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Thursday, 7 April 2022 - Strasbourg
Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2023

European Parliament resolution of 7 April 2022 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2023 (2021/2227(BUI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012(1) (the “Financial Regulation”),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021-2027(2),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1023/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 amending the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union(4),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the meetings of the Bureau of the European Parliament on 4 October 2021 and 22 November 2021;

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Council meeting of 10 December 2021 regarding complementary efforts to Enhance Resilience and Counter Hybrid Threats;

–  having regard to Commission’s Winter 2022 Economic Forecast published on 10 February 2022;

–  having regard to the letter sent on 7 July 2020 in which MEPs urged President Sassoli and Secretary-General Welle to improve sustainable and safe active mobility in the European Parliament;

–  having regard to the EMAS Mid-Term Strategy 2024 adopted by the Steering Committee for Environmental Management Brussels on 15 December 2020,

–  having regard to the additionality requirements in Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (Renewable Energy Directive), in particular its Recital 90 and Article 27,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future (COM(2020)0789), in particular its paragraph 9 on collective travel,

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 April 2021 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2022(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 October 2021 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022(6),

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022(7) and the joint statements agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed hereto,

–  having regard to the Secretary-General’s report to the Bureau on drawing up Parliament’s preliminary draft estimates for the financial year 2023,

–  having regard to the preliminary draft estimates drawn up by the Bureau on 7 March 2022 pursuant to Rules 25(7) and 102(1) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the draft estimates drawn up by the Committee on Budgets pursuant to Rule 102(2) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rule 102 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0087/2022),

A.  whereas the budget proposed on 14 February 2022 by the Secretary-General for Parliament’s preliminary draft estimates for 2023 represents an increase of 4,9 %;

B.  whereas the Commission calculated in its Winter 2022 Economic Forecast the EU inflation rate was 4,9 % in the final quarter of 2021 and 2,9 % for the whole year; whereas the Commission estimates that after the peak end 2021 and beginning 2022 inflation will stabilise to 3,9 % in 2022 and 1,9 % in 2023; whereas the level of inflation for 2023 is currently very volatile and highly unpredictable; whereas the Committee on Budgets will monitor its evolution, and react accordingly if necessary;

C.  whereas the credibility of Parliament and its Members in the eyes of European citizens depends on Parliament’s own ability to ensure the quality of legislative and scrutiny work and to communicate on its results; whereas Parliament must also set an example vis-à-vis other institutions and therefore also to plan and conduct its spending prudently and efficiently and to reflect the prevalent economic realities;

D.  whereas Parliament’s budget should be set on a realistic basis and should be in line with the principles of budgetary discipline and sound financial management;

E.  whereas it is of utmost importance to protect the democratic voice of Parliament, in particular given the current geopolitical situation, notably Russia’s illegitimate war attack on Ukraine and the upcoming elections to the Parliament; whereas cyber threats against Parliament, including from state-sponsored groups, are increasing exponentially both in number and in sophistication; whereas industry standard requires that 10 % of the whole information, communications and technology (ICT) budget should be spent on cybersecurity; whereas the Bureau, during its meeting of 4 October 2021, approved the creation of a new directorate for cybersecurity, and in particular the Cybersecurity threats, risk monitoring and reporting data protection compliance Unit, in the Directorate-General for Innovation and Technological Support (DG ITEC) and allocation of the necessary resources;

F.  whereas cyberattacks are threats not only towards Parliament but towards all Union institutions; whereas interinstitutional cooperation is key to adequately prevent, detect, monitor and respond to such threats; whereas the Director-General of DG ITEC is the Chair of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU), an interinstitutional body in the field of cybersecurity; whereas Parliament is strongly committed to seek additional synergies and cooperation with other institutions, by, inter alia, building up the CERT-EU capacities through the posting of two Parliament civil servants, as agreed by the Bureau, during its meeting of 4 October 2021;

