Full text 
Procedure : 2006/2018B(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0356/2006

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 24/10/2006 - 14
CRE 24/10/2006 - 14

Votes :

PV 26/10/2006 - 6.3
CRE 26/10/2006 - 6.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 26 October 2006 - Strasbourg
Draft general budget for 2007 (sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII)

European Parliament resolution on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007 - Section I - European Parliament, Section II - Council, Section IV - Court of Justice, Section V - Court of Auditors, Section VI - European Economic and Social Committee, Section VII - Committee of the Regions, Section VIII(A) - European Ombudsman, Section VIII(B) - European Data Protection Supervisor (C6-0300/2006 – 2006/2018B (BUD))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(1),

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(3),

–   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(4), and in particular point 26 thereof,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2006 on the guidelines for the 2007 budget procedure - Sections II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII (A) and VIII (B) and on the European Parliament's preliminary draft estimates (Section I) for the 2007 budget procedure(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2006 on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the European Parliament for the financial year 2007(6),

–   having regard to the preliminary draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, which the Commission presented on 3 May 2006 (SEC(2006)0531),

–   having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, which the Council established on 14 July 2006 (C6-0300/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 69 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Development, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Petitions (A6-0356/2006),

A.   whereas 2007 is the first year of the new financial framework (2007-2013), for which the ceiling of heading 5 (Administrative expenditure) has been set at EUR 7 115 000 000 at current prices;

B.   whereas the Preliminary Draft Budget (PDB) of all the institutions left a margin of EUR 160 750 000 below the ceiling of heading 5 of the financial perspective for the financial year 2007;

C.   whereas after Council's decision the draft budget (DB) has a margin of EUR 285 190 000 below the ceiling of heading 5 for 2007;

General Framework

1.  Agrees with the Council that budgetary discipline and productivity gain should constitute key principles for all institutions; does not align itself with Council on across-the-board reduction; considers that budgetary requests should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis which would result in a clear and more precise picture of the real needs and priorities of each institution;

2.  Reiterates the fact that, while respecting annuality and the administrative nature of the budget, a more operational, activity-based, multiannual approach should be adopted by the institutions; believes that this approach reflects more realistically and effectively the short and medium term development and requirements of the institutions;

3.  Expects the institutions to ensure that policies and activities financed by the taxpayers provide real added-value for citizens and that budget appropriations are used in accordance with the principles of sound financial management and cost-effectiveness; has therefore decided to limit the budget increase of 2007 to 4.79%, excluding enlargement costs;

4.  Points out that, over the years, a number of institutions have ensured that substantially high margins were becoming a permanent feature in their estimates, giving rise to a high degree of mopping up transfer and, at times, cancellation of appropriations; acknowledges that it is prudent to have some adequate margins, but considers it inappropriate to have unrealistic inflated margins, under normal circumstances and especially when the process of purchasing and acquiring buildings starts to slow down;

5.  Decides to leave a margin under the ceiling of heading 5; recommends restoring EUR 30 389 840 out of the EUR 47 812 781 reduction made by Council on the budget of the other institutions (excluding the Commission);

6.  Is of the opinion that, under normal circumstances, the policy of purchasing offices and buildings should be continued especially since, over the years, this policy has served the European Parliament's interests well, generating savings and thus making it possible to fund other projects; is of the opinion, however, that some institutions may be adopting this policy solely for the sake of acquiring property; requests that this policy take into account supporting evidence such as area/volume of office space per employee and give due attention to the considerable costs, such as security and maintenance, especially as building costs account for over 16% of heading 5; insists also that institutions should present for each future acquisition proposal an indication of the additional related costs that would result in the medium term; recommends the implementation of a policy of multiannual property investment planning instead of an annual plan;

7.  Welcomes the adoption by the institutions of the new nomenclature which renders the presentation of budgetary documents more understandable and transparent to the citizens but considers it could be further improved;

8.  Has noted that the institutions at times find it difficult to adequately tap the labour market for particular professional skills, such as accountants and Information Technology personnel; notes the ever-increasing trend in the hiring of temporary staff and in the outsourcing of certain services; considers it advisable to address the policy to be followed by institutions regarding outsourcing and recruitment of temporary contract workers;

