Alarming shortage of payments for financing EU external aid
Question for oral answer O-000050/2014
to the Council
Alain Lamassoure, on behalf of the Committee on Budgets
According to information provided recently by the Commission, there is a severe shortage of payments in 2014 for humanitarian aid. One third of all available payments for 2014 for humanitarian aid have already been spent, and the expected shortage of payments in the field of humanitarian aid in 2014 amounts to EUR 400 million, of which EUR 150 million was already lacking in July 2013.
Not only does this prevent the EU from paying existing bills, but it will impede the programming and launch of new actions planned for 2014 in the Commission’s work programme.
The cash-flow crisis is affecting other external financing instruments (such as the Instrument for Stability and Peace and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights), which according to some sources will require at least an extra EUR 100 million in payment appropriations, as they will already have reached crisis point in June 2014. The situation may be further aggravated if the aid package for Ukraine, endorsed by the European Council on 6 March 2014 on the basis of a Commission proposal, requires the mobilisation of additional funds on top of those already voted in the 2014 budget.
1. In line with the joint statement on payment appropriations adopted with the 2014 EU budget, in which all three institutions committed themselves to ensuring that the necessary financial means are made available to allow the Union to fulfil its legal obligations in respect of third parties, is the Council prepared to adopt quickly any Commission proposal in the form of an amending budget based on extra payment appropriations?
2. Given that the shortage of payments severely affects humanitarian aid and a number of other EU policies, can the Council confirm its readiness to mobilise any flexibility mechanism enshrined in the new regulation on the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020 and the interinstitutional agreement, including the contingency margin, to address the situation?