G.  whereas cyberattacks are only one type of cyber threat; whereas hybrid threats are now the main threats to Parliament and other Union institutions; whereas hybrid threats refers to cyberattacks, espionage, election interference and disinformation campaigns, including on social media; whereas the Council, in the conclusions of its meeting of 10 December 2021 on complementary efforts to Enhance Resilience and Counter Hybrid Threats, called on the Union institutions, bodies and agencies, supported by the Member States, to ensure the capacity of the Union to protect its integrity and to enhance the security of Union’s information and communication networks and decision-making processes from malicious activities of all kinds, on the basis of a comprehensive threat assessment; whereas the Bureau, during its meeting of 22 November 2021, approved the reorganisation of the Directorate-General of Security and Safety (DG SAFE), entailing the creation of a new directorate for security technology and information to encompass and coordinate the operational liaison and information exchange with the security services of other Union institutions, bodies and agencies, as well as with the police and security services of host countries and other Member States, complementing DG ITEC defensive activities in cybersecurity;

H.  whereas the participation rate in the 2019 elections to the European Parliament increased by eight percentage points compared to the 2014 elections; whereas 2023 is an important year to prepare for the 2024 elections;

I.  whereas the "Buildings Strategy Beyond 2019" focuses on needs not yet sufficiently addressed, such as adapting facilities to the modernisation of models of parliamentary meetings, the proximity thanks in particular to the integration of "Europa Experience" in the Liaison Offices, the continued enhancing of the security of Parliament buildings and the interconnection of central buildings and the need for the maintenance of buildings in order to meet current safety standards and real needs of their users;

General framework

1.  Recalls that the largest part of Parliament’s budget is fixed by statutory or contractual obligations; notes that 65 % of the budget is subject to annual indexation, accounting for a EUR 67 million increase in 2023 in the preliminary draft estimates proposed by the Secretary-General on 14 February 2022; recalls that the salary indexation, in line with the Staff Regulations and Statute for Members of the European Parliament, is currently forecasted by the Commission for July 2022, April 2023 and July 2023 to amount to 4,3 %, 1,1 % and 2,6 % respectively; notes that, given the current economic outlook, Parliament forecast salary indexation of 6 % as from July 2022; recalls that, in line with the Commission’s forecasts, the 2022 budget included a salary indexation of only 2,5 % for 2022;

2.  Endorses the agreement reached in the Conciliation between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets on 30 March 2022 to set the increase over the 2022 budget at 6,24 %, corresponding to an overall level of estimates of EUR 2 244 696 416 for 2023, to decrease the level of expenditure of the preliminary draft estimates approved by the Bureau on 7 March 2022 by EUR 33,96 million, to provide for 60 new posts in relation to cybersecurity and security but only request 52 additional posts in the establishment plan for 2023 given that 8 posts are redeployed from other administrative services and to reduce accordingly the appropriations proposed on the following budget lines:

1 0 0 4 - Ordinary travel expenses, 1 2 0 0 — Remuneration and allowances, 1 4 0 5 — Expenditure on interpretation, 1 4 2 — External translation services, 2 0 0 7 — Construction of buildings and fitting-out of premises, 2 1 0 2 — Computing and telecommunications — Business-as-usual operations — General support for users, 2 1 0 3 — Computing and telecommunications — Business-as-usual operations — Management of ICT applications , 2 1 0 4 — Computing and telecommunications — Investment in infrastructure, 2 1 0 5 — Computing and telecommunications — Investment in projects, 2 1 2 — Furniture, 2 1 4 — Technical equipment and installations, 2 1 6 — Transport of Members, other persons and goods, 2 3 7 — Removals, 2 3 8 — Other administrative expenditure, 3 0 0 — Expenses for staff missions and duty travel between the three places of work, 3 2 0 — Acquisition of expertise, 3 2 1 — Expenditure on European parliamentary research services, including the library, the historical archives, scientific and technological options assessment (STOA) and the European Science-Media Hub, 3 2 4 1 — Digital and traditional publications, 3 2 4 2 — Expenditure on publication, information and participation in public events, 3 2 4 3 — European Parliament visitor centres, 3 2 4 4 — Organisation and reception of groups of visitors, Euroscola programme and invitations to opinion multipliers from third countries, 3 2 4 8 — Expenditure on audiovisual information, 4 0 0 — Current administrative expenditure and expenditure relating to the political and information activities of the political groups and non-attached Members;

