery without its young generation; furthermore, points to the extreme relevance of increasing financial resources for Union programmes providing young people opportunities to experience education or volunteering abroad such as Erasmus+, whose success in broadening education, training and job opportunities across the Union is undisputable; highlights the potential of this programme in promoting mobility, excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship and interpersonal connection in an inclusive manner; stresses that public spending should focus on human capital, education, training and the creation of quality jobs, adapted to the new labour market realities;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>67</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 10 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

10a. Deplores the fact that more than a quarter of all children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; stresses that, in the context of the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak, tackling child poverty will become even more important in the coming years; reiterates, in this regard, its call on the Commission to urgently deliver European Child Guarantee in order to help ensure that every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to the most basic set of rights such as healthcare, childcare, education, early childhood education, adequate nutrition, and decent housing;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>68</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 10 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

10b. Calls on all Member States, not only those that are most affected by youth unemployment, to continue to invest sufficient ESF+ resources in measures to support youth employment and allocate at least 12,5 % of their ESF+ resources under shared management to targeted actions and structural reforms to support quality youth employment;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>69</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 10 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

10c. Reiterates the pivotal role Vocational Education and Training (VET) plays in providing knowledge, skills and competencies necessary for young people entering the labour market; emphasizes the need to invest in the quality and attractiveness of VET through the ESF+ and the reinforced Youth Guarantee;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>70</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 10 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

10d. Calls in this regard on all Member States, not only those that are most affected by child poverty, to allocate at least 5 % of the ESF+ resources under shared management to support activities under the European Child Guarantee; moreover calls on the Commission to make available and on the Member States to use all possible resources for the implementation of the Child Guarantee including the ReactEU, RRF, etc;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>71</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 11</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

11. Stresses that sustainable and long-term solutions must be found to successfully fight structural demographic challenges, as well as mitigating brain drain in rural, remote and less developed areas of the EU; emphasises the need for financial resources to revitalise areas suffering from population decline and to provide ageing populations in Europe with adequate support in terms of access to healthcare, mobility and public services; highlights the need of setting up appropriate structures to study trends and propose measures to adequately address demographic change;

11. Stresses that sustainable and long-term solutions must be found to successfully fight structural demographic challenges, as well as mitigating brain drain and labour and skills shortages in rural, remote and less developed areas of the EU; also emphasises the potential of digital solutions for creating the possibilities for telework enabling people to conduct their work without the need to move to the bigger cities; emphasises the need for financial resources to revitalise areas suffering from population decline for instance by providing better support to young families, building accessible and quality care infrastructure for children, the elderly, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable groups and to provide families and ageing populations in Europe with adequate support in terms of access to healthcare and long-term care, mobility, lifelong learning and public services, and especially labour market access; highlights, therefore the need of setting up appropriate structures to study trends and propose measures to adequately and comprehensively address demographic change;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>72</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 11 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

11a. Emphasises that the elderly are the group which is most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemics in terms of mortality rates, risks of social isolation and risks of severe illness, with COVID-19 increasing with age; stresses that the 2022 Union budget should underline the importance of safeguarding and promoting the dignity of the elderly and their fundamental rights in the EU;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>73</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 11 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

11b. Calls, furthermore, for sufficient funding to support investment in housing in order to tackle effectively the growing problems of a lack of affordable housing, poor housing conditions, housing exclusion and homelessness;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>74</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 11 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

11c. Calls on the Member States for the greater mobilisation of ESF and Just Transition Fund (JTF) resources and to combine them with national and local investment in order to tackle social exclusion, energy poverty, and material deprivation, to effectively counter the digital gap and digital exclusion, especially in rural areas and among the young, the elderly and persons with disabilities, and to secure access to digital tools and programmes and to affordable communication infrastructures;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>75</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 12</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

12. Considers that the economic growth and prosperity, internal security, protection of the EU’s external borders, proper functioning of the Schengen area and freedom of movement within the EU are inextricably linked and mutually beneficial; stresses that further integration of the Schengen area, based on expert assessments, would provide Members States on external borders with enhanced financial opportunities for border control; underlines the importance of robust EU investments in the area of internal security with a view to enhancing EU law enforcement and judicial response to cross-border criminal threats and promoting information exchange;

12. Considers that the economic growth and prosperity, internal security, protection of the EU’s external borders, proper functioning of the Schengen area and freedom of movement for workers and service providers within the EU are inextricably linked and mutually beneficial; stresses that further integration of the Schengen area, based on expert assessments, would provide Members States on external borders with enhanced financial opportunities for border control; underlines the importance of robust EU investments in the area of internal security with a view to enhancing EU law enforcement and judicial response to cross-border criminal threats and promoting information exchange; stresses in this regards the importance of building trust among the Member States which is essential for functional judicial and law enforcement cooperation;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>76</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 13</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

13. Highlights the need for adequate funding, staffing and staff training for all agencies operating in the field of security, justice and border control in order for them to fulfil their increased responsibilities, as well as the importance of cooperation among them, the need for technological innovations and adaptation, and their vital role in reinforcing cooperation and coordination among the Member States;

13. Highlights the need for adequate funding, staffing and staff training for all agencies operating in the field of security, justice and border control, labour and health in order for them to fulfil their increased responsibilities, as well as the importance of cooperation among them, the need for technological innovations and adaptation, and their vital role in reinforcing cooperation and coordination among the Member States;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>77</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 15</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

15. Underlines the responsibility of the EU to ensure it has the adequate resources to address the geopolitical consequences of the crisis and ensure a secure and stable global environment;

15. Underlines the responsibility of the EU to ensure it has the adequate resources and explore in cooperation with international partners and third countries the efficient ways to address the geopolitical consequences of the crisis and ensure a secure and stable global environment;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>78</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

17. Stresses that, following the late adoption of the MFF 2021-2027, the launch of EU flagship programmes like Erasmus +, Horizon Europe, as well as the financing for the Green Deal and digitalisation strategies, were significantly delayed; expects, therefore, that every effort will be made to ensure that all new EU programmes are fully operational in 2022; recalls, in that respect, the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on tackling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis issued in the joint conclusions on the 2021 budget, in which a particular attention is given to the sectors of the economy that are most hit by the crisis such as SMEs, tourism and hospitality sector, as well as the people that are most affected by the crisis;

