Daily Archives: September 25, 2015

Report – Financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union – A8-0049/2015 – Committee on Budgets

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

(COM(2014)0358 – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0358),

–       having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0029/2014),

–       having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to the opinion of the European Court of Auditors No 1/2015(1),

–       having regard to the letter of the European Data Protection Supervisor of 3 December 2014,

–       having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0049/2015),

1.      Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.      Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.      Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the national parliaments

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5a) It is important to clarify how the contracting authorities can contribute to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development, whilst ensuring that they can obtain the best value for money for their contracts, in particular through requiring specific labels and/or through the use of appropriate award methods;

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9a) Union public procurement should serve to ensure that Union funds are used in an effective, transparent, and appropriate way and, in that regard, electronic procurement should contribute to better use of public funds and enhance access to public contracts for all economic operators.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11a) It is appropriate to identify and treat distinctly different cases usually referred to as situations of “conflict of interest”. The notion of “conflict of interest” should be solely used for cases where an official or agent of a Union institution is in such a situation. If an economic operator attempts to unduly influence a procedure or obtain confidential information, this is to be treated as “grave professional misconduct”. Finally, economic operators may be in a situation where they cannot implement a contract because of conflicting professional interests, for instance a company should not evaluate a project in which it has participated or an auditor should not be in a position to audit accounts it has previously certified.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22a) For framework contracts with reopening of competition, it is appropriate to waive the obligation to provide the characteristics and relative advantages of the successful tender to an unsuccessful contractor, on the basis that the receipt of such information by parties to the same framework contract each time a competition is reopened might prejudice fair competition between them.

Justification

The aim of the recital is to clarify the reasoning behind the provisions of Art. 113(3).

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29a) This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 47 to 50 thereof, from which it can be derived that the legality and proportionality of offences and penalties must be ensured, and that everyone has the right to an effective remedy and a fair trial, the right of defence and the right not to be tried or punished twice in a proceeding for the same offence.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point -1 (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 58 – paragraph 8

Present text

Amendment

(-1) Article 58(8) is replaced by the following:

8. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the methods of implementation of the budget, including direct management, the exercise of powers delegated to executive agencies, and specific provisions for indirect management with international organisations, with bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209, with public law bodies or bodies governed by private law with a public service mission, with bodies governed by the private law of a Member State and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership and with persons entrusted with the implementation of specific actions in the CFSP.

8. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the methods of implementation of the budget, including direct management, the exercise of powers delegated to executive agencies, and specific provisions for indirect management with international organisations, with bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209, with public law bodies or bodies governed by private law with a public service mission, with bodies governed by the private law of a Member State and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership and with persons entrusted with the implementation of specific actions in the CFSP. Non-profit organisations which do not have the status of an international organisation set up by intergovernmental agreements shall not be assimilated to such an international organisation.”

Justification

Update of AM 2.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 60 – paragraph 3

Present text

Amendment

(1a) Article 60(3) is replaced by the following:

3. The entities and persons entrusted pursuant to point (c) of Article 58(1) shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities and fraud when executing tasks relating to the implementation of the budget. To this end, they shall carry out, in accordance with the principle of proportionality, ex ante and ex post controls including, where appropriate, on-the-spot checks on representative and/or risk-based samples of transactions, to ensure that the actions financed from the budget are effectively carried out and implemented correctly. They shall also recover funds unduly paid and bring legal proceedings where necessary in this regard.

3. The entities and persons entrusted pursuant to point (c) of Article 58(1) shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities and fraud when executing tasks relating to the implementation of the budget. To this end, they shall carry out, in accordance with the principle of proportionality, ex ante and ex post controls including, where appropriate, on-the-spot checks on representative and/or risk-based samples of transactions, to ensure that the actions financed from the budget are effectively carried out and implemented correctly. They shall also recover funds unduly paid, bring legal proceedings where necessary in this regard, and notify the Commission about any fraud case detected.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 b (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 60 – paragraph 7

Present text

Amendment

(1b) Article 60(7) is replaced by the following:

7. Paragraph 5 and 6 shall not apply to the contribution of the Union to entities which are subject to a separate discharge procedure under Article 208.

“7. Paragraph 5 and 6 shall not apply to the contribution of the Union to entities which are subject to a separate discharge procedure under Articles 208 and 209.”

Justification

The amendment implements the Joint Statement made by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the separate discharge for Joint Undertakings under Article 209 of the Financial Regulation (29.5.2014), as confirmed by all stakeholders at the Round Table of 13 November 2014 on audit and discharge for JUs.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 c (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 66 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Present text

Amendment

(1c) In Article 66, the following paragraph 2a is added:

“2a. In any dispute between an institution of the Union and one or more of its officials or other servants, the parties to that dispute may enter into an agreement (“settlement agreement”) with a view to removing persistent factual or legal uncertainty by making mutual concessions, where the institution concerned, exercising its best judgement, considers the conclusion of such an agreement to be appropriate. The authorising officer shall implement revenue and expenditure resulting from such an agreement.”

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 d (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 66 – paragraph 9 – subparagraph 2

Present text

Amendment

(1d) The second subparagraph of Article 66(9) is replaced by the following:

The activity report shall indicate the results of the operations by reference to the objectives set, the risks associated with those operations, the use made of the resources provided and the efficiency and effectiveness of internal control systems, including an overall assessment of the costs and benefits of controls.

The activity report shall indicate the results of the operations by reference to the objectives set, the risks associated with those operations, the use made of the resources provided and the efficiency and effectiveness of internal control systems, including an overall assessment of the costs and benefits of controls. It shall also include an assessment of the extent to which the operations have contributed to policy achievements and generated Union added value, as well as of the overall performance of those operations.”

Justification

The AM implements the recommendations made by the Court of Auditors in par. 10.63 and 10.65 of its annual report for the financial year 2013.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 e (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 66 – paragraph 9 – subparagraph 3

Present text

Amendment

(1e) The third subparagraph of Article 66(9) is replaced by the following:

No later than 15 June each year, the Commission shall send to the European Parliament and the Council a summary of the annual activity reports for the preceding year. The annual activity report of each authorising officer by delegation shall also be made available to the European Parliament and the Council.

No later than 15 June each year, the Commission shall send to the European Parliament and the Council a summary of the annual activity reports for the preceding year. The annual activity report of each authorising officer by delegation, as well as the annual activity reports of the authorising officers/authorising officers by delegation of the other institutions, offices, bodies and agencies, shall also be made available to the European Parliament and the Council and be published on the website of the respective institution, office, body or agency no later than 30 June each year for the preceding year.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 f (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 99 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Present text

Amendment

(1f) In Article 99, the following paragraph 3a is inserted:

3a. Each year the institution shall, in the context of the discharge procedure and with due regard to confidentiality requirements, forward on request by the European Parliament and the Council the annual internal audit report as referred to in paragraph 3 .

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 101 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. ‘Procurement’ means the acquisition by means of a contract of buildings, works, supplies or services by one or more contracting authorities from economic operators chosen by those contracting authorities.

1. ‘Procurement’ means the acquisition by means of a contract of works, supplies or services, and the acquisition or rental of land, existing buildings or other immovable property, by one or more contracting authorities from economic operators chosen by those contracting authorities.

Justification

Alignment with Art. 10(a) of the procurement directive 2014/24/EU.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 101 – paragraph 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7a. ‘Administrative decision’ means a decision of an administrative authority having final and binding effect in accordance with the law of the country in which the economic operator is established, with that of the Member State of the contracting authority, or with the applicable Union law.

Justification

Alignment with Art. 57(2) of the Procurement Directive, as recommended by the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 102 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. All contracts shall be put out to competition on the broadest possible basis, except when use is made of the negotiated procedure referred to in point (d) of Article 104(1).

2. All contracts shall be put out to competition on the broadest possible basis, except when use is made of the negotiated procedure referred to in point (d) of Article 104(1).

The estimated value of a contract may not be determined with a view to circumventing the applicable rules, nor may a contract be split up for that purpose.

The contracting authority shall give reasons when it decides not to divide a contract into lots.

Contracting authorities shall not use framework contracts improperly or in such a way that their purpose or effect is to prevent, restrict or distort competition.

2a. Contracting authorities shall not use framework contracts improperly or in such a way that their purpose or effect is to prevent, restrict or distort competition.

