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Procedure : 2022/2185(BUI)
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Document selected : A9-0153/2023

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PV 20/04/2023 - 8.11

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Thursday, 20 April 2023 - Strasbourg
Parliament's estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2024

European Parliament resolution of 20 April 2023 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2024 (2022/2185(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),

–  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 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 Recital 90 and Article 27 thereof,

–  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 paragraph 9 thereof on collective travel;

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 April 2022 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2023(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 October 2022 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2023(6),

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2023(7) and the joint statements agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed hereto,

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 22 April 1970 on the Gentlemen's Agreement on the scrutiny of budgetary expenditure consolidated by an agreement between European Parliament and the Council with binding effects for both institutions,

–  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 study "The European Parliament’s carbon footprint - Towards carbon neutrality",

–  having regard to the Special Report No 14/2014 of the European Court of Auditors: How do the EU institutions and bodies calculate, reduce and offset their greenhouse gas emissions?,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 September 2020 on maximising the energy efficiency potential of the EU building stock(8),

–  having regard to Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the exemplary role of their buildings in the context of the Energy Efficiency Directive,

–  having regard to the Secretary-General’s report to the Bureau on drawing up Parliament’s preliminary draft estimates for the financial year 2024,

–  having regard to the preliminary draft estimates drawn up by the Bureau on 13 March 2023 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 (A9-0153/2023),

A.  whereas the budget proposed on 13 February 2023 by the Secretary-General for Parliament’s preliminary draft estimates for 2024 amounts to EUR 2 392 401 312 and represents an increase of 6,46 % or EUR 145 million compared to 2023 budget;

B.  whereas the Commission forecasts the EU inflation rate to be 6,4 % in 2023 and 2,7 % in 2024 in its Winter 2023 (Interim) Forecast; whereas the level of expenditure in Heading 7 of the MFF 2021-2027 is based on a 2 % yearly increase;

C.  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 on Ukraine; whereas Parliament’s budget needs to be adequately equipped to prepare and conduct the 2024 European Parliament elections and communicate on the importance of democratic engagement and voting;

D.  whereas the credibility of Parliament depends on its ability to focus on its core budgetary, legislative and scrutiny work to the highest standard, while setting an example vis-à-vis other Union institutions to plan and conduct its spending prudently and efficiently and to reflect the prevalent economic realities;

E.  whereas Parliament needs to be at the forefront of the digital and green transitions;

F.  whereas the "Building strategy beyond 2019" mentions the need to maintain buildings in order to meet current safety standards and the real needs for their users;

G.  whereas the voluntary pension fund was established in 1990 by the Bureau's Rules governing the additional (voluntary) pension scheme(9);

General framework

1.  Recalls that almost two-thirds of the budget is fixed by statutory obligations; recalls that the salary indexation, in line with the Staff Regulations and Statute for Members of the European Parliament, is currently forecast by the Commission for July 2023 and July 2024 at 4,4 % and 3,4 % respectively; notes that the 2023 budget includes a salary indexation of 2,6 % as from July 2023; notes that the Committee on Budgets will closely monitor the official forecasted evolution of the salary indexation;

2.  Endorses the agreement reached in the Conciliation between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets on 21 March 2023 to set the increase over the 2023 budget at 6,06 %, corresponding to an overall level of estimates of EUR 2 383 401 312 for 2024, and to reduce accordingly the appropriations proposed on the following budget lines for a total of EUR 12 195 000:

1 0 0 4 - Ordinary travel expenses, 1 4 0 5 — Expenditure on interpretation, 1 6 1 2 — Learning and development, 1 6 5 0 — Health and prevention, 2 0 0 7 — Construction of buildings and fitting-out of premises, 2 0 2 4 — Energy, 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 4 — Technical equipment and installations, 3 0 0 — Expenses for staff missions and duty travel between the three places of work, 3 0 4 2 — Meeting, congresses, conferences and delegations, 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 2 — Expenditure on publication, information and participation in public events, 4 2 2 — Expenditure relating to parliamentary assistance;

furthermore, it was decided to increase the level of expenditure of the preliminary draft estimates approved by the Bureau on 13 March 2023 by EUR 3 195 000 and to increase accordingly the appropriations proposed on the following budget lines:

