BETA


2013/2205(DEC) 2012 discharge: EU general budget, European External Action Service

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CONT DEUTSCH Tamás (icon: PPE PPE) BALČYTIS Zigmantas (icon: S&D S&D), MULDER Jan (icon: ALDE ALDE), STAES Bart (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), ANDREASEN Marta (icon: ECR ECR), VANHECKE Frank (icon: EFD EFD), EHRENHAUSER Martin (icon: NA NA)
Committee Opinion AFET MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María (icon: S&D S&D) Anneli JÄÄTTEENMÄKI (icon: ALDE ALDE), Sabine LÖSING (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion DEVE
Committee Opinion INTA
Committee Opinion AFCO
Lead committee dossier:

Events

2014/09/05
   Final act published in Official Journal
Details

PURPOSE: to grant discharge to the European External Action Service for the 2012 financial year.

NON-LEGISLATIVE ACT: Decision 2014/552/EU of the European Parliament on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section X — European External Action Service.

CONTENT: under this Decision and according to Article 318 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European Parliament grants the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy discharge in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service’s budget for the financial year 2012.

The Decision is in line with the European Parliament’s resolution approved on 3 April 2014 and includes a series of observations which form an integral part of the discharge Decision (please refer to the summary of the opinion of 3 April 2014).

2014/04/03
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2014/04/03
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted a decision concerning the discharge to be granted to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012.

In its resolution accompanying the decision, adopted by 523 votes to 76, with 9 abstentions, Parliament noted the conclusion of the Court of Auditors that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error.

However, Parliament was concerned that in 2012, the PMO system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members.

Financial and budget implementation: Parliament noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. It also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million.

Parliament welcomed that in its second financial year, the European External Action Service has continued to implement its budget without material errors being identified by the Court of Auditors and that most of the problems identified in the 2011 Annual Report of the Court of Auditors as result of the setting-up process have not recurred. Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Parliament recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution, resulting from the consolidation of different services , and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment.

If, overall, Parliament was satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, it is concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well.

Future framework for discharge exercises: Parliament noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations.

Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Parliament:

believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: it supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing; observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance ; noted the over-representation and quick promotions in the higher grades in the institution; requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. It was concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled; it calls for an end to the parallel foreign policy pursued through the EUSRs and, in terms of pay, insists that EUSRs should not be treated more favourably than Union ambassadors in post; called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past; called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts; pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information; called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties; demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million; asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Parliament called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area.

Parliament reiterated the importance of continuing efforts to identify opportunities for long-term savings and synergies, both between EEAS and Commission and with Member States, to ensure the sustainability of the EEAS budget in a time of budgetary restraints.

Lastly, Parliament invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and it emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.

Documents
2014/04/03
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2014/04/02
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2014/03/20
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Budgetary Control adopted the report by Tamás DEUTSCH (EPP, HU) in which it called on the European Parliament to grant discharge to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012.

Members noted that on the basis of its audit work, the Court of Auditors concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error.

Financial and budget implementation : Members are concerned that in 2012, the Payment Of Individual Entitlements (PMO) system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members.

They also noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. They also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million.

Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Members recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution , resulting from the consolidation of different services, and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment.

If overall Members were satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, they are concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well.

Future framework for discharge exercises : Members noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations.

Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Members:

believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: they supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing; observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance ; noted the over-representation and quick in the higher grades; requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. They are concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled; called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past; called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts; pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information; called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties; demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million; asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Members called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area.

Lastly, Members invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and they emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.

Documents
2014/03/18
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2014/02/25
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2014/02/17
   CSL - Document attached to the procedure
Details

In view of the observations made in the Court of Auditor's report, the Council called on the European Parliament to grant discharge to all of the Union’s institutions in regard to the implementation of their respective budgets for the financial year 2012 .

Overall, the Council’s remarks were positive in regard to the expenditure of the institutions since it noted that, again in 2012, the administrative expenditure of EU institutions and bodies remained free from material error with an estimated error rate of 0%, and that their supervisory and control systems continued to comply with the requirements of the Financial Regulation.

The Council welcomed the fact that, according to the Court's assessment, no serious errors were detected with regard to the effectiveness of the supervisory and control systems, in the individual institutions, except for a limited number of errors in the procurement procedures and the management of social allowances .

It welcomed the measures already taken and encouraged the institutions concerned to address the remaining weaknesses identified by the Court.