Justification

Art. 169 of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, contains some essential provisions which should consequently be integrated into the FR itself.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 102 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2b. In accordance with the principle of sustainability, contracting authorities shall take suitable measures to ensure that, when executing contracts, economic operators comply with the environmental, social and labour law obligations established by Union or national legislation, collective agreements or the international environmental, social and labour conventions listed in Annex X to Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a.

_____________

1a Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65).

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 103 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Procedures with a value below the thresholds set out in Article 118 or Article 190 shall be advertised by appropriate means.

2. Procedures with a value below the thresholds set out in Article 118(1) or Article 190 shall be advertised by appropriate means.

Justification

Clarification.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 104 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the types of procurement procedures, dynamic purchasing system, joint procurement, low value contracts and payment against invoices.

5. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the types of procurement procedures for the award of contracts with reference to their value in comparison to the thresholds referred to in Article 118(1), on a dynamic purchasing system, and on joint procurement.

Justification

Clarification. The separate mention of the dynamic purchasing system is maintained because it is not a procurement procedure.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 105 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In the procurement documents, the contracting authority shall identify the subject matter of the procurement by providing a description of its needs and the characteristics required of the works, supplies or services to be bought and specify the applicable criteria. It shall also indicate which elements define the minimum requirements to be met by all tenders.

2. In the procurement documents, the contracting authority shall identify the subject matter of the procurement by providing a description of its needs and the characteristics required of the works, supplies or services to be bought and specify the applicable exclusion, selection and award criteria. It shall also indicate which elements define the minimum requirements to be met by all tenders.

Justification

Clarification.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) fraud, corruption, participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorist financing, terrorist-related offences, child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings on the basis of evidence established by the panel referred to in Article 108 or as established by a final judgement;

(d) fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion including tax evasion via untaxed offshore structures misuse of corporate assets, embezzlement of public funds, corruption, participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorist financing, terrorist-related offences, child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings on the basis of evidence established by the panel referred to in Article 108 or as established by a final judgement;

Justification

One of the main principles and aims of the Financial Regulation is the protection of the Union financial interests. The EU has expressed its intentions several times to fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. Statistical data show that the size of the shadow economy in the EU is nearly one fifth of GDP. Also, tens of billions of euro remain offshore, often unreported and untaxed. Stepping up the fight against tax fraud and evasion is not only an issue of revenue, but also of fairness. The protection of the Union financial interests can be further reinforced by including tax evasion as an exclusion ground in the public procurement procedures of the Union institutions.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1a. For the purposes of this Title, “grave professional misconduct” shall mean violation of laws or regulations or of ethical standards of the profession to which the economic operator belongs, as well as any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where they denote a wrongful intent or gross negligence.

Any of the following conducts are deemed to be grave professional misconduct:

(a) fraudulently or negligently misrepresenting information;

(b) entering into agreement with other economic operators with the aim of distorting competition;

(c) violating intellectual property rights;

(d) attempting to influence the decision-making process of the contracting authority during the procedure;

(e) attempting to obtain confidential information on the procedure.

Justification

Art. 140(1) of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meeting, contains some essential provisions which should consequently be integrated into the FR itself. Additional paragraph to be inserted before the new paragraph contained in AM 8 of the draft report.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1b. Evidence that an economic operator is in one of the situations of exclusion listed in paragraph 1 may include:

(a) facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by the Court of Auditors, OLAF or internal audit, or any other check, audit or control made under the responsibility of the contracting authority;

(b) administrative decisions which may include disciplinary measures taken by the competent supervisory body responsible for the verification of the application of standards of professional ethics, decisions of the ECB, the EIB, international organisations, or the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union’s competition rules or decisions of a national competent authority.

Justification

Art. 140(1) of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, contains some essential provisions which should consequently be integrated into the FR itself to clarify that the provision should apply to evidence for all exclusion grounds.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Except for cases provided for in point (d) of paragraph 1, the contracting authority may decide not to exclude the economic operator concerned where it has taken remedial measures to demonstrate its reliability.

3. Except for cases provided for in point (d) of paragraph 1, the panel referred to in Article 108 may decide not to exclude the economic operator concerned where it has taken remedial measures to demonstrate its reliability.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The contracting authority shall report annually to the European Parliament and the Council, in accordance with the provisions of Title IX, on any decisions it has taken pursuant to the second subparagraph.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The contracting authority may also verify whether a subcontractor is not in a situation of exclusion listed in paragraph 1 of this Article or is in one of the cases referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article.

7. The contracting authority may also apply paragraphs 1 to 3 to a subcontractor of the economic operator, and shall require that a candidate or tenderer replaces a subcontractor or an entity on whose capacity it intends to rely, which is in an exclusion situation.

Justification

Update of AM 9 – integration of an additional provision from Art.141(5) of the draft delegated act (RAP).

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 107 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. A contract shall not be awarded for a given procedure to an economic operator who:

1. The contracting authority shall not award the contract for a given procedure to an economic operator who:

Justification

Clarification.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 107 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1a. Before taking a decision to reject an economic operator from a given procedure, the contracting authority shall give the economic operator the opportunity to submit its observations, unless the rejection has been justified, in accordance with point (a) of paragraph 1, by an exclusion decision taken with regard to the economic operator, following the examination of its observations.

Justification

As recommended by the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) by OLAF in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council* where an OLAF investigation in progress shows that it might be appropriate to take precautionary measures to protect the financial interests of the Union;

(a) by OLAF in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council* where an OLAF investigation in progress shows that it might be appropriate to take precautionary measures to protect the financial interests of the Union, with due regard to the respect for procedural and fundamental rights, and to the protection of whistleblowers;

Justification

The amendment takes up a recommendation by Transparency International.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) by an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency in case of presumed grave professional misconduct, irregularity, fraud or serious breach of contract;

(b) by an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency in case of presumed grave professional misconduct, irregularity, fraud, corruption or serious breach of contract;

Justification

As recommended by Transparency International.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) by another institution, body or a European office in case of presumed grave professional misconduct, irregularity, fraud or serious breach of contract.

(c) by another institution, body or a European office in case of presumed grave professional misconduct, irregularity, fraud, corruption or serious breach of contract.

Justification

As recommended by Transparency International.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The information referred to in points (a), (b) and (c) of the first subparagraph shall be transmitted without delay through the accounting system of the Commission to the authorising officers of the Commission and of its executive agencies, all other institutions, bodies and European offices in order to allow them to take preventive temporary and conservatory measures in the implementation of the budget. Those measures shall not go beyond what is foreseen in the terms and conditions of the procurement documents.

The information referred to in points (a), (b) and (c) of the first subparagraph shall be transmitted without delay through the accounting system of the Commission to the authorising officers of the Commission and of its executive agencies, all other institutions, bodies and European offices in order to allow them to take preventive measures in the implementation of the budget. Those measures shall not go beyond what is foreseen in the terms and conditions of the procurement documents.

Justification

Clarification.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. For the situations referred to in points (b), (d), (e) and (f) of Article 106(1), a panel shall be set up by the Commission at the request of an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency or a joint panel at the request of another institution, body or European office. The panel, on behalf of the Commission and its executive agencies, other institutions, bodies or European offices, shall apply the following procedure:

3. For the situations referred to in points (b), (d), (e) and (f) of Article 106(1), a panel shall be set up by the Commission at the request of an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency or a joint panel at the request of another institution, body or European office. The panel shall appoint a standing high-level board and be composed of members with technical and legal competences. The Commission shall ensure that the panel can work independently. The panel, on behalf of the Commission and its executive agencies, other institutions, bodies or European offices, shall apply the following procedure:

Justification

The amendment takes up some recommendations by Transparency International.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) where the request of the authorising officer is based, inter alia, on the information provided by OLAF, the Office shall cooperate with the panel in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013;

(c) where the request of the authorising officer is based, inter alia, on the information provided by OLAF, the Office shall cooperate with the panel in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013, with due regard to the respect for procedural and fundamental rights, and to the protection of whistleblowers;

Justification

The amendment takes up a recommendation by Transparency International.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) the panel may take an exclusion decision including as regards the duration of the exclusion and/or may impose a financial penalty on the basis of evidence and information received taking into account the principle of proportionality;

(f) the panel may take an exclusion decision including as regards the duration of the exclusion and/or may impose a financial penalty on the basis of evidence and information received taking into account the principle of proportionality; the financial penalty shall represent between 2 % and 10 % of the total value of the contract, without prejudice to the application of liquidated damages or other contractual penalties;

Justification

Art. 145 of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meeting, contains some essential provisions which should consequently be integrated into the FR itself.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In exceptional cases, including where natural persons are concerned or where it is necessary to preserve the confidentiality of the investigation or of a national judicial proceeding, the panel may decide not to publish the exclusion or financial penalty as set out in point (h) of the first subparagraph of this paragraph with due consideration to the right to privacy and with due observance of the rights provided for in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

In exceptional cases, including where natural persons are concerned or where it is necessary to preserve the confidentiality of the investigation or of a national judicial proceeding, the panel may decide not to publish the exclusion or financial penalty as set out in point (h) of the first subparagraph of this paragraph with due consideration to the right to privacy and with due observance of the rights provided for in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission shall regularly inform the European Parliament and the Council of those decisions, using appropriate measures to ensure confidentiality.