17. Stresses that, following the late adoption of the MFF 2021-2027, the launch of EU flagship programmes like Erasmus + and Horizon Europe, and funds like ESF+, as well as the financing for the Green Deal and digitalisation strategies, were significantly delayed; expects, therefore, that every effort will be made to ensure that all new EU programmes are fully operational in 2022; recalls, in that respect, the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on tackling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis issued in the joint conclusions on the 2021 budget, in which a particular attention is given to tackle the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the sectors of the economy that are most hit by the crisis such as SMEs, tourism and hospitality sector, as well as those people and workers, including elderly, pre-retirement workers or the self-employed, that are most affected by the crisis, such as vulnerable groups in particular the most deprived;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>79</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

17a. Reiterates the importance of the budget for 2022 and its programmes and operations to be fully in line with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights; stresses the need to support all relevant stakeholders including NGOs providing social services and help to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemics on the most vulnerable groups;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>80</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

17b. Recalls the severe economic loss due to the gender employment and pay gap, and emphasises the added value of women in the EU labour market, including by filling its shortages; also recalls that women are more widely affected by the pandemic in terms of health risks, pre-existing employment inequalities and care responsibilities, and strongly promotes solutions to stop direct and indirect discrimination affecting women during the crisis;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>81</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

17c. Stresses the importance of increased funding to support measures for the promotion of equality and equal access to the labour market for men and women; recalls the importance of ambitious funding and other instruments that promote the support of anti-discrimination legislation and policies and the implementation thereof;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>82</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for a resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

17d. Believes that just transition that supports the European Green Deal and advocates a human-centred digital transformation has to facilitate smooth gender dimension transitions; suggests that the 2022 general budget takes account of gender and disability issues with the aim of better aligning policies and activities that promote the equal participation of women and persons with disabilities in the labour market, and suggests to consider having systems to monitor and measure such budgetary allocations;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>83</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 17 e (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

17e. Recalls the important role the revised European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers (EGF) can play in supporting and reskilling workers made redundant as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis; believes Member States should make use of the Fund and widely disseminate information on the possibilities for support to workers and their representatives;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>84</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 20</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

20. Underlines that the 2022 Union budget will constitute a bridge between the first and second steps of the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources; points, in that respect, to the need for a smooth implementation so that new own resources cover at least the expenditure related to the repayment of the EURI;

20. Underlines that the 2022 Union budget will constitute a bridge between the first and second steps of the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources; points, in that respect, to the need for a smooth implementation that, in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, ensures that new own resources cover at least the expenditure related to the repayment of the EURI;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>85</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 20 a (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

20a. Calls for the 2022 Union budget to pay particular attention to the needs of and relations with the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), as they are particularly damaged by the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and are more vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change; stresses, furthermore, that access to funding for the OCTs must be improved as they possess limited administrative resources and expertise owing to their special status and size;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>86</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 20 b (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

20b. Recalls with disappointment the dismissal of 60 employees since January 2021 working as external staff in the Parliament’s catering services because the tender of the contracted catering company was not renewed; underlines that the European Parliament should set the example to keep as many essential workers as possible in work during the pandemic; expresses, in this sense, strong concern about the contracts and working conditions of the workers providing essential and structural services to the Parliament, such as cleaning and catering; calls in this regard on the European Parliament to explore the possibility of insourcing these jobs and services with the Parliament;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>87</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 20 c (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

20c. Reiterates that pilot projects (PPs) and preparatory actions (PAs) are very valuable tools to initiate new activities and policies in the fields of employment and social inclusion and that several ideas of the EMPL Committee have been implemented successfully in the past as PPs/PAs; is however concerned about the objectivity of the Commission’s pre-assessments having a significant impact on their adoption in the Parliament; moreover calls for the implementation of PPs/PAs to be transparent and in line with their adopted objectives and recommendations; calls the Commission to prioritise, for efficiency reasons, the implementation of these projects and actions through Union agencies when they fall under their areas of expertise;

</Amend>

<Amend>Amendment  <NumAm>88</NumAm>

<DocAmend>Motion for resolution</DocAmend>

<Article>Paragraph 20 d (new)</Article>

 

Motion for resolution

Amendment

 

20d. Recalls the important contribution of the agencies in dealing with a wide range of employment and social issues such as living and working conditions, mobility, health and safety, skills, etc. and data collection, particularly through surveys; stresses that their tasks are constantly evolving and hence they must be given the necessary resources to fulfil them; insists, in particular, on a proper staffing and financing of the new European Labour Authority;

</Amend>

</RepeatBlock-Amend>

 


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Mr Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget – Section III</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Foreign Affairs has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee. At its meeting of 25 January 2021, the committee decided to send the opinion in the form of a letter and to call on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution.

The Committee on Foreign Affairs considered the matter at its meeting of 23 February 2021. At that meeting, it decided to call on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution.

Yours sincerely,

David McAllister

 

SUGGESTIONS

1. Calls for an ambitious 2022 budget in the area of external action and defence that will enable the EU to face the external challenges, fulfil its priorities and take global leadership;

2. Calls on strengthening the EU’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis and step up its efforts to fight and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;

3. Emphasises the need to increase the funding for the Western Balkan countries and the countries of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood in order to support political and economic reforms as well as fight the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic;

4. Calls on the Commission to provide the budgets of democracy and of election observation missions with consistent financial resources, in order to allow the Union to support electoral processes and strengthen democratic institutions in third countries needing stability, amongst other initiatives with dedicated support to citizen election observation organizations; highlights the importance of dedicating sufficient resources to the implementation of mechanisms promoting the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms at global level

5. Expects that a new generation of external financing instruments (EFIs) will enhance coherence, accountability and efficiency of financing the EU external action; calls for increased transparency and democratic scrutiny of EFIs’ funding through strategic steering by the Parliament and an enhanced geopolitical dialogue between the Parliament and the Commission which would allow proper evaluation of the use of the budget, including the emerging challenges and priorities cushion; calls on the Commission to inform the European Parliament as soon as possible before any planned mobilisation of the cushion and recalls the Commission’s obligation to fully take into consideration Parliament’s views; stresses the importance of conditionality and suspension of funding from  NDICI and IPA III in cases of human rights violations and serious degradation of rule of law;

6. Recalls the importance of providing the EU budget with a sufficiently detailed nomenclature for the two arms of the budgetary authority to properly perform its decision making role over the allocation of financial resources to political priorities and its power of scrutiny over the implementation of the budget itself; requests the Commission to establish different budget lines dedicated to the Western Balkans and Turkey under IPA III, as well as a more detailed nomenclature for the priorities of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood under NDICI, including a dedicated line for UNRWA;