furthermore, given the extraordinary effects of the international crisis on inflation, statutory expenses and the need to reinforce Parliament’s resilience, in particular by investing in security and cybersecurity, to increase the level of expenditure of the preliminary draft estimates approved by the Bureau on 7 March 2022 by EUR 62 million and to increase accordingly the appropriations proposed on the following budget lines:

1 0 0 0 — Salaries, 1 0 0 4 — Ordinary travel expenses, 1 0 0 5 — Other travel expenses, 1 0 0 6 — General expenditure allowance, 1 0 2 — Transitional allowances, 1 0 3 0 — Retirement pensions (PEAM), 1 0 3 1 — Invalidity pensions (PEAM), 1 0 3 2 — Survivors’ pensions (PEAM), 1 2 0 0 — Remuneration and allowances, 1 4 0 0 — Other staff — Secretariat and political groups, 1 4 0 1 — Other staff — Security, 1 4 0 2 — Other staff — Drivers in the Secretariat, 1 4 0 5 — Expenditure on interpretation, 2 0 2 4 — Energy consumption, 2 1 0 4 — Computing and telecommunications — Investment in infrastructure, 4 2 2 — Expenditure relating to parliamentary assistance

3.  Considers that the overall increase of 6,24 % compared to 2022 has to be seen as an increase of 2,46 % for the part under normal conditions and, due to the current exceptional time, an increase of EUR 79,8 million corresponding to a crisis part to cover exceptional inflation, the resulting increase of statutory expenses and investments in security and cybersecurity;

4.  Underlines that over the past years the rate of increase of Parliament’s budget has been lower than the rate of increase of Heading 7; notes that Parliament did not make use of the 20 % of Heading 7 to which it is entitled;

5.  Underlines that all Union institutions need to comply with budgetary discipline when establishing their financial needs for the next year;

Security against growing hybrid threats

6.  Underlines that Parliament’s cyber security is a key priority, especially in light of the current geopolitical tensions; decides therefore to support the proposal of the Secretary-General to reinforce by 40 posts the DG ITEC to increase Parliament’s cyber defence capabilities and reach an adequate level of internal capacity; recalls that Parliament staff was cut overall by 6 % during the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, which was sustained mainly by its administration; believes that it is necessary to increase Parliament’s resources in security in order to protect its ICT systems integrity; notes that the impact for 2023 of the 40 posts will be EUR 4,3 million and that investments of EUR 5 million in cybersecurity operations and investments are budgeted for 2023;

7.  In this context, reiterates its request to the relevant services to integrate and deploy solutions for instant messaging and virtual meetings that are open source based, hosted in Parliament's servers, and which enable secure communication, such as Matrix and Jitsi in order to significantly increase the confidentiality of internal communications;

8.  Considers that inter-institutional cooperation is essential to increase synergies amongst administrations and adequately protect the Union institutions from cyber-threats; strongly supports that 2 AD posts (out of 40 additional posts in cybersecurity) be temporarily detached to CERT-EU along with an additional annual budget of EUR 1,564 million; considers that Parliament’s increased capacity in cybersecurity will benefit all institutions by better preventing, detecting, sharing and protecting the Union’s interests against cyber threats, including the new Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down measures on a high level of cybersecurity at the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union;

