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7.2.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 40/391

Thursday 13 April 2000

Discharge decision

11. Grants discharge to the Registrar of the Court of Justice and the Secretaries-General of the Court of
Auditors and the Committee of the Regions in respect of the implementation of their budgets for the 1998
financial year;

12. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Institutions and the advisory body concerned
and to have it published in the Official Journal (L series).

V.
European Parliament resolution informing the Economic and Social Committee of the reasons for
the postponement of the decision concerning discharge in respect of the general budget of the
European Union for the financial year 1998: Section VI Part A: Economic and Social Committee
(SEC(1999) 414 C5-0008/1999 1999/2166(DEC))

The European Parliament,

) having regard to the revenue and expenditure account and the balance sheet for the 1998 financial
year (SEC(1999) 414 ) C5-0008/1999),

) having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors concerning the financial year 1998
(C5-0266/1999) (1),

) having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000),

) having regard to Article 272(10) of the EC Treaty,

) having regard to Article 22(2) and (3) of the Financial Regulation,

) having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0089/2000),

A. whereas the management of financial resources put at the disposal of the Economic and Social Com-
mittee in 1998 was characterised by several shortcomings,

B. whereas, in the light of the serious irregularities in the management of the appropriations of the
Economic and Social Committee contained in the Court of Auditors’ Annual Report for 1996, Parlia-
ment postponed, in its resolution of 7 October 1998 (2), its decision concerning discharge for 1996,

C. whereas one of the main conditions which Parliament imposed on the Economic and Social Commit-
tee for the grant of discharge in its abovementioned resolution was that the matter should be referred
to UCLAF ‘to enable the extent of administrative involvement or responsibility to be fully determined
as regards the entry into the accounts, the commitment, the authorisation and the payment of expen-
diture’,

D. whereas, since at the time of consideration of the 1997 discharge the previous condition had still not
been met, Parliament postponed, in its resolution of 4 May 1999 (3), its decision concerning discharge
for 1997 until it had received the conclusions of the UCLAF inquiry,

E. whereas the Economic and Social Committee only referred the matter to OLAF on 27 January 2000,

Management of the 1998 appropriations

1. Urges the Economic and Social Committee to take all necessary steps to reverse the declining rate of
utilisation of appropriations (77,85 %) automatically carried over from the previous financial year; in this
respect, asks for a report to be submitted to Parliament by 15 June 2000 on all Section VI appropriations
automatically carried over from 1997 to 1998 and from 1998 to 1999 where the rate of cancellations is
greater than 10 %;

(1) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999.
(2) OJ C 328, 26.10.1998, p. 115.
(3) OJ C 279, 1.10.1999, p. 132.
C 40/392 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 7.2.2001

Thursday 13 April 2000

2. Asks the Economic and Social Committee to improve financial management of the appropriations,
the implementation of which has been entrusted to it by the budgetary authority,

Relocation to the Belliard building complex

3. Regrets that, almost two years after Parliament evacuated the Belliard building complex, the Eco-
nomic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions do not appear to have acted with the
required diligence with regard to their relocation there; takes the view that the prolonged negotiations
with the owners of the buildings ultimately risk undermining the validity of the two Committees’ under-
taking to move to the Belliard complex as soon as possible; underlines that the current situation is detri-
mental to the Union budget with expenditure on rent and associated costs being charged in connection
with both the current (Ardenne and Ravenstein complex) and future (Belliard complex) premises of the
Committees;

4. Urges the Economic and Social Committee, jointly with the Committee of the Regions, to conclude
the above-mentioned negotiations on the basis of the principle of sound financial management and to
ensure optimum utilisation of appropriations put at their disposal by the budgetary authority at their
own request (transfer No 44/99 involving € 26 000 000);

Follow-up to the 1996 Annual Report of the Court of Auditors

5. Regrets that it took the Economic and Social Committee over fifteen months to comply with the
decision of the discharge authority to refer the matter to OLAF;

Postponing discharge

6. Decides to postpone the discharge decision in respect of the 1998 financial year until it has received
the conclusions of the OLAF inquiry, under the terms set out in its above-mentioned resolution on post-
ponement of the 1996 discharge;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Audi-
tors and the Economic and Social Committee.

3. ECSC (1998 discharge)

A5-0092/2000

I.
European Parliament decision on granting discharge to the Commission in respect of the imple-
mentation of the budget of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) for the 1998 financial
year (C5-0153/2000 2000/2077(DEC))

The European Parliament,

) having regard to the report of the European Court of Auditors on the financial statements of the
European Coal and Steel Community at 31 December 1998 (1),

) having regard to the Court of Auditors’ Annual Report on the ECSC for the financial year 1998
(including the statement of assurance concerning the ECSC), together with the Commission’s reply
(C5-0153/2000) (2),

(1) OJ C 240, 25.8.1999, p. 24.
(2) OJ C 338, 25.11.1999.