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Procedure : 2011/2242(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0110/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0110/2012

Debates :

PV 10/05/2012 - 9
CRE 10/05/2012 - 9

Votes :

PV 10/05/2012 - 12.45
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes
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Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0192

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 10 May 2012 - Brussels
Discharge 2010: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH)
P7_TA(2012)0192A7-0110/2012
Decision
 Decision
 Resolution

1.European Parliament decision of 10 May 2012 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010 (C7-0301/2011 – 2011/2242(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010, together with the replies of the Joint Undertaking(1),

–  having regard to the Council's recommendation of 21 February 2012 (06086/2012 - C7-0050/2012),

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

–  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), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen(3),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 1183/2011of 14 November 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking(4),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5), and in particular Article 94 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0110/2012),

1.  Grants the Executive Director of the FCH Joint Undertaking discharge in respect of the implementation of the Joint Undertaking's budget for the financial year 2010;

2.  Sets out its observations in the resolution below;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Executive Director of the FCH Joint Undertaking, 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).

(1) OJ C 368, 16.12.2011, p. 40.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 153, 12.6.2008, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 302, 19.11.2011, p. 3.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.


2.European Parliament decision of 10 May 2012 on the closure of the accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010 (C7-0301/2011 – 2011/2242(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010, together with the replies of the Joint Undertaking(1),

–  having regard to the Council's recommendation of 21 February 2012 (06086/2012 - C7-0050/2012),

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

–  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), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen(3),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 1183/2011of 14 November 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking(4),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5), and in particular Article 94 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0110/2012,

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this Decision to the Executive Director of the FCH Joint Undertaking, 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).

(1) OJ C 368, 16.12.2011, p. 40.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 153, 12.6.2008, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 302, 19.11.2011, p. 3.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.


3.European Parliament resolution of 10 May 2012 with observations forming an integral part of its Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010 (C7-0301/2011 – 2011/2242(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the FCH Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010, together with the replies of the Joint Undertaking(1),

–  having regard to the Council's recommendation of 21 February 2012 (06086/2012 - C7-0050/2012),

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

–  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), and in particular Article 185 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 of 30 May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking for the implementation of the Joint Technology Initiative on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen(3),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 1183/2011of 14 November 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 521/2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking(4),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(5), and in particular Article 94 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 77 of, and Annex VI to, its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0110/2012,

A.  whereas the FCH Joint Undertaking (‘the Joint Undertaking’) was set up in May 2008 for a period until 31 December 2017 to focus on developing market applications and hence facilitating additional industrial efforts towards a rapid deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies,

B.  whereas the Joint Undertaking enjoyed financial autonomy only from November 2010,

C.  whereas the Court of Auditors states that it has obtained reasonable assurances that the Joint Undertaking's annual accounts for the financial year 2010 are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

D.  whereas the Founding Members of the Joint Undertaking are the Union represented by the Commission, and the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative Industry Grouping (Industry Grouping),

E.  whereas the maximum contribution for the entire period from the Union to the Joint Undertaking is EUR 470 000 000 to be paid from the budget of the Seventh Research Framework Programme,

F.  whereas the budget of the Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010 amounted to EUR 97 400 000,

Budget and Financial Management

1.  Notes from the final annual accounts of the Joint Undertaking for the financial year 2010 that the its budget was managed by DG RTD from 1 January 2010 to 14 November 2010; takes note that the Joint Undertaking became autonomous on 15 November 2010;

2.  Acknowledges from the final annual accounts that during the year 2010 the Joint Undertaking has carried out two budget amendments; acknowledges in particular that:

   the first budget amendment aimed at restructuring the expenditure lines according to the needs of the Joint Undertaking and at redistributing the revenue taking into account the late autonomy of the Joint Undertaking in 2010;
   the second budget amendment merged two income lines based on a request from the Commission;

3.  Establishes from the final annual accounts that in 2010 the Executive Director authorised three budget transfers representing a total of 0,11 % of the payment appropriations for 2010;

4.  Notes from the final annual accounts that for 2010 the Joint Undertaking had a budget execution rate of 99,01 % in terms of commitment appropriations and of 88,7 % in terms of payment appropriations; takes note in particular of:

   the low execution rate on Staff appropriations both in terms of commitment and payment appropriations, i.e. 19,14 % and 13,63 % respectively, which is mainly due to delays in recruitment;
   the low execution rate on Infrastructure payment appropriations, i.e. 15,39 %, related to the late autonomy of the Joint Undertaking;
  

asks the Joint Undertaking to explain to the discharge authority the delays in recruitment; urges the Joint Undertaking, moreover, to inform the discharge authority about the measures adopted and implemented to redress the situation and enable a greater execution rate of its budget both in terms of commitments and payments;

5.  Notes that all the 2010 operational payments to beneficiaries were made during the last six weeks of 2010;

Internal Control Systems

6.  Calls on the Joint Undertaking and in particular its Accounting Officer to formalise and validate the underlying business processes as required by its financial rules;

