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Procedure : 2004/2002(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A5-0062/2004

Texts tabled :

A5-0062/2004

Debates :

PV 25/02/2004 - 15

Votes :

PV 26/02/2004 - 9.2

Texts adopted :

P5_TA(2004)0118

Texts adopted
PDF 129kWORD 42k
Thursday, 26 February 2004 - Brussels
2005 budget guidelines (other sections)
P5_TA(2004)0118A5-0062/2004

European Parliament resolution on the guidelines for Sections II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII (A) and VIII (B) and on the European Parliament's preliminary draft estimates (Section I) for the 2005 budgetary procedure (2004/2002(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure(1),

–   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2004(2),

–   having regard to the annual report of the Court of Auditors for the 2002 financial year on the activities financed from that budget, together with the institutions' replies(3),

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinion of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs (A5-0062/2004),

A.   whereas the technical adjustment of the financial perspective projects a figure of EUR 6 185 million at current prices for heading 5 (Administrative expenditure) in the 2005 budget(4),

Political priorities
European Union of 25 Member States

1.  Recalls that the financial year 2005 will be the first full budgetary year for the European Union of 25 Member States; recalls that the year 2005 will be the first full year of activity for the newly-elected European Parliament, the newly-appointed Commission, the new Members of the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Data Protection Supervisor; recalls that the 2005 budget will be first full year of implementation of the new Staff Regulations;

2.  Underlines the importance of satisfying the needs of the enlarged Union despite the existing financial constraints; calls on the institutions to apply sound financial management and budgetary rigour, and to ensure value for money for the European taxpayer;

General framework

3.  Takes note of the financial constraints foreseen for heading 5 in 2005; underlines the fact that the technical adjustment reduces the ceiling of the financial perspectives of heading 5 for 2005 by EUR -94 million at current prices;

4.  Is looking forward to the new report on the developments in heading 5 by the Secretaries General envisaged for February 2004, proposing a new financial programming for 2005-2006 to take into account the new financial limitations of heading 5; invites the institutions, taking into account the budgetary constraints and uncertainties relating to the 2005 budget, to present realistic requests corresponding to their real needs in the 2005 estimates;

5.  Takes note of the efforts made so far by the institutions to respond to the challenges of the enlargement; recalls that the amount of staff in most of the institutions has been increasing rapidly to cater for the needs of the enlargement; considers that the main bulk of the additional needs related to the enlargement are covered in the 2002-2004 budgets, albeit that a number of measures remain to be taken;

6.  Regrets the delays in the selection procedures organised by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), which may not allow the institutions to fill all the posts granted by the budgetary authority in the 2004 budget; considers it essential to make a thorough assessment of the recruitment situation in view of the 2005 budget; reiterates its view that all staff requests have to be based on real needs and realistic recruitment estimations;

7.  Estimates that the financial impact of expanding the institutions' premises will occur mainly after 2005; calls on the institutions to provide an update on their building projects including information on the increase in the number of offices due to enlargement;

8.  Takes the view that the reform of the institutions continues to be one of the key issues for the 2005 budgetary procedure; calls on the institutions to continue their administrative reforms to improve their management and modernise staff policy; expects all institutions to increase efficiency by rationalising their working methods, making better use of modern technology, defining negative priorities (activities that can be discontinued or re-organised) and focusing more on the core activities;

9.  Calls on the institutions to analyse their budgetary structures while making the adjustments required by the new Staff Regulations, and to ensure that activity-based presentation is attached to the draft estimates in order to enhance transparency;

10.  Encourages inter-institutional co-operation in order to reduce costs and increase value for money while ensuring the institutional independence of each institution; welcomes the establishment of inter-institutional offices, such as the European Personnel Selection Office, as well as the setting-up of the Commission's administrative offices (Paymaster's Office, Infrastructure Offices in Brussels and Luxembourg); is of the opinion that further co-operation between linguistic services could be envisaged;

11.  Points out that, due to the budgetary constraints in 2005, new entities may have to be delayed unless savings are made by launching such bodies;

12.  Welcomes the Commission communication on building policy and infrastructures in Brussels (COM(2003)755); invites the other institutions to encourage greater use of public transport and alternative means of transportation, and to update their mobility plans; points out that certain concrete measures can be taken promptly, such as providing information via the Intranet on sustainable mobility connections;

13.  Stresses that the conditions for the environmental permit and the commitments entered into by SEL to provide new or renovated housing for the inhabitants of the district must be complied with;

Parliament (Section I)

14.  Is aware of the several uncertainties relating to the setting-up of Parliament's budget for 2005, such as the current lack of agreement on a Member's Statute, the actual outcome of the enlargement-related recruitments in 2004, and developments of several building projects; therefore reserves at this stage its position regarding the self-imposed limit of 20% of the expenditure under heading 5;