9.  Invites the institutions to restructure the translation services and especially the number and length of texts to be translated; requests the institutions to present a report on the cost efficiency of their translation services;

10.  Is of the opinion that the institutions should provide more information on the performance of their core tasks in order to justify the consumption of their financial resources; stresses the need to monitor whether additional funds are rendering institutions more or less effective and efficient; considers that in addition to budgetary implementation reports, institutions should provide more informative activity related reporting which should be submitted to the budgetary authority by the first week of September each year. These reports could be used to explain better any additional requests for funds while enabling the budgetary authorities to make a more rational decision on the allocation of such funds;

11.  Is disappointed that not all institutions are committed to making re-deployment a viable exercise; welcomes efforts being made by some institutions - notably Parliament's Administration, albeit to a very limited degree - to successfully implement a re-deployment policy over a number of years; recommends that in the coming years institutions should ensure that a re-deployment policy is an integral part of the planning procedure when preparing the annual estimates, thus ensuring that human resources requested are in line with operational requirements;

12.  Notes that the majority of requests for additional staff emanate from the enlargement process which remains a top priority; agrees with Council's policy to accept all new posts related to enlargement; considers, however, that more information has to be given on how additional staff will effectively be deployed, especially to ensure that the new incumbents are really being employed to carry out enlargement related duties;

13.  Contends that appropriations should, as much as possible, relate to specific activities thus avoiding the cancellation of appropriations and the mopping-up transfer at the end of the year;

14.  Does not agree with Council's decision to increase the "standard abatement" to a relatively high level and base it on the current rate of vacant posts as this could potentially create some unnecessary problems, especially if successful candidates could not be employed due to lack of appropriations;

15.  Recommends forms of cooperation between institutions which are bound to create synergy and contribute towards financial savings and greater efficiency, whilst helping the citizens to better understand the role of the EU in their everyday activity;

16.  Urges institutions to have a more harmonised and standard approach when drafting their estimates, including clear and precise justifications, as this would facilitate their analysis;

Section I - European Parliament
Level of budgeting

17.  Calls on the Bureau to re-address the self-imposed ceiling of 20% of heading 5 in the coming years, taking into account the development and consequential requirements of Parliament for 2009 and beyond;

18.  Regrets that the budgetary authority has had no feedback from the Administration on its request relating to the minimisation of costs in areas experiencing unnecessary expenditure as a result of having three places of work; recalls that the costs of this geographical dispersion represent approximately 16% of the total expenditure of Parliament; requests the Administration to submit a report on the number of officials who are required in Strasbourg during the Plenary Session;

19.  Takes note of the Bureau's amending letter of 6 September 2006 proposing to set the budget at the maximum level of 20% of heading 5, which translates into an increase of 7,72% over the 2006 budget; points out that the amount of mopping up transfer in 2005 was EUR 123 800 000 and the surplus in 2006 is expected to be around EUR 100 million; draws the attention of Members to its abovementioned resolution of 1 June 2006 (paragraphs 1 and 2) stating that the budget should be based on realistic requests;

20.  Has decided, after careful examination of Parliament's budgetary requirements, that the final level of Parliament's budget be set at EUR 1 397 460 174 corresponding to a 5.74% increase over the 2006 budget and registering a reduction of Parliament's budget by EUR 25 539 826 below the 20% of heading 5; underlines that the above does not constitute any limitation of Parliament's right to use fully the self-imposed ceiling for 2007 and subsequent years; is confident that this level of budgeting would not in any way limit the institution's ability to continue operating and functioning at an efficient level;

Information and Communication policy

21.  Re-affirms its policy that the European Parliament should continue its efforts to develop an effective and user-friendly information strategy with the main objective of improving the relationship between the institution and European citizens; considers that this can only be achieved on the basis of a report on a global concept for information and communication with citizens and after analysis of the added value of each information tool;

22.  Decides to modify the nomenclature and create two new budget lines for the Visitors' Centre and the Web-TV in order to enhance financial transparency and accountability;