1 4 0 0 — Other staff — Secretariat and political groups by EUR 195 000, in order to provide appropriations to finance additional contract staff for the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations, and 10 1 — Contingency reserve by EUR 3 million;

3.  Notes that out of the increase of EUR 136 million compared to the 2023 budget an increase of EUR 120 million is due to statutory obligations, mainly for salary indexation (EUR 62,9 million) and financial obligations resulting from an electoral year (EUR 32,9 million); notes that the increase for non-mandatory expenses is EUR 17 million, representing an increase of 1,97% compared to 2023;

4.  Considers that more substantial savings could be achieved in addition to the EUR 15 million foreseen to be generated due to the reduction in the volume of parliamentary activities in an election year;

5.  Welcomes the launch by the Conference of Presidents in January 2023 of the Working Group on Parliamentary Reform following on the work of the focus groups aiming at creating a more modern and efficient Parliament;

6.  Stresses that transparency, accountability, and integrity are essential ethics principles within the Union institutions and particularly Parliament as house of the European democracy;

Communication for the 2024 European Elections

7.  Welcomes the communication campaign of the 2024 elections in order to explain to citizens the purpose of Parliament and its achievements in the current legislature and why voting in the elections can make a difference; underlines that communication by the political parties and the Members themselves is the main driver for a high participation rate and the involvement and interest of Union citizens in the European elections; highlights the role of Europa Experiences as an integral part of the communication plan to the electoral campaign;

8.  Recalls that EUR 27,5 million was allocated for the electoral campaign run by the Parliament administration in the 2023 budget procedure; notes that the remaining 25 % will be allocated in 2024 (EUR 9,5 million); welcomes that communication efforts will continue after the elections with the constitution of the new Parliament, the election of the Commission President and the Commissioners’ hearings;

9.  Highlights that Parliament alone lacks the resources necessary to reach out to 400 million eligible voters and must therefore make the best use of its own multiplier networks to do that; considers that communications via social media websites should play an important role as well;

10.  Recalls that Parliament encourages citizens’ democratic engagement and voting and supports multilingualism and promotes the rights of the national, regional and linguistic minorities; considers that Parliament can actively contribute to the fight against disinformation by also providing information through its EPLOs in the languages of linguistic minorities and communities 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; underlines the importance of the active participation of EPLOs in the implementation of Parliament's work on citizenship education through multiple programmes involving local communities and linguistic minorities, schools and universities; points out that Parliament adapts its communication substantially depending on its target audience; in that respect, takes note of the Secretary-General's answers on Parliament's resolution of 7 April 2022 on Parliament's estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2023 and its resolution of 19 October 2022 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2023 highlighting the efforts undertaken by EPLOs in Baltic countries after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine to inform citizens in Ukrainian language as well as in Russian language, whenever appropriate and in particular to counter disinformation activities;

11.  Urges the Bureau to support Members in enabling visitor groups to visit Parliament; understands that the current geopolitical situation contributes to the difficulty and the rise of costs associated with bringing visitors groups to Parliament; recognises the value that visitor groups bring in increasing the participation rate, involvement and interest of Union citizens, especially in an election year; calls therefore on the Bureau to revise the rules governing sponsored visits in order to ensure the proper functioning of visitor group programme, notably concerning the kilometric tariff and other cost components ensuring equal footing to all citizens visiting Members while minimising the environmental impact of travel in line with applicable Union rules;


12.  Considers of utmost importance that Parliament is properly equipped against disinformation and cyberattacks, especially in view of the upcoming elections; calls on the administration to take all the necessary measures to protect the election process from undue interference; welcomes the essential contribution of the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations to the integrity of elections to the European Parliament in light of evolving threats of foreign interference and adds additional necessary human resources in this respect; welcomes the cooperation between DGs ITEC, SAFE and COMM to properly detect, monitor and answer in a prompt and clear way to cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns, notably on social media; asks for continued cooperation with the Commission, the Council and the European External Action Service as regards disinformation, under an interinstitutional cooperation format inspired by the pooling of resources in a single Union body such as CERT EU in the cybersecurity field;

