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17.8.2001

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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 232/281

3. 2001 budget (as modified by the Council)

A5-0380/2000

Thursday14 December 2000

European Parliament resolution on the draft general budget of the European Union for the finan- cial year 2001 modified by the Council (all sections) (13830/2000 C5-0600/2000 1999/ 2190(BUD)) and on Letter of Amendment No 2/2001 to the 2001 draft general budget (13833/ 2000 C5-0653/2000)

The European Parliament,

having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty, Article 177 of the Euratom Treaty and Article 78 of the ECSC Treaty,

having regard to the Council Decision (2000/597/EC, Euratom) of 29 September 2000 ( 1 ) on the sys- tem of the European Communities’ own resources,

having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary proce- dure ( 2 ),

having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2001 (C5-0300/2000 C5-0301/2000),

having regard to Letter of Amendment No 1 to the draft general budget for 2001 (12071/2000

C5-0518/2000),

having regard to Letter of Amendment No 2 to the draft general budget for 2001 (13833/2000

C5-0653/2000),

having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2000 in view of the conciliation procedure before the Coun- cil’s first reading ( 3 ),

having regard to the proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision concerning the revision of the financial perspective (Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure) (COM(2000) 262),

having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2000 ( 4 ) on the draft general budget for the financial year 2001, Section III, Commission, and Letter of Amendment No 1 to the 2001 draft general budget (C5-0300/2000 C5-0301/2000 1999/2190(BUD)),

having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2000 ( 5 ) on the draft general budget for the financial year 2001, Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII (C5-0300/2000),

having regard to its amendments and proposed modifications to the draft general budget for the financial year 2001 ( 6 ),

having regard to the Council’s modifications to the amendments and proposed modifications adopted by Parliament to the draft general budget (13830/2000 C5-0653/2000),

having regard to the explanatory memorandum from the Council on the outcome of its deliberations on the proposed modifications adopted by Parliament,

having regard to the results of the conciliation meeting between Parliament’s delegation and the Coun- cil on 23 November 2000,

having regard to the maximum rate of increase for non-compulsory expenditure for 2001 of 3,2 %,

having regard to Rule 92 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (A5-0380/2000),

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 ) ( 4 ) ( 5 ) ( 6 )

OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42. OJ C 172. 18.6.1999, p. 1. ‘Texts Adopted’, Item 13. ‘Texts Adopted’, Item 1. ‘Texts Adopted’, Item 2. Annex to ‘Texts Adopted’ of 26.10.2000.

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A. whereas the EU budget for the financial year 2001 represents, in appropriations for payments, only 1,056 % of Community GNP in 2001, compared to the 1,11 % established in the financial perspective and compared to the Council’s second reading, which represented 1,054 % of Community GNP,

B. having regard to the BSE crisis and its very serious consequences for both human health and the European cattle industry, which has been totally devastated,

Priorities

1. Notes that the Council refuses to revise the financial perspective in current circumstances; welcomes

the Council’s willingness to use the flexibility instrument according to the Interinstitutional Agreement of

6 May 1999;

2. Accepts the decision to mobilise the flexibility instrument for an amount of € 200 million in com-

mitment appropriations for the financing of assistance to Serbia, as negotiated in conciliation on 23 November 2000, but underlines the fact that it has not entered into any commitment concerning the multiannual allocation for the Western Balkans or for MEDA, which was established by the Council and which remains indicative in nature; considers that now the financing of the following elements will be possible:

the democratisation process in Serbia,

the needs for reconstruction of Kosovo at the level provided for in the preliminary draft budget, taking into account the pre-financing in the 2000 budget,

a total amount of € 839 million for the Balkan states, including € 240 million for Serbia;

3.

