2008/501/EC: Decision of the European Parliament of 24 April 2007 on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section IV - Court of Justice


Published: 2008-04-24

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15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/56


DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section IV — Court of Justice

(2008/501/EC)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Communities for the financial year 2005 — Volume I (C6-0467/2006) (2),

having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2005 and the Court of Auditors' special reports, together with the audited institutions' replies (3),

having regard to the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (4),

having regard to Articles 272(10), 274, 275 and 276 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (5), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

having regard to Rule 71 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A6-0109/2007),

1.

Grants the Court of Justice's Registrar discharge for implementation of the Court of Justice budget for the financial year 2005;

2.

Sets out its observations in the Resolution below;

3.

Instructs its President to forward this Decision and the Resolution that forms an integral part of it to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor, and to arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (L series).

The President

Hans-Gert PÖTTERING

The Secretary-General

Harald RØMER


(1)  OJ L 60, 8.3.2005.

(2)  OJ C 264, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 10.

(5)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).



15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/57


RESOLUTION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

of 24 April 2007

with observations forming an integral part of the Decision on the discharge for implementation of the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005, Section IV — Court of Justice

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

having regard to the European Union general budget for the financial year 2005 (1),

having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Communities for the financial year 2005 — Volume I (C6-0467/2006) (2),

having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on implementation of the budget for the financial year 2005 and the Court of Auditors' special reports, together with the audited institutions' replies (3),

having regard to the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (4),

having regard to Articles 272(10), 274, 275 and 276 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (5), and in particular Articles 50, 86, 145, 146 and 147 thereof,

having regard to Rule 71 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A6-0109/2007),

1.

Notes that in 2005 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had available commitment appropriations amounting to a total of EUR 232 602 467,74 (2004: 235 041 565) with a utilisation rate of 92,66 %;

2.

Notes that following the introduction of accrual accounting with effect from 1 January 2005 the ECJ's financial statements disclose a negative economic out-turn for the year (EUR 30 747 924) and an excess of liabilities over assets of EUR 43 902 361;

3.

Notes that the ECJ's balance sheet includes an amount of EUR 105 879 903 corresponding to its liability in respect of judges' pensions; points out that this liability is offset partly by the ECJ's tangible and intangible fixed assets and partly by an amount to be called up from the Member States (EUR 43 902 361);

4.

Recalls that in paragraph 9.21 of the Annual Report concerning the financial year 2004 the European Court of Auditors (ECA) criticised the fact that the head of the Internal Audit Service was responsible for ex ante verification of the authorising officers' operations; points out that the same situation was noted concerning the financial year 2005 (Annual Report paragraph 10.13);

5.

Welcomes the information contained in the replies by the ECJ to the ECA's Annual Report that, in the light of the comments made in this regard by the control and discharge authorities, the administration of the ECJ, in the course of preparing the estimate of the revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2007, proposed modifying this organisation by creating an administrative unit with exclusive competence for verification, which to this end would be provided with two new posts (one administrator responsible for management and an assistant to reinforce the team responsible for verifications);

6.

Notes with satisfaction the information contained in the ECJ's replies to the ECA's Annual Report (paragraph 10.14) that after having become fully operational in September 2005 the ECJ's Internal Auditor carried out some specific audits and addressed recommendations to the services concerned (the absence of such specific audits having been criticised in previous years);

7.

Congratulates the ECJ on having reduced the number of negotiated contracts as a proportion of the number of contracts awarded from 72 % in 2004 to 27 % in 2005; notes, however, with concern its difficulties in recruiting qualified staff for several posts on the basis of the competitions organised by EPSO;

8.

Notes that in 2