The contracting authority shall adopt the measures necessary to implement the decision of the panel.

Justification

In cases where a publication of the panel’s decision is not possible, the Commission should at least inform the Parliament and the Council about it. Furthermore, a new subparagraph is inserted to clarify the link between the decision taken by the panel and its implementation by authorising officers.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) five years for the case referred to in point (d) of Article 106(1);

deleted

Justification

For the cases referred to in Art. 106(1)(d) – corruption, terrorist financing, human trafficking, etc. – the panel should have the possibility to permanently exclude the economic operator.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4a. The limitation period to exclude or impose financial penalties on an economic operator shall be five years calculated from either of the following dates:

(a) the date on which the wrongdoing is committed or, in the case of ongoing or repeated wrongdoings, the date on which the wrongdoing ceases, in the cases referred to in points (b), (c), (d) and (e) of Article 106(1) of this Regulation; or

(b) the date of the final judgment of a national jurisdiction or the final administrative decision of a public authority or an international organisation, in the cases referred to in points (b), (c) and (d) of Article 106(1) of this Regulation.

The limitation period shall be interrupted by any act of the Commission or any other entity involved in the implementation of the Union budget which is notified to the economic operator and which relates to investigations or judicial proceedings. A new limitation period shall begin to run on the day following the interruption.

For the purposes of point (f) of Article 106(1) of this Regulation, the limitation period to exclude or impose financial penalties on an economic operator provided for in Article 3 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 shall apply.

Justification

Art. 144(2) of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, contains essential provisions and should therefore be integrated into the FR itself.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4b. In order to determine the exclusion and its duration or financial penalties in compliance with the principle of proportionality, the panel shall take into account in particular the seriousness of the situation, including the impact on the Union’s financial interests and image, the time which has elapsed since the wrongdoing, its duration and its recurrence, the intention or degree of negligence and the measures taken to remedy the situation or any other mitigating circumstances.

Justification

Art. 144(1) of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, contains essential provisions and should therefore be integrated into the FR itself.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The authorities of the Member States and third countries as well as the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund and the entities participating in the implementation of the budget in accordance with Articles 58 and 61 shall:

5. Where the conduct of economic operators has been detrimental to the Union’s financial interests, the authorities of the Member States and third countries as well as the ECB, the EIB, the European Investment Fund and the entities participating in the implementation of the budget in accordance with Articles 58 and 61 shall:

Justification

Clarification of scope.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the authorities of the Member States fail to comply with these requirements, they shall be held liable for any damage caused to the Union’s financial interests which is attributed to such failure.

Justification

Introduction of an additional sanction mechanism for Member States who fail to cooperate with the Commission on the early detection and exclusion system.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the budget is implemented in indirect management with third countries, the Commission may take an exclusion decision or impose a financial penalty in accordance with the procedure referred to in paragraph 3, following the failure of the third country entrusted pursuant to point (c) of Article 58(1) to do so. This shall not affect the responsibility, under Article 60(3), of the third country to prevent, detect and correct irregularities and fraud.

Justification

Alignment with EDF practice to ensure that the Commission can take exclusion decisions if the delegatee fails to do so.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the Union’s system for the protection of the Union’s financial interests, including its standardised procedures and the details subject to publication, the time limits to exclude, the organisation of the panel, the duration of exclusion and financial penalties.

8. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on the Union’s system for the protection of the Union’s financial interests, including its standardised procedures and the details subject to publication, the time limits to exclude, the organisation of the panel, the criteria for membership of the panel, the selection process for members of the panel, the prevention and management of conflicts of interest of members of the panel, the duration of exclusion and financial penalties.

Justification

As recommended by Transparency International.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 110 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) the candidate or tenderer meets the selection criteria specified in the procurement documents.

(c) the candidate or tenderer meets the selection criteria specified in the procurement documents and is not subject to conflicting interests which may negatively affect the performance of the contract.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 110 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The contracting authority shall base the award of contracts on the most economically advantageous tender.

2. The contracting authority shall base the award of contracts on the most economically advantageous tender in accordance with Article 67 of Directive 2014/24/EU.

Justification

As recommended by the Court of Auditors

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 110 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2a. The contracting authority may decide not to award a contract to the tenderer submitting the most economically advantageous tender where it has established that the tender does not comply with the applicable environmental, social and labour law obligations established by Union or national legislation, collective agreements or the international environmental, social and labour conventions listed in Annex X to Directive 2014/24/EU.

Justification

As recommended by the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 111 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. If deemed appropriate and proportionate, the contracting authority may require tenderers to submit a guarantee in advance to make sure that the tenders submitted will not be withdrawn.

3. If deemed appropriate and proportionate, the contracting authority may require tenderers to submit a guarantee in advance to make sure that the tenders submitted will not be withdrawn. The required guarantee shall be proportionate to the estimated value of the contract and be set at a very low level in order to prevent discrimination against diverse economic operators.

Justification

As recommended by the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 112 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. While the procurement procedure is under way, all contacts between the contracting authority and candidates or tenderers shall satisfy conditions ensuring transparency and equal treatment. After the time limit for receipt of tenders, these contacts shall not lead to changes to the procurement documents or to substantial changes to the terms of the submitted tender, except where a procedure set out in Article 104(1) specifically allows for these possibilities.

1. While the procurement procedure is under way, all contacts between the contracting authority and candidates or tenderers shall satisfy conditions ensuring transparency, equal treatment and good administration as set out in Article 96. After the time limit for receipt of tenders, these contacts shall not lead to changes to the procurement documents or to substantial changes to the terms of the submitted tender, except where a procedure set out in Article 104(1) specifically allows for these possibilities.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 4

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 114a – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The contracting authority may modify a contract or framework contract substantially without a procurement procedure only in cases provided for in the delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Regulation and provided the substantial modification does not alter the subject matter of the contract or framework contract.

2. The contracting authority may modify a contract or framework contract without a procurement procedure only in cases provided for in paragraph 2a or in the delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Regulation and provided the modification does not alter the subject matter or overall nature of the contract or framework contract.

Justification

Update of AM 20 with added reference to paragraph 2a, following the insertion of the latter. End of sentence aligned with Art. 72(1)(c) of Directive 2014/24/EU.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 4

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 114a – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2a. A contract or a specific contract may be modified without a new procurement procedure in any of the following cases:

(a) where additional works, supplies or services by the original contractor have become necessary that were not included in the initial procurement and all of the following conditions are met:

(i) a change of contractor cannot be made for technical reasons linked to interchangeability or interoperability requirements with existing equipment, services or installations;

(ii) a change of contractor would cause substantial duplication of costs for the contracting authority;

(iii) any increase in price, including the net cumulative value of successive modifications, does not exceed 50 % of the initial contract value;

(b) where all of the following conditions are fulfilled:

(i) the need for modification has been brought about by circumstances which a diligent contracting authority could not foresee;

(ii) any increase in price does not exceed 50 % of the initial contract value;

(c) where the value of the modification is below both of the following values:

(i) the thresholds set out in Article 118(1) and the delegated acts adopted pursuant to Article 190(2) in the field of external actions applicable at the time of the modification; and

(ii) 10 % of the initial contract value for service and supply contracts and concession contracts (works or services) and 15% of the initial contract value for works contracts.

Points (a) and (c) of the first subparagraph may also apply to framework contracts.