Notes that financing is guaranteed under heading 4 (external action) for:

supplementary appropriations in respect of the Council decision on the MEDA programme,

a separate line for cooperation with the Baltic countries,

the Rapid Reaction Facility proposed by the Commission;

and confirms its first-reading decisions concerning all other lines, stressing that the use of the flexibility instrument guarantees that the financing of its traditional priorities in external actions, such as cooperation with the countries of Latin America and Asia and South Africa, support for democratisation and human rights and cooperation with non-governmental organisations, can be maintained;

4. Confirms its ongoing commitment to support the administrative reform of the Commission, in

respect of which the Commission’s Letter of Amendment 1/2001 to the 2001 preliminary draft general budget and the Council’s Letter of Amendment 1/2001 to the 2001 draft general budget represent a step forward; therefore welcomes the budgetary decision to agree to create 500 new posts and provide addi- tional appropriations in the administrative part of the 2001 budget for infrastructure related to contractual

staff, which is financed from the BA lines, and for information technology in the delegations; and under- lines the need to create an early retirement scheme in order to support the reform process;

5. Notes the analysis by the Commission, forwarded on 15 November 2000, of outstanding commit-

ments and its strategic approach to eliminating abnormal outstanding commitments and preventing a build-up of new backlogs concerning programmes already running; is not satisfied with the distinction between normal and abnormal backlogs and requests further information, especially as far as the individual programmes are concerned; agrees to remove the performance reserve for heading 4 as well as the reserve for Letter of Amendment 1/2001 created at Parliament’s first reading, linked to a successful conclusion of

the agreed joint declaration between the three institutions concerning the Commission progress report on reform implementation to be submitted by 30 June 2001;

6. Welcomes the fact that both arms of the budgetary authority, Parliament and Council, have agreed in

the joint declaration annexed to this resolution to ask the Commission to submit a progress report on the reform process by 30 June 2001; underlines that the targets established for this report will enable the progress on reform, and in particular on improving budget implementation in terms of efficiency and performance, to be assessed;

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7. Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to change the ‘comitology’ approach in the CARDSand MEDA

Regulations; insists that, with a view to more effective management, the same approach has to be followed in other programmes; urges the Commission to present the appropriate proposals to implement the new approach; reiterates its demand that the Council support the Commission in reforming ‘comitology’ and in improving the provision of information to Parliament on new foreign policy initiatives;

8. Underscores Parliament’s insistence on scheduled stages for the internalisation of tasks and the pro-

gressive dismantling of technical assistance offices and maintains the new remarks, entered by Parliament against the BA lines, which ensure that these appropriations will be used only for expenditure on technical

assistance concerning either public authority tasks delegated by the Commission to implementing agencies governed by Community law, or for expenditure on technical and administrative assistance not involving public authority tasks outsourced by the Commission under ad hoc research service contracts to bodies governed by private law;

9. Agrees to adopt in one reading Letter of Amendment No 2/2001 to the PDB, submitted by the

Commission on 31 October 2000, and as modified by the Council, and including an additional amount

of € 60 million for BSE tests;

Headings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7

10. Welcomes the compromise agreed with the Council concerning agricultural expenditure on the

basis of the Commission’s estimates presented in Letter of Amendment 2/2001, departing from the Com- mission figures only with regard to Chapter B1-15 (Fruit and vegetables), and welcomes, in particular, the appropriations entered in the budget for food aid (Chapter B1-31), including school milk, distribution of agricultural products to deprived persons and refunds in connection with food aid for certain products, which reflect its own priorities expressed at first reading;

11. Is alarmed by the new cases of BSE-infected cows reported over the last few months, and underlines

the importance of additional funding for BSE tests in heading 1a, agreed by the Council following Parlia-

ment’s resolution;

12. Notes the Commission decision of 6 December 2000 proposing an allocation of € 970 million in

the 2001 budget to cope with the BSE crisis;

13. Agrees to a 3,5 % increase in payment appropriations over the 2000 budget; agrees to rebudget for

2002 and subsequent years an amount of € 1 600 million in commitment appropriations for Community initiative programmes, under paragraph 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement; accepts the fact that, there- fore, payment appropriations for the 2001 budget in heading 2 will be € 700 million lower than projected in the preliminary draft general budget; notes that the reduction will be made against the payment appro- priations of the Community Initiatives, as agreed by Parliament and the Council at the conciliation meet- ing, and requests the Commission to present a supplementary budget for payment appropriations if, in the course of the implementation of the 2001 budget, that becomes necessary;