23.  Notes the Bureau's proposals to release EUR 6 700 000 from the reserve for information and communication policy earmarked for Web TV; has decided to maintain the EUR 6 700 000 allocated by the Bureau for Web TV in Chapter 104 ("Reserve for Information and communication"), as well as the 5 posts relating to the project, until the prototype, the content and the cost of the project including the structures and level of participation of political groups in the definition of the contents of the programmes are presented to the budgetary authority for its final decision;

24.  Regrets that in the past years unnecessary delays were evident in the implementation of the overall improvement of the visitors" programme; points out that issues relating to this service are highly relevant to improving the relationship between Members and their constituencies; considers that this direct contact with European citizens has a beneficial multiplier effect in the perception that European citizens have of their Parliament;

25.  Reiterates the call it made in paragraph 37 of its resolution of 1 June 2006 for immediate action to resolve the sensitive issue regarding the underspending of EUR 5 million relating to the visitors" programme; welcomes the Bureau's decision to adopt the Quaestors' proposal for the revision of rules on visitors" groups in order to increase the amount available to cover costs and to increase the number of visitors per Member to 100; appreciates also the early handover of the D4 building where the Visitors' Centre is located; requests the Secretary General to inform the budgetary authority on the impact of the implementation of the new rules and the efficiency of the system by the end of March 2007;

26.  Underlines that the reception of visitors' groups should be done under the best conditions; therefore requests the Administration to study carefully practical arrangements such as access to the new Visitors' Centre, the conditions for visiting the Plenary Chamber and the availability of meeting rooms;

27.  Acknowledges the efforts being made by the Administration to rectify the shortcomings in the visitors" service; however, calls on the Administration to address the complaints concerning the non-availability of slots to receive visitors;

28.  Has decided to agree with the following Bureau proposals regarding various appropriations:

   to allocate an extra amount of EUR 2 700 000 for the visitors" programme,
   to allocate EUR 6 800 000 for the fitting out of the Visitors' Centre premises; from this amount, EUR 2 600 000 is transferred from Chapter 104 ("Reserve for Information and communication");
   to maintain in chapter 104 ("Reserve for information and communication policy") an amount of EUR 15 700 000 for the audiovisual equipment of the D5 building.

29.  Has decided to confirm the decision taken by the Bureau on the initiative "Citizens Agora" for a trial period; asks the Bureau to be informed on the estimated cost and the content of this initiative before implementing the project;


30.  Confirms the decision to enter an allocation of EUR 48 million for enlargement related expenditure (Romania and Bulgaria) in respect of the following:

   1. new Member-related personnel expenses (35 Romanians and 18 Bulgarians);
   2. additional staff (the remaining 113 out of the 226 permanents posts and 22 temporary posts for political groups);
   3. interpretation and conference technicians;
   4. equipment and furniture;
   5. operating expenditure;
   6. information and statutory financing of political groups and parties;

31.  Calls on the Administration to ensure that enlargement-related recruitment processes do not experience the same delays as witnessed in the enlargement to the EU 10; asks the Administration to update and periodically present the report on recruitment regarding enlargement to the budget authority;

Establishment Plan

32.  Points out that consolidation of the establishment plan together with the redeployment exercise remain the key objectives in the strategic planning of the recruitment of staff in the 2007 establishment plan; maintains that a leaner organisational structure has to be created, principally by streamlining new posts, prioritising objectives and the discontinuation of activities which are not core activities and do not give any added value; re-affirms that the filling of posts falling vacant as a result of retirement will not be accepted as being an automatic process;

33.  Notes that, following the amending letter by the Bureau, the level of new posts requested, before the redeployment measure, amounted to EUR 3 062 347 corresponding to 106 posts; considers, after evaluating more precisely the justification for these posts, that the total amount is well above Parliament's essential requirements for 2007 and has therefore approved the following new posts:

   Irish language: 3 AD5 (lawyer linguist), 3 AD5 (translator) and 3 AST3;
   Internalisation (former session auxiliaries): 4 AST1 (audiovisual);
   Comitology: 5 AD5 and 2 AST3;
   Better law-making: 1 AD5;
   Budgetary control: 1 AD5 and directorate D: 1 AST3;
   Extension of the KAD building: 1 AD5 and 2 AST3, of which one is in reserve;
   Web TV: 1 AD9, 2 AD5 and 2 AST3 in reserve;
   EMAS: 1 AST3;

