BETA


2006/2001(INI) Court of Auditors Special Report No 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CONT STUBB Alexander (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 52

Events

2006/11/15
   Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/10/19
   Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/09/05
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2006/09/05
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report drafted by Alexander STUBB (EPP-ED, FI) on the Court of Auditors' Special Report No 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. This report follows the presentation in November 2005 of a Special Report by the Court of Auditors on the interpretation expenditures of Parliament, Commission and Council for the year 2003. (Please see the summary of 13/07/2006.)

Documents
2006/09/05
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2006/07/25
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2006/07/25
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2006/07/13
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Alexander STUBB (EPP-ED, FI) in response to the Court of Auditors' Special Report No. 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. MEPs began by stressing the importance of preserving multilingualism, thereby guaranteeing citizens' right to communicate with the institutions in any of the EU's official languages and hence enabling them to exercise their right of democratic control. They concluded that, "while the increasing number of official languages calls for pragmatic solutions in the preparatory work within the institutions, multilingualism must be guaranteed to ensure the legitimacy and diversity of the European Union".

However, the report expressed concern at the high proportion of costs involving services supplied but not used and stand-by arrangements, and wanted to see organisational improvements. It called for greater interinstitutional cooperation, in particular more exchanges and other arrangements between Parliament and the Commission. It also called for a reduction in travel and accomodation costs, to be achieved inter alia by better coordination, planning and organisation. The institutions were urged to facilitate the use of "local interpreters" where possible, while ensuring that a high quality of interpretation is guaranteed.

As far as Parliament was concerned, the committee noted the higher costs of interpretation, mainly as a result of the Strasbourg sessions (during which very few local interpreters can be used) and urged the EP administration to raise Members' awareness of interpretation costs. It raised the question of whether Parliament made the "best possible use" of the language profiles of its members, while stressing that "this should not lead to a ranking of official EU languages". Lastly, noting that Article 1 of the Code of Conduct on Multilingualism stipulated that resources should be allocated taking into consideration the users' real needs, the report called for Parliament's responsible bodies to adapt its calendar of committee, group and plenary session weeks in order to achieve a better balance between needs and resources available.

2006/06/26
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2006/05/18
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2006/02/28
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2006/02/14
   CSL - Resolution/conclusions adopted by Council
Details

The Council made the following conclusions:

- it welcomed the Court's special report on interpretation expenditure incurred by three institutions and considered it very useful as the audit covers the period of the accession of 10 new Member States, increasing the number of official and working languages to 21;

- it agreed that sound financial management in the field of interpretation involves providing cost-effective and high quality interpretation services where needed without, however, exceeding real requirements;

- it noted with satisfaction that the institutions have been successful in containing interpretation expenditure although the number of working languages has increased, but underlined nevertheless that an amount of EUR 24 million has been spent for interpretation services requested but not used because of meeting cancellations;

- it recommended that efforts be made by reducing late cancellations, last-minute meeting requests and unequal distribution of meetings over the course of the week and the year;

- further savings are possible through a better management of meetings, on-request linguistic arrangements, a review of the level of resources kept on standby, a further integration of computer services and interinstitutional cooperation between all institutions;

- it stressed the need to maintain the high quality of interpretation provided in the institutions while controlling costs, and invited all institutions to assess the quality of interpretation, including making inquiries of the final users;

- it agreed that procedures to avoid the provision of interpretation services exceeding real requirements are an absolute necessity for all institutions. Therefore, it encouraged them to apply one another's best practices in order to set up efficient systems in this respect, including forecasting the expected use of languages, monitoring actual use, maintenance of updated interpretation language profiles by users, keeping a list of interpretation facilities requested but not used and surveys to assess such cases;

- the European institutions do not only employ permanent staff interpreters whose working conditions, remunerations and reimbursement of expenses are governed by the Staff Regulations, but also freelance interpreters (AICs), governed by an agreement signed between the International Association of Conference Interpreters (IACI) and the three institutions, which affect the interpretation cost in different ways. The Council is in favour of the renegotiation of this agreement with the IACI aiming at reducing all elements of the costs;

- the policy of providing interpretation either by permanent staff or ACIs has to be examined carefully to have an appropriate availability of interpretation resources either local or non-local, permanent or freelance, taking into account the balance between permanent and freelance interpreters for working languages involving high travel expenses;

- it also stressed the importance of the availability of interpretation services in all languages and therefore, invited the Commission to ensure that sufficient competitions are organised on time.