Documents
2014/02/11
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2014/01/27
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2013/10/22
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2013/09/25
   EP - DEUTSCH Tamás (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in CONT
2013/09/12
   EP - MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in AFET
2013/09/05
   CofA - Court of Auditors: opinion, report
Details

PURPOSE: presentation of the Report of the Court of Auditors on the 2012 budget (Analysis of the accounts of the European External Action Service (EEAS)).

CONTENT: the Court of Auditors published its 36th Annual Report on the implementation of the EU budget for the 2012 financial year.

In accordance with the tasks and objectives conferred on the Court of Auditors by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it provides under the discharge procedure, for both the European Parliament and Council, a statement of assurance (“DAS”) about the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the transactions of each institution, body or agency of the EU, based on an independent external audit.

The audit also focused on the budget implementation of the EEAS.

On the basis of its audit work, the Court considers that payments for “Administrative and other expenditure” policy are, overall, significantly error-free .

Although the Court has observed some errors and weaknesses, the examined supervisory and control systems are likely to reduce the rate of error present in initial payment requests to an acceptable level. These systems are therefore assessed as effective.

The main risks regarding administrative and other expenditure are:

the non-compliance with the procedures for procurement; the implementation of contracts; recruitment issues; the calculation of salaries and allowances.

Overall audit evidence indicates that accepted expenditure is not affected by a material level of error.

The Court also made a number of comments specific to each institution or body of the European Union. In the case of the EEAS’s audit, the Court did not identify any significant weakness with the exception of some weaknesses persisting in the management of social allowances. In addition, the EEAS aim to remind staff of their obligation to keep their declarations updated.

2013/07/26
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: presentation by the Commission of the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012, as part of the 2012 discharge procedure.

Analysis of the accounts of the EU Institutions: Section X – European External Action Service (EEAS) .

Legal reminder : the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the year 2011 have been prepared on the basis of the information presented by the institutions and bodies under Article 129(2) of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union. They were prepared in accordance with Title VII of the Financial Regulation and with the accounting principles, rules and methods set out in the notes to the financial statements.

The objective of the financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and cashflow of a body that is useful to a wide range of users. The objective is to provide information that is useful for decision making, and to demonstrate the accountability of the entity for the resources entrusted to it.

1) Purpose : the document helps to bring insight into the EU budget mechanism and the way in which the budget has been managed and spent in 2012 . It recalls that the European Union's operational expenditure covers the various headings of the financial framework and takes different forms, depending on how the money is paid out and managed. In accordance with the Financial Regulation, the Commission implements the general budget using the following methods: direct or indirect centralised management (by means of bodies or agencies of public law or other); decentralised management where the Commission delegates certain tasks for the implementation of the budget to third countries; and, thirdly, shared management where budget implementation tasks are delegated to Member States, in areas such as agricultural expenditure and structural actions.

The document also presents the different financial actors involved in the budget process (accounting officers, internal officers and authorising officers) and recalls their respective roles in the context of the tasks of sound financial management.

Amongst the other legal elements relating to the implementation of the EU budget presented in this document, the paper focuses on the following issues:

accounting principles applicable to the management of EU spending (business continuity, consistency of accounting methods, comparability of information ...); consolidation methods of figures for all major controlled entities (the consolidated financial statements of the EU comprise all significant controlled entities –institutions, organisations and agencies); the recognition of financial assets in the EU (tangible and intangible assets, financial assets and other miscellaneous investments); the way in which EU public expenditure is committed and spent, including pre-financing (cash advances intended for the benefit of an EU organ); the means of recovery following irregularities detected; the modus operandi of the accounting system; the audit process followed by the European Parliament's granting of the discharge.

To recap, the final control is the discharge of the budget for a given financial year . The discharge represents the political aspect of the external control of budget implementation and is the decision by which the European Parliament, acting on a Council recommendation, "releases" the Commission from its responsibility for management of a given budget by marking the end of that budget's existence.

The document also details specific expenditure of the institutions, in particular: i) pensions of former Members and officials of institutions; ii) joint sickness insurance scheme and iii) buildings.

Lastly, the document presents a series of tables and detailed technical indicators on (i) the balance sheet; (ii) the economic outturn account; (iii) cashflow tables; (iv) technical annexes concerning the financial statements.