7. Emphasises the importance of providing adequate financial support by Member States and through the European Defence Fund to frame a strong European Common Security and Defence Union (CSDP) and underlines the importance of enhancing European cooperation in defence and security matters in order to enhance deployability and operational effectiveness through increased efforts in joint military and civilian capability development;

8. Calls for an increase in the budget lines for foreign policy needs and priorities, crisis response and civilian CSDP and emergency measures in order to deal with the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;

9. Stresses the importance of stepping up the efforts on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through inclusive actions since vulnerable groups are at risk of shouldering burden of global crisis;

 

 

 

Groups

Members present

EPP

David McAllister (Chair), Željana Zovko (Vice-Chair), Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, Traian Băsescu, Michael Gahler, Sunčana Glavak, Sandra Kalniete, Andrius Kubilius, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Lukas Mandl, Vangelis Meimarakis, Francisco José Millán Mon, Gheorghe‑Vlad Nistor, Radosław Sikorski, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Vladimir Bilcik (substitute), Deli Andor (substitute)

S&D

Maria Arena, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Tanja Fajon, Raphaël Glucksmann, Dietmar Köster, Claudiu Manda, Sven Mikser, Demetris Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Kati Piri, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Andreas Schieder, Sergei Stanishev, Pierfrancesco Majorino (substitute)

Renew

Petras Auštrevičius, Katalin Cseh, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Hilde Vautmans

ID

Lars Patrick Berg, Anna Bonfrisco, Susanna Ceccardi, Thierry Mariani, Jérôme Rivière, Harald Vilimsky, Marco Zanni (substitute)

GREENS

Alviina Alametsä, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jordi Solé, Tineke Strik, Viola Von Cramon, Thomas Waitz, Salima Yenbou

ECR

Witold Jan Waszczykowski (Vice-Chair), Anna Fotyga, Karol Karski, Jacek Saryusz‑Wolski, Hermann Tertsch, Charlie Weimers

The Left

Stelios Kouloglou, Manu Pineda, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz

NI

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Márton Gyöngyösi, Kostas Papadakis

 


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt,

Chair,

Committee on Budgets,

BRUSSELS.

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget – Section III</Titre>  <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Development has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee. At its meeting of 25 February 2021, the committee decided to send the opinion in the form of a letter and to call on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the follo wing suggestions into its motion for a resolution.

Yours sincerely,

Tomas Tobé

 

SUGGESTIONS

1. Believes firmly that the Union's budget must reflect the Union's external ambitions, including the one of being a leading partner for developing countries;

 

2. Draws attention to the alarming impacts of the COVID pandemic on developing countries and the fact that these countries’ progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is now turning into regress; emphasises that in this situation, it is more important than ever that the EU honours its financing for development commitments, including through fully using all available NDICI funds for their intended purposes and implementing article 25 of the NDICI regulation on carry-overs accordingly;

 

3. Notes the unprecedented global needs for humanitarian aid and the woefully insufficient provision of resources to meet them; while welcoming the targeted strengthening of Humanitarian Aid in the MFF negotiations, calls for comprehensive mobilisation of the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve (SEAR), no smaller in nominal terms than the mobilisation of the Emergency Aid Reserve under the previous MFF and up to the 60% maximum limit for external use of the SEAR;

 

4. Reiterates its view that the budget nomenclature must allow the budgetary authority to fulfil its decision-making role effectively and for Parliament in particular to fulfil its democratic oversight and scrutiny roles; insists therefore on the need for the budget nomenclature to fully and at the earliest reflect the agreement on the NDICI regulation; invites, in this sense, the Commission to present a draft amending budget to the 2021 EU budget implementing the agreement reached in the negotiations on the NDICI regulation on five separate envelopes for geographic programmes in Asia, notably the Middle East, South Asia,  Central Asia, North and South-East Asia and the Pacific, through the creation of corresponding separate budget lines; believes that such a harmonization could and should be done ahead of the 2022 budgetary procedure;

 

5. Recalls that the NDICI regulations provide that the Commission shall inform Parliament on its intended use of the NDICI cushion, notably in the context of the geopolitical dialogue; looks forward to receiving timely information on this, including on the rationale of the proposed expenditure, its specific purposes, the envisaged beneficiaries and implementation modalities and how the use would relate to horizontal principles and target objectives of the NDICI regulation.

 


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETARY CONTROL

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 budgetary procedure – Section III</Titre> <DocRef> 2020/2265(BUI)</DocRef>

Dear Chair,

The Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to bear in mind the following concerns in its preparation of European Parliament Guidelines for the 2022 budgetary procedure.

Outstanding commitments (RAL)

1. CONT is concerned by the facts that:

- outstanding commitments (RAL) have continued to grow in 2019, reaching EUR 298,0 billion at the end of 2019 (compared to EUR 281,2 billion in 2018). In 2019, they corresponded to 2,7 years of commitment appropriations lasting more than one year, a rise from 2,3 years in 2012, the corresponding year of the previous MFF;

- in 2019, outstanding commitments have reached an all-time high due to commitments appropriations systematically exceeding payment appropriations, and payment needs being postponed to the 2021-2027 MFF;

2. CONT points out that in recent years the level of payment appropriations in the annual budgets has been noticeably below the MFF ceiling, which might lead to higher payment needs in the future and risks putting the budget under pressure; stresses that the volume of outstanding payment appropriations will in large parts be settled under the next MFF;

3. CONT draws attention to the fact that the main financial risks to which the EU budget was exposed to in 2019 were associated with financial operations in form of loans covered directly by the EU budget (53,7 %), and financial operations covered by an EU guarantee fund (46,3 %); observes that, when including also the possible future payments relating to the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments) guarantee, the amount of the total risk borne by the EU budget reached up to EUR 90,5 billion by the end of 2019;

4. Therefore, CONT calls on the Commission to present a complete picture of the exposure of the EU budget in the annual “Report on guarantees covered by the general budget”, including the risk generated by the EFSI guarantee as well as all future financial operations concerned;

5. CONT points out that the Union has increasingly made use of financial instruments and budgetary guarantees provided to the EIB Group; recalls that at present, EIB Group operations that are not financed by the Union budget, but which serve the same Union objectives do not fall under the Court’s audit mandate; calls strongly on the EIB to enable the Court to audit fully the regularity as well as the financing activities of the EIB;

COVID-19 pandemic

6. CONT takes the view that the full parliamentary involvement shall occur in the operation of deployment of the Next Generation EU funds;