The initial contract value shall not take price revisions into account.

The net cumulative value of several successive modifications under point (c) of the first subparagraph shall not exceed any threshold laid down therein.

The contracting authority shall apply the ex-post publicity measures provided for in Article 103(1).

Justification

On recommendation of the Court of Auditors, Art. 162 of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, is moved up to FR level because it contains essential provisions.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 4

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 115 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) ensure full performance of the contract after payment of the balance.

(c) ensure full performance of the contract during the contract liability period.

Justification

Alignment with international customary practice / correction of a technical error: in some cases the payment of the balance takes place at the end of the contract.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 5

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 118 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Subject to exceptions and conditions to be specified in the delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Regulation, in the case of contracts above the thresholds set out in paragraph 1, the contracting authority shall not sign the contract or framework contract with the successful tenderer until a standstill period has elapsed.

2. Subject to exceptions and conditions to be specified in the delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Regulation, in the case of contracts above the thresholds set out in paragraph 1, the contracting authority shall not sign the contract or framework contract with the successful tenderer until a standstill period has elapsed. Contracts signed before the end of the standstill period shall be void.

Justification

As recommended by the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 10 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 139 – paragraph 5

Present text

Amendment

(10a) Article 139(5) is replaced by the following:

5. Where financial instruments are implemented under shared management with Member States, the provisions applying to those instruments, including rules for contributions to financial instruments managed directly or indirectly in accordance with this Title, shall be laid down in the Regulations referred to in Article 175.

5. Where financial instruments are implemented under shared management with Member States, the provisions applying to those instruments, including rules for contributions to financial instruments managed directly or indirectly in accordance with this Title, shall be laid down in the Regulations referred to in Article 175. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Article 140(8) shall also apply to financial instruments under shared management.”

Justification

A unified and full reporting on all financial instruments, whether implemented under direct, shared or indirect management, is essential for enabling the budgetary authority to properly fulfil its scrutiny function.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 139 – paragraph 5 a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5a. No financial support shall be granted to dedicated investment vehicles, to financial intermediaries and to final recipients which are in one of the situations referred to in points (a), (b) and (d) of Article 106(1) and points (b) and (c) of Article 107(1).

5a. No financial support shall be granted to dedicated investment vehicles, to financial intermediaries and to final recipients which are in one of the situations referred to in points (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Article 106(1) and points (b) and (c) of Article 107(1).

Justification

Social security fraud, tax fraud and conflicts of interest should also constitute exclusion criteria for financial instruments.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 162 – paragraph 1

Present text

Amendment

(11a) Article 162(1) is replaced by the following:

1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the Commission and the institutions concerned, by 30 June, any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in the annual report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure. Each institution shall address its reply to the Court of Auditors by 15 October. The replies of institutions other than the Commission shall be sent to the Commission at the same time.

1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the Commission and the institutions concerned, by 30 June, any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in the annual report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure. They shall nevertheless be made available to the European Parliament on request, if appropriate, on a confidential basis. Each institution shall address its reply to the Court of Auditors by 15 October. The replies of institutions other than the Commission shall be sent to the Commission at the same time.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 b (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 163 – paragraph 1

Present text

Amendment

(11b) Article 163(1) is replaced by the following:

1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the institution or the body concerned any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in a special report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure.

1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the institution or the body concerned any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in a special report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure.

The institution or the body concerned shall inform the Court of Auditors, within two and a half months of transmission of those observations, of any replies it wishes to make in relation to those observations.

The institution or the body concerned shall inform the Court of Auditors, in general within five weeks of transmission of those observations, of any replies it wishes to make in relation to those observations.

The replies of the institution or the body concerned shall directly and exclusively address those observations.

The Court of Auditors shall adopt the definitive version of the special report the month following receipt of the replies made by the institution or body concerned.

The Court of Auditors shall ensure that special reports are drawn up and adopted within an appropriate period of time, which, in general, shall not exceed 12 months.

The special reports, together with the replies of the institutions or bodies concerned, shall be transmitted without delay to the European Parliament and the Council, each of which shall decide, where appropriate in conjunction with the Commission, what action is to be taken in response.

The special reports, together with the replies of the institutions or bodies concerned, shall be transmitted without delay to the European Parliament and the Council, each of which shall decide, where appropriate in conjunction with the Commission, what action is to be taken in response.

The Court of Auditors shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the replies to its observations from each institution or body concerned are published together with the special report.

The Court of Auditors shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the replies to its observations from each institution or body concerned, as well as the timeline for the drawing up of the special report, are published together with the special report.

Justification

Update of AM 22.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 c (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 164

Present text

Amendment

(11c) Article 164 is replaced by the following:

1. The European Parliament, upon a recommendation from the Council acting by qualified majority, shall, before 15 May of year n + 2, give a discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget for year n.

1. The European Parliament, upon a recommendation from the Council acting by qualified majority, shall, before 15 May of year n + 2, give a discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget for year n to the Union institutions and the bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209.

2. If the date provided for in paragraph 1 cannot be met, the European Parliament or the Council shall inform the Commission of the reasons for the postponement.

2. If the date provided for in paragraph 1 cannot be met, the European Parliament or the Council shall inform the institutions and bodies concerned of the reasons for the postponement.

3. If the European Parliament postpones the decision giving a discharge, the Commission shall make every effort to take measures, as soon as possible, to remove or facilitate removal of the obstacles to that decision.

3. If the European Parliament postpones the decision giving a discharge, the institutions and bodies concerned shall make every effort to take measures, as soon as possible, to remove or facilitate removal of the obstacles to that decision.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 d (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 165 – paragraph 3

Present text

Amendment

(11d) Article 165(3) is replaced by the following:

3. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, at the latter’s request, any information required for the smooth application of the discharge procedure for the financial year concerned, in accordance with Article 319 TFEU.

3. The Union institutions and bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209 shall submit to the European Parliament, at the latter’s request, any information required for the smooth application of the discharge procedure for the financial year concerned, in accordance with Article 319 TFEU.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 e (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 166

Present text

Amendment

(11e) Article 166 is replaced by the following:

1. In accordance with Article 319 TFEU and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, the Commission and the other institutions shall take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament’s discharge decision and on the comments accompanying the recommendation for discharge adopted by the Council.

1. In accordance with Article 319 TFEU and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, the Commission and the other institutions and bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209 shall take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament’s discharge decision and on the comments accompanying the recommendation for discharge adopted by the Council.

2. At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, the institutions shall report on the measures taken in the light of those observations and comments, and, in particular, on the instructions they have given to any of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget. The Member States shall cooperate with the Commission by informing it of the measures they have taken to act on those observations so that the Commission may take them into account when drawing up its own report. The reports from the institutions shall also be transmitted to the Court of Auditors.

2. At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, the above mentioned institutions and bodies shall report on the measures taken in the light of those observations and comments, and, in particular, on the instructions they have given to any of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget. The Member States shall cooperate with the Commission by informing it of the measures they have taken to act on those observations so that the Commission may take them into account when drawing up its own report. The reports from the institutions shall also be transmitted to the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 13

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 190 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on external action procurement.

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on external action procurement. These rules shall include specific provisions on procurement related to civilian missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in order to guarantee the rapid and flexible conduct of operations, establishing, in particular, adapted fast-track procedures to be applied to all civilian CSDP missions.

Justification

CSDP missions by definition operate in crisis or post-crisis environments and within a limited period of time. General EU procurement rules are not adapted to these situations and their application is the source of significant delays and inefficiencies. Case-by-case application of existing flexibility provisions does not address the issue sufficiently. Specific rules should therefore be adopted, by means of a delegated act, taking into due account the specificities of civilian crisis management.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 14 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 208 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3 a (new)

Present text

Amendment

(14a) In paragraph 1 of Article 208, the following subparagraph is added:

“Union bodies that are fully self–financed, to which this Regulation does not apply, shall establish for the sake of consistency similar rules where appropriate. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that the fees are set at an appropriate level to cover the costs of providing the services and to avoid significant surpluses. In case of surpluses the money shall be assigned to the budget.”

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 14 b (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 209

Present text

Amendment

(14b) Article 209 is replaced by the following:

The bodies having legal personality set up by a basic act and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership shall adopt their financial rules.

1. The bodies having legal personality set up by a basic act and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership shall adopt their financial rules.