9.  Recalls that threats are evolving towards hybrid threats; strongly supports the additional 20 posts for DG SAFE in order to reinforce Parliament’s capacity and ability to detect, prevent and react these new threats of hybrid nature and modernise and digitalise security processes; takes note of the Interinstitutional Task Force on Human, Digital and Hybrid Counter-Intelligence aiming at reinforcing cooperation between the Union institutions and coordination with Member States’ intelligence and security services;

10.  Calls on the Secretary-General to make use of possible synergies in order to increase efficiency within the administration, and to analyse how digitisation and new ways of working help streamline the directorates and allow for transfer of posts towards priority areas; in this context, welcomes the pilot test of the open-source interconnected microblogging platform "EU Voice" set up by the European Data Protection Supervisor for contributing to user privacy, IT security and resilience, Union’s technological sovereignty, interoperability, competition and user choice;

Communication strategy towards citizens

11.  Highlights Parliament's role in building European political awareness and promoting Union values;

12.  Underlines that communication by the political parties and the Members themselves is one of main drivers for high participation rate, involvement and interest of Union citizens in the European elections; calls for coordination between Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM) and the press services of the political groups, with the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) content support and Directorate-General for Translation (DG TRAD) technical support, to ensure a coordinated, adequate and clear message towards citizens;

13.  Takes note of the additional resources (EUR 27,5 million) allocated to DG COMM for the communication strategy related to the 2024 elections to the European Parliament in order to explain the role and functions of the Union and in particular of Parliament, the concrete impact on citizens’ lives, why voting in the elections can make a difference and to ensure that all structures, tools and platforms are in place and ready in 2024;

14.  Calls for cautiousness at the time of linking the level of communication expenses with European election turn out, or to link it coherently, including in the event of a downward participation variation rate;

15.  Considers of utmost importance that Parliament is properly equipped against disinformation; calls for enhanced cooperation between DG ITEC, DG SAFE and DG COMM to properly detect, monitor and answer in a prompt and clear way to disinformation campaigns, notably on social media; asks for continued cooperation with the Commission and the European External Action Service as regards disinformation;

16.  Supports the establishment of Europa Experiences by 2024 in all Member States; supports the administration in its policy aimed at maximising synergies; expects the long term budget impact of Europa Experiences in terms of running costs to be presented to the Committee on Budgets as soon as possible; recalls that Europa Experiences should allow all citizens to have a better understanding of the functioning of Union institutions and therefore are an integral part of the communication plan to the electoral campaign; recalls that it is of utmost importance for Parliament to continuously engage with Union citizens through various communicative channels, in the spirit of a multifaceted political dialogue, not only during the year of elections but throughout the entire legislature; believes that the postponement of any project should be decided on the basis of established criteria among which the geographical balance among Member States should be paramount; reiterates the need for Parliament, in collaboration with the Commission and the European External Action Service to be present with active information campaigns in the countries which have formally applied to join the Union, namely the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia;

17.  Calls the Secretary-General to give all the information required by Article 266(6) of the Financial Regulation related to the EUR 37,9 million loan proposed to finance the purchase of the building of the Europa Experience in Dublin as soon as possible;

18.  Considers that European Parliament Liaison Offices (EPLOs) should engage more with citizens of all ages; calls on Parliament to develop more meetings and events between Members and citizens at local level through its EPLOs; reiterates the need for EPLOs to provide Members with adequate support for setting meeting agendas and events;

19.  Considers that the EPLOs should also provide information in foreign languages to European communities living in other European countries; underlines the need for EPLOs to engage in further actions regarding citizenship education and participation involving local communities, schools or universities;