34.  Has decided to release from the reserve:

   Internalisation (former session auxiliaries): 8 AST1 (audiovisual), 4 AD5 and 4 AST1, of which 2 AD5 and 2 AST1 remain in reserve (minutes and CRE), and 4 temporary AD5 (teachers);
   Maintenance of buildings: 3 AST3, of which one remains in reserve;
   Visitors' Centre: 1 AD5 and 1 AST3;
   Others: 1 AST3 (audiovisual sector) and 1 AST3 (medical service)
   Deletion of the 47 remaining posts in reserve;

35.  Has also decided to make the necessary appropriations available for the creation of two AD5 posts for basic internal communication; has agreed also to the transformation of three fixed-term temporary AD5 and one fixed-term temporary AST3 posts into open-ended temporary posts in the Legal Service, in view of the importance the Institution attaches to improving the quality of legislation;

36.  Is aware that upgrading is essential for the motivation of staff, but points out that this should always be in line with the Staff Regulations; takes note of the upgrades requested by the Administration and has decided to confirm the upgradings requested by the Bureau for permanent and temporary staff: 2 AST2 to AST3, 168 AST3 to AST4, 15 AST4 to AST5, 205 AST5 to AST6, 225 AST6 to AST7, 30 AST7 to AST8, 25 AST8 to AST9, 10 AST10 to AST11, 57 AD5 to AD6, 19 AD7 to AD8, 25 AD12 to AD13, 2 AD13 to AD14 and 1 AD10 to AD11, 1 AD8 to AD9, 2 AST7 to AST8, 1 AST5 to AST6, 1 AD8 to AD10, 1 AD6 to AD10, plus 1 AD8 to AD9;

37.  Has likewise decided to confirm the upgradings requested by the political groups: 8 AD12 to AD13, 9 AD11 to AD12, 6 AD10 to AD11, 1 AD9 to AD10, 4 AD6 to AD7, 9AD5 to AD6, 10 AST10 to AST11, 1 AST9 to AST10, 5 AST8 to AST9, 5AST7 to AST8, 14 AST6 to AST7, 14 AST5 to AST6, 1 AST4 to AST5, 9 AST3 to AST4, 7 AST2 to AST3, 2AST1 to AST2;

38.  Has decided to confirm the following conversions and to release the corresponding appropriation for:

   four AST3 to AD5,
   2 AST and 2 AD5 fixed-term temporary posts into open-ended temporary posts;

39.  Acknowledges the efforts made by the Secretary General at least to initiate the implementation of the redeployment process for the next three years; believes that with the necessary co-operation and commitment from all concerned this exercise could be developed to a larger extent; has decided, subsequent to the conciliation meeting of 5 October 2006 with the Bureau, to delete 15 posts by 1 January 2007 from the European Parliament's establishment plan; invites the Administration, in accordance with the adopted redeployment scheme, to make sure that all posts that become vacant are not automatically filled before an evaluation of needs has been made; considers that the redeployment of further 10 posts can be achieved by no later than the first reading of the 2008 budget: of these 10 posts, six are intended to create a limited number of posts to strengthen financial management, one is to be assigned specifically to the management of Members' allowances and one of the remaining is for the Human Rights Unit;

40.  Points out that appropriation levels for the establishment plan as modified have therefore been reduced from EUR 2 760 616 to EUR 1 608 096, representing savings amounting to EUR 1 152 520;

41.  Welcomes the fact that in the past years the training and induction courses, including those that address mobility and redeployment, being given to staff by the European Administration School have developed successfully;

42.  Regrets however that induction training designed for Members' assistants has not yet been well formulated; urges the Secretary General to develop, in co-operation with the European Administration School, specific training programmes for Members' assistants;

43.  Welcomes the fact that the traineeship programme in favour of persons with disability, as mentioned in the 2007 guidelines, has been formulated and is developing reasonably well;

Buildings Policy

44.  Notes that the Bureau in its Amending Letter of 7 September 2006 has proposed to enter an additional EUR 19 million in the reserve for buildings over and above the EUR 50 million requested in Parliament's estimates; considers, after evaluating the property investment plan for 2007, that the amount of EUR 19 million is not at this stage a realistic requirement; has decided to maintain the EUR 50 million in the reserve for provisional appropriations for buildings to cover the institution's property investment (Chapter 105 "Provisional appropriation for buildings");

45.  Calls on the Administration, especially after the "Strasbourg experience", to apply more stringent, water-tight and transparent procedures when purchasing buildings;

46.  Notes that the appropriations which have to be allocated to the newly created line in the 2006 budget for Information Offices (Article 325) have not been activated due to the restrictions of nomenclature; calls on the Administration to present, every year, a detailed breakdown of the expenses related to the Information Offices, annexed to the draft estimates;

47.  Is of the opinion that the agreement with the Commission on the management of acquisition of buildings including improvements, alterations and maintenance work, especially Information Houses in Member States, should be re-examined and reviewed; expects a report on this issue to be submitted to the budgetary authority not later than March 2007;

48.  Makes it very clear that it would fully endorse the take-up of any unutilised funds within the 20% of heading 5 - through amending budgets - in the event that Parliament is in need of additional capital outlay for unforeseen expenditure, especially relating to the purchase and acquisition of essential new buildings;

49.  Reminds the Administration of the request made in paragraph 20 of its resolution of 26 September 2006 on the 2004 discharge: Section I - European Parliament(7) to draw up a report examining whether it might be feasible to establish a European Building Authority charged with responsibility for the construction and maintenance of the buildings of the EU Institutions and bodies, and calls for this report to be presented to the Committee on Budgets;

50.  Takes note of the Bureau's request to allocate the specific amount to the purchase of the following buildings and has decided to approve:

   an additional EUR 4 million for the extension of the KAD building in Luxembourg;
   EUR 7 832 000 for the fitting out and refurbishment of the D4 building due to the early handover;
   EUR 350 000 for the alterations to the Chamber in Brussels due to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria;

51.  Considers that Parliament should put into practice as soon as possible the standards on the Environmental Management and Audit Scheme; reiterates its call for a more stringent policy to reduce energy costs, in particular air-conditioning costs in summer;


52.  Welcomes the efforts made by the Belgian authorities regarding the security around Parliament; is of the opinion that the cost of security inside the Parliament is becoming excessive and has decided to enter 10% of the appropriation in chapter 100 ("Provisional appropriation"); is willing to release the appropriation when provided with a report which assesses the efficiency and the quality of the service provided against the cost and the associated risks in the three places of work and the Houses of Europe;


53.  Acknowledges the importance and relevance of multilingualism for the institutions; considers that the service is essential for the work of Members and for citizens;

54.  Recognises the difficulties involved in controlling this huge expenditure, which represents approximately 33% of the total expenditure of Parliament; takes the view that more discipline and control are necessary to administer this service effectively; welcomes the initiative taken by the Bureau to set up a guide of good practice; recommends, however, that the code of conduct on multilingualism should incorporate sanctions and penalties for the irresponsible use or misuse of these services by whatever offender; has taken the decision to put in reserve EUR 3 million; requests that the Administration make a feasibility study regarding a "help desk" for official interpretations for Members;

55.  Has decided that, in respect of the Irish language, the following appropriations will be approved:

   EUR 100 000 against line 1420 Outside services;
   EUR 150 000 against line 3240 Official Journal;
   EUR 112 000 against line 2100 Purchase, servicing and maintenance of equipment and software;
   EUR 50 000 against line 3222 Expenditure on archive resources;

Assistance and services to Members

56.  Takes note of the report presented by the Secretary-General on the final assessment of the "Raising the game" exercise, including the results of the quality survey conducted to gauge the level of service being given to Members; agrees that the necessary structural changes have taken place and that the main objectives of improving the support provided to Parliament's bodies and Members have, on the whole, been achieved; is concerned that the results of the survey highlighted the fact that Members are often not fully aware of the available support services; invites the Secretary-General to embark on an information strategy to address this issue not later than 15 December 2006;

57.  Is still of the opinion that better use could be made both of Parliament's resources and of in-house specialised staff, especially where major parliamentary reports are involved;

58.  Urges the Administration to look into the need to provide Members with a substantial basis of information on all topics and issues with which they are confronted in the performance of their duties; this information, to be provided by Parliament's research facilities, would enable Members to take a clear stand on complex issues;

59.  Notes the improvement in monitoring of the implementation of the EU budget in its budgetary vote; asks the relevant committees to examine the setting-up of the structure and a procedure to carry out the implementation assessment exercise for 2007 with the specialised committees; in this way it will also help to prepare for the budget review in 2008-2009; asks the Secretary-General to facilitate the logistics (rooms and interpretation) to organise regular monitoring meetings according to the priorities that will be defined by the committees concerned;

60.  Has noted the conclusions of the evaluation report on the acquisition of expertise (item 320); notes that an enhancement in the overall service has taken place; contends however that the service could be more efficient, especially as regards the fact that the relevant expertise has not always been submitted in time; has decided to release EUR 1 500 000 and to maintain EUR 500 000 in the reserve;

61.  Encourages the Secretary General to make periodical audits on the service provided to Members, especially in respect of computers, the travel agency, telephones, car services and the legal service;

62.  Considers that Information Technology is an essential and fundamental element for the proper work of Members and their staff; notes that there has been an improvement in the service being provided but is of the opinion that Members are still not getting full value for money; decides to put in reserve EUR 2 million from item 2102 ("Outside assistance") in connection with the operation, development and maintenance of software systems;

Miscellaneous aspects

63.  Notes the Bureau's intention to create a Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EUROLAT); will consider this issue when it has all the necessary information, particularly regarding the financial impact;

64.  Notes the agreement regarding the Comitology provisions which entered into force on 23 July 2006; acknowledges the importance which this new regulatory procedure will have for Parliament in the decision-making process in the future; considers that it is necessary to analyse properly the future workload that this agreement will entail;

65.  Reiterates, as previously mentioned in its resolution of 1 June 2006, its full support for the adoption of a real and meaningful statute for Members" assistants; calls on the Council to take a final decision so that the necessary appropriations can be allocated;

Section IV - Court of Justice

66.  Notes the recurring requests from the Court of Justice to obtain a third proof reader; has decided to authorise, at this stage, the recruitment of contract workers for each of the pivot languages; has decided to reduce accordingly the appropriation entered in item 1406 ("Other supplementary services (translation service/interpretation)"), which usually covers the extra needs in proof reading;

67.  Agrees with the Council to authorise 111 upgradings including 10 requested to modify the Court's administrative structure by creating a new Directorate; takes note that this will not have any other financial implication in the future;

68.  Has decided the following establishment plan measures:

   creation of 5 new permanent posts (3 AD5 and 2 AST3), in addition to the 10 new posts already agreed to by the Council in its draft budget; these five posts will conclude a process initiated in 2004 to reinforce Information Technology (IT) support in the IT division and in the financial and ex-ante control services;
   creation of 115 permanent posts for Romania and Bulgaria;

69.  Is of the opinion that the setting up of a new Civil Service Tribunal should have helped reduce the congestion in other tribunals; calls on the Court of Justice to present a report on the impact of the creation of the new Civil Service Tribunal in terms of cost for buildings, staff and other expenses before March 2007;

70.  Has decided to limit the increased draft budget of the Court of Justice in several areas such as the IT sector and to freeze the expenditure in the envelope of the 2007 budget; has however increased the appropriations made available by the Council in the draft budget by EUR 4 633 400 which represents a 3,45% increase, excluding the costs related to enlargement;

Section V - Court of Auditors

71.  Has decided the creation of two posts for the human resources unit to ease the modernisation of management staff and to commit itself to create a further two posts needed in the 2008 financial year;

72.  Has decided on the creation of one post for the professional training unit to provide an adequate training programme for the junior auditors;

73.  Has therefore decided the following establishment plan measures:

   creation of 3 new permanent posts (1 AST3 and 2 AST1), in addition to the 3 new posts already agreed to by the Council in its draft budget;
   creation of 41 permanent posts for Romania and Bulgaria;

74.  Is of the opinion that the Court of Auditors is lagging behind in IT and that it needs to update its system in order to perform its duties properly; has decided to restore EUR 518 000 that the Council has decided to cut;

75.  Has increased the appropriations made available by the Council in the draft budget by EUR 3 579 729 which represents a 3,12% increase, excluding costs related to enlargement;

European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions

76.  Is of the opinion that the creation of the joint administrative service has been beneficial for both committees and has created important economies to the budget of the European Communities; expects the two committees to renew their partnership agreement before the end of the year and /or to explore other forms of cooperation;

77.  Is of the opinion that the two Committees could increase efficiency and could concentrate more on their political missions if certain tasks, notably those of drivers, ushers and the staff of the print shop, could be outsourced and the staff redeployed; insists that existing human resources should be redeployed in order to cater for future needs in the areas of enlargement or reinforcement of the Committees' political role;

78.  Takes note that the Committee of the Regions commissioned two independent external assessments of the Joint Services, by Mr Joan Colom i Naval and Mr Robert Reynders, and invites the Committee of the Regions Secretary General to forward these reports to the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets;

Section VI - European Economic and Social Committee

79.  Requests the European Economic and Social Committee to produce an annual report, before 1 September each year, on the impact of the advisory work that this institution performs for the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

80.  Has decided to endorse the EUR 1 995 120 frontload from the 2006 budget to cover part of its needs for 2007 and decrease its request for 2007 accordingly;

81.  Is of the opinion that to cope with its increasing workload, the European Economic and Social Committee should limit the length of the texts of its opinions and other publications, as is done by the other institutions;

82.  Has decided the following establishment plan measures:

   creation of 5 new permanent posts (1 AD5 and 4 AST3), in addition to the 13 new posts already agreed to by the Council in its draft budget;
   creation of 6 permanent posts for Romania and Bulgaria;

83.  Has increased the appropriations made available by the Council in the draft budget by EUR 1 529 115 which represents a 1,12 % increase, excluding the costs related to enlargement;

Section VII - Committee of the Regions

84.  Agrees with the Council on the request for upgrades related to the new Staff Regulations and also on the request to upgrade one Committee of the Regions Head of Unit to a Director's post for the joint service on the condition that this will not lead to the need for additional staff and that no proposal to split up the service will result from this upgrading before an in-depth and careful analysis and assessment of the service has been carried out; considers that it will guarantee a more equitable governance of the joint service between the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions;

85.  Takes note of the non-request for new posts related to the enlargement to Bulgaria and Romania;

86.  Has decided the following establishment plan measures:

   creation of 3 new permanent posts (2 AD5 and 1 AST3) and one temporary post (AD5), in addition to the 3 new posts already agreed to by the Council in its draft budget;

87.  Has increased the appropriations made available by the Council in the draft budget by EUR 581 684 which represents a 2,53 % increase, excluding the costs related to enlargement;

Section VIII (A) - Ombudsman

88.  Notes that only 10 upgradings have been requested by the Ombudsman and that these upgradings have been agreed to by the Council;

89.  Has decided to limit the appropriation allocated to the organisation of the National Ombudsman Biennial Seminar for which the Ombudsman is responsible this year to EUR 45 000;

90.  Has increased the appropriations made available by the Council in the draft budget by EUR 150 000 to top up the appropriation for translation;

Section VIII (B) - European Data Protection Supervisor

91.  Considers that the Estimates should be more precise, particularly in terms of staff and new requirements; requests its Administration and the Commission, in the context of the interinstitutional agreement, to provide adequate support for the drawing up of the estimates for the next financial year;

92.  Has decided the following establishment plan measures:

   creation of 2 new permanent posts (1 AD9 and 1 AST5) in addition to the 3 new posts (1AD9, 1 AD8 and 1 AD7) already agreed to by Council in its draft budget;

93.  Has increased the appropriations made available by Council in the draft budget by EUR 158 846 to maintain its level of development which represents an increase of 38,28% without taking into account the amending budget;

o   o

94.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution together with the amendments to Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII (A) and VIII (B) of the draft general budget to the Council, the Commission and the other institutions and bodies concerned.

(1) OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p.1.
(4) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1. Agreement as last amended by Decision 2005/708/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 269, 14.10.2005, p. 24).
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0090.
(6) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0241.
(7) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0363.

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