14. Welcomes the agreement between the Council and Parliament on continuing the employment

initiative created in 1998 by the budgetary authority and on an allocation for the Multiannual Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship for 2001 to 2005 of € 450 million in commitment appropriations and of an amount of € 100 million in commitment appropriations in 2001; urges the Council to adopt the legal basis without delay, taking into account Parliament’s opinion adopted on 26 October 2000 ( 1 ) and the

European Charter for Small Enterprises agreed by the European Council on 20 June 2000;

15. Recalls that paragraph 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 provides for the estab-

lishment, in the budget, of pilot projects and preparatory actions; stresses that one of its legislative and budgetary powers is to initiate new political processes and to provide the political and budgetary input for new Community programmes and actions; insists that this also means the definition of pilot projects and

preparatory actions; maintains its position that the Commission is obliged to implement the whole budget as adopted by the budgetary authority, including pilot projects and preparatory actions; and maintains the pilot projects and preparatory actions it has already adopted at its first reading;

( 1 )

‘Texts Adopted’, Item 16.

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16. Underlines the significance of the modification of the remarks in Chapter A-30 and expects the

Commission immediately to modify its implementation procedures accordingly;

17. Deplores delays in implementation, which occurred during the first year of the new pre-accession

instruments Sapard and ISPA as well as in the PHARE programme;

18. Regards it as a principle that transfers during the year and in particular global transfers should

remain an instrument for limited adjustments to cope with needs which could not be assessed when the budget was adopted; where this is not the case there must be exceptional circumstances to justify such transfers; calls on the Commission to manage the appropriations in the course of the financial year in such a way as to avoid having to deviate from the initial decision of the budgetary authority by a significant percentage;

Other sections

19. Notes that, in addition to the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social

Committee and the Committee of the Regions are in the process of adopting a more modern and trans- parent promotions policy which follows the recommendations of the second report of the independent experts; underlines the fact that the budgetary impact of the proposed changes must remain within reason- able limits, especially in view of a decreasing margin in heading 5 (administrative expenditure) of the financial perspective;

20. Instructs its Bureau to adopt the modifications it deems appropriate to eliminate unnecessary rigid-

ities in its own promotions policy, while reinforcing the principle of merit-based promotion; recalls that the loss of human resources as a result of compulsory mobility needs to be addressed systematically; as regards performance assessment, reiterates its wish for increased training of assessors and for the possibi- lity of assessing the assessors too;

21. Confirms its first-reading decisions as regards the appropriations to be made available for the Court

of Justice with a view to reducing the backlog in its translation service and to meeting the demands of an increased workload; deplores the fact that the Council, once again, intended to use the standard abatement as a political instrument;

22. Notes that Parliament’s standard abatement has been relatively high in recent years; reiterates that

the standard abatement needs to reflect the required level of vacant posts in the institution; instructs its

Secretary-General to submit a report by 28 February 2001 on Parliament’s level of vacant posts for the period 1995-2000, including the number of vacant posts in January, July and December of each year and the reasons why some posts remain vacant for more than six months;

23. Instructs its Secretary-General to continue negotiations with the Government of Luxembourg with a

view to allowing the transfer from Luxembourg to Brussels of all officials who are needed in Brussels for

more efficient and cost-effective management of Parliament’s Secretariat and for an improved service to Members;

24. Reiterates its support for the establishment of an Interinstitutional Recruitment Office and calls on

the Council and Commission to continue to cooperate with Parliament so that the new body can be established in the financial year 2001;

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25. Instructs its President to declare that the budget has been finally adopted and to have it published in

the Official Journal;

26. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Jus-

tice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the Eur- opean Ombudsman and the other institutions and bodies concerned.