7. CONT notes the increased EU budget expenditure in support of the EU’s vaccines strategy and of other actions related to the health response to COVID-19, with funding provided under the Emergency Support Instrument but also to research, EIB and external funding as well, including the Commission’s initiative to collect EUR 750 million of additional contributions from the Member States; it is therefore of utmost importance that the Commission ensures full transparency in relation to purchases and distribution of the vaccines; highlights that de-commitments in the area of research total 635 million Euro in 2019 and are available for re-use under article 15(3) of the Financial Regulations to support European health preparedness and crisis response;

8. CONT points that in 2020 and years to come, the COVID-19 outbreak will have a significant global impact, as well as important implications on the EU budget, and in this regard, as from 2020, the implementation of the Union’s immediate response initiatives will affect the recognition, measurement or reclassification of multiple assets and liabilities in the financial statements of the Union;

9. CONT calls on the Commission to re-assess, in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, whether the existing mechanisms to mitigate the exposure of the EU budget to risk are sufficient and appropriate and review the target provisioning rates of the guarantee funds covering the guarantees granted from the EU budget; calls on the Commission to ensure the transparency, effectiveness of management and control systems, acceptability of accounts and legality and regularity of underlying expenditure; stresses the need for a interoperable digital monitoring and reporting system to systematically and in real-time track expenditure stemming from the Union’s budget and ultimate beneficiaries  of funding (natural persons) to ensure compliance with the standards of sound financial management;remarks that the financial exposure should be carefully controlled by the Court of Auditors and by Parliament in the discharge procedure due to their large magnitude;

Timely absorption

10. CONT notes that in 2019 the overall absorption rate of ESIF (European Structural Investment Fund) was lower than in the corresponding year of the previous MFF, that only nine Member States had higher absorption rates under the 2014-2020 MFF than under the previous one, and that overall the speed of absorption in 2019 stayed almost exactly the same as in 2018;

11. Furthermore, CONT notes that by the start of 2019, after the 2014-2020 MFF had been in place for five years, only around 17 % of the total ESI funding committed through Financial Instruments under Shared Management (FISMs) had reached its final recipient; calls on the Commission to improve the reporting and data management systems, to increase transparency and traceability of this expenditure;

12. CONT calls on the Commission to establish an action plan, including revision of the EIB Group’s roadmap, with clear incentives for the effective absorption of available funds, and to assist Member States in finding eligible projects with clear European added value;

Conflict of interests and rule of law

13. CONT points out that Article 61 of the Financial Regulation has provided since August 2018 for a widened definition of conflicts of interest; emphasises the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that these provisions are implemented with due diligence across the Union, and all forms of conflicts of interest are tackled efficiently and effectively throughout the implementation of the Union budget;

14. CONT is concerned about the financial loss caused by generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a number of Member States, which render existing complaint and protection mechanisms void or ineffective; calls on the Commission to ensure the protection of the Union´s Financial Interests in all dimensions and without delay, to prevent further negative impact on the EU budget with the aid of the conditionality mechanism;

15. Recalls the European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2020 stressing that co-legislators have agreed that the Regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget shall apply from 1 January 2021 and will have to be applied to all commitments and payments; urges the Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, to ensure that the Regulation is fully applicable from the date agreed by the co-legislators and recalls that annulment of the Regulation or part of it is only possible by the CJEU; affirms that if a Member State seeks the annulment of the Regulation or the parts thereof, Parliament will defend its validity before the Court and expects the Commission to intervene in support of Parliament’s position; highlights, in such case, that Parliament will ask that the Court proceed in an expedited procedure; recalls Article 265 TFEU and states its readiness to make use of it;

 

Own resources

16. CONT notes the paradigm shift of authorizing the European Commission to exceptionally borrow up to EUR 750 billion on capital markets; insists that the methodology of the repayments must be transparent and comprehensible and open to scrutiny; insists that the repayments should be realised by a sustainable and transparent system of new EU own resources and should be covered entirely by the income from genuine new EU own resources, in order to ensure the credibility and feasibility of the repayment plan;

17. CONT points out also that the recording of the proceeds of the Union’s borrowings in the EU budget as external assigned revenue should be carefully controlled by the Court of Auditors and by Parliament in the discharge procedure due to their large financial magnitude; emphasizes that the extent of these borrowing activities requires increased professional expertise and administrative capacity in view of efficient borrowing and repayment operations, a dedicated risk management and control framework to guarantee the reliability of the accounting records and an accurate valuation of the incurred liabilities; underlines, however, that the control of management costs shall also be strictly supervised; requests that the progress report on the borrowing plan be timely communicated to the budgetary control authority in order to be properly scrutinized as part of the discharge procedure;

18. CONT insists in this context that the proposed own resources system should not increase the overall fiscal burden for the EU taxpayers, that it should prevent the burden of financing the recovery from falling on the most vulnerable and that it should lead to a reduced share of national GNI-based contributions in the financing of the EU budget; is of the opinion that the share of new genuine own resources must play a significant role in the revenue side of the EU budget and guarantee the promotion of a fair internal market.

 

Yours sincerely,

Monika Hohlmeier  Joachim Kuhs

CONT Chair  Rapporteur for the Commission discharge

 

 


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY

KP/ab

D(2021) 446

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 budget – Section III</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Chair,

Dear Mr Van Overtveldt,

Due to the tight timeline in BUDG, ENVI coordinators have decided on 11 January 2021 that ENVI would provide an opinion on the Guidelines for the 2022 budget - Section III (2020/2265 (BUI)) in the form of a letter. Therefore, both as ENVI Chair and as Standing Rapporteur for the Budget, let me provide you with ENVI’s contribution in the form of resolution paragraphs, which was adopted by ENVI at its meeting of 24 February 2021 and which hopefully will be taken into account by your committee:

 Highlights that the 2022 Union budget should contribute to securing a quick, resilient, socially fair and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, as well as fostering a strong economic recovery and achieving the revised 2030 Union climate and environmental targets, including halting and reversing biodiversity loss, and energy targets and the objective of making the EU climate neutral by 2050 at the latest; stresses that a green recovery is a crucial step in meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement, while ensuring that adequate support is provided to the Member States that have been most affected by the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences;

 Stresses that the 2022 Union budget should be aligned with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, the objectives set out in the [Regulation (EU) 2020/XXX establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU)2018/1999 (the ‘European Climate Law’)], with the European Green Deal objectives, social inclusion and regional cohesion, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while ensuring that adequate support is provided to achieve a just transition, based on solidarity and fairness;