13.  Urges the administration to fill the 40 cybersecurity posts agreed during the 2023 budgetary procedure by the end of 2023 in order to continue increasing Parliament’s cyber defence capabilities and reach an adequate level of internal capacity before the elections in 2024;

14.  Calls for regular and updated cybersecurity-related training programmes for all staff within Parliament;

Building policy

15.  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 and that Members should have access to detailed information on the state of the buildings, methodology to assess it as well as the bodies that are implementing it and the cost of works that are strictly necessary to comply with the regulatory framework;

16.  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 and thereby reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions and reduced the running cost of Parliament's facilities;

17.  Regrets the delays in establishing Europa Experiences before the elections in all Member States; understands that the delays are outside Parliament’s control; calls for the establishment of Europa Experiences with priority to be given to Member States furthest from the three places of work; recalls that Europa Experiences should allow all citizens to have a better understanding of the functioning of Union institutions;

18.  Notes that no budget is foreseen for major building investment in the 2024 estimates; reminds the Bureau that proper information and consultation with the Committee on Budgets before adopting any major decision on building related issues is needed due to their important budgetary implications; opposes any resources via transfer to be dedicated to preparatory works for any major building projects without prior approval of the concerned projects by the budgetary authority; takes note of the ongoing practice of the year-end ‘mopping-up transfer’ to contribute to building projects; recalls that such ‘mopping-up transfer’ takes place systematically on the same chapters, titles and often on exactly the same budgetary lines; considers that such a practice risks being perceived as a programmed over-budgeting; asks that, prior to the next ‘mopping-up transfer’, a reflection be launched on the financing of key investments based on transparency; asks the Bureau to urgently implement the vote of the Plenary regarding the reconsideration of the future of the Spaak building in Brussels; expects that the aim of any works in the Spaak building is to ensure its compliance with the applicable regulatory framework, the safety and security of staff, and reachable energy saving investments; expects any decisions to be taken in full transparency, including ensuring access of all relevant documents (plans and technical assessment) and detailed breakdown of costs to the budgetary authority; with regard to the Strasbourg site, calls on the Bureau to ensure accessibility and an adequate welcoming of visitors while thinking outside the box with regard to the use of Parliament's premises outside the part-sessions; believes the focus of spending on buildings should be cost-effective and in Parliament's long-term interest;

19.  Recalls the support of the vast majority of Members for a single seat to ensure that Union taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently and for Parliament to assume its institutional responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint; recalls the need to find solutions to optimise the parliamentary institutional work, financial costs and carbon footprint; believes that the experience gained and investments made in remote working and meetings can serve as a basis for adapting staff mission needs; recalls that, according to the Treaty on European Union, Parliament is to have its seat in Strasbourg; notes that permanent changes would require a Treaty change for which unanimity is needed;

20.  Welcomes Parliament's policy of 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;

21.  Calls for a study on the possibility of opening external Parliament offices in countries which have formally applied to join the Union, namely the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, and reiterates the need for Parliament to be present in those countries with active information campaigns;

Green Parliament

22.  Recalls that Parliament's administration is currently working on a comprehensive approach to define Parliament's long-term building policy considering in particular environmental obligations, energy efficiency, and waste management in line with the "Fit for 55" package and expects the results to be made public; welcomes the energy-saving measures decided by Parliament’s Bureau on 2 May and 3 October 2022;

23.  Reiterates its full support for Parliament’s environmental management system (EMAS) targets for 2024; welcomes that most targets are likely to be reached in 2024 and calls for continuing ambition to reach all the targets as soon as possible;

24.  Takes note of the increase in carbon credit prices; calls on Parliament to make energy efficiency investments and on-site production a priority rather than compensating a low level of ambition with the purchase of carbon credits; indicates that such energy efficiency investments is a better method of achieving value for money; encourages the services to develop carbon pricing as an informative tool (shadow pricing) rather than a hard carbon price that would add to existing costs of carbon offsetting prices which are already projected to rise in the near future in light of the recent sharp increase in carbon credit prices to facilitate reaching carbon neutrality;

25.  Welcomes and encourages the investments in renewable energy and for the phasing-out of fossil fuels and in particular the installation of heat pumps given the energy crisis and geopolitical context; recalls that there are 52 gas boilers in Parliament premises in Brussels alone; calls for a roadmap for the phasing out of fossil fuels with specific milestones to be included in the next multi-annual building strategy to avoid stranded assets and for an analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of using heat pump systems and other relevant technologies; notes that Parliament has installed and is continuing to install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to further increase the share of renewable energy produced on-site to reach the target of 25 %; calls on Parliament to take all the necessary steps to decrease medium and long-term energy consumption; asks the Secretary-General to implement the updated studies and audits on the technical feasibility to install PV panels on the rooftops of the Strasbourg buildings, to take into account evolution of technologies and market prices since the original studies were done 10 years ago and its added value compared to other types of energy savings investment; believes that budgetary aspect of possible decisions in that field must be balanced between best added value and the reasonable amount of investment in a constrained budgetary context;

26.  Recalls that nearly two-thirds of Parliament's carbon footprint originate from the transportation of people; calls for promotion of a shift to low-carbon alternatives for traveling and taking stock of new ways of working implemented during the pandemic, insofar as this does not affect the quality of legislative and political work notably in Parliament's places of work and acknowledges that travels of many Members from their constituencies to Parliament's places of work of require long journeys and can only be undertaken by plane; welcomes Parliament's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions through chartered trains and the paperless initiative;

27.  Welcomes Parliament’s efforts to encourage staff to use sustainable means of transport for commuting by putting at their disposal classical and electric bicycles free of charge and by reimbursing part of the cost of public transport tickets in exchange for a limitation of car park access; reminds and calls on Members and political groups to contribute to the ongoing reduction of trunk shipping between Brussels and Strasbourg at plenary sessions, as committed to by the Bureau; reiterates its calls for the relevant investment to be planned in the forthcoming budgets on the recovery and reuse of rainwater and a more rational use of water;

28.  Requests for the sake of transparency, that the table of milestones’ completion progress of the EMAS objectives for the period after 2021-2024 be included in the preliminary draft estimates each year since climate spending tracking is being implemented for the budgets of Union policies;

Other issues

29.  Regrets that part of the 66 new establishment plan posts agreed during the 2022 budget for the committees’ secretariats are still not fully occupied; recalls the aim to swiftly reinforce the support to parliamentary committees in line with the plenary request; welcomes in that context the Secretary-General’s decision to reverse the parallel reduction in the envelope for contract agents for DG IPOL as from 2023, allowing the reinstatement of the 25 contract agent roles that were cut in 2022; expects, besides this temporary compensation, the committees’ secretariats needs to be fulfilled with these 66 agreed posts and that these will serve no other purpose; asks that regular assessments be conducted of the organisation of Parliament's administration and personnel needs; calls, in that regard, for the optimisation of the repartition of staff in Parliament’s Secretariat, notably by reallocating vacant posts between services;

30.  Urges Parliament to introduce a cooling-off period for former Members equal to the time during which they receive a transitional allowance during which they cannot engage in lobbying or representational activities with Parliament;

31.  Believes no General Expenditure Allowance should be paid to former Members; calls therefore for the deletion of Article 42, subparagraph 4 of the Implementing Measures of the Members' Statute;

32.  Acknowledges the general difficulties encountered by the Union institutions, including Parliament, in attracting and retaining talent, which has an impact on the diversity and geographical distribution of the workforce; calls for continuous efforts from the Bureau and the Secretary-General to be taken in order to ensure that employment at Parliament is equally attractive to all Union nationalities and that the geographical balance of the staff is improved; 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; insists that core permanent positions and tasks should be performed by permanent staff;