Those rules shall include a set of principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds.

Those rules shall include a set of principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt a model financial regulation by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 210 which shall lay down the principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds and which shall be based on Article 60.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt a model Financial Regulation by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 210 which shall lay down the principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds and which shall be based on Article 60.

The financial rules of those bodies shall not depart from the model financial regulation except where their specific needs so require and with the Commission’s prior consent.

The financial rules of those bodies shall not depart from the model financial regulation except where their specific needs so require and with the Commission’s prior consent.

2. Discharge for the implementation of the budgets of the bodies referred to in paragraph 1, shall be given by the European Parliament on the recommendation of the Council. The bodies referred to in paragraph 1 shall fully cooperate with the institutions involved in the discharge procedure and provide, as appropriate, any additional necessary information, including through attendance at meetings of the relevant bodies.

3. The Commissions internal auditor shall exercise the same powers over the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 as those exercised in respect of the Commission.

4. An independent external auditor shall verify that the annual accounts of each of the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 properly present the income, expenditure and financial position of the relevant body prior to the consolidation in the Commissions final accounts or by the date set in the financial rules of the relevant bodies. Unless otherwise provided in the basic act referred to in paragraph 1, the Court of Auditors shall prepare a Specific Annual Report on each body in line with the requirements of Article 287(1) TFEU. In preparing this report, the Court shall consider the audit work performed by the independent external auditor and the action taken in response to the auditors findings.”

Justification

The amendment implements the Joint Statement made by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the separate discharge for Joint Undertakings under Article 209 of the Financial Regulation (29.5.2014), as confirmed by all stakeholders at the Round Table of 13 November 2014 on audit and discharge for JUs.

(1)

OJ C 52, 12.2.2015, p. 1.

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS (27.1.2015)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, EURATOM) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

(COM(2014)0358) – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD))

Rapporteur: Christian Ehler

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission has presented to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal aimed at aligning the financial regulation with the provisions of new directives on public procurement and on award of concession contracts. This proposal includes a modification of Article 190 on “external action procurement”, which is of relevance for the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Indeed, the obligation to apply general EU procurement rules to the crisis management measures under the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and in particular the civilian missions under the Common Security and Defence policy (CSDP), is the source of significant delays in procuring essential equipment and services with a considerable negative effect on the missions’ functioning.

As a rule, CSDP missions have to operate in a crisis environment and within a limited period of time. They are launched by a unanimous Council Decision, recognising that an urgent response to a crisis is needed. Nevertheless, applying existing financial rules, designed for a functioning European internal market rather than for crisis situations in countries like Mali or South Sudan, often means that essential materials are delivered more than six months after a tender is launched.

The EU’s credibility on the international scene is at stake here, in moments when the Union takes on important commitments for peace and security, like in Georgia in 2008. It is often also the security of its personnel which is at stake, lacking essential equipment such as armoured vehicles. This dangerous inefficiency was denounced by the Court of Auditors in its 2012 special report on the EU support for Kosovo, which concluded that the procurement rules laid down in the financial regulation “are not designed for CSDP missions… where fast and flexible responses are sometimes necessary”.

The Committee on Foreign Affairs therefore believes that specific rules should be introduced for CSDP missions, which by definition operate in crisis or post-crisis environments. This is in line with the European Council conclusions of December 2013, which invited “the Commission, the High Representative and the Member States to ensure that the procedures and rules for civilian missions enable the Union to be more flexible and speed up the deployment of EU civilian missions”.

While the Committee supports any efforts to increase efficiency under the current rules, it takes the view that only a specific set of rules with more flexible procedures, moving away from the current case-by-case approach, can ensure a fast deployment in line with logistical needs and security requirements. Such rules would ensure adequate protection of the Union’s financial interests in the context of the pursuit of the EU’s key security objectives, responding better to the imperative of sound, effective and efficient financial management as a result.

Furthermore, other amendments of the financial regulation would be appropriate to increase the efficiency of CSDP missions, which the Parliament however cannot address within the context of this proposal. In particular, the Commission should consider amending Article 56 in order to allow the delegation of budget implementation powers to the Civilian Operation Commander in the same way that it has done for Heads of EU Delegations. Such a modification would enhance the speed and flexibility of the establishment and functioning of CSDP missions, allowing them to fulfil their mandate in a manner that is more efficient and better adapted to the crisis environments in which they operate.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 13

Regulation (EU, EURATOM) No 966/2012

Article 190 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on external action procurement.

1. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 210 concerning detailed rules on external action procurement. These rules shall include specific provisions on procurement related to civilian missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in order to guarantee the rapid and flexible conduct of operations, establishing, in particular, adapted fast-track procedures to be applied to all civilian CSDP missions.

Justification

CSDP missions by definition operate in crisis or post-crisis environments and within a limited period of time. General EU procurement rules are not adapted to these situations and their application is the source of significant delays and inefficiencies. Case-by-case application of existing flexibility provisions does not address the issue sufficiently. Specific rules should therefore be adopted, by means of a delegated act, taking into due account the specificities of civilian crisis management.

PROCEDURE

Title

Financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

References

COM(2014)0358 – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

3.7.2014

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

AFET

3.7.2014

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Christian Ehler

22.9.2014

Discussed in committee

3.12.2014

Date adopted

26.1.2015

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

44

3

2

Members present for the final vote

Michèle Alliot-Marie, Petras Auštrevičius, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Lorenzo Cesa, Javier Couso Permuy, Andi Cristea, Arnaud Danjean, Mark Demesmaeker, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Sandra Kalniete, Tunne Kelam, Afzal Khan, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Sabine Lösing, Andrejs Mamikins, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, David McAllister, Tamás Meszerics, Francisco José Millán Mon, Javier Nart, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Alyn Smith, Jaromír Štětina, Charles Tannock, Eleni Theocharous, László Tőkés, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen

Substitutes present for the final vote

Christian Ehler, Mariya Gabriel, Ana Gomes, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Traian Ungureanu, Janusz Zemke

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Jonás Fernández, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Liliana Rodrigues

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETARY CONTROL (27.1.2015)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

(COM(2014)0358 – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD))

Rapporteur: Tamás Deutsch

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8a) Public procurement should serve to ensure that Union funds are used in an effective, transparent, and appropriate manner: that being the case, procurement procedures should be moved into cyberspace, as this would save a great deal of money compared with conventional public procurement procedures, as well as making such procedures more accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9a) It is appropriate to identify and treat distinctly different cases usually referred to as situations of “conflict of interest”. The notion of “conflict of interest” should be solely used for cases where an official or agent of an EU institution is in such situation. If an economic operator attempts to unduly influence a procedure or to obtain confidential information, this is to be treated as “grave professional misconduct”. Finally, economic operators may be in a situation where they cannot implement a contract because of a professional conflicting interest, for instance a company should not evaluate a project in which it has participated or an auditor should not be in a position to audit accounts it has previously certified.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29a) This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 47 to 50 thereof, from which it can be derived that the legality and proportionality of offences and penalties must be ensured, and that everyone has the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, the right of defence and the right not to be tried or punished twice in a proceeding for the same offence.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 60 – paragraph 7

Present text

Amendment

(1a) Article 60(7) is replaced by the following:

‘7. Paragraphs 5 and 6 shall not apply to the contribution of the Union to entities which are subject to a separate discharge procedure under Article 208.

‘7. Paragraphs 5 and 6 shall not apply to the contribution of the Union to entities which are subject to a separate discharge procedure under Articles 208 and 209.’

Justification

It is appropriate to modify the Financial Regulation in order to take on board the Joint Statement made by the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission on the separate discharge for Joint Undertakings under Article 209 of the Financial Regulation (29.5.2014).

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 1 b (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 99 – paragraph 5

Present text

Amendment

(1b) Article 99(5) is replaced by the following:

5. Each year the institution shall forward a report to the European Parliament and the Council containing a summary of the number and type of internal audits carried out, the recommendations made and the action taken on those recommendations.

‘5. Each year the institution shall report to the European Parliament and the Council, at Parliament’s request, on internal audits carried out, providing information on the number and type of those audits, the recommendations made and the action taken on those recommendations.’