20.  Calls for a dedicated service for seniors highlighting Union programmes and policies that benefit active ageing;

Greening and energy independence

21.  Reiterates its conviction that Parliament needs to be at the forefront of adopting more digital, flexible and energy-efficient working methods and meeting practices, learning from the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and capitalising on the technology investments already implemented; calls for a strategic assessment of building policy cost, notably by taking stock of the new ways of working, such as teleworking, that have arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, while acknowledging that physical presence for political negotiations, debates or exchange of views remains more efficient for public policy making; expresses concern about the uneven quality of interpretation facilities and the technical problems with Interactio; calls for urgent and targeted investment to ensure the highest possible degree of multilingualism; emphasises that following the political, health and economic crises, energy costs have risen sharply, with long-term consequences; asks that the financial impact on Parliament’s buildings be taken into account; recommends that the annual budget planning take into account the regular renovation of all buildings; points out that such an allocation forms part of a pro-active building policy, which must focus on the green renovation of the building stock and guarantee that Parliament strives to maximise energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy consumption and the cost of Parliament's facilities; in that regard, underlines the need for Trèves I building to be upgraded to the latest energy and environmental norms; recalls the importance of a transparent and fair decision-making process in the field of building policy, having due regard to Article 266 of the Financial Regulation, in relation to Parliament’s building policy; recalls the Bureau decision of 2 July 2018 relating to the rehabilitation of the Paul-Henri Spaak building; asks the Bureau to make known its decision on that building in a timely manner;

22.  Recalls that, at its meeting of 16 December 2019, the Bureau approved the updated EMAS environmental key performance indicator targets with a unified target date of 2024, including a reduction, from 2006 levels, of 40 % of total carbon emissions; recalls that the EMAS mid-term strategy includes a review clause to increase environmental ambition on the basis of the performance observed; calls for an upwards revision of the EMAS targets for the key performance indicators as many of the targets set in 2019 have already been met, as well as in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to speed up the energy efficiency measures and reduce our dependence on gas; reiterates its call to amend its current CO2 reduction plan to reach carbon neutrality using an internationally recognised method when it has been validated as, for example, an Internal Carbon Pricing mechanism by which companies voluntarily price their carbon footprint and thereby put a value on their greenhouse gas emissions;

23.  Recalls that nearly two thirds of Parliament's carbon footprint originates from the transportation of people and goods; calls for the promotion of low carbon modes of transport for missions; reiterates its belief that travel decisions must factor in the importance of parliamentary presence, health concerns, price, and time consumption; underlines that travel by many Members from their constituencies to Parliament’s places of work requires long journeys and can only be undertaken by plane; also recalls Parliament’s goal of further reducing its emissions and underlines that the least polluting way of necessary air travel is the possibility of direct flights and flexible airline tickets;

24.  Calls upon the Administration to continue exploring cost savings and consumption efficiencies; calls for a roadmap to phase out fossil fuels; calls on Parliament to further increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix and in particular energy production and expects the installation of state of the art rooftop photovoltaics for the maximum potential; welcomes the ongoing investment; reiterates its call on Parliament’s services to continue to reduce paper consumption by moving to a paperless, collective and online environment for all meetings, as well as by further implementing arrangements for e-signature, and to focus on keeping the reductions in the "new normal"; reiterates its request that an analysis of alternatives to trunks be carried out, in line with the EMAS target for a "paperless" Parliament as soon as possible; expects the Energy Efficiency First and the Circular Economy principles to be applied to all investments, including digital investments and management decisions; calls for reinforced efforts to fully implement Parliament's waste management strategy in line with the waste hierarchy principles; considers that raising awareness within the House, also through specific trainings, is key to achieve satisfactory results and allow for upgrading EMAS targets in that area; calls for the full implementation of measures to make Parliament free of single-use plastic as more people return to work and use the catering services inside Parliament;

25.  Welcomes the improvements to the bicycle infrastructure on Parliament premises; encourages the services to further improve that infrastructure by upgrading bicycle parking facilities including for cargo bikes in all buildings, and by creating additional incentives for bicycle commuting; welcomes Parliament’s efforts to promote public transport via its new parking policy, by increasing grants for public transport subscriptions and promoting the use of electric vehicles through the installation of electric charging stations; requests in that context an appropriate increase in the number of electric vehicle chargers in line with present and near future demand in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg; notes that the current parking policy does not provide financial incentives for active mobility; invites the services to evaluate the success of the new parking policy and to introduce further targeted incentives where necessary;

