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Procedure : 2016/2170(DEC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0129/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0129/2017

Debates :

PV 26/04/2017 - 19
CRE 26/04/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.52

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0183

Texts adopted
PDF 287kWORD 50k
Thursday, 27 April 2017 - Brussels
Discharge 2015: European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust)
P8_TA(2017)0183A8-0129/2017
Decision
 Decision
 Resolution

1. European Parliament decision of 27 April 2017 on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of Eurojust for the financial year 2015 (2016/2170(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015, together with Eurojust’s reply(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 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to Eurojust in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0056/2017),

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

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime(4), and in particular Article 36 thereof,

–  having regard to 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(5), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0129/2017),

1.  Grants the Administrative Director of Eurojust discharge in respect of the implementation of Eurojust’s budget for the financial year 2015;

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 Administrative Director of Eurojust, 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 449, 1.12.2016, p. 193.
(2) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 193.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 63, 6.3.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.


2. European Parliament decision of 27 April 2017 on the closure of the accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015 (2016/2170(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the final annual accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to the Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015, together with Eurojust’s reply(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 2015, pursuant to Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 21 February 2017 on discharge to be given to Eurojust in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 2015 (05873/2017 – C8‑0056/2017),

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

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3), and in particular Article 208 thereof,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime(4), and in particular Article 36 thereof,

–  having regard to 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(5), and in particular Article 108 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0129/2017),

1.  Approves the closure of the accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Administrative Director of Eurojust, 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 449, 1.12.2016, p. 193.
(2) OJ C 449, 1.12.2016, p. 193.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 63, 6.3.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 42.


3. European Parliament resolution 27 April 2017 with observations forming an integral part of the decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of Eurojust for the financial year 2015 (2016/2170(DEC))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of Eurojust for the financial year 2015,

–  having regard to Rule 94 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0129/2017),

A.  whereas, according to its financial statements, the final budget of Eurojust for the financial year 2015 was EUR 33 818 351; whereas the entire budget of Eurojust derives from the Union budget,

B.  whereas the Court of Auditors ("the Court"), in its report on the annual accounts of Eurojust for the financial year 2015 ("the Court's report"), has stated that it has obtained reasonable assurances that Eurojust’s annual accounts are reliable and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular,

C.  whereas in the context of the discharge procedure, the discharge authority stresses the particular importance of further strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the Union institutions by improving transparency and accountability, and implementing the concept of performance-based budgeting and good governance of human resources,

Follow-up of 2014 discharge

1.  Acknowledges that, according to the Court’s report, regarding follow-up of previous discharges, corrective actions have been taken and two comments were marked as "Ongoing”, while one comment was marked as “Not Applicable”;

2.  Acknowledges that Eurojust evaluates, in consultation with the Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers and Directorate-General for Budget, the use of differentiated appropriations to ensure the financing of operational activities, which cannot be planned in advance and need to continue throughout the entire year;

Budget and financial management

3.  Notes with satisfaction that the budget monitoring efforts during the financial year of 2015 resulted in a budget implementation rate of 99,99 %, representing an increase of 0,17 % from 2014; notes furthermore that the payment appropriations execution rate was 89 %, representing an increase of 1,69 % from 2014;

4.  Regrets that Eurojust faced budgetary availability issues due to known structural problems with its funding and that for the second successive year was forced to resort to mitigation measures subject to an amending budget; regrets that the financial uncertainty with which Eurojust was confronted required the postponement of some of its ongoing activities and the deferral of valuable technological developments; requests that Eurojust and the Commission solve these known structural problems and secure a proper level of funding for the coming years;

Commitments and carry-overs

5.  Notes that the amount carried over from 2014 to 2015 was EUR 4 246 726 of which 87,6 % was used; notes, in addition, that an amount of EUR 525 194 was cancelled at the year-end, representing a similar amount as in 2014;

6.  Notes that, according to the Court’s report, the level of committed appropriations carried over for Title II (administrative expenditure) was at EUR 1 600 000 (21 %) compared to EUR 1 500 000 (20 %) in 2014; acknowledges that these carry-overs are mainly related to specific contracts for security and hospitality services and ICT projects, hardware and maintenance, consultancy and project costs for the new premises, as well as to services ordered before year-end and provided in 2016;

7.  Notes that carry-overs may often be partly or fully justified by the multiannual nature of the agencies’ operational programmes, do not necessarily indicate weaknesses in budget planning and implementation and are not always at odds with the budgetary principle of annuality, in particular if they are planned in advance and communicated to the Court;

Procurement and recruitment procedures

8.  Notes that Eurojust signed 23 contracts with a value above EUR 15 000 representing a slight decrease of 14 % compared with 2014; observes that an open procurement procedure was followed for 82,6 % of the contracts, representing 95,44 % of the procured amount;