33.  Takes the view that it is inadmissible for Parliament to contribute to the normalisation and legitimisation of precarious employment arrangements or the use of bogus green receipts and that it must undertake to respect, promote and safeguard workers' rights;

34.  Welcomes the discussions at Bureau level aimed at revising the Implementing Measures of the APAs Statute to align the reimbursements of the missions’ expenses with those applicable to the rest of the staff for plenary sessions, taking into consideration that the parliamentary allowance envelope remains unchanged; recalls that this request has been adopted repeatedly by the Plenary in the past;

35.  Reiterates its call on the Conference of Presidents and the Bureau to revise the implementing provisions governing the work of delegations and missions outside the Union; underlines that such a revision should consider the possibility for APAs, subject to certain conditions, to accompany Members on official Parliament delegations and missions;

36.  Asks the Bureau to work on a technical solution to allow Members to exercise their right to vote while benefitting from maternity, paternity or long-term sickness leave;

37.  Requests the Bureau to analyse the feasibility and estimate the financial cost of providing international sign language interpretation for all plenary debates in respect of the principle of equal access to all citizens and calls to develop specific initiatives to implement interpretation in the sign languages used in each Member States for specific plenary debates, with a particular focus on the State of the Union debate, "This is Europe" debates and solemn sittings;

38.  Recalls its previous calls on the Bureau to ensure translation of key foreign policy resolutions adopted under Rule 54 (own-initiative reports) into the non-Union official languages of the UN (namely Arabic, Chinese and Russian), as well as country-specific resolutions adopted under Rule 132 (resolution accompanying Commission/VPHR statements) and Rule 144 (urgency resolution) into the official language of the country concerned; considers that those translations should be swiftly made available on Parliament’s website in a visible manner, given the time-sensitive nature of Parliament’s urgency and foreign affairs resolutions;

39.  Calls for genuine commitment to implementing the principle of multilingualism;

40.  Calls for a reform on combating every type of harassment and abuse within Parliament; acknowledges that the Bureau has started to work on the request of the Plenary regarding the core reform steps for Parliament that were initially mentioned in its resolution of 26 October 2017 on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU(10), among which was the introduction of compulsory anti-harassment training courses for all staff and Members;

41.  Takes note that the revised Article 44(2) of the Implementing Measures for the Statute for the Members of the European Parliament provides for the possibility to finance extra costs linked to the parliamentary assistance budgets transferring appropriations from their General Expenditure Allowance (GEA); notes however that this is contradicted by the expenditure ceiling for parliamentary assistance set in Article 29(4); calls on the Bureau to amend the Implementing Measures as necessary to enable Members who wish to do so to transfer part of their GEA in case their parliamentary assistance allowance is fully subscribed;

42.  Calls on Parliament to continue highlighting to seniors Union programmes and policies that benefit active ageing;

43.  Considers it of utmost importance and in Parliament's best interest that Parliament drivers receive specific and tailor-made professional training, empowering them to deal with unexpected situations in the context of their duties including safety and security; given that the know-how exists in the DG INLO People Transport Unit, considers that the training can be provided via in-house means, except for the infrastructure needed for the training such as special training facilities for which adequate financial resources should be engaged;

44.  Calls the Bureau to ensure that all restaurants in Parliament reinforce their quality-price ratio and re-establish controls of access at the entrances to the self-service restaurants;

45.  Expects that requests voted by the Plenary should be implemented;

46.  Urges the Bureau to actively follow up on finding a feasible, legal and fair solution given the urgency of the Voluntary Pension Fund situation;

o   o

47.  Adopts the estimates for the financial year 2024;

48.  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 434, 15.11.2022, p. 160.
(6) Text adopted, P9_TA(2022)0366.
(7) OJ L 58, 23.2.2023.
(8) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0227.
(9) Texts adopted by the Bureau, PE 113.116/BUR./rev. XXVI/01-04-2009.
(10) OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 192.

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