2) Implementation of appropriations under Section X of the budget for the financial year 2012 : the document comprises a series of detailed tables, the most important concerning the implementation of the budget. Concerning the EEAS’s expenditure, the table on the financial and budgetary implementation of this institution is presented as follows (information drawn from the EEAS Report on budgetary and financial management for the year 2012 ).

final budget EEAS headquarters (Brussels): EUR 184.1 million ; payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the HQ: EUR 165.3 million (rate of implementation: 90%); final budget of the EEAS for the management of delegations in third countries: EUR 304.5 million; payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the delegations: EUR 278.2 million (rate of implementation: 91%); total budget of the EEAS amounted to EUR 488.6 million (rate of implementation of commitments 99.41% and 91% of payments).

During 2012, assigned revenues carried over from 2011 of EUR 1.8 million were also available on EEAS budget lines. At 31/12/2012, commitments of 1.78 M€ (99%) had been made and payments amounted to 1.057 M€ (59%).

3) Budgetary implementation – conclusions : in more general and political terms, in 2012, the EEAS pursued its institutional building-up started in 2010-2011. The main goals while creating the EEAS were to provide a platform for coherent and effective EU foreign policy and to bring together all foreign policy assets/instruments and levers at the EU's collective disposal.

The document proposes an accurate presentation of the actions that have been undertaken in the management and technical implementation of the institution still in its start-up phase in particular in terms of human resources management and staff from incorporation of other staff from other European institutions and Member States.

Documents

Votes

A7-0199/2014 - Tamás Deutsch - Résolution

2014/04/03 Outcome: +: 523, -: 76, 0: 9
DE FR ES IT RO SE PL PT HU NL BG BE SK AT IE FI HR DK EL LT LV LU SI EE CZ CY MT GB
Total
78
60
45
55
21
18
44
19
17
23
16
17
13
17
8
8
10
11
9
9
8
6
6
5
18
4
4
58
icon: PPE PPE
210

Belgium PPE

2

Ireland PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Czechia PPE

2
2

Malta PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
159

Netherlands S&D

2

Finland S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
65

Slovakia ALDE

For (1)

1

Finland ALDE

For (1)

1

Denmark ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
51

Portugal Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
27

France GUE/NGL

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

4

Spain GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

Against (1)

3

Netherlands GUE/NGL

2

Ireland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Greece GUE/NGL

1

Latvia GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1
icon: EFD EFD
24

Netherlands EFD

For (1)

1

Bulgaria EFD

Against (1)

1

Belgium EFD

Against (1)

1

Slovakia EFD

Against (1)

1

Finland EFD

For (1)

1

Denmark EFD

Against (1)

1

Greece EFD

1

Lithuania EFD

Abstain (1)

1
icon: NI NI
25

France NI

2

Spain NI

1

Italy NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Hungary NI

Abstain (1)

1

Bulgaria NI

Against (1)

1

Belgium NI

Against (1)

1

Ireland NI

For (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

Against (2)

Abstain (1)

5
icon: ECR ECR
46

Italy ECR

1

Belgium ECR

Against (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Denmark ECR

Against (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
76 2013/2205(DEC)
2014/01/08 AFET 14 amendments...
source: PE-526.105
2014/02/25 CONT 62 amendments...
source: PE-529.740