Justification

In accordance with article 319(2) last sentence of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: “The Commission shall submit any necessary information to the European Parliament at the latter’s request”. The Financial Regulation should be phrased in a way that it would not hamper the implementation of this Treaty provision.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) fraud, corruption, participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorist financing, terrorist-related offences, child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings on the basis of evidence established by the panel referred to in Article 108 or as established by a final judgement;

(d) fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion, including via untaxed offshore structures, misuse of corporate assets, embezzlement of public funds, corruption, participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorist financing, terrorist-related offences, child labour or other forms of trafficking in human beings on the basis of evidence established by the panel referred to in Article 108 or as established by a final judgement;

Justification

One of the main principles and aims of the Financial Regulation is the protection of the Union financial interests. The EU has expressed its intentions several times to fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. Statistical data show that the size of the shadow economy in the EU is nearly one fifth of GDP. Also, tens of billions of euro remain offshore, often unreported and untaxed. Stepping up the fight against tax fraud and evasion is not only an issue of revenue, but also of fairness. The protection of the Union financial interests can be further reinforced by including tax evasion as an exclusion ground in the public procurement procedures of the Union institutions.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1a. Evidence that an economic operator is in one of the situations of exclusion listed in paragraph 1 may include:

(a) facts established in the context of audits or investigations carried out by the Court of Auditors, OLAF or internal audit, or any other check, audit or control made under the responsibility of the contracting authority;

(b) administrative decisions which may include disciplinary measures taken by the competent supervisory body responsible for the verification of the application of standards of professional ethics, decisions of the ECB, the EIB, international organisations, or the Commission relating to the infringement of the Union’s competition rules or decisions of a national competent authority.

Justification

Art. 140(1) of the draft delegated act (RAP), as presented by the Commission during the first round of expert group meetings, contains some essential provisions which should consequently be integrated into the FR itself to clarify that the provision should apply to evidence for all exclusion grounds.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 106 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Except for cases provided for in point (d) of paragraph 1, the contracting authority may decide not to exclude the economic operator concerned where it has taken remedial measures to demonstrate its reliability.

3. Except for cases provided for in point (d) of paragraph 1, the panel referred to in Article 108 may decide not to exclude the economic operator concerned where it has taken remedial measures to demonstrate its reliability.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 3 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. For the situations referred to in points (b), (d), (e) and (f) of Article 106(1), a panel shall be set up by the Commission at the request of an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency or a joint panel at the request of another institution, body or European office. The panel, on behalf of the Commission and its executive agencies, other institutions, bodies or European offices, shall apply the following procedure:

3. For the situations referred to in points (b), (d), (e) and (f) of Article 106(1), a neutral and politically independent panel shall be set up by the Commission at the request of an authorising officer of the Commission or of an executive agency, or a joint panel shall be set up by the Commission at the request of another institution, body or European office. The panel or the joint panel shall appoint a standing high-level body and shall be composed of members with technical and legal competences. The Commission shall ensure that the panel or the joint panel work independently. The panel or the joint panel shall, on behalf of the Commission and its executive agencies, other institutions, bodies or European offices, apply the following procedure:

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The exclusion shall be permanent in the case of illegal activities in the context of organised crime.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The limitation period for excluding and/or imposing financial penalties on an economic operator shall be ten years calculated from any of the following dates:

(a) the date on which the wrongdoing is committed or, in the case of ongoing or repeated wrongdoings, the date on which the wrongdoing ceases, in the cases referred to in points (b), (c), (d) and (e) of Article 106(1);

(b) the date of the final judgment of a national court or of the final administrative decision of a public authority or an international organisation in the cases referred to in points (b), (c) and (d) of Article 106(1).

The limitation period shall be interrupted by any act of the Commission or any other entity involved in the implementation of the Union budget which is notified to the economic operator and which relates to investigations or judicial proceedings. A new limitation period shall begin to run on the day following the interruption.

For the purpose of point (f) of Article 106(1) of this Regulation, the limitation period for excluding and/or imposing financial penalties on an economic operator provided for in Article 3 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95* shall apply.

__________________

* Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4a. In order to determine the exclusion and its duration and/or the financial penalties in compliance with the principle of proportionality, the panel shall take into account in particular the seriousness of the situation, including the impact on the Union’s financial interests and image, the time which has elapsed since the wrongdoing, its duration and its recurrence, the intention or degree of negligence and the measures taken to remedy the situation or any other mitigating circumstances.

Justification

Article 144.1 of the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 is moved up as new Article 108.4a of the Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, on the circumstances to be taken into account when imposing exclusion and its duration and/or financial penalties.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 108 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the budget is implemented in indirect management with third countries, the Commission may take an exclusion decision or impose a financial penalty in accordance with the procedure referred to in paragraph 3, following the failure of the third country entrusted pursuant to point (c) of Article 58(1) to do so. This does not affect the responsibility, under Article 60(3), of the third country to prevent, detect and correct irregularities and fraud.

Justification

Alignment with EDF practice to ensure that the Commission can take exclusion decisions if the delegatee fails to do so.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 3

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 110 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) the candidate or tenderer meets the selection criteria specified in the procurement documents.

(c) the candidate or tenderer meets the selection criteria specified in the procurement documents and is not subject to conflicting interests which may negatively affect the performance of the contract.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 162 – paragraph 1

Present text

Amendment

(11a) Article 162(1) is replaced by the following:

1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the Commission and the institutions concerned, by 30 June, any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in the annual report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure. Each institution shall address its reply to the Court of Auditors by 15 October. The replies of institutions other than the Commission shall be sent to the Commission at the same time.

‘1. The Court of Auditors shall transmit to the Commission and the institutions concerned, by 30 June, any observations which are, in its opinion, such that they should appear in the annual report. Those observations shall remain confidential and shall be subject to an adversarial procedure. They shall nevertheless be made available to the European Parliament on request, if appropriate on a confidential basis. Each institution shall address its reply to the Court of Auditors by 15 October. The replies of institutions other than the Commission shall be sent to the Commission at the same time.’

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 164

Present text

Amendment

(11a) Article 164 is replaced by the following:

1. The European Parliament, upon a recommendation from the Council acting by qualified majority, shall, before 15 May of year n + 2, give a discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget for year n.

‘1. The European Parliament, upon a recommendation from the Council acting by qualified majority, shall, before 15 May of year n + 2, give a discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget for year n to the Union institutions and the bodies referred to in Articles 208 and 209.

2. If the date provided for in paragraph 1 cannot be met, the European Parliament or the Council shall inform the Commission of the reasons for the postponement.

2. If the date provided for in paragraph 1 cannot be met, the European Parliament or the Council shall inform the institutions and bodies concerned of the reasons for the postponement.

3. If the European Parliament postpones the decision giving a discharge, the Commission shall make every effort to take measures, as soon as possible, to remove or facilitate removal of the obstacles to that decision.

3. If the European Parliament postpones the decision giving a discharge, the institutions and bodies concerned shall make every effort to take measures, as soon as possible, to remove or facilitate removal of the obstacles to that decision.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 165 – paragraph 3

Present text

Amendment

(11a) Article 165(3) is replaced by the following:

3. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, at the latter’s request, any information required for the smooth application of the discharge procedure for the financial year concerned, in accordance with Article 319 TFEU.

‘3. The Union institutions and bodies shall submit to the European Parliament, at the latter’s request, any information required for the smooth application of the discharge procedure for the financial year concerned, in accordance with Article 319 TFEU.’

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 11 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 166

Present text

Amendment

(11a) Article 166 is replaced by the following:

1. In accordance with Article 319 TFEU and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, the Commission and the other institutions shall take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament’s discharge decision and on the comments accompanying the recommendation for discharge adopted by the Council.

‘1. In accordance with Article 319 TFEU and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, the Commission and the other institutions and bodies shall take all appropriate steps to act on the observations accompanying the European Parliament’s discharge decision and on the comments accompanying the recommendation for discharge adopted by the Council.

2. At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, the institutions shall report on the measures taken in the light of those observations and comments, and, in particular, on the instructions they have given to any of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget. The Member States shall cooperate with the Commission by informing it of the measures they have taken to act on those observations so that the Commission may take them into account when drawing up its own report. The reports from the institutions shall also be transmitted to the Court of Auditors.