 Underlines the importance of achieving climate and biodiversity mainstreaming targets; highlights that it is essential that support is only given to activities which are in line with the "do no significant harm" principle; strongly supports the target for climate-related spending of at least 30 % of the overall Union budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument expenditures, insists that this target be met and calls for effective efforts from the first year of the MFF to achieve this level of spending; recalls the ENVI position of 5 September 2019 to set a 40% target for climate mainstreaming in the 2021-2027 MFF; recalls that 37% of the spending under the [Regulation (EU) 2020/XXX establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility (the ‘Recovery and Resilience Facility’] should contribute to climate objectives; strongly emphasises the importance of a legally binding target for biodiversity-related spending of 7.5 % from 2024 and 10 % from 2026 onwards of the MFF, considering an upward revision in the next MFF; considers that all efforts should be made to reach this 10% annual spending on biodiversity as soon as possible from 2021 onwards;

 Reiterates its call to track climate and biodiversity-related expenditure using robust, transparent and comprehensive methodology; welcomes the commitment of the Commission to cooperate closely with the Parliament and Council on the development of the tracking methodology and the achievement of the applicable targets; insists that the methodology for climate spending take into consideration the effects of the phasing out of NGEU funding, differentiate between climate mitigation and adaptation where feasible and include relevant measures for insufficient progress; expects this work to take into account the highest standards already applied for such tracking; welcomes that existing overlaps between climate and biodiversity goals will be taken into account; looks forward to the annual consultations on the climate target, as set out in the IIA;

 Insists that sufficient resources should be secured in the 2022 Union budget for tackling and reversing biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, protecting, preserving and restoring degraded ecosystems, and for the achievement of the objectives of the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, of the Farm to Fork Strategy, of the Circular Economy Action Plan and of a Zero-pollution Action Plan; reiterates its call on the Commission to secure an adequate level of human resources for Directorates relevant for ensuring full implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy, Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and moving towards a circular and climate neutral economy by 2050 at the latest; is concerned by the fact that the staffing of the Directorate General for Environment has undergone significant reductions in the last years and its HR level represents only 1,3 % of all Commission staff; believes that a sufficient level of qualified staff is a precondition for the successful implementation and enforcement of Union policies;

 Stresses that the 2022 Union Budget should be climate and biodiversity proof; believes that much further investment is necessary for climate action and that climate-resilience needs to be built into long-term investments;

 Points to the importance of maintaining the level of support distributed to EU flagship programmes and Funds, including EU4Health, the new LIFE programme and the Just Transition Fund;

 Highlights that the 2022 Union budget should contain sufficient resources for the development and  upgrading of capabilities to ensure improved pandemic preparedness and management and to strengthen Union action on key aspects of health, leading to the creation of a European Health Union contributing to equitable access to health care and based on Treaty competences; stresses that sufficient resources should be allocated in particular for increasing investments in research and development;

 Calls for the 2022 Union budget to support the Parliament’s resolution of 10 July 2020 on the EU’s public health strategy post-COVID-19, including in particular the call for the European Commission, the Member States and global partners to ensure rapid, equal and affordable access for all people worldwide to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as soon as they are available; 

 Points to the need to continue to allocate sufficient funding to the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, in order to help tackle public health emergencies such as the current pandemic, forest fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural and human-made disasters, the effects of which are expected to be further exacerbated by climate change, and to strengthen budgetary response to unforeseen events; welcomes the MFF agreement on providing additional funding for the UCPM, including disaster preparedness, improvements in forecast-based planning early warning systems, knowledge exchange and lessons learned from previous experiences;

 Calls for the implementation of the roadmap on new own resources, reaffirms its position supporting in particular own resources that contribute to the Union’s goals on health, the environment and the climate, and notably a significant share of the income from the emissions trading scheme, non-recycled plastic packaging waste and a carbon border adjustment mechanism;

 Recalls the importance of ensuring sufficient financial resources for the Union agencies under the remit of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ECHA, ECDC, EEA, EFSA and EMA), enabling them to fulfil their mandate, execute their tasks and inter alia respond optimally to the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak; stresses that adequate financial support to those agencies is key for the successful achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal, for securing public health and for affording the optimum level of protection to all.

 

I have sent a similar letter to Mr Karlo Ressler, general rapporteur for the 2022 Budget.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Pascal CANFIN


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget - Section III</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265)BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection has decided to submit an opinion to your Committee in the form of a letter.

 

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection considered the matter at its meeting of 22 of February 2021. At that meeting, it decided to call on the Committee on Budget, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the suggestions in annex to this letter into its motion for a resolution[14].

Yours sincerely,

Anna Cavazzini

Chairwoman

 

Annex: Suggestions

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Budget, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Notes that the COVID-19 crisis has hindered the free movement of persons, goods and services in the EU, which is one of the Union’s most valuable achievements; calls for adequate and effective initiatives to restore, further deepen and complete the single market while supporting the transition towards a digital and sustainable economy, and to address unjustified barriers to free trade;

 

2. Notes in particular the great potential of the free movement of services, which is still underdeveloped, and calls for initiatives and actions to boost cross-border trade in services, reduce unjustified administrative burdens for companies, and ensure adequate implementation and enforcement of existing legislation such as the Services Directive; highlights the importance of services facilitating a measurable reduction in the EU’s environmental footprint;

 

3. Believes that additional efforts are needed to support Member States in the digitalisation of the public sector, especially for procedures that affect businesses and consumers, enabling them to conduct administrative procedures online;

 

4. Stresses the importance of the Single Market Programme, which aims to improve the functioning of the single market, support the competitiveness of companies, including SMEs, and empower consumers; recalls the need to create synergies between the Single Market Programme and the Next Generation EU recovery fund;

 

5. Notes that the adoption of best practices in public procurement for projects funded by the EU could help to avoid frequent errors and ensure proper implementation of investments;

 

6. Highlights the need for greater cooperation between EU-level market surveillance authorities to ensure that products sold both online and offline are safe, and that consumer trust is ensured, in particular for cross-border purchases;

 

7. Underlines that the effective simplification of customs procedures and proper enforcement of customs systems are essential for combating fraud and transnational crime, driving competition and protecting consumers; reiterates the importance of an adequate and effective level of commitment appropriations to allow the modernisation of the customs union in support of the implementation of the Union Customs Code and development of electronic and more automated customs systems in the interest of greater efficiency for EU companies and streamlined protection of consumers; calls for this modernisation to take account of the changes related to the EU-UK Agreement; calls for full compliance with the recommendations of the Court of Auditors on a more effective budget, consumer welfare and protection, and better value for businesses;

 

8. Underlines the importance of accountability and transparency for bodies that receive EU funding; reiterates that effective spending and proper evaluation creates savings that could finance further activities;

 

9. Stresses the need for all budgetary programmes to be subject to ongoing cost-benefit analyses to ensure the limited Union budget is spent as effectively as possible, and that funding can be used for the most high-quality projects with a maximum effect and whose results match intended objectives, including the desired contribution to sustainability; points out that EU funding should be accompanied by measurable result indicators, rather than simple output measurements, which would allow comparability and efficiency ranking of individual EU programmes.