History

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

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docs
  • date: 2013-09-05T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C:2013:331:TOC title: OJ C 331 14.11.2013, p. 0001 title: N7-0049/2014 summary: PURPOSE: presentation of the Report of the Court of Auditors on the 2012 budget (Analysis of the accounts of the European External Action Service (EEAS)). CONTENT: the Court of Auditors published its 36th Annual Report on the implementation of the EU budget for the 2012 financial year. In accordance with the tasks and objectives conferred on the Court of Auditors by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it provides under the discharge procedure, for both the European Parliament and Council, a statement of assurance (“DAS”) about the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the transactions of each institution, body or agency of the EU, based on an independent external audit. The audit also focused on the budget implementation of the EEAS. On the basis of its audit work, the Court considers that payments for “Administrative and other expenditure” policy are, overall, significantly error-free . Although the Court has observed some errors and weaknesses, the examined supervisory and control systems are likely to reduce the rate of error present in initial payment requests to an acceptable level. These systems are therefore assessed as effective. The main risks regarding administrative and other expenditure are: the non-compliance with the procedures for procurement; the implementation of contracts; recruitment issues; the calculation of salaries and allowances. Overall audit evidence indicates that accepted expenditure is not affected by a material level of error. The Court also made a number of comments specific to each institution or body of the European Union. In the case of the EEAS’s audit, the Court did not identify any significant weakness with the exception of some weaknesses persisting in the management of social allowances. In addition, the EEAS aim to remind staff of their obligation to keep their declarations updated. type: Court of Auditors: opinion, report body: CofA
  • date: 2014-01-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE521.730 title: PE521.730 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2014-02-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE524.544&secondRef=02 title: PE524.544 committee: AFET type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2014-02-17T00:00:00 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=5848%2F14&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 05848/2014 summary: In view of the observations made in the Court of Auditor's report, the Council called on the European Parliament to grant discharge to all of the Union’s institutions in regard to the implementation of their respective budgets for the financial year 2012 . Overall, the Council’s remarks were positive in regard to the expenditure of the institutions since it noted that, again in 2012, the administrative expenditure of EU institutions and bodies remained free from material error with an estimated error rate of 0%, and that their supervisory and control systems continued to comply with the requirements of the Financial Regulation. The Council welcomed the fact that, according to the Court's assessment, no serious errors were detected with regard to the effectiveness of the supervisory and control systems, in the individual institutions, except for a limited number of errors in the procurement procedures and the management of social allowances . It welcomed the measures already taken and encouraged the institutions concerned to address the remaining weaknesses identified by the Court. type: Supplementary non-legislative basic document body: CSL
  • date: 2014-02-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE529.740 title: PE529.740 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
events
  • date: 2013-07-26T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2013&nu_doc=570 title: EUR-Lex title: COM(2013)0570 summary: PURPOSE: presentation by the Commission of the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012, as part of the 2012 discharge procedure. Analysis of the accounts of the EU Institutions: Section X – European External Action Service (EEAS) . Legal reminder : the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the year 2011 have been prepared on the basis of the information presented by the institutions and bodies under Article 129(2) of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union. They were prepared in accordance with Title VII of the Financial Regulation and with the accounting principles, rules and methods set out in the notes to the financial statements. The objective of the financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and cashflow of a body that is useful to a wide range of users. The objective is to provide information that is useful for decision making, and to demonstrate the accountability of the entity for the resources entrusted to it. 1) Purpose : the document helps to bring insight into the EU budget mechanism and the way in which the budget has been managed and spent in 2012 . It recalls that the European Union's operational expenditure covers the various headings of the financial framework and takes different forms, depending on how the money is paid out and managed. In accordance with the Financial Regulation, the Commission implements the general budget using the following methods: direct or indirect centralised management (by means of bodies or agencies of public law or other); decentralised management where the Commission delegates certain tasks for the implementation of the budget to third countries; and, thirdly, shared management where budget implementation tasks are delegated to Member States, in areas such as agricultural expenditure and structural actions. The document also presents the different financial actors involved in the budget process (accounting officers, internal officers and authorising officers) and recalls their respective roles in the context of the tasks of sound financial management. Amongst the other legal elements relating to the implementation of the EU budget presented in this document, the paper focuses on the following issues: accounting principles applicable to the management of EU spending (business continuity, consistency of accounting methods, comparability of information ...); consolidation methods of figures for all major controlled entities (the consolidated financial statements of the EU comprise all significant controlled entities –institutions, organisations and agencies); the recognition of financial assets in the EU (tangible and intangible assets, financial assets and other miscellaneous investments); the way in which EU public expenditure is committed and spent, including pre-financing (cash advances intended for the benefit of an EU organ); the means of recovery following irregularities detected; the modus operandi of the accounting system; the audit process followed by the European Parliament's granting of the discharge. To recap, the final control is the discharge of the budget for a given financial year . The discharge represents the political aspect of the external control of budget implementation and is the decision by which the European Parliament, acting on a Council recommendation, "releases" the Commission from its responsibility for management of a given budget by marking the end of that budget's existence. The document also details specific expenditure of the institutions, in particular: i) pensions of former Members and officials of institutions; ii) joint sickness insurance scheme and iii) buildings. Lastly, the document presents a series of tables and detailed technical indicators on (i) the balance sheet; (ii) the economic outturn account; (iii) cashflow tables; (iv) technical annexes concerning the financial statements. 