26.  Reiterates its call forParliament, as a major employer, to play an active role in debates and consultations on urban planning with a special focus on promoting active mobility through safe, comfortable and continuous infrastructure, increasing well-being through quality public space, and adaptation to climate change by avoiding heat islands; highlights the opportunities for dialogue offered in the context of the Brussels GoodMove plan and the plan succeeding the Plan d’Aménagement Directeur Loi, but also with regards to the further development of the so-called Archipel in the Wacken neighbourhood of Strasbourg, and ongoing relations with the Fonds Kirchberg in Luxembourg;

Other issues

27.  Notes that, on the initiative of former President Sassoli, focus groups on “Rethinking Parliamentary Democracy - A stronger European Parliament after Covid-19” discussed the future of work within Parliament between April and July 2021 pertaining to each of their fields of action: plenary, parliamentary prerogatives, communication, external diplomacy and internal organisation; welcomes that the focus groups delivered a final report including recommendations, the implementation of which will be discussed by the Bureau paying due attention to its cost, if needed involving Committee on Budgets in its prior assessment;

28.  Recalls the support of the majority of Members for a single seat; recalls the need to find solutions to optimise parliamentary institutional work, financial costs and the carbon footprint; recalls that according to the Treaty on European Union, the European Parliament is to have its seat in Strasbourg; notes that permanent changes would require a Treaty change;

29.  Reiterates its request, adopted at Plenary level on several occasions, to the Bureau to start the work on revision of the Rules of Procedure enabling Members to exercise their right to vote remotely while benefiting from maternity or paternity leave, during a long-term illness or in cases of force majeure; takes note of the changes in the Rules of Procedure on 20 December 2020 allowing for remote voting; regrets that voting remotely in committee is currently not provided for under Parliament’s Rules of Procedure unless the President establishes the existence of extraordinary circumstances;

30.  Reiterates its call on the Secretary-General to insist on the importance of all recruitment being based on competency, while also respecting the need for geographical balance of all Member States at all levels of staff; is concerned by the difficulties encountered in recruiting certain nationalities and bringing certain job profiles in-house; requests further efforts to ensure that employment at Parliament is equally attractive to all Union nationalities while remaining based on objective processes; calls on Parliament to build its own outreach capacity, with the goal of attracting to competitions quality candidates that Parliament needs, in terms of profile, age, gender and nationality and especially from under-represented countries; regarding recruitment of new staff, asks the Secretary-General to streamline the administrative steps and shorten the process;

31.  Calls on Parliament to conduct regular assessments of the organisation of its Secretariat and personnel needs, to reallocate vacant posts between directorates in order to carry out new tasks at constant staffing levels;

32.  Invites the Secretary-General to assess the risks related to employing growing numbers of contract agents, including the danger of creating a two-tier staffing structure within Parliament;

33.  Welcomes the measures taken by DG INLO during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at mitigating the risks of contagion inside Parliament's premises and supporting the implementation of the concrete solidarity measures decided by the Bureau;

34.  Reiterates that about 50 million people belong to various linguistic minorities and communities in the Union; recalls that Parliament encourages citizen’s involvement and participation, including the national, regional and linguistic minorities, in the Union; recalls that Parliament strongly supports multilingualism and promotes the rights of the national, regional and linguistic minorities; considers that Parliament can actively contribute to the fight against disinformation providing information also in linguistic minorities and communities languages where appropriate; encourages the Bureau to consider supporting communication activities that are in line with the needs of national, regional and linguistic minorities in Member States;

35.  Calls on the Secretary-General to analyse the feasibility of the introduction of international sign language interpretation for all plenary debates, in line with the requests adopted by the Plenary, and to implement this decision having regard to the principle of equal access to all citizens;