7.  Notes the Court of Auditors' finding that the Joint Undertaking has an adequate level of IT governance and practice for its size and mission; stresses, however, that the formalisation of policies and procedures in strategic IT planning cycle, data classification according to confidentiality and integrity requirements and Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan is lagging behind; calls on the Joint Undertaking to remedy the situation and provide the discharge authority with an up-to-date report on the matter;

8.  Reiterates that the Joint Undertaking was set up in May 2008 but started to work autonomously on November 2010; expresses its concern that the methodology for evaluating contributions in-kind, in compliance with its financial rules and based on the Rules for Participation of the Seventh Research Framework Programme, has not yet been developed; notes from the Joint Undertaking's reply to the Court of Auditors that it has drafted a methodology in the second quarter of 2011 and that it was submitted to the Governing Board for adoption in November 2011; calls on the Joint Undertaking to update the discharge authority about the latest developments concerning the adoption and implementation of the methodology;

Internal Audit

9.  Takes note that the Joint Undertaking's financial rules have not yet been amended to include a provision referring to the powers of the Commission's internal auditor regarding the general budget as a whole;

10.  Notes, however, that the Commission and the Joint Undertaking have taken action to ensure that the respective operational roles of the Commission's Internal Audit Service and the Joint Undertaking's internal auditing function are clearly defined;

Call for Proposals and Project Management

11.  Notes from the Joint Undertaking's Annual Activity Report (AAR) that during 2009 the Joint Undertaking finalised the selection process for the Call for Proposals 2009 by signing Grant Agreement for 28 projects and that first payments were made, for all project consortia but one, by year-end 2010;

12.  Establishes from the AAR that the Call for Proposals 2010 was published on 18 June 2010 and that the Joint Undertaking's financial contribution to the Call was EUR 89 100 000; takes note that 71 proposals were submitted by the deadline of which 43 passed the evaluation thresholds and that the contract negotiations took place in 2011;

13.  Asks the Joint Undertaking to provide the discharge authority with:

   an up-to-date report on the current situation regarding projects under Calls for Proposals 2009 in terms of payments and preliminary results;
   an up-to-date report on the current situation regarding the projects under Call for Proposals 2010 both in terms of contracting and payment;

14.  Acknowledges that the evaluation of the Call for Proposal 2010 was carried out by 32 independent experts and a chairperson, and that two independent observers monitored that the evaluation procedure was carried out in a fair, impartial and confidential manner; calls on the Joint Undertaking to inform the discharge authority on the verification mechanisms that it implements to ensure the full independence of experts and observers and therefore to mitigate the risks of conflicts of interests during the evaluation of tenders;

Lack of host State agreement

15.  Reiterates that the Joint Undertaking should rapidly conclude a host agreement with Belgium concerning office accommodation, privileges and immunities and other support to be provided by Belgium to it as provided by its Founding Regulation (EC) No 521/2008;

Horizontal observations on the Joint Undertakings

16.  Underlines that seven Joint Undertakings have so far been established by the Commission under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; notes that six Joint Undertakings (IMI, ARTEMIS, ENIAC, CLEAN SKY, FCH and ITER-F4E) are in the research area under the Commission's DGs RTD and INFSO and one is charged with developing the new air traffic management system (SESAR) in the transport domain whose activities are supervised by DG MOVE;

17.  Notes that the total indicative resources deemed necessary for the Joint Undertakings for their period of existence amounts to EUR 21 793 000 000;

18.  Notes that the total Union contribution deemed necessary for the Joint Undertakings for their period of existence amounts to EUR 11 489 000 000;

19.  Notes that, for the financial year 2010, the overall Union contribution to the budget of the Joint Undertakings amounted to EUR 505 000 000;

20.  Calls on the European Commission to provide the discharge authority annually with consolidated information on the total annual funding per Joint Undertaking made from the general budget of the Union in order to ensure transparency and clarity on the use of the Union's funds and restore trust among the European taxpayers;

21.  Welcomes the initiative of ARTEMIS to include information in its AAR on the monitoring and review of its ongoing projects; believes this is a practice that should be followed by the other Joint Undertakings;

22.  Recalls that Joint Undertakings are public-private partnerships and that as a consequence public and private interests are intertwined; is of the opinion that under the circumstances the likelihood of conflicts of interest should not be dismissed but addressed properly; calls therefore on the Joint Undertakings to inform the discharge authority about the verification mechanisms which exist in their respective structures to enable a proper management and prevention of conflicts of interest;

23.  Notes, with the notable exception of the Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy, that Joint Undertakings are relatively small structures and geographically-concentrated; believes therefore that they should pool their resources where possible;

24.  Calls on the Court of Auditors to provide the discharge authority with a follow-up on the comments it has made for each of the Joint Undertakings in their respective report on the annual accounts for the financial year 2011;

25.  Invites the Court of Auditors to provide, within a reasonable deadline, a special report to Parliament, on the added value of the establishment of the Joint Undertakings for the efficient execution of Union research, technological development and demonstration programmes; further notes that the same report should include an assessment of the effectiveness of the Joint Undertakings' establishment.

(1) OJ C 368, 16.12.2011, p. 40.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 153, 12.6.2008, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 302, 19.11.2011, p. 3.
(5) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

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