BETA


2020/2142(DEC) 2019 discharge: General budget of the EU - European Council and Council

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead CONT DURAND Pascal (icon: Renew Renew) LENAERS Jeroen (icon: EPP EPP), GARCÍA MUÑOZ Isabel (icon: S&D S&D), PEKSA Mikuláš (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), CZARNECKI Ryszard (icon: ECR ECR), FLANAGAN Luke Ming (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:

Events

2022/02/25
   Final act published in Official Journal
2021/10/19
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted the decision refusing to grant discharge to the Secretary-General of the Council in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Council and of the Council for the financial year 2019, Section II – European Council and Council.

Parliament regretted that for more than ten years the Council has refused to cooperate with Parliament in the framework of the discharge procedure. It considered that the lack of cooperation by the European Council and the Council with the discharge authority not only contravenes the principle of loyal cooperation among the institutions and sends a negative signal to the citizens of the Union.

Separate budget

Once again, Parliament regretted that the budget of the European Council and the Council has not been divided into two separate budgets, as recommended by Parliament in recent discharge resolutions for reasons of transparency and to improve both expenditure efficiency and accountability for each of the two institutions.

Financial management and performance system

While welcoming the Council’s improved financial management and performance system, Parliament regretted that no report currently provides a comprehensive summary of the major key performance indicators and results, thus preventing any measurement of achievements reached against objectives set.

General lack of information

Parliament regretted the lack of information on several issues such as:

- measures taken to improve legislative transparency and publish Council working documents, record and publish Member States’ positions, and make available more trilogue documents ;

- measures taken to ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities at the Council;

- effective actions taken to tackle gender and geographical imbalances , including at management level;

- the need for an ethical framework , to transparency and to the prevention, identification and avoidance of conflicts of interest;

- records of meetings held between lobbyists and the President of the European Council or members of his cabinet;

- the appointment of the European Prosecutors.

The Council is criticised for categorically rejecting Parliaments' proposals to increase digitalisation in the area of audit and control and refuses to cooperate on increasing the interoperability of existing Union and national databases and reporting and monitoring systems.

Parliamentary questions

Lastly, Parliament regretted that the Council continues to fail to provide answers to Parliament's questions as well as to attend the hearings of the secretary-generals of the institutions.

Documents
2021/10/04
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2021/10/04
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2021/09/27
   EP - Vote in committee
2021/09/07
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2021/07/19
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2021/06/23
   EP - DURAND Pascal (Renew) appointed as rapporteur in CONT
2021/04/28
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament decided by 627 votes to 60, with 11 abstentions, to postpone its decision to grant the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Council and of the Council for the financial year 2019.

State of play in the refusal of discharge

Recalling that over the course of almost twenty years, Parliament has developed the practice of granting discharge to all Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, Members reiterated that both openness and transparency in Union administration and the protection of the financial interests of the Union require an open and transparent discharge procedure where every EU institution is accountable for the budget it executes.

Members recalled the difficulties repeatedly encountered in the discharge procedures to date due to a lack of cooperation from the Council and recalled that Parliament refused to grant discharge to the secretary-general of the Council in relation to the financial years 2009 to 2019.

In the current situation, Parliament can only check the reports of the Court and of the European Ombudsman as well as the information on the Council’s website. The fact that Parliament does not receive written or oral answers from the Council during the annual discharge procedure, makes it impossible for Parliament to make an informed decision on granting discharge.

Members underlined the need to re-start negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement to finally overcome this situation of deadlock.

Separate budgets

Parliament regretted that the longstanding request to divide the budget of the European Council and the Council into a separate budget for each of the two institutions for transparency reasons and to improve accountability for both institutions has not been considered. It urged the Council, as it has done repeatedly in previous discharge resolutions, to prepare separate budgets for the European Council and the Council for reasons of transparency and to improve accountability and expenditure efficiency for both institutions.

Budgetary and financial management

The Council’s budget is mostly administrative with a large part of it being used for expenditure in relation to persons, buildings, furniture, equipment and miscellaneous running costs.

In 2019, the Council had an overall budget of EUR 581 895 459 (compared to EUR 572 854 377 in 2018), with a global implementation rate of 92.3 % (compared to 91.9 % in 2018).

The appropriations carried over from 2018 to 2019 amounted to a total of EUR 56 599 584, equivalent to a carry-over rate of 10.7 %, coming mainly from categories such as computer systems (EUR 19.5 million), buildings (EUR 16 million) and interpretation (EUR 11.9 million).

The implementation of carry-overs in 2019 amounted to payments in total of EUR 49 240 654 or 87.7 %. Despite a slight decrease in the carry-over rate in 2019, Parliament called on the Council to redouble its efforts to avoid budgetary overestimates.