 


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on the draft report on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

 

 

 

Dear Mr Van Overtveldt,

 

In the course of their meeting 24 February, the REGI coordinators decided to send the Committee input to the Guidelines 2022 resolution in the form of a letter.  I would be grateful if your staff would incorporate in the BUDG voting list the following suggestions:

 

* * *

 

General remarks

 

1. Article 174 TFEU states the need for strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion in order to promote the overall harmonious development of the Union. In particular, the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least-favoured regions.

 

2 Investments made under cohesion and regional development policy have been shown to represent substantial European added-value, and contribute to achieving EU policy goals such as the Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights, promoting innovation, and supporting the transition to the digital economy.

 

3.  Recalls that EU cohesion policy contributes significantly to sustainable economic growth, investments and competitiveness, as well as safe and secure working and living conditions, including equal opportunities and non-discrimination.

 

4.  Strongly supports regional and cohesion policy as the prime investment instrument of the EU budget, that enables economic, social and territorial cohesion, and is one of the cornerstones of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

A late start to cohesion policy 2021-27

 

5.  Acknowledges that, because of the very late adoption of Council positions on MFF-related legislative proposals, a delayed start to the new 2021-27 generation of cohesion policy is inevitable.

 

6. Calls on the budgetary authority, in view of the two overlapping programming periods (2014-2020/n+3 & 2021-2027), and in view of the need to relaunch the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure sufficient liquidity in the 2022 annual budget to be able to honour the incoming payment applications.

 

7. Calls for more resources for European Territorial Cooperation (ETC, INTERREG) in order to respond better to the COVID-19 and ensure the continuation of the necessary interregional cooperation at local and regional level.

 

 

The need for budgetary coordination

 

8.  Notes the proliferation of EU instruments with policy goals adjacent and complementary to those of cohesion policy, such as React-EU, JTF, RRF, CRII and CRII+.  Stresses the need for careful coordination of the budgetary aspects of the roll-out of these new instruments if their effect is to be maximised; and invites the Commission to consider whether, to this end, additional administrative resources are needed. 

 

9.  Underlines that multi-level governance and the involvement of regional and local authorities and other actors are prerequisites for effective, transparent and targeted investments.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Younous Omarjee


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUD))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee.

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission.

Yours sincerely,

(signed) Juan Fernando López Aguilar

 

SUGGESTIONS

on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission

(2020/2265(BUI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

 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[15],

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027[16], and to the joint declarations agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission in this context[17], as well as to the related unilateral declarations[18],

 having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources[19],

 having regard to Council Decision (EU, Euratom) No 2020/2053 of 14 December 2020 on the system of own resources of the European Union and repealing Decision (EU, Euratom) No 2014/335[20],

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 2020/2094 of 14 December 2020 establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument to support the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis[21],

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget[22],

 having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2021[23] and the joint statements agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed hereto,

 having regard to the Council Conclusions of ... on the 2022 budget guidelines (00000/2021),

 having regard to Rule 93 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0046/2021),

Back on track: budget 2022 for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

1. Believes that, given the particular uncertainty about the economic outlook, which is not expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, and the imperative need for a quick recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Union budget should play an even more pivotal role in ensuring a positive and tangible impact on citizens’ lives and contributing to sustaining the European economy, leveraging investments and supporting job creation, while ensuring equal opportunities for all throughout the Union, as well as facilitating the reduction of economic, social, territorial and generational disparities;

2. Intends, therefore, to set up a forward-looking budget that will be instrumental in the recovery process, and will enable the Union to boost investments and tackle unemployment, foster the digital and green transitions, improve the life prospects of the young generation, in particular attention to young people in vulnerable situations, and address demographic challenges, and ensure a safe and prosperous environment for EU citizens; considers these priorities to be essential in order to uphold the recovery and build up the foundations for a more resilient Union;

2a.  Notes that, in addition to the many advantages the Recovery plan will bring for Member States and EU citizens, there are always risks that  criminals misappropriate funds intended to save jobs and support the legal economy in Europe; considers that the fight against fraud to the EU’s budget, corruption, money laundering, criminal financing should be strengthened in 2022;

A vibrant economy to boost investments and tackle unemployment

3. Recalls that SMEs remain the backbone of the European economy and continue to play a vital role in job and growth creation; underlines the importance of an adequately funded Single Market Programme to boost competitiveness of small business with the development of digital and entrepreneurial skills; underscores, furthermore, the potential of the InvestEU programme in leveraging sustainable, innovative and social investments, but also in providing capital support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) negatively affected by the crisis;

4. Emphasises the continued need to invest in research and innovation, in particular for the EU to be a driving force in the green and digital transitions; underlines, in that respect, the particular merits of Horizon Europe, and considers essential to provide SMEs with adequate support in research and innovation so that they can actively take part in these immense challenges;

5. Strongly supports regional policy as the prime investment instrument of the EU budget that enables economic, social and territorial cohesion, and one of the cornerstones of the recovery; highlights its role in reaching EU strategic objectives such as employment, green economy and innovation, and as a driving force of a more inclusive and sustainable Union;

6. Reaffirms the importance and potential of the EU4Health Programme, which under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) became the largest health programme to ever be funded by the EU budget; expects that synergies will be strengthened between all EU programmes that provide additional investments in the health sector like the ESF+, the ERDF, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe;

Meeting the challenge of digital and green transitions

7. Stresses the urgency, heightened by the COVID-19 crisis, to close the digital divide and ramp up Europe’s digital transformation; points out to the importance of synergies between EU programmes to create successful conditions to accelerate the market uptake of breakthrough technologies and innovations; considers that the Digital Europe programme is essential in improving Europe’s competitiveness in the global digital economy and achieving technological sovereignty; expects that this programme will boost investments in EU high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, as well as the promotion of advanced digital skills across the economy and society; emphasises, in this regard, that any algorithms or applications developed or deployed must respect fundamental rights, as expressed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, including the right to privacy and non-discrimination;