2) Implementation of appropriations under Section X of the budget for the financial year 2012 : the document comprises a series of detailed tables, the most important concerning the implementation of the budget. Concerning the EEAS’s expenditure, the table on the financial and budgetary implementation of this institution is presented as follows (information drawn from the EEAS Report on budgetary and financial management for the year 2012 ). final budget EEAS headquarters (Brussels): EUR 184.1 million ; payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the HQ: EUR 165.3 million (rate of implementation: 90%); final budget of the EEAS for the management of delegations in third countries: EUR 304.5 million; payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the delegations: EUR 278.2 million (rate of implementation: 91%); total budget of the EEAS amounted to EUR 488.6 million (rate of implementation of commitments 99.41% and 91% of payments). During 2012, assigned revenues carried over from 2011 of EUR 1.8 million were also available on EEAS budget lines. At 31/12/2012, commitments of 1.78 M€ (99%) had been made and payments amounted to 1.057 M€ (59%). 3) Budgetary implementation – conclusions : in more general and political terms, in 2012, the EEAS pursued its institutional building-up started in 2010-2011. The main goals while creating the EEAS were to provide a platform for coherent and effective EU foreign policy and to bring together all foreign policy assets/instruments and levers at the EU's collective disposal. The document proposes an accurate presentation of the actions that have been undertaken in the management and technical implementation of the institution still in its start-up phase in particular in terms of human resources management and staff from incorporation of other staff from other European institutions and Member States.
  • date: 2013-10-22T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2014-03-18T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2014-03-20T00:00:00 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=A7-2014-0199&language=EN title: A7-0199/2014 summary: The Committee on Budgetary Control adopted the report by Tamás DEUTSCH (EPP, HU) in which it called on the European Parliament to grant discharge to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012. Members noted that on the basis of its audit work, the Court of Auditors concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error. Financial and budget implementation : Members are concerned that in 2012, the Payment Of Individual Entitlements (PMO) system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members. They also noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. They also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million. Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Members recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution , resulting from the consolidation of different services, and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment. If overall Members were satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, they are concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well. Future framework for discharge exercises : Members noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations. Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Members: believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: they supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing; observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance ; noted the over-representation and quick in the higher grades; requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. They are concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled; called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past; called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts; pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information; called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties; demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million; asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Members called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area. Lastly, Members invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and they emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.
  • date: 2014-04-02T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20140402&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 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=P7-TA-2014-0292 title: T7-0292/2014 summary: The European Parliament adopted a decision concerning the discharge to be granted to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012. In its resolution accompanying the decision, adopted by 523 votes to 76, with 9 abstentions, Parliament noted the conclusion of the Court of Auditors that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error. However, Parliament was concerned that in 2012, the PMO system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members. Financial and budget implementation: Parliament noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. It also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million. Parliament welcomed that in its second financial year, the European External Action Service has continued to implement its budget without material errors being identified by the Court of Auditors and that most of the problems identified in the 2011 Annual Report of the Court of Auditors as result of the setting-up process have not recurred. Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Parliament recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution, resulting from the consolidation of different services , and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment. If, overall, Parliament was satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, it is concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well. Future framework for discharge exercises: Parliament noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations. Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Parliament: believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: it supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing; observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance ; noted the over-representation and quick promotions in the higher grades in the institution; requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. It was concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled; it calls for an end to the parallel foreign policy pursued through the EUSRs and, in terms of pay, insists that EUSRs should not be treated more favourably than Union ambassadors in post; called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past; called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts; pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information; called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties; demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million; asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Parliament called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area. Parliament reiterated the importance of continuing efforts to identify opportunities for long-term savings and synergies, both between EEAS and Commission and with Member States, to ensure the sustainability of the EEAS budget in a time of budgetary restraints. Lastly, Parliament invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and it emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.
  • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
  • date: 2014-09-05T00:00:00 type: Final act published in Official Journal summary: PURPOSE: to grant discharge to the European External Action Service for the 2012 financial year. NON-LEGISLATIVE ACT: Decision 2014/552/EU of the European Parliament on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section X — European External Action Service. CONTENT: under this Decision and according to Article 318 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European Parliament grants the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy discharge in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service’s budget for the financial year 2012. The Decision is in line with the European Parliament’s resolution approved on 3 April 2014 and includes a series of observations which form an integral part of the discharge Decision (please refer to the summary of the opinion of 3 April 2014).
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  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/budget/ title: Budget commissioner: ŠEMETA Algirdas
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PURPOSE: to grant discharge to the European External Action Service for the 2012 financial year.