Lastly, the Council asked for an independent evaluation concerning the possible costs and benefits of the creation of one single interinstitutional Office providing interpretation services to all EU institutions, compared with those achieved by an increased interinstitutional cooperation.

2006/02/14
   CSL - Council Meeting
2006/01/19
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2005/09/12
   EP - Responsible Committee

Documents

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

activities
  • date: 2006-01-19T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2005-09-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander
  • body: CSL meeting_id: 2707 council: Economic and Financial Affairs ECOFIN date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: Council Meeting
  • date: 2006-07-13T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2005-09-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2006-07-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-261&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0261/2006 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2006-09-05T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=12516&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-331 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0331/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
commission
  • body: EC dg: Human Resources and Security commissioner: KALLAS Siim
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Budgetary Control
committee
CONT
date
2005-09-12T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: STUBB Alexander group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats abbr: PPE-DE
committees/0
body
EP
responsible
True
committee
CONT
date
2005-09-12T00:00:00
committee_full
Budgetary Control
rapporteur
group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander
council
  • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Economic and Financial Affairs ECOFIN meeting_id: 2707 url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2707*&MEET_DATE=14/02/2006 date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00
docs
  • date: 2006-02-28T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE370.210 title: PE370.210 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2006-05-18T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE369.878 title: PE369.878 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2006-06-26T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE376.325 title: PE376.325 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2006-07-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-261&language=EN title: A6-0261/2006 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-10-19T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=12516&j=1&l=en title: SP(2006)4772 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2006-11-15T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=12516&j=0&l=en title: SP(2006)4861 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2006-01-19T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: Resolution/conclusions adopted by Council body: CSL summary: The Council made the following conclusions: - it welcomed the Court's special report on interpretation expenditure incurred by three institutions and considered it very useful as the audit covers the period of the accession of 10 new Member States, increasing the number of official and working languages to 21; - it agreed that sound financial management in the field of interpretation involves providing cost-effective and high quality interpretation services where needed without, however, exceeding real requirements; - it noted with satisfaction that the institutions have been successful in containing interpretation expenditure although the number of working languages has increased, but underlined nevertheless that an amount of EUR 24 million has been spent for interpretation services requested but not used because of meeting cancellations; - it recommended that efforts be made by reducing late cancellations, last-minute meeting requests and unequal distribution of meetings over the course of the week and the year; - further savings are possible through a better management of meetings, on-request linguistic arrangements, a review of the level of resources kept on standby, a further integration of computer services and interinstitutional cooperation between all institutions; - it stressed the need to maintain the high quality of interpretation provided in the institutions while controlling costs, and invited all institutions to assess the quality of interpretation, including making inquiries of the final users; - it agreed that procedures to avoid the provision of interpretation services exceeding real requirements are an absolute necessity for all institutions. Therefore, it encouraged them to apply one another's best practices in order to set up efficient systems in this respect, including forecasting the expected use of languages, monitoring actual use, maintenance of updated interpretation language profiles by users, keeping a list of interpretation facilities requested but not used and surveys to assess such cases; - the European institutions do not only employ permanent staff interpreters whose working conditions, remunerations and reimbursement of expenses are governed by the Staff Regulations, but also freelance interpreters (AICs), governed by an agreement signed between the International Association of Conference Interpreters (IACI) and the three institutions, which affect the interpretation cost in different ways. The Council is in favour of the renegotiation of this agreement with the IACI aiming at reducing all elements of the costs; - the policy of providing interpretation either by permanent staff or ACIs has to be examined carefully to have an appropriate availability of interpretation resources either local or non-local, permanent or freelance, taking into account the balance between permanent and freelance interpreters for working languages involving high travel expenses; - it also stressed the importance of the availability of interpretation services in all languages and therefore, invited the Commission to ensure that sufficient competitions are organised on time. Lastly, the Council asked for an independent evaluation concerning the possible costs and benefits of the creation of one single interinstitutional Office providing interpretation services to all EU institutions, compared with those achieved by an increased interinstitutional cooperation.