8. Stresses the central role of the EU budget in ensuring the success of the European Green Deal and the fair transition towards a more sustainable and resilient economy; stresses in particular the need to ensure that adequate resources underpin the new growth strategy, in order to enable the Union to deliver on its commitments whilst ensuring no one is left behind, and intends to monitor closely the implementation of the strategy in the Budget 2022; underlines, in this context, that a modern and resilient EU’s infrastructure is a key component of restoring competitiveness and building up EU’s strategic autonomy; recognises, therefore, the added value of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and EU space programmes;

Providing better prospects for the young generation and addressing demographic challenges

9. Underlines that, as was the case in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, young people, particularly young people in vulnerable situations, are once again particularly hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis; highlights, therefore, that all funding possibilities should be fully explored to ensure the labour market inclusion and life prospects for young people;

10. Insists that the Union cannot find a sustainable path to recovery without its young generation; points, in that respect, to the extreme relevance of increasing financial resources for Union programmes such as Erasmus+, whose success in broadening education, training and job opportunities across the Union is undisputable; highlights the potential of this programme in promoting, excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship in an inclusive manner;

11. Stresses that sustainable and long-term solutions must be found to successfully fight structural demographic challenges, as well as mitigating brain drain in rural, remote and less developed areas of the EU; emphasises the need for financial resources to revitalise areas suffering from population decline and to provide ageing populations in Europe with adequate support in terms of access to healthcare, mobility and public services; highlights the need of setting up appropriate structures to study trends and propose measures to adequately address demographic change;

Managing external borders and migration flows, providing international protection, and ensuring a safe and prosperous environment for all

12. Considers that individuals’ fundamental rights, economic growth and prosperity, internal security, management of the EU’s external borders, proper functioning of the Schengen area and freedom of movement within the EU are inextricably linked; insists that the effective management of the external borders must comply with Union and international law, respecting, in particular, the right to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement; recalls the urgent need to put in place independent monitoring mechanisms to prevent fundamental rights violations at the external borders; notes the important role of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and its recently enhanced mandate; further notes the investigations launched by OLAF and the European Ombudsman into Frontex, and the decision of the Parliament to establish a Working Group within the LIBE Committee to monitor and investigate the management and operation of Frontex; underlines that increases in the budgetary allocations to Frontex need to be accompanied by a corresponding increase in accountability and transparency and are conditional upon the Agency’s commitment to Union law; underlines that the budgetary allocation for Frontex for 2022 must reflect those considerations; stresses the need for further integration of the Schengen area, based on  objective criteria and the need for the restoration of freedom of movement and the lifting of internal border controls; underlines the importance of robust EU investments in the area of  internal security with a view to ensuring and improving the consistency and fundamental rights-compliance of EU law enforcement and judicial response to cross-border criminal threats and promoting information exchange;

12a Takes note that the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 provides for higher amounts than in previous years for the implementation of migration asylum and integration policies; calls for effective national and Union programmes that will strengthen the Common European Asylum System, promote legal migration and integration, including safe and legal pathways, fight trafficking in human beings and encourage the dignified return of persons  and voluntary returns; calls for Member States and the Commission to ensure a robust financial allocation to guarantee adequate reception and registration of refugees migrants and asylum seekers, the swift processing of asylum applications and their effective integration of migrant, asylum seekers and refugees; notes that crossings at the EU external borders have decreased by 13% compared to 2020, among other factors as a consequence of the pandemic, while pending asylum applications cases, 876 200 in November 2020, remains very high, thus requiring greater efforts to reduce the number of pending asylum applications; highlights, the shifting patterns in migratory routes, particularly the Atlantic route, with an 889% increase in arrivals to the Canary islands in 2020; asks for reinforced action to assist those Member States where the concentration of migrants and asylum seekers is higher, such as Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain or Cyprus, urges the Commission to devote strengthened resources to ensuring solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibilities across Member States; is deeply concerned by the continuing loss of lives in the Mediterranean in the absence of functioning search and rescue capacities; believes that search and rescue is a State responsibility that cannot be left only to non-state actors; calls on the Commission to urgently create a fund to support the setting up of a EU search and rescue mission for the Mediterranean; urges that more resources should be devoted to search and rescue to avoid the tragic loss of lives at sea; stresses, once more, the need for a detailed breakdown of budgetary allocations by ensuring budget lines per specific objective in the area of migration and asylum;

13. Highlights the need for adequate funding, staffing and staff training for all agencies and bodies operating in the field of fundamental rights, asylum, security, justice and integrated border management in order for them to fulfil their increased responsibilities,  while ensuring individuals’ fundamental rights protection, particularly in their operations; 

14. Considers that the EU must increase its efforts to tackle security threats such as terrorism, radicalisation, violent extremism, criminal smuggling, drugs trafficking or cybercrime and hybrid threats within Europe; considers that funding allocations should reflect the changing nature of threats, such as the rise of right-wing extremism, as well as the tackling of root causes, as well as better coordination of such programmes at EU level; welcomes the Strategy for a Security Union presented by the Commission on 24 July 2020, and calls for an adequate funding of its action plans; notes that the pandemic has lead to new criminal challenges;

14a. Highlights the importance of the proper implementation and operational management of EU large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (EES, ETIAS, ECRIS-TCN, EURODAC, VIS, SIS);

15. Underlines the responsibility of the EU to ensure it has the adequate resources to address the geopolitical consequences of the crisis and ensure a secure and stable global environment;

Promoting democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights

15a. Expresses deep concern at the significant deterioration of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including the independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, the fight against corruption and artistic, academic and media freedom in some Member States; calls therefore, for a considerable strengthening of n funding devoted to ensure the protection of  these fundamental principles; welcomes in this regard, the Democracy action plan; further welcomes the continuous comprehensive work in covering the law and practice of Member States in those areas carried out by the Fundamental Rights Agency; considers that budgetary provisions should reflect the need to ensure support for civil society participation in public debate and in decision-making, particularly during the Conference on the Future of Europe, and should also reflect the need to monitor breaches of fundamental rights and ensure the safety of journalists, artists, teachers and academics;

15b. Recalls that independent investigative journalism is an essential component of a well-functioning democracy, by bringing quality fact-based information, combating disinformation, raising awareness to citizens, and revealing wrongdoings or crimes; stresses that journalism across Europe faces strong challenges, in particular the lack of financial resources, hence threatening their independence or survival; calls for ambitious funding programmes in the European budget in this field;

15c  Highlights that the new Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values  programme is of strategic importance to strengthen democracy, equality and the rule of law in the EU and European citizenship; notes that it includes a new strand on Union values providing financial support to civil society organisations active at local, regional and transnational level in promoting rights, thereby also strengthening the protection and promotion of Union values and the respect of the rule of law and contributing to democratic dialogue, transparency and good governance, including in cases of shrinking space for civil society; highlights, in addition, the importance of funding for better promotion of gender equality, combating gender-based violence and promoting women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health rights and LGBTIQ rights across the Member States; recalls also that the Justice programme includes a specific objective aimed at supporting and promoting judicial training, with a view to fostering a common legal, judicial and rule of law culture; further recalls that judicial trainings should also contribute to raise awareness on discrimination and the fundamental rights impact of digitalisation of criminal justice systems; calls for the funding of these programs to be evenly spent during the MFF period and urges full expenditure of annual funds for the specific objectives highlighted.