NON-LEGISLATIVE ACT: Decision 2014/552/EU of the European Parliament on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section X — European External Action Service.

CONTENT: under this Decision and according to Article 318 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the European Parliament grants the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy discharge in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service’s budget for the financial year 2012.

The Decision is in line with the European Parliament’s resolution approved on 3 April 2014 and includes a series of observations which form an integral part of the discharge Decision (please refer to the summary of the opinion of 3 April 2014).

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activities/1/committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
activities/1/committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
activities/1/committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
activities/1/committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: PPE name: DEUTSCH Tamás
activities/1/committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
activities/2/committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
activities/2/committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
activities/2/committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
activities/2/committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: PPE name: DEUTSCH Tamás
activities/2/committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: PPE name: DEUTSCH Tamás
committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
Old
CELEX:52013PC0570:EN
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CELEX:52013DC0570:EN
activities/1/committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
activities/1/committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
activities/1/committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
activities/1/committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: EPP name: DEUTSCH Tamás
activities/1/committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: GUE/NGL name: SØNDERGAARD Søren Bo
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
activities/2/committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
activities/2/committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
activities/2/committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
activities/2/committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: EPP name: DEUTSCH Tamás
activities/2/committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: GUE/NGL name: SØNDERGAARD Søren Bo
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
committees/2/date
2013-09-25T00:00:00
committees/2/rapporteur
  • group: EPP name: DEUTSCH Tamás
committees/2/shadows
  • group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas
  • group: ALDE name: MULDER Jan
  • group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart
  • group: ECR name: ANDREASEN Marta
  • group: GUE/NGL name: SØNDERGAARD Søren Bo
  • group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank
  • group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin
procedure/Modified legal basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
activities/5/docs/0/text
  • The European Parliament adopted a decision concerning the discharge to be granted to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012.

    In its resolution accompanying the decision, adopted by 523 votes to 76, with 9 abstentions, Parliament noted the conclusion of the Court of Auditors that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error. 

    However, Parliament was concerned that in 2012, the PMO system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members.

    Financial and budget implementation: Parliament noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. It also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million.

    Parliament welcomed that in its second financial year, the European External Action Service has continued to implement its budget without material errors being identified by the Court of Auditors and that most of the problems identified in the 2011 Annual Report of the Court of Auditors as result of the setting-up process have not recurred. Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Parliament recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution, resulting from the consolidation of different services, and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment.

    If, overall, Parliament was satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, it is concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well.

    Future framework for discharge exercises: Parliament noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations.

    Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Parliament:

    • believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: it supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing;
    • observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance;
    • noted the over-representation and quick promotions in the higher grades in the institution;
    • requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. It was concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled; it calls for an end to the parallel foreign policy pursued through the EUSRs and, in terms of pay, insists that EUSRs should not be treated more favourably than Union ambassadors in post; 
    • called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past;
    • called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts;
    • pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information;
    • called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties;
    • demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million;
    • asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Parliament called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area.

    Parliament reiterated the importance of continuing efforts to identify opportunities for long-term savings and synergies, both between EEAS and Commission and with Member States, to ensure the sustainability of the EEAS budget in a time of budgetary restraints.

    Lastly, Parliament invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and it emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.

activities/5/docs/0/url
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2014-0292
activities/4/docs
  • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20140402&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament
activities/5
date
2014-04-03T00:00:00
docs
type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0292/2014
body
EP
type
Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
procedure/stage_reached
Old
Awaiting Parliament 1st reading / single reading / budget 1st stage
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activities/5
date
2014-04-03T00:00:00
body
EP
type
Vote scheduled
activities/0/docs/0/url
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http://old.eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2013&nu_doc=570
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activities/3/docs/0/text
  • The Committee on Budgetary Control adopted the report by Tamás DEUTSCH (EPP, HU) in which it called on the European Parliament to grant discharge to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in respect of the implementation of the European External Action Service's budget for the financial year 2012.

    Members noted that on the basis of its audit work, the Court of Auditors concluded that the payments as a whole for the year ended on 31 December 2012 for administrative and other expenditure of the institutions and bodies were free from material error.

    Financial and budget implementation: Members are concerned that in 2012, the Payment Of Individual Entitlements (PMO) system was not yet fully operational, leading to the incorrect payment of social allowances to staff members.