15.  Awaits the results of the study on EMAS and invites its competent bodies to explore practical ways of including social and environmental criteria in its procurement policy, learning from the experiences of other organisations, cities and local authorities;

16.  Regrets that the Member States have not been able to agree on a Members' Statute and hopes that progress can be made in this regard during 2004;

17.  Expresses its continued support for the adoption of a Statute of Members' assistants;

18.  Follows closely the developments relating to the European political parties and considers that, in principle, this expenditure should remain outside Parliament's self-imposed ceiling of 20% of heading 5 as it does not fall within the ambit of the administrative expenditure of the institution; is prepared, however, to look at the possibility of financing this expenditure within the 20% ceiling in view of the budgetary constraints for the year 2005;

19.  Awaits from its Bureau's Steering Group on Enlargement the updated realistic estimates on the remaining needs for the enlargement; regrets the delays in recruitment procedures for staff from the new Member States and the difficulties encountered in recruiting especially linguistic staff from certain new Member States, which create uncertainties regarding the rate at which new posts can be filled in 2004; considers, therefore, that a decision on making appropriations available for additional enlargement-related staff can only be taken at the first reading of the 2005 budget;

20.  Considers that a mid-term plan for building projects is necessary in order to define the level of Parliament's budget in 2005 with a view to possible capital injections needed to pursue the property policy;

21.  Is determined, as the driving force behind the movement to set up a WTO Parliamentary Assembly, to ensure that sufficient appropriations become available to provide for the adequate participation, with the necessary infrastructure, of its delegations in all meetings of or leading up to such an assembly;

Assistance to Members

22.  Calls on its Bureau to assess the pilot project on expertise budgets on the basis of the experience gained by the Committees concerned; takes the view that in the light of the results of the pilot project, the Bureau should consider adopting modalities, including clear and objective criteria, for the possible future allocation of research funding to parliamentary committees;

23.  Requests its Secretary General to submit a report by 1 September 2004 on all aspects of the "Raising the Game" reform;

Multilingualism

24.  Looks forward to its Bureau's Code of Conduct on multilingualism; stresses the importance of multilingualism in a Parliament of 21 languages, in order to ensure provision of the necessary translation and interpretation services for its Members, while keeping the costs of the language regime proportionate to the benefits thereof;

25.  Points to its call for the diversity of the European Union, which enlargement will increase still further, to be made visible as part of Parliament's image; expects what the working group on visible multilingualism has produced to be put into practice promptly in the interests of Members, visitors and media representatives;

Information policy and new technologies

26.  Underlines the importance of web-publishing in disseminating information, including internet broadcasting of plenary sittings; considers that its internet site "Europarl" is crucial in bringing the Parliament closer to its electorate;

27.  Encourages its parliamentary bodies and its administration to make greater use of video-conferencing, when appropriate; notes that wireless computer access is already in place in several national parliaments; points out that offering possibilities for remote access to Parliament's network for both Members and staff would increase efficiency and accessibility;

Staff policy

28.  Requests its Secretary General to submit a report by 1 September 2004 on the effects of the new Staff Regulations on Parliament's staff evaluation and promotion policy as well as an evaluation of the mobility policy;

Security

29.  Notes its Bureau's proposals on security strategy; stresses the need to target and manage efficiently the human and material resources available for enhancing security;

Car Service

30.  Underlines the need to re-evaluate the functioning of the car service to Members so as to guarantee value for money;

Council (Section II)

31.  Invites the Council to consider presenting its estimates with the PDB instead of at first reading, so as to increase transparency; continues to monitor the Council's operating budget, while respecting the gentlemen's agreement as regards the administrative expenditure;

Court of Justice (Section IV)

32.  Notes that the Court of Justice has experienced in the last couple of years higher growth rates in staff than most other institutions; recalls that the Court of Justice continues to implement full multilingualism;

Court of Auditors (Section V)

33.  Recalls that the Court of Auditors has spread its enlargement-related staff increase over the 2004 and 2005 budgets;

Economic and Social Committee (Section VI) and Committee of the Regions (Section VII)

34.  Calls on the two committees to pursue budgetary rigour in their estimates, especially as regards staffing requests and building projects, and to improve the cooperation between them as regards the joint services, so as to benefit fully from the new joint premises; expects that the move to the Belliard building and the vacation of the current buildings will take place as planned;

Ombudsman (Section VIII A)

35.  Is aware that the Ombudsman has to be able to handle complaints from citizens in all EU languages;

European Data Protection Supervisor (Section VIII B)

36.  Welcomes the appointment of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and his deputy; expects that the appropropriations for the EDPS will be included in the PDB for 2005;

o
o   o

37.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

(1) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(2)2 OJ L 53, 23.2.2004.
(3)3 OJ C 286, 28.11.2003, p.1.
(4)4 Calculated net of staff contributions to the pension scheme (EUR 175 million at 2005 prices).

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