2. At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, the other institutions and bodies shall report on the measures taken in the light of those observations and comments, and, in particular, on the instructions they have given to any of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget. The Member States shall cooperate with the Commission by informing it of the measures they have taken to act on those observations so that the Commission may take them into account when drawing up its own report. The reports from the institutions and bodies shall also be transmitted to the Court of Auditors.’

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 14 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 208 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14a) In Article 208 the following paragraph is inserted:

‘3a. Union bodies that are fully self–financed and to which the financial rules laid down in the framework financial regulation referred to in paragraph 1 do not apply should establish, for the sake of consistency, similar rules, where appropriate. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that the fees of those bodies are set at an appropriate level to cover the costs of providing their services and to avoid significant surpluses. In case of surpluses, the money should be assigned to the Union budget.’

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – point 14 a (new)

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012

Article 209

Present text

Amendment

(14a) Article 209 is replaced by the following:

Article 209

‘Article 209

Model Financial Regulation for public-private partnership bodies

Model Financial Regulation for public-private partnership bodies

The bodies having legal personality set up by a basic act and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership shall adopt their financial rules.

1. The bodies having legal personality set up by a basic act and entrusted with the implementation of a public-private partnership shall adopt their financial rules.

Those rules shall include a set of principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds.

Those rules shall include a set of principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt a model financial regulation by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 210 which shall lay down the principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds and which shall be based on Article 60.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt a model Financial Regulation by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 210 which shall lay down the principles necessary to ensure sound financial management of Union funds and which shall be based on Article 60.

The financial rules of those bodies shall not depart from the model financial regulation except where their specific needs so require and with the Commission’s prior consent.

The financial rules of those bodies shall not depart from the model Financial Regulation except where their specific needs so require and with the Commission’s prior consent.

2. Discharge for the implementation of the budget of the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 shall be given by the European Parliament on the recommendation of the Council. Those bodies shall fully cooperate with the institutions involved in the discharge procedure and provide, as appropriate, any additional necessary information, including through attendance at meetings of the relevant bodies.

3. An independent external auditor shall verify that the annual accounts of the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 properly present the income, expenditure and financial position of the relevant body prior to the consolidation in the Commission’s final accounts or by the date set in the financial rules of the relevant body. Unless otherwise provided for in the basic act referred to in the first subparagraph of paragraph 1, the Court of Auditors shall prepare a specific annual report for each body, in accordance with Article 287(1) TFEU. When preparing this report, the Court of Auditors shall take in consideration the work performed by the independent external auditor and the action taken in response to the auditor’s findings.’

Justification

This justification applies also to Article 60 – paragraph 7.

PROCEDURE

Title

Financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

References

COM(2014)0358 – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

3.7.2014

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

CONT

3.7.2014

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Tamás Deutsch

30.9.2014

Discussed in committee

8.1.2015

Date adopted

27.1.2015

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Louis Aliot, Jonathan Arnott, Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Bernd Kölmel, Bogusław Liberadzki, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Dan Nica, Gilles Pargneaux, Georgi Pirinski, Claudia Schmidt, Igor Šoltes, Michael Theurer, Derek Vaughan, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brian Hayes, Andrey Novakov, Julia Pitera

PROCEDURE

Title

Financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union

References

COM(2014)0358 – C8-0029/2014 – 2014/0180(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

17.6.2014

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

3.7.2014

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

AFET

3.7.2014

INTA

3.7.2014

CONT

3.7.2014

ECON

3.7.2014

EMPL

3.7.2014

ENVI

3.7.2014

ITRE

3.7.2014

IMCO

3.7.2014

TRAN

3.7.2014

REGI

3.7.2014

CULT

3.7.2014

JURI

3.7.2014

LIBE

3.7.2014

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

INTA

3.9.2014

ECON

22.7.2014

EMPL

17.9.2014

ENVI

24.7.2014

ITRE

22.7.2014

IMCO

17.7.2014

TRAN

16.7.2014

REGI

22.9.2014

CULT

3.9.2014

JURI

3.9.2014

LIBE

15.7.2014

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Ingeborg Gräßle

24.9.2014

Date adopted

26.2.2015

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Jonathan Arnott, Jean Arthuis, Lefteris Christoforou, Gérard Deprez, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Monika Hohlmeier, Carlos Iturgaiz, Bernd Kölmel, Vladimír Maňka, Clare Moody, Victor Negrescu, Liadh Ní Riada, Urmas Paet, Pina Picierno, Paul Rübig, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Paul Tang, Indrek Tarand, Isabelle Thomas, Inese Vaidere, Marco Valli, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Janusz Lewandowski, Andrey Novakov, Claudia Tapardel

Date tabled

12.3.2015

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – What has the EU achieved?

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – What has been achieved

15 years ago, the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, were put in place by the international community to reduce poverty and improve the lives of people in developing countries. The Millennium Declaration and the MDGs expire at the end of 2015.

They have delivered encouraging results. The European Union and its Member States, together the world’s largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA), have helped make a difference to the lives of millions. The EU has been committed to the Millennium Development Goals since their adoption in 2000 and has progressively adapted its development policy to help achieve them.

However, progress on the MDGs has been unequal around the world. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), builds on the MDGs and helps us to address new challenges.

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

More than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990. The MDG targets of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger have been met even ahead of schedule. Still, the world is far from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. In 2015, an estimated 836 million people still live in extreme poverty and 795 million still suffer from hunger.

The EU is one of the biggest contributors to sustainable agriculture and food security for development. Worldwide, the EU supports more than 60 countries in their efforts to improve food and nutrition security and promote sustainable agriculture and food systems, alleviate hunger, support economic growth and ensure political stability.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

The primary school enrolment rate in developing countries has reached an estimated 91 percent in 2015, up from 83% in 2000. The number of out-of-school children has fallen by almost half since 2000. At the same time, literacy rates for young people aged 15 to 24 increased from 83% in 1990 to projected 91% in 2015.

However, despite enormous progress during the past 15 years, achieving universal primary education will require renewed attention, just as the global community seeks to extend the scope to universal secondary education. 57 million primary-aged children, more than half of whom live in conflict-prone areas, are still not in school.

The EU supports governments in over 40 countries to provide quality education and learning opportunities for all. Half of these countries are fragile and affected by conflict. The EU also works with the Global Partnership for Education, UNICEF, UNESCO, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and the civil society to deliver on education.

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Much progress has been made towards women’s and girls’ equality in education, employment and political representation over the last two decades. However, many gaps remain, particularly in areas that were not addressed in the MDGs. Persistent, pervasive and in some cases unprecedented, violations of women’s rights occur on a daily basis.

EU programmes support women’s political participation, as well as their improved economic and social status. This is done, for example, through facilitating women’s contribution in peace- and state-building processes, and promoting equal inheritance and property rights for men and women. Gender is integrated into sector programmes, ranging from health and education to private sector development, food security and infrastructure.

Since 2004 the EU contribution has helped 300,000 new female students to enrol in secondary education. In addition over 18,000 female higher education students have taken part in EU mobility schemes such as Erasmus Mundus, which provides scholarships to students from developing countries to study in Europe.

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

There has been unprecedented progress in the reduction of deaths of children under five. The under-fives’ mortality rate has halved since 1990, from 90 to a projected 43 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. Effective and affordable treatments, improved service delivery and political commitment have all contributed. However, progress has been insufficient to achieve the target of a two-thirds reduction in deaths of children under five by 2015 and there are still an estimated 16,000 child deaths a day.

EU support and external aid have helped to protect children against many of the major causes of child mortality, but pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria continue to be the main killers of under-fives and in 2013 caused about one-third of all under-five deaths. Globally nearly half of under-five deaths are attributable to under-nutrition.

The EU has worked closely with beneficiary countries and other development partners to address health system weaknesses, and has supported the health sectors of 39 developing countries, with child health as primary target. It also contributes through financial support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis (GFATM), and to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunisations (GAVI).

Thanks to EU support, at least 20 million more children were vaccinated against measles between 2004 and 2014. In 2004-2012 the EU helped build or renovate more than 8,500 health facilities worldwide.

Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

Significant progress has been made in efforts to reduce maternal deaths and ensure universal access to reproductive health, with the maternal mortality ratio being almost halved from 1990 to 2015. However, achievements fell short of the MDG target to reduce the ratio by three-quarters by 2015.

There are profound health disparities among groups that are vulnerable, because of their level of education, place of residence, economic status or age. In addition, country capacity needs to be strengthened to help reduce inequalities in both the availability and the quality of health-related data, as well as registration of births and deaths.