9.  Notes that Eurojust’s vacancy rate as of 31 December 2015 was 2,4 % as opposed to 4,8 % on 31 December 2014; notes with satisfaction that 97,6 % of the 2015 establishment plan was executed;

10.  Observes that in 2015 Eurojust implemented the second wave of post reductions, corresponding to 2 % or four posts, in order to achieve the 5 % staff reduction target agreed by Parliament and the Council; notes moreover that the final wave of staff reductions, corresponding to 1 % or three posts, was to be implemented in 2016 in the area of administrative support; acknowledges that the staff reduction strengthened the share of operational jobs in the organisation;

Prevention and management of conflicts of interests and transparency

11.  Notes Eurojust’s reaffirmation that clear rules for the protection of whistleblowers play an integral part in achieving a culture of trust and in the fight against fraud, as provided for in Article 22c of the Staff Regulations; notes that Eurojust is in the process of drafting new rules for the protection of whistleblowers; points out that a preliminary discussion regarding the draft rules already took place in the College of Eurojust on 4 October 2016; invites Eurojust to further report on the process and on the subsequent adoption of its rules for the protection of whistleblowers;

12.  Observes that short summaries of the CVs of College members are published online but that declarations of interest are not; notes in this regard that the College of Eurojust adopted guidelines on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest in January 2016; notes also that Eurojust is currently finalising the process of compiling declarations of interest and that its outcomes will subsequently be published on its website; asks Eurojust to report to the discharge authority on the progress on this issue;

13.  Notes with concern that Eurojust has not foreseen any check or updating of the declarations of interest of experts, members of the College and members of staff;

14.  Regrets that the administration and the members of the independent joint supervisory body did not publish their declarations of interest; calls for the immediate publication of these declarations; calls upon Eurojust to adopt a practical guide on institutional management and one on conflicts of interest, according to the guidelines published by the Commission in December 2013 and to establish clear rules against “revolving doors”;

Internal audit

15.  Acknowledges that, according to Eurojust’s annual report, the Commission’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) postponed its audit on “Monitoring and Reporting / Building Blocks of Assurance” due to its scarce IT audit resources, which was finally conducted in January 2016; looks forward to the next annual report of Eurojust and further details regarding the audit;

16.  Observes that as of 27 March 2015 all previously outstanding recommendations were closed by the IAS; recalls that the IAS audited in 2014 the management and organisation of coordination meetings and coordination centres in Eurojust; notes that the IAS issued in 2015 a final audit report with one recommendation marked as “Important”; notes with satisfaction that Eurojust implemented the corrective action marking the recommendation as “Completed”;

17.  Notes that the implementation of the Accrual Based Accounting System Enhancement project allowed for more efficient utilisation of the Eurojust administration’s human resources, while the new time registration tool (eRecording), implemented by the administrative director for all administration staff as of April 2015, represented a step towards activity‐based monitoring and reporting;

Other comments

18.  Encourages Eurojust to continue to treat terrorism, trafficking and smuggling, and cybercrime as priorities; welcomes the fact that Member States increasingly make use of coordination meetings and coordination centres and that they value the increased involvement of third countries in joint investigation teams; welcomes the fact that the number of cases for which Member States have requested Eurojust's assistance continues to grow and increased by 23 % compared to 2014; considers that its budget should be increased accordingly;

19.  Acknowledges that Eurojust is currently, together with its host Member State, in the process of preparing for the transition to its new premises; notes that the construction of the premises started in spring 2015 and the expected move was planned for spring 2017; invites Eurojust to report further to the discharge authority on the transition to its new premises, as well as to outline total incurred transition costs;

20.  Notes with concern a significant gender imbalance both in Eurojust’s senior management and College members; urges Eurojust to correct this imbalance as quickly as possible and to communicate the results to Parliament and to the Council;

21.  Notes that Eurojust has seven duty cars at a cost of EUR 20 000 per year;

22.  Notes that 64 staff members participated in 2015 in away days for which the cost was EUR 9 346,98 (EUR 146,04 per person);

23.  Regrets that in its 2015 annual report, Eurojust stated that corruption is not a Union priority; notes that this statement was contradicted by the 90 corruption cases for which Eurojust expertise was requested in 2015 (twice as many as in 2014) according to the Eurojust annual report; acknowledges that Greece, Romania and Croatia were the Member States to request the most assistance in corruption-related cases;

o
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24.  Refers, for other observations of a cross-cutting nature accompanying its decision on discharge, to its resolution of 27 April 2017(1) on the performance, financial management and control of the agencies.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0155.

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