  • date: 2006-07-13T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The committee adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Alexander STUBB (EPP-ED, FI) in response to the Court of Auditors' Special Report No. 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. MEPs began by stressing the importance of preserving multilingualism, thereby guaranteeing citizens' right to communicate with the institutions in any of the EU's official languages and hence enabling them to exercise their right of democratic control. They concluded that, "while the increasing number of official languages calls for pragmatic solutions in the preparatory work within the institutions, multilingualism must be guaranteed to ensure the legitimacy and diversity of the European Union". However, the report expressed concern at the high proportion of costs involving services supplied but not used and stand-by arrangements, and wanted to see organisational improvements. It called for greater interinstitutional cooperation, in particular more exchanges and other arrangements between Parliament and the Commission. It also called for a reduction in travel and accomodation costs, to be achieved inter alia by better coordination, planning and organisation. The institutions were urged to facilitate the use of "local interpreters" where possible, while ensuring that a high quality of interpretation is guaranteed. As far as Parliament was concerned, the committee noted the higher costs of interpretation, mainly as a result of the Strasbourg sessions (during which very few local interpreters can be used) and urged the EP administration to raise Members' awareness of interpretation costs. It raised the question of whether Parliament made the "best possible use" of the language profiles of its members, while stressing that "this should not lead to a ranking of official EU languages". Lastly, noting that Article 1 of the Code of Conduct on Multilingualism stipulated that resources should be allocated taking into consideration the users' real needs, the report called for Parliament's responsible bodies to adapt its calendar of committee, group and plenary session weeks in order to achieve a better balance between needs and resources available.
  • date: 2006-07-25T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-261&language=EN title: A6-0261/2006
  • date: 2006-09-05T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=12516&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2006-09-05T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-331 title: T6-0331/2006 summary: The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report drafted by Alexander STUBB (EPP-ED, FI) on the Court of Auditors' Special Report No 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. This report follows the presentation in November 2005 of a Special Report by the Court of Auditors on the interpretation expenditures of Parliament, Commission and Council for the year 2003. (Please see the summary of 13/07/2006.)
  • date: 2006-09-05T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/human-resources/ title: Human Resources and Security commissioner: KALLAS Siim
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
CONT/6/32957
New
  • CONT/6/32957
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 52
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
procedure/subject
Old
  • 8.40.09 European officials, EU servants, staff regulations
  • 8.70.03 Budgetary control and discharge, implementation of the budget
New
8.40.09
European officials, EU servants, staff regulations
8.70.03
Budgetary control and discharge, implementation of the budget
activities
  • date: 2006-01-19T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2005-09-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander
  • body: CSL meeting_id: 2707 council: Economic and Financial Affairs ECOFIN date: 2006-02-14T00:00:00 type: Council Meeting
  • date: 2006-07-13T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2005-09-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2006-07-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2006-261&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A6-0261/2006 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2006-09-05T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=12516&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-331 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0331/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2005-09-12T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: STUBB Alexander
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/human-resources/ title: Human Resources and Security commissioner: KALLAS Siim
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
CONT/6/32957
reference
2006/2001(INI)
title
Court of Auditors Special Report No 5/2005 on interpretation expenditure incurred by the Parliament, the Commission and the Council
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject