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Protection of the Union's budget in case of 'rule of law' deficiencies

15-12-2020

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading ...

On 10 December 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on the implementation of the regulation linking EU funding to respect for the rule of law. Hungary and Poland, in opposing this new mechanism, had been blocking the Union’s new budget but have now agreed to a compromise. The regulation on the rule of law is part of the package on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The Parliament is due to vote in December at second reading on the agreed text.

Independent fiscal institutions in the EU: Guardians of sound public finances

08-12-2020

'Independent fiscal institutions', or in some cases 'fiscal institutions', are an integral part of the EU's economic governance framework. This paper provides an introduction to these bodies and their role, the EU legal framework that underpins them, and a summary of the recent discussion around them in the context of the review of the wider economic governance framework in the European Union.

'Independent fiscal institutions', or in some cases 'fiscal institutions', are an integral part of the EU's economic governance framework. This paper provides an introduction to these bodies and their role, the EU legal framework that underpins them, and a summary of the recent discussion around them in the context of the review of the wider economic governance framework in the European Union.

Nomination to the European Court of Auditors: Role of the European Parliament in the appointment procedure

07-12-2020

Members of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) are appointed by the Council, after consultation with the European Parliament. The ECA consists of 27 members, one national from each of the 27 European Union Member States. Candidates for membership are proposed by their respective Member States, and appointed for a renewable term of six years. Members are required to perform their duties in complete independence and in the general interest of the EU. This Briefing takes appointments since 2009 (the ...

Members of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) are appointed by the Council, after consultation with the European Parliament. The ECA consists of 27 members, one national from each of the 27 European Union Member States. Candidates for membership are proposed by their respective Member States, and appointed for a renewable term of six years. Members are required to perform their duties in complete independence and in the general interest of the EU. This Briefing takes appointments since 2009 (the beginning of the seventh parliamentary term) as its starting-point. At the end of that legislature, Parliament adopted an important resolution detailing the principles and selection criteria for the nomination of members of the ECA, such as the requirement that members do not serve more than two terms of office. Even though the opinions delivered by the European Parliament are not legally binding, they have become a powerful tool in the appointment procedure. With the adoption of a resolution in 2014, Parliament further shaped the selection criteria it will apply when examining a candidate. The publicity surrounding these hearings and the questionnaire answered by the candidates make it difficult for the Council to over-ride any negative opinion delivered by Parliament. The analysis illustrates the extent to which Parliament's democratic scrutiny of the ECA influences the process of appointment: even though the Council has three times appointed a candidate despite an unfavourable opinion by Parliament, in two other cases, nominees withdrew their candidacy after Parliament delivered a negative opinion, and in another, the government of the Member State concerned withdrew the nomination and proposed a new candidate.

Aprobación de la gestión en la ejecución del presupuesto de 2018: Segundos informes para el Consejo Europeo y el Consejo, y para el Comité Económico y Social

14-10-2020

En mayo de 2020, el Parlamento Europeo decidió aplazar la decisión sobre la aprobación de la gestión del Consejo Europeo y del Consejo, así como del Comité Económico y Social Europeo (CESE), para el presupuesto de 2018, y presentó una serie de observaciones. La Comisión de Control Presupuestario del Parlamento ha vuelto a examinar la situación y, en sus segundos informes, recomienda no conceder la aprobación de la gestión a esas instituciones. Las votaciones sobre los segundos informes de aprobación ...

En mayo de 2020, el Parlamento Europeo decidió aplazar la decisión sobre la aprobación de la gestión del Consejo Europeo y del Consejo, así como del Comité Económico y Social Europeo (CESE), para el presupuesto de 2018, y presentó una serie de observaciones. La Comisión de Control Presupuestario del Parlamento ha vuelto a examinar la situación y, en sus segundos informes, recomienda no conceder la aprobación de la gestión a esas instituciones. Las votaciones sobre los segundos informes de aprobación de la gestión están programadas para el período parcial de sesiones de octubre II.

Discharge procedure for the EU Budget: Political scrutiny of budgetary implementation

05-05-2020

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant ...

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant rules (compliance), including the principles of sound financial management (performance). The decision on whether to grant discharge for the execution of the EU budget is made by the European Parliament, which acts on a non-binding recommendation by the Council, the other arm of the EU budgetary authority. Another key institution is the European Court of Auditors, the EU's independent external auditor, whose reports are a fundamental part of the procedure. The discharge procedure has proved to be a powerful tool, which has had an impact on the evolution of the EU's budgetary system, while helping to increase the Parliament's political leverage. Recent years have shown a trend towards a greater focus on results and performance, strongly supported and promoted by the European Parliament. For example, the 2018 version of the EU's Financial Regulation simplified the rules for budgetary implementation and introduced the 'single audit' approach to shared management. Another noteworthy issue is the question of how to ensure EU-level democratic scrutiny of financial tools set up to respond to crises either outside the EU's institutional framework (e.g. the European Stability Mechanism) or at least partially outside the EU budget (e.g. EU trust funds). This Briefing updates a previous edition of April 2016.

The role of national fiscal bodies - State of play (January 2020)

16-01-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the advisory role played by independent national fiscal bodies in the preparations of the budgets of the EU Member States. The briefing is updated regularly. The objective of the analysis is twofold: 1) to give an overview of the set-up and functioning of these independent fiscal bodies based on the most recent assessments by the European Commission. 2) to give an overview of the extent to which the latest Stability or Convergence Programmes and the Draft Budgetary ...

This briefing provides an overview of the advisory role played by independent national fiscal bodies in the preparations of the budgets of the EU Member States. The briefing is updated regularly. The objective of the analysis is twofold: 1) to give an overview of the set-up and functioning of these independent fiscal bodies based on the most recent assessments by the European Commission. 2) to give an overview of the extent to which the latest Stability or Convergence Programmes and the Draft Budgetary Plans contain information about the involvement of independent national fiscal bodies in the preparation of these programmes/plans.

Special Reports of the European Court of Auditors - A Rolling Check-list of recent findings

28-02-2019

This rolling checklist presents an overview of the European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) special reports, concentrating on those relevant for the 2017 discharge procedure. It strives to link the research topics of the special reports to the relevant debates and positions within the European Parliament, including the working documents of the Committee on Budgetary Control, the work of the specialised parliamentary committees, plenary resolutions and individual questions by Members.

This rolling checklist presents an overview of the European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) special reports, concentrating on those relevant for the 2017 discharge procedure. It strives to link the research topics of the special reports to the relevant debates and positions within the European Parliament, including the working documents of the Committee on Budgetary Control, the work of the specialised parliamentary committees, plenary resolutions and individual questions by Members.

Democratic accountability and budgetary control of non-governmental organisations financed from the EU budget - Update

31-01-2019

The accessibility and quality of Commission data on grant funding has improved significantly since 2010. There have also been positive developments since 2016, and further developments are planned. However, there are still significant constraints that prevent meaningful analysis of grant funding data, and which must undermine policy formulation and monitoring. There is still a need for a more systematic approach to the communication of EU grant-funded activities to enhance EU visibility, and strengthen ...

The accessibility and quality of Commission data on grant funding has improved significantly since 2010. There have also been positive developments since 2016, and further developments are planned. However, there are still significant constraints that prevent meaningful analysis of grant funding data, and which must undermine policy formulation and monitoring. There is still a need for a more systematic approach to the communication of EU grant-funded activities to enhance EU visibility, and strengthen transparency and accountability.

Autor externo

Blomeyer & Sanz; Ackermann, Roderick; Franceschelli Nicolo; Debornes Lucie

Informe 2017 sobre la protección de los intereses financieros de la UE – Lucha contra el fraude

28-01-2019

En septiembre de 2018, la Comisión Europea publicó su informe anual sobre la lucha contra el fraude que afectó a los intereses financieros de la UE en 2017. El importe total de las 15 213 irregularidades notificadas en 2017 ascendió a 2 580 millones de euros, lo que supone una disminución del 8,6 % con respecto a 2016. Sin embargo, el importe de las irregularidades fraudulentas notificadas se elevó a 467 millones de euros, lo que representa un incremento del 19,4 % con respecto a 2016.

En septiembre de 2018, la Comisión Europea publicó su informe anual sobre la lucha contra el fraude que afectó a los intereses financieros de la UE en 2017. El importe total de las 15 213 irregularidades notificadas en 2017 ascendió a 2 580 millones de euros, lo que supone una disminución del 8,6 % con respecto a 2016. Sin embargo, el importe de las irregularidades fraudulentas notificadas se elevó a 467 millones de euros, lo que representa un incremento del 19,4 % con respecto a 2016.

The next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Unity of EU budget

15-11-2017

The traditional issues of European budgetary negotiations are the size of the budget, the distribution of funds and the system of own resources. Under difficult circumstances, the negotiations on the new MFF post-2020 will start in 2018 and should be concluded by the end of 2019 or no later than the beginning of 2020. The unity of the EU budget is a cornerstone of European budgetary policy. However, a complete unity of all revenue and expenditure, and all financial instruments has not yet been achieved ...

The traditional issues of European budgetary negotiations are the size of the budget, the distribution of funds and the system of own resources. Under difficult circumstances, the negotiations on the new MFF post-2020 will start in 2018 and should be concluded by the end of 2019 or no later than the beginning of 2020. The unity of the EU budget is a cornerstone of European budgetary policy. However, a complete unity of all revenue and expenditure, and all financial instruments has not yet been achieved. Today the budgetary system is characterised by differentiation, fragmentation and increased use of ‘satellite’ instruments, and debates on additional financial instruments, like a budget for the Eurozone. The question of how to integrate these instruments into the Union’s budget system and thus guaranteeing democratic scrutiny, should be an additional issue of the negotiations on the MFF post-2020.

Autor externo

Dr. Peter Becker

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