Specific and cross-cutting issues of the 2022 budget

16. Expects, in the run-up to the adoption of the 2022 budget, that the full potential of the MFF package will be put into practice and intends to monitor closely the implementation of all elements of the agreement reached; reaffirms the importance of a functioning rule of law conditionality mechanism fully in line with the recently adopted Regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the EU budget and a swift implementation which entered into force from 1st January 2021; recalls that 2022 will be the first year of application of the programme-specific adjustments under Article 5 of the MFF Regulation, regarding inter alia the envelopes of EU flagship programmes to be financed from the new fines-based mechanism;

17. Stresses that, following the late adoption of the MFF 2021-2027, the launch of EU flagship programmes like Erasmus +, Horizon Europe, as well as the financing for the Green Deal and digitalisation strategies, were significantly delayed; expects, therefore, that every effort will be made to ensure that all new EU programmes are fully operational in 2022 and insists on the need to ensure that any EU programme does not enable massive surveillance and discriminatory practices; recalls, in that respect, the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on tackling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis issued in the joint conclusions on the 2021 budget, in which a particular attention is given to the sectors of the economy that are most hit by the crisis such as SMEs, tourism and hospitality sector, as well as the people that are most affected by the crisis; 

18. Expects, furthermore, a sufficient level of payment appropriations to be entered in the 2022 budget, for both the new programmes and the completion of past ones, especially in the context of higher expected needs for payments in the area of cohesion, and to ensure that the Union budget provides the necessary economic stimulus;

19. Stresses that the EU budget will be significantly reinforced by the European Union Recovery Instrument (EURI) in 2022, with at least 60% of its total allocation to be committed under the different programmes by the end of that year; is concerned, however, about the delayed start of the borrowing and lending operations under this Instrument , as the new Own Resources Decision (ORD), providing the authorisation for these operations, is not yet in force; calls, therefore, on the Member States to accelerate further the ratification process of the new ORD, in order not to jeopardise the timely effect of the recovery;

20. Underlines that the 2022 Union budget will constitute a bridge between the first and second steps of the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources; points, in that respect, to the need for a smooth implementation so that new own resources cover at least the expenditure related to the repayment of the EURI;

20a. Is deeply concerned by the lack of resources allocated to some EU agencies and bodies acting in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA), which will impact on their capacity to comply fully with their mandate; recalls the increased tasks attributed to those agencies and bodies; calls for proper funding and staffing of EU agencies and bodies in the field of JHA; points out that a number of those agencies and bodies might need increased funding and staff with appropriate categories of recruitment in 2022 to fulfil their mandates; reiterates its call for further action to improve the training of law enforcement to fulfil their tasks efficiently, as well as training on strategies to fight against racism and discrimination, and to prevent, identify and ban racial and ethnic profiling and violence; insists, nonetheless, that effective, transparent and gender balanced management of JHA Agencies is a precondition for increased funding, including, in particular, full compliance with fundamental rights and that all JHA Agenciesmust comply with EU and international law and reflect the values of the EU in their work.

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors.


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on General guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission</Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee. At its meeting of 27 January 2021, the committee decided to send the opinion in the form of a letter.

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs considered the matter at its meeting of 25 February 2021. At that meeting[24], it decided to call on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution.

First of all, members of the committee wish to recall that in times of unprecedented economic, health, education and social challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union’s annual budget constitutes an important pillar of the EU’s response to the damage caused by the virus. The EU’s annual budget 2022 must be both ambitious and solid to ensure that the Union’s programmes can work as an effective economic stimulus.

They further underline the importance of boosting the EU budget by the European Union Recovery Instrument and stress the need for all Member States to ratify the new Own Resources Decision. They also draw attention to the need to pursue the implementation of the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources, in order to ensure that new own resources cover at least the expenditure related to the repayment of the European Union Recovery Instrument.

The members of the committee stress that the Union’s 2022 budget must also be sufficient to finance the exercise of the competences attributed to the Union by the Treaties, be focused on the common European interest and must allow the Union to deliver the results that matter to European citizens.

Effective communication with and consultation of citizens all over Europe should be among the top priorities of the budget in order to ensure broad, active and effective involvement of citizens. In particular, the budget for 2022 should have the resources necessary for the carry out of the Conference on the Future of Europe. These resources should be commensurate with the Conference’s goals as set out in the European Parliament’s position on the Conference on the Future of Europe[25], including the organization of thematic European Citizens’ agoras and Youth agoras throughout the process.

The members of the committee underline the need for the adequate financing of the Union’s programmes, activities and initiatives that are vital for intensifying the participatory democracy processes in the EU, building citizens’ trust and enhancing their understanding of EU policies as well as developing and promoting European Citizenship, in particular the European Citizens’ Initiative and the Rights and Values Programme.

Proper levels of financing also need to be secured for the structures within the EU institutions and bodies which are responsible for communication with citizens and countering disinformation such as, among else, the Commission Representations and the future Secretariat of the Conference on the Future of Europe, in order to enable them to fulfil their tasks effectively.

Last but not least, the members of the committee recall the necessity of allocating adequate funds for the Commission’s communication services aiming at promoting citizenship education as well as informing citizens about the Union’s activities and policies, thus contributing to better awareness and countering disinformation in the Member States and online.

I am confident that the Committee on Budgets will take these suggestions into consideration when preparing the guidelines for the 2022 budget.

Yours sincerely,

Antonio Tajani


 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Guidelines for the 2022 Budget - Section III </Titre> <DocRef>(2020/2265(BUI))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Van Overtveldt,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee, which was approved at its meeting of 25 January 2021.

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality adopted this opinion in a form of a letter at its meeting of 25 February 2021[26] and calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible,