Procedure : 2020/2179(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0076/2021

Texts tabled :

A9-0076/2021

Debates :

PV 27/04/2021 - 8
CRE 27/04/2021 - 8

Votes :

PV 28/04/2021 - 2
PV 29/04/2021 - 4
PV 29/04/2021 - 19
CRE 29/04/2021 - 4

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0203

<Date>{30/03/2021}30.3.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0076/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 178kWORD 59k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2179(DEC))</DocRef>


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

Rapporteur: <Depute>Ryszard Czarnecki</Depute>

AMENDMENTS
1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION
 3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

1. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019

(2020/2179(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on EU agencies for the financial year 2019, together with the agencies’ replies[1],

 having regard to the statement of assurance[2] as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2019, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 1 March 2021 on discharge to be given to the Institute in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2019 (05793/2021 – C9‑0076/2021),

 having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 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[3], and in particular Article 70 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology[4], and in particular Article 21 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/715 of 18 December 2018 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies set up under the TFEU and Euratom Treaty and referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council[5], and in particular Article 105 thereof,

 having regard to Articles 32 and 47 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council[6],

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

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0076/2021),

1. Grants the Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology discharge in respect of the implementation of the Institute’s budget for the financial year 2019;

2. Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3. Instructs its President to forward this decision, and the resolution forming an integral part of it, to the Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

 


 

2. PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the closure of the accounts of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019

(2020/2179(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019,

 having regard to the Court of Auditors’ annual report on EU agencies for the financial year 2019, together with the agencies’ replies[7],

 having regard to the statement of assurance[8] as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors for the financial year 2019, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 1 March 2021 on discharge to be given to the Institute in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2019 (05793/2021 – C9‑0076/2021),

 having regard to Article 319 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 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[9], and in particular Article 70 thereof,

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology[10], and in particular Article 21 thereof,

 having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/715 of 18 December 2018 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies set up under the TFEU and Euratom Treaty and referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council[11], and in particular Article 105 thereof,

 having regard to Articles 32 and 47 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1271/2013 of 30 September 2013 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 208 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council[12],

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

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0076/2021),

1. Approves the closure of the accounts of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019;

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

 


 

3. MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019

(2020/2179(DEC))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the financial year 2019,

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

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A9-0076/2021),

A. whereas, according to its statement of revenue and expenditure[13], the final budget of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (the ‘Institute’) for the financial year 2019 was EUR 557 896 982,73, representing an increase of 21,80 % compared to 2018; whereas the overall contribution of the Union to the Institute's budget for 2019 amounted to EUR 378 562 704,82, representing an increase of 20,99 % compared to 2018;

B. whereas the Court of Auditors (the ‘Court’), in its report on the Institute’s annual accounts for the financial year 2019 (the ‘Court’s report’), states that the Court has obtained reasonable assurance that the Institute's annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;

Budget and financial management

1. Notes that the budget monitoring efforts during the financial year 2019 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 97,04 %, representing an increase of 4,99 % compared to 2018; notes that the payment appropriations execution rate was 97,57 %, representing a decrease of 0,23 % compared to 2018;

2. Notes from the Court’s report that the Institute control procedures generally worked as intended, with the exception of a payment of EUR 1 200 for the reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses, which the service contract did not provide for; notes from the Institute’s reply to the Court that the payment in question refers to the travel and subsistence expenses incurred by an interim member of staff, who carried out a mission in the interest of the service, nevertheless the Institute acknowledged its error and will make the necessary legal adjustments;

Performance

3. Acknowledges that the Institute uses key performance indicators at the level of the Institute and of the knowledge and innovation community (KIC); notes that regarding the KIC’s key performance indicators the Institute measured its performance by traditional Horizon 2020 key performance indicators, such as time-to-grant and time-to-pay; notes that, as a follow-up to the Institute’s mid-term evaluation by the Commission and the Institute Impact Study, the Institute is currently working on establishing an Impact Framework to measure the socio-economic impact of the KIC activities;

4. Notes that the Institute implemented 95 % of its work programme for 2019;

5. Notes that the Institute has outsourced accounting services to the Commission, and introduced the Commission’s IT tools, such as ARES for document management and SYSPER for human resources management;

6. Notes that the Institute identified and evaluated the possibility to cooperate and share resources with the Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training, and that it explores further possibilities; calls on the Institute to follow-up on the identified opportunities to share resources; calls on the Institute to continue to develop its synergies and increase cooperation and the exchange of good practices with other Union agencies with a view to improving efficiency (human resources, building management, IT services and security);

7. Stresses the importance of increasing the digitalisation of the Institute in terms of internal operations and management procedures; stresses the need for the Institute to continue to be proactive in that regard in order to avoid a digital gap between the Union agencies at all costs; draws attention, however, to the need to take all the necessary security measures to avoid any risk to the online security of the information processed;

Staff policy

8. Notes that, on 31 December 2019, the establishment plan was 97,73 % implemented, with 43 temporary agents appointed out of 44 temporary agents authorised under the Union budget (compared with 44 authorised posts in 2018); notes that, in addition, 22 contract agents and no seconded national experts worked for the Institute in 2019;

9. Notes with regard to gender balance on the governing board for 2019 that there are 4 men and 8 women; asks the Commission to take into account the importance of ensuring gender balance when nominating the members to the Institute’s governing board; notes that in 2019 the Institute was fairly balanced as regards gender at staff level (46 % men and 54 % women);

10. Welcomes that the Institute put in place social policies, that include improved schooling and kindergarten packages and funding of social activities aimed at attracting and retaining a bigger number of expatriate staff;

11. Notes from the Court’s report that the large increase in the Institute’s budget and the growing number of KICs had not been accompanied by an increase in the number of posts; notes from the Court’s report that the Institute’s budget will increase by a further EUR 600 000 000, or 25 %, under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), compared to the current MFF, while the number of staff remains capped at 70; further notes from the Court’s report that there is a risk that the Institute will not have sufficient capacity to deal with its increased workload in the future, and that this risk has increased further, instead of being mitigated;

12. Notes from the Court’s report that the implementation of an observation stemming from 2017 regarding the publication of vacancy notices is still ongoing, since the Institute does not consistently publish its vacancies on the website of the European Personnel Selection Office;

13. Encourages the Agency to pursue the development of a long-term human resources policy framework which addresses work-life balance, lifelong guidance and career development, gender balance, teleworking, geographical balance and the recruitment and integration of persons with disabilities;

Sustainability

14. Regrets that the Institute has so far not set CO2 reduction targets; welcomes however the efforts made by the Institute to create an environmentally friendly framework and all the measures taken by the Institute to reduce its carbon footprint, its energy consumption and to develop a paperless workflow;

Procurement

15. Notes that the Institute participated in a number of inter-institutional procurement procedures of the Commission and of other Union agencies; notes that the Institute has introduced e-tendering and e-submission in 2018 and has processed several calls for tender via e-procurement tools in 2019;

16. Notes that in 2019 the Institute launched a new monitoring activity on the procurement policies and procedures of the KIC legal entities and their co-location centres as follow up to the 2016-2017 expert assignment;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interest and transparency

17. Acknowledges the Institute’s existing measures and ongoing efforts to secure transparency, prevention and management of conflicts of interest, and to ensure the protection of whistleblowers; welcomes that the Institute published the declarations of conflicts of interest and CVs of its governing board and senior management on its website;

18. Notes that the Institute reported on one whistleblowing case in 2019 and that the internal rules were applied; calls on the Institute to report to the discharge authority on the development of that case;

19. Notes that the 2019 assessment on the KICs' implementation of good government principles could be further improved, as some KICs should improve their code of good conduct and policies on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest and monitoring mechanisms; notes that this aspect will be followed up by the Institute in 2020 through a horizontal monitoring activity; calls on the Institute to report on the results;

20. Underlines the fact that the current ethical framework applying to Union institutions and agencies suffers from considerable drawbacks due to its fragmentation and lack of consistency between existing provisions; highlights that those issues should be addressed by setting up a common ethical framework, ensuring the application of high ethical standards for Union institutions and agencies;

Internal controls

21. Notes that the internal audit service finalised its audit on ex-ante verification of payments to the KICs on 31 January 2019 and sent a note on follow-up actions of outstanding recommendations from the audit on monitoring of grant agreements; notes that one recommendation has been adequately implemented and two recommendations remain open;

22. Notes the number of outstanding issues and ongoing corrective measures in response to the Court’s comments in 2014, 2017 and 2018 related in particular to funding conditions; notes the Institute’s reply that out of the 19 comments only seven remained open; further, notes that three are beyond the Institute’s control and another three require a longer timeframe to be fully completed;

Other comments

23. Commends the Institute’s pro-active engagement with media to develop greater visibility in the media, internet, and social media in order to make its work known;

24. Welcomes the fact that the Institute has improved its presence on social media, increasing its overall engagement on various social media platforms; further, notes the Institute’s efforts to achieve cost-effective and environmentally friendly working place; call on the Institute to continue to improve its social media presence and its strategy for sustainable development;

25. Welcomes the Institute’s efforts to increase cybersecurity and data protection; notes the Institute’s implementation process of the general information security policy, including information and communication technology aspects of cybersecurity; calls on the Institute to report on the outcome of that process;

o

o  o

26. Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of ... 2021[14] on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.3.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Matteo Adinolfi, Olivier Chastel, Caterina Chinnici, Lefteris Christoforou, Corina Crețu, Ryszard Czarnecki, Martina Dlabajová, José Manuel Fernandes, Raffaele Fitto, Luke Ming Flanagan, Daniel Freund, Isabel García Muñoz, Monika Hohlmeier, Jean-François Jalkh, Pierre Karleskind, Joachim Kuhs, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Claudiu Manda, Alin Mituța, Younous Omarjee, Tsvetelina Penkova, Markus Pieper, Sabrina Pignedoli, Michèle Rivasi, Petri Sarvamaa, Angelika Winzig, Lara Wolters, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Andrey Novakov, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

27

+

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki, Raffaele Fitto, Ryszard Antoni Legutko

NI

Sabrina Pignedoli

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, José Manuel Fernandes, Monika Hohlmeier, Andrey Novakov, Markus Pieper, Petri Sarvamaa, Angelika Winzig, Tomáš Zdechovský

Renew

Olivier Chastel, Martina Dlabajová, Pierre Karleskind, Alin Mituța

S&D

Caterina Chinnici, Corina Crețu, Isabel García Muñoz, Claudiu Manda, Tsvetelina Penkova, Lara Wolters

The Left

Luke Ming Flanagan, Younous Omarjee

Verts/ALE

Daniel Freund, Michèle Rivasi, Viola Von Cramon‑Taubadel

 

3

-

ID

Matteo Adinolfi, Jean‑François Jalkh, Joachim Kuhs

 

0

0

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] OJ C 351, 21.10.2020, p. 7. ECA annual report on EU agencies for the 2019 financial year: https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/AGENCIES_2019/agencies_2019_EN.pdf.

[2] OJ C 351, 21.10.2020, p. 7. ECA annual report on EU agencies for the 2019 financial year: https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/AGENCIES_2019/agencies_2019_EN.pdf.

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

[4] OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1.

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

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

[7] OJ C 351, 21.10.2020, p. 7. ECA annual report on EU agencies for the 2019 financial year: https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/AGENCIES_2019/agencies_2019_EN.pdf.

[8] OJ C 351, 21.10.2020, p. 7. ECA annual report on EU agencies for the 2019 financial year: https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/AGENCIES_2019/agencies_2019_EN.pdf.

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

[10] OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1.

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

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

[13] OJ C 143, 30.4.2020, p. 22.

[14] Texts adopted, P9_TA-PROV(2021)0000.

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