The EU supports governments in more than 30 countries to develop and implement national health policies and strategies, and strengthen health systems to improve access and uptake of life-saving maternal health services and reach universal access to quality and affordable reproductive and sexual health services and information.

Thanks to EU support, over 7.5 million births were attended by skilled health personnel between 2004 and 2012 and almost 17 million consultations on reproductive health took place.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

New HIV infections fell by approximately 40% between 2000 and 2013, from an estimated 3.5 million cases to 2.1 million. Thanks to the expansion of antimalarial healthcare, over 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted between 2000 and 2015, primarily of children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. Tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment saved an estimated 37 million lives from 2000 to 2013.

However, the Ebola crisis has revealed the vulnerability of countries that lack basic health services and the capacity for early detection, comprehensive reporting and a rapid response system for public health outbreaks.

The EU provides substantial financial resources to fight diseases through country programmes, via the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and through research programmes such as the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership.

Thanks to EU support 22.6 million insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed between 2000 and 2014. In addition, 570,000 people with advanced HIV infection have received antiretroviral combination therapy over the same period.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Global targets on access to improved water supplies and reduced numbers of people living in slums have been achieved before the deadline, but the loss of environmental resources and biodiversity has not been halted. The MDG drinking water target coverage was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule.

But much remains to be done: 748 million people – mostly the poor and marginalised – still lack access to an improved drinking water source; nearly half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. On sanitation, coverage of improved sanitation increased from 49% in 1990 to 64% in 2012. But more than one-third of the global population – some 2.5 billion people – still do not have access to sanitation facilities.

Additional efforts are needed and therefore, environmental sustainability is a core pillar of the post-2015 development agenda, particularly given the acute environmental challenges the world is facing, such as climate change, food and water insecurity, and natural disasters.

The EU supports partner countries to promote the sustainable management of natural resources, particularly land, forest, coastal zones and fisheries to protect ecosystems and to combat desertification. In 2007, the EU launched the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) in order to strengthen international cooperation on climate change, committing €316.5 million. The EU currently supports 51 programmes in 38 countries.

Since 2004, EU assistance has provided access to clean water for more than 74 million people and sanitation to over 27 million people.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

The MDGs laid the ground for a true global partnership to deliver on the global goals. Official Development Assistance (ODA) from developed countries increased by 66% in real terms between 2000 and 2014. In 2014, 79% of imports from developing to developed countries were admitted duty free. At the same time developing countries’ access to markets has increased.

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa set out an ambitious and comprehensive range of measures, along with the Means of Implementation in the 2030 Agenda for financing sustainable development, ensuring policy coherence, promoting good governance and national level actions and renewed efforts to mobilise innovation, science and technology for sustainable development.

The EU continues to be the biggest donor in the world, collectively providing more Official Development Assistance (ODA) than all other donors combined (€58.2 billion in 2014). It is committed to achieving the UN target of mobilising a level of ODA that represents 0.7% of the Gross National Income (GNI) within the time frame of the 2030 Agenda.

For more information:

Press release: European Commission welcomes new 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5708_en.htm

Factsheet on the SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-5709_en.htm

Brochure on the EU’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (key results from European Commission programmes):

EN: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/eus-contribution-millennium-development-goals-key-results-european-commission-programmes-0_en

FR: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/contribution-de-lue-aux-objectifs-du-millenaire-pour-le-developpement-principaux-resultats-des-0_fr

ES: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/la-contribucion-de-la-ue-los-objetivos-de-desarrollo-del-milenio-algunos-resultados-clave-de-los_es

DE: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/eu-beitrag-zu-den-millenniumsentwicklungszielen-wesentliche-ergebnisse-von-programmen-der_de

Infograph on the EU’s contribution to the MDGs (in English):

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/eus-contribution-millennium-development-goals-key-results-european-commission-programmes_en

Infograph on the EU’s contribution to the MDGs (in French):

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/contribution-de-lue-aux-objectifs-du-millenaire-pour-le-developpement-principaux-resultats-des_fr

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/mdgoverview/post-2015-development-agenda.html

Answer – Sustainability of lion hunting trophy imports into EU – E-011937/2015

As indicated by the Honourable Member, in February 2015 the Commission amended the rules on the import into the EU of hunting trophies of various species, including the African lion. The aim of these changes is not to ban all imports of hunting trophies but to strengthen controls on these imports so as to ensure that they come from legal and sustainable sources.

The EU Scientific Review Group (SRG), which gathers scientific authorities from all EU Member States reviews information provided by the authorities of exporting countries as well as independent scientific research(1) in order to determine whether the trade in hunting trophies of endangered species represents a risk to populations of these species(2). Imports of such trophies to the EU can be suspended if such risks are identified by the SRG.

In accordance with these rules, imports into the EU of lion trophies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ethiopia are currently suspended. The SRG also agreed that imports from the Central African Republic, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan and Zambia will need to be scrutinised with great attention. The SRG reviewed the situation of imports from Zimbabwe in December 2014 and concluded, based on the scientific information available, that imports of lion trophies from that country were sustainable. The SRG will continue to monitor the situation carefully.

(1) See for example the scientific references available under the following report regarding lions: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/reports/Review%20of%20Panthera%20leo%20from%20trading%20range%20States%20(public).pdf and the recent Red List assessment published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15951/0
(2) SRG decisions are available under the following link: http://www.speciesplus.net/#/taxon_concepts/6353/legal

First U.S. Company to Base Aircraft in Liberia for General Aviation and Aero-Medical Evacuation

MONROVIA, Liberia, Sept. 24, 2015 / PRNewswire — This month Aspen Medical International (AMI) will begin operating a Beechcraft Corporation 1900C (B1900C) from James Spriggs Payne Airport, Monrovia, Liberia. The turboprop will provide general aviation and Aero-Medical Evacuation (AME) services to West Africa including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Niger, & Nigeria.

“Aspen’s mission is to provide healthcare for our clients from point of injury or illness through to definitive care, regionally or internationally, and that means aero-medical evacuation,” said Dr. Tom Crabtree, the Group Medical Director & Board Member of AMI.

Aspen Medical International operates the Aspen Medical Liberia clinic, located in Monrovia, and will soon open Aspen Medical Sierra Leone in Freetown. “Developing an AME capability was the natural next step as we expanded our services in Liberia and West Africa,” Dr. Crabtree added.

The aircraft’s deployment is the result strategic partnership with Red Apple Aviation, Inc. (U.S.), AAL USA, Inc., Liberty Airlines, Inc., and HALO Aviation.

For over 40 years, Red Apple Aviation, Inc. has provided aircraft for business and humanitarian applications globally. AAL USA, Inc., an Alabama-based aviation solutions provider, offers a wide variety of fixed and rotary wing services around the world.

HALO Aviation, operating from Johannesburg, South Africa offers tailor made aviation solutions for local and cross border clients throughout Southern Africa.

Monrovia-based Liberty Airlines, Inc. has a proven track record working with the oil and gas community, providing ad hoc and contract time fixed and rotary wing services to companies operating in the Mano River Union and Gulf of Guinea.

The B1900C will operate under HALO Aviation’s Part 135 and Part 138 Air Operating Certificates. The Part 138 is the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s endorsement to conduct AME operations.

The 138 certification is the highest standard available on the Continent, and commensurate with European and United States standards. Under the Part 138 Operating Certificate, all aircrew are required to attend a professionally developed and detailed Part 138 Training Course.

The B1900C can ferry up to 19 passengers and is able to support critical AME using specially configured Spectrum AeroMed advanced life support equipment.

Individuals interested in additional details regarding the aircraft or information on how to acquire services should contact Steve Guiney (steve.guiney@aspenmedicalintl.com) or Cynthia Green (cynthiag@aspenmedicalintl.com) for more information.

Any media inquires should contact Joshua C. Huminski (joshua@aspenmedicalintl.com).

Aspen Medical International is a leading provider of healthcare solutions in remote and challenging environments. Aspen provides clients in the public and private sectors enabling services, allowing them to focus on their core mission, confident that a proven and trusted partner stands ready to provide preventive health services and reactive assistance in the event of an emergency. Visit www.aspenmedicalintl.com for more information.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150924/270488

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150924/270487LOGO