36.  Is concerned about the quality of the EU Transparency Register; recalls that according to the Transparency Register’s Annual Reports, around half of all entries in the Register are incorrect; calls for Parliament to take measures to increase the accuracy of the Register as well as to regularly monitor it as regards entities representing the interest of persons and entities sanctioned and proceed to their immediate removal so that it can fulfil its purpose of providing greater transparency on the activities of interest representatives; reiterates its request that Parliament draft an annual detailed report on the interest representatives and other organisations that were given access to Parliament's premises, and to publish it in the respect of the General Data Protection Regulation(8);

37.  Recalls that Parliament voted on several occasions to reform the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA); calls on the Bureau to evaluate its 2019 decision on the GEA on the basis of the experience gained during the 9th parliamentary term and take necessary decisions to increase transparency and accountability; welcomes the announcement by the President to set up an ad hoc Bureau Working Group on General Expenditure Allowance to work on the revision of the previous rules;

38.  Reiterates, in the context of the actually ongoing revision procedure of the General implementing provisions concerning reimbursement of mission and duty travel expenses and the Internal rules governing missions and duty travel by officials and other servants of the European Parliament, the will of the Plenary expressed on several occasions to regarding the amount of the allowances paid to the Accredited Parliamentary Assistants (APAs) for the missions they carry out between the three places of work of Parliament with a view to ensuring that the Bureau align it at the level of allowance systems for civil servants and other agents;

39.  Calls again on the Conference of Presidents and the Bureau to revise respectively the Implementing provisions governing the work of delegations and missions outside the European Union and the "Committee missions outside the three places of work" decision; underlines that such a revision should consider the possibility for APAs, subject to certain conditions, to accompany Members on official Parliament delegations and missions;

40.  Recalls Article 27(1) and (2) of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament(9) which states that “the voluntary pension fund set up by Parliament shall be maintained after the entry into force of this Statute for Members or former Members who have already acquired rights or future entitlements in that fund” and that “acquired rights and future entitlements shall be maintained in full”; notes that according to Parliament’s Legal Service, it follows from the two judgments that the Court of Justice confirms that acquired rights as such, of Members who have already fulfilled all the necessary conditions for the acquisition of the right to the additional voluntary pension, are fully protected under the general principles of Union law; notes, however, that the judgments also confirm that this does not prevent the Bureau from modifying the conditions as well as modalities of this group of Members on the condition that the principle of proportionality is duly respected, as well as for those Members who have not yet fulfilled all the conditions for the acquisition of pension rights and who therefore only hold future entitlements under the pension scheme; therefore urges the Bureau and the administration to urgently propose a future-fit solution that takes into account the pension and living situation of entitled Members and former Members as well as the principles of sound financial management and relevant case law of the European Court of Justice; calls on all concerned stakeholders to promptly find a sustainable and feasible solution;

41.  Welcomes Parliament’s policy aiming to ensure the fully independent use of Parliament buildings by persons with disabilities and supports further measures and adaptions that will be necessary in this regard;

42.  Notes that the decision to discontinue the distribution of warm water in Members' offices in Brussels and Strasbourg was taken by the Questors on 24 October 2017 in connection with the health risk posed by the presence of harmful legionella bacteria within the ageing and deteriorating hydraulic systems of the buildings;

43.  Underlines that Parliament should be exemplary on the policies it defends and promotes such as environment, gender equality and transparency;

o   o

44.  Adopts the estimates for the financial year 2023;

45.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the estimates to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 11.
(3) OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 28.
(4) OJ L 287, 29.10.2013, p. 15.
(5) OJ C 506, 15.12.2021, p. 247.
(6) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2021)0432.
(7) OJ L 45, 24.2.2022.
(8) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).
(9) Decision of the European Parliament of 28 September 2005 adopting the Statute for Members of the European Parliament (2005/684/EC, Euratom) (OJ L 262, 7.10.2005, p. 1).

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