    They also noted that at the end of 2012, the final budget for EEAS headquarters was EUR 184.1 million, with an execution of commitments rating of 99.35% and was EUR 304.5 million for the delegations, with a commitments rating of 99.45%. They also noted that the budget of the delegations had to be supplemented by the Commission for a total of EUR 268 million.

    Concerned with the carrying over of appropriations in 2012, Members recalled that the EEAS is a recently created institution, resulting from the consolidation of different services, and that 2011 was its first year of operation with numerous technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in procurement and recruitment.

    If overall Members were satisfied with the progressive setting up of this institution, they are concerned, however, that the Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS has maintained his reservations concerning some of the security contracts of Union Delegations and several Union Delegations have issued reservations as well.

    Future framework for discharge exercises: Members noted the importance of the current discharge in establishing the framework for future discharge exercises and believed that it will reinforce the expectations of future developments and improvements in the effectiveness of the EEAS and its operations.

    Taking note of the difficulties in implementing a budget with various sources that lack equilibrium, Members:

    • believed that the current structure of the EEAS budget, with contributions from the Commission's 26 different budget lines and the European Development Fund makes it impossible to have a clear overview of the real costs and expenses of the work of the EEAS and its Delegations: they supported the simplification proposal made by the EEAS in 2013 and asked the Commission to implement the changes proposed and to examine the further simplification of the EEAS's current financing;
    • observed the over-representation of diplomats from the new Member States and called on the EEAS to strengthen the geographical balance;
    • noted the over-representation and quick in the higher grades;
    • requested clarification as regards the responsibilities of the Union Special Representatives (EUSRs) and the review of this statute given that the High Representative was planning to do away with EUSRs in 2010. They are concerned that the EUSR budget was raised from EUR 15 million in 2011 to EUR 27 million in 2012 and that the travel budget for 2012 was tripled;
    • called to introduce a requirement that newly appointed EEAS staff give a declaration of honour stating that they have not worked for intelligence services in the past;
    • called for improvements to be made in the financial management of security contracts;
    • pointed to the need for parliamentary scrutiny to be brought to bear on INTCEN, EUMS INT, the Situation Room, and the Satellite Centre, which produce analyses for decision-makers, based on national intelligence service information;
    • called for the publication of how many classified documents the EEAS has received from or sent to individual institutions, other bodies, Member States, and third parties;
    • demanded clarification of the housing policy of those employed in Union delegations given that in year 2012 the housing costs paid for the accommodation of 675 officials in Union Delegations had a total cost of EUR 30 million;
    • asked that the EEAS's building policy be attached to the annual activity report and for the EEAS to provide the discharge authority with the list of building contracts concluded in 2012, including the details of the contracts, the country where the contract is entered in and the length of the contract. In addition, Members called on the EEAS to compile a summary – to be submitted to Parliament – showing how many embassies and consulates of Member States in countries with Union delegations have been closed since the EEAS was set up or specifying the countries where the establishment of the EEAS has served to create synergies. Efforts should be made to increase savings in this area.

    Lastly, Members invited the EEAS to explain why it was necessary to create the post of Deputy Head of Delegation for Afghanistan and they emphasised once again the need for the Union to create a delegation in Panama.

activities/0/docs/0/url
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CONT/7/14039
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activities/0/docs/0/text
  • PURPOSE: presentation by the Commission of the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the financial year 2012, as part of the 2012 discharge procedure.

    Analysis of the accounts of the EU Institutions: Section X – European External Action Service (EEAS).

    Legal reminder: the consolidated annual accounts of the European Union for the year 2011 have been prepared on the basis of the information presented by the institutions and bodies under Article 129(2) of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union. They were prepared in accordance with Title VII of the Financial Regulation and with the accounting principles, rules and methods set out in the notes to the financial statements.

    The objective of the financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and cashflow of a body that is useful to a wide range of users. The objective is to provide information that is useful for decision making, and to demonstrate the accountability of the entity for the resources entrusted to it.

    1) Purpose: the document helps to bring insight into the EU budget mechanism and the way in which the budget has been managed and spent in 2012. It recalls that the European Union's operational expenditure covers the various headings of the financial framework and takes different forms, depending on how the money is paid out and managed. In accordance with the Financial Regulation, the Commission implements the general budget using the following methods: direct or indirect centralised management (by means of bodies or agencies of public law or other); decentralised management where the Commission delegates certain tasks for the implementation of the budget to third countries; and, thirdly, shared management where budget implementation tasks are delegated to Member States, in areas such as agricultural expenditure and structural actions.

    The document also presents the different financial actors involved in the budget process (accounting officers, internal officers and authorising officers) and recalls their respective roles in the context of the tasks of sound financial management.

    Amongst the other legal elements relating to the implementation of the EU budget presented in this document, the paper focuses on the following issues:

    • accounting principles applicable to the management of EU spending (business continuity, consistency of accounting methods, comparability of information ...);
    • consolidation methods of figures for all major controlled entities (the consolidated financial statements of the EU comprise all significant controlled entities –institutions, organisations and agencies);
    • the recognition of financial assets in the EU (tangible and intangible assets, financial assets and other miscellaneous investments);
    • the way in which EU public expenditure is committed and spent, including pre-financing (cash advances intended for the benefit of an EU organ);
    • the means of recovery following irregularities detected;
    • the modus operandi of the accounting system;
    • the audit process followed by the European Parliament's granting of the discharge.

    To recap, the final control is the discharge of the budget for a given financial year. The discharge represents the political aspect of the external control of budget implementation and is the decision by which the European Parliament, acting on a Council recommendation, "releases" the Commission from its responsibility for management of a given budget by marking the end of that budget's existence.

    The document also details specific expenditure of the institutions, in particular: i) pensions of former Members and officials of institutions; ii) joint sickness insurance scheme and iii) buildings.

    Lastly, the document presents a series of tables and detailed technical indicators on (i) the balance sheet; (ii) the economic outturn account; (iii) cashflow tables; (iv) technical annexes concerning the financial statements.

    2) Implementation of appropriations under Section X of the budget for the financial year 2012: the document comprises a series of detailed tables, the most important concerning the implementation of the budget. Concerning the EEAS’s expenditure, the table on the financial and budgetary implementation of this institution is presented as follows (information drawn from the EEAS Report on budgetary and financial management for the year 2012).

    • final budget EEAS headquarters (Brussels): EUR 184.1 million;
    • payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the HQ: EUR 165.3 million (rate of implementation: 90%);
    • final budget of the EEAS for the management of delegations in third countries: EUR 304.5 million;
    • payments implemented at 31.12.2012 for the delegations: EUR 278.2 million (rate of implementation: 91%);
    • total budget of the EEAS amounted to EUR 488.6 million (rate of implementation of commitments 99.41% and 91% of payments).

    During 2012, assigned revenues carried over from 2011 of EUR 1.8 million were also available on EEAS budget lines. At 31/12/2012, commitments of 1.78 M€ (99%) had been made and payments amounted to 1.057 M€ (59%).

    3) Budgetary implementation – conclusions: in more general and political terms, in 2012, the EEAS pursued its institutional building-up started in 2010-2011. The main goals while creating the EEAS were to provide a platform for coherent and effective EU foreign policy and to bring together all foreign policy assets/instruments and levers at the EU's collective disposal.

    The document proposes an accurate presentation of the actions that have been undertaken in the management and technical implementation of the institution still in its start-up phase in particular in terms of human resources management and staff from incorporation of other staff from other European institutions and Member States.

activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52013DC0570:EN
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52013DC0570:EN
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52013DC0570:EN
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52013DC0570:EN
committees/1/date
2013-09-12T00:00:00
committees/1/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
activities/0/docs/0/url
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2013&nu_doc=570
activities
  • date: 2013-07-26T00:00:00 docs: celexid: CELEX:52013DC0570:EN type: Non-legislative basic document published title: COM(2013)0570 body: EC type: Non-legislative basic document commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/budget/ title: Budget Commissioner: ŠEMETA Algirdas
  • date: 2014-04-02T00:00:00 body: EP type: Indicative plenary sitting date, 1st reading/single reading
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Constitutional Affairs committee: AFCO
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Foreign Affairs committee: AFET
  • body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: BALČYTIS Zigmantas group: Verts/ALE name: STAES Bart group: GUE/NGL name: SØNDERGAARD Søren Bo group: EFD name: VANHECKE Frank group: NI name: EHRENHAUSER Martin responsible: True committee: CONT date: 2013-09-25T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgetary Control rapporteur: group: EPP name: DEUTSCH Tamás
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: International Trade committee: INTA
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/budget/ title: Budget commissioner: ŠEMETA Algirdas
procedure
stage_reached
Preparatory phase in Parliament
subject
8.70.03.02 2012 discharge
type
DEC - Discharge procedure
reference
2013/2205(DEC)
title
2012 discharge: EU general budget, European External Action Service