The resolution welcomed improvements in the Council's financial management and performance systems.

Human resources

The number of posts in the establishment plan for 2019 was fixed at 3 033 (compared to 3 031 posts in 2018). Members called on the Council to report on its action plan on gender equality, on the measures taken to ensure that people with disabilities have the same professional opportunities as others and on the corresponding procedures put in place. The Council is invited to correct geographical and gender imbalances to ensure a proper representation of nationals from all Member States, including in management positions.

Conflict of interest, harassment, whistleblowing

The Council plays a key role in the nomination and appointment procedures of the EU institutions and bodies. Parliament recommended that this role be reviewed on the basis of the Union's ethical principles, including integrity and dignity. It expressed concern at the repeated appointments by the Council of candidates to become members of the European Court of Auditors despite Parliament's adverse opinion of the candidate expressed in a rejection vote by the vast majority in Parliament's Plenary due to candidates' lack of sufficient competences and personal or political impartiality.

Members deplored the lack of a common EU ethical framework governing the work of Member States' representatives in the Council. They called on the Council to bring the code of conduct of the President of the European Council into line with those of the Parliament and the Commission. They also reiterated their concern about the conflict of interest situations in which a number of Member States' representatives are involved in political and budgetary decision-making processes.

Transparency

Parliament noted that the Member States are expected to finance their own Council presidencies and regretted that they resort to corporate sponsorship to cover some of their expenses. Members are highly concerned about the possible reputational damage that this practice might cause to the Council and the EU. They urged that presidencies should avoid resorting to corporate sponsorship to cover expenses and called on the Council to consider establishing a budget for each Presidency.

Members drew attention to the Ombudsman's request to the General Secretariat of the Council to keep a full record of all meetings between lobbyists and the President of the European Council, or members of his cabinet.

Documents
2021/04/28
   EP - Report referred back to committee
2021/04/27
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2021/04/14
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2021/04/14
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2021/03/01
   EP - Vote in committee
2021/02/08
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2021/02/05
   CSL - Supplementary non-legislative basic document
Documents
2021/01/28
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2020/12/16
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2020/09/15
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2020/07/29
   EC - Non-legislative basic document
2020/07/28
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published

Documents

Votes

Décharge 2019 : Budget général de l'UE - Conseil et Conseil européen - 2019 discharge: EU general budget - Council and European Council - Entlastung 2019: Gesamthaushaltsplan der EU – Rat und Europäischer Rat - A9-0056/2021 - Pascal Durand - Proposition de décision #

2021/04/27 Outcome: +: 627, -: 60, 0: 11
DE ES PL RO FR NL SE HU PT IT EL BG CZ AT BE SK IE DK LT FI HR LV SI MT CY LU EE
Total
95
59
51
33
78
29
21
21
21
74
20
17
21
19
21
14
13
14
11
13
12
8
8
6
6
6
7
icon: PPE PPE
172

Hungary PPE

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
145

Greece S&D

2

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97
3

Hungary Renew

2

Italy Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Ireland Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

1

Finland Renew

3

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
72

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Slovakia ECR

Abstain (1)

2

Lithuania ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: The Left The Left
39

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Sweden The Left

For (1)

1

Czechia The Left

1

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Slovakia NI

2

Lithuania NI

1

Croatia NI

2
icon: ID ID
73

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

Against (2)

2

Austria ID

3

Denmark ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

Against (1)

1

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1

A9-0056/2021 - Petri Sarvamaa - § 38 #

2021/04/28 Outcome: +: 496, -: 178, 0: 27
DE PL ES IT RO EL PT BG AT LT SK HR NL BE IE LV MT SI CY FI LU ?? CZ EE DK HU SE FR
Total
96
52
59
72
33
20
21
17
19
11
14
12
29
21
13
8
6
8
6
14
6
1
21
7
14
21
21
79
icon: PPE PPE
174

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Hungary PPE

1
icon: S&D S&D
145

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

For (1)

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

3

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

3
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Greece ECR

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

1

Slovakia ECR

Abstain (1)

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Latvia ECR

2
3
icon: The Left The Left
39

Portugal The Left

4

Netherlands The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Belgium The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland The Left

Against (1)

4

Cyprus The Left

2

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Czechia The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Sweden The Left

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Lithuania NI

1

Slovakia NI

Abstain (1)

2

Croatia NI

2

Netherlands NI

1

NI

1
icon: ID ID
73

Austria ID

3

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

2

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Estonia ID

Against (1)

1

Denmark ID

Against (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Bulgaria Renew

3

Austria Renew

Against (1)

1

Lithuania Renew

Abstain (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Croatia Renew

Against (1)

1

Ireland Renew

2

Latvia Renew

Against (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3

Hungary Renew

2

Sweden Renew

Abstain (1)

3

A9-0056/2021 - Petri Sarvamaa - § 43 #

2021/04/28 Outcome: +: 601, -: 84, 0: 16
DE ES PL RO FR NL HU IT SE BG PT EL SK AT IE CZ BE LT HR DK FI LV SI MT CY LU EE ??
Total
96
59
52
33
79
29
21
72
21
17
21
20
14
19
13
21
21
11
12
14
14
8
8
6
6
6
7
1
icon: PPE PPE
174

Hungary PPE

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
145

Greece S&D

2

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Hungary Renew

2

Italy Renew

2
3

Slovakia Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Ireland Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

1

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Bulgaria ECR

2

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

Abstain (1)

2

Lithuania ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

1

Slovakia NI

2

Lithuania NI

1

Croatia NI

2

NI

1
icon: The Left The Left
39

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Sweden The Left

Against (1)

1

Portugal The Left

4

Czechia The Left

1

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

Against (1)

1

Finland The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: ID ID
73

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Austria ID

3

Czechia ID

Against (2)

2

Denmark ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

2

Estonia ID

Against (1)

1

A9-0056/2021 - Petri Sarvamaa - Am 28 #

2021/04/28 Outcome: +: 639, -: 52, 0: 10
DE FR IT ES RO NL CZ HU PT SE AT BE EL FI DK BG IE SK LT SI HR EE MT CY LU LV ?? PL
Total
96
79
72
59
33
29
21
21
21
21
19
21
20
14
14
17
13
14
11
8
12
7
6
6
6
8
1
52
icon: PPE PPE
174

Hungary PPE

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Malta PPE

2
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Latvia PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
145

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

2

Hungary Renew

2
3

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Ireland Renew

2

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Estonia Renew

3

Luxembourg Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ID ID
73

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

2
3

Finland ID

2

Denmark ID

For (1)

1

Estonia ID

For (1)

1
icon: The Left The Left
39

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Czechia The Left

1

Sweden The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Ireland The Left

Abstain (1)

4

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

1

Slovakia NI

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Lithuania NI

1

Croatia NI

2

NI

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

Against (1)

1

Romania ECR

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

Against (1)

4

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Slovakia ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2

A9-0056/2021 - Petri Sarvamaa - § 65/1 #

2021/04/28 Outcome: +: 634, -: 58, 0: 9
FR DE ES PL RO NL HU PT IT CZ EL BG BE SE AT SK DK LT IE HR FI LV SI MT CY LU EE ??
Total
79
96
59
52
33
29
21
21
72
21
20
17
21
21
19
14
14
11
13
12
14
8
8
6
6
6
7
1
icon: PPE PPE
174

Hungary PPE

1

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Latvia PPE

2

Malta PPE

2
2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
145

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Hungary Renew

2

Italy Renew

2
3

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovakia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

1

Ireland Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Finland Renew

3

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2

Estonia Renew

3
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Romania ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Greece ECR

1

Bulgaria ECR

2
3

Lithuania ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

2
icon: The Left The Left
39

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Czechia The Left

1

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Sweden The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

1

Slovakia NI

2

Lithuania NI

1

Croatia NI

2

NI

1
icon: ID ID
73

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Austria ID

3

Denmark ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

2

Estonia ID

Against (1)

1

A9-0056/2021 - Petri Sarvamaa - § 65/2 #

2021/04/28 Outcome: +: 460, -: 232, 0: 9
IT ES PL FR DE BE DK CZ NL PT FI SE RO IE LV BG LT EE SK EL HR LU MT CY SI AT ?? HU
Total
72
59
52
79
96
21
14
21
29
21
14
21
33
13
8
17
11
7
14
20
12
6
6
6
8
19
1
21
icon: S&D S&D
145

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Greece S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2
icon: Renew Renew
97

Italy Renew

2

Finland Renew

3
3

Ireland Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Lithuania Renew

1

Estonia Renew

3

Slovakia Renew

2

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
73

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3
icon: ECR ECR
63

Germany ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

4
3

Romania ECR

1

Latvia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

1

Greece ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1
icon: The Left The Left
39

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Czechia The Left

1

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Sweden The Left

For (1)

1

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: NI NI
37

Germany NI

2

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Lithuania NI

1

Slovakia NI

2

Croatia NI

2

NI

Against (1)

1
icon: ID ID
73

Denmark ID

Against (1)

1

Czechia ID

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Netherlands ID

Against (1)

1

Finland ID

2

Estonia ID

Against (1)

1

Austria ID

3
icon: PPE PPE
174

Denmark PPE

Against (1)

1

Finland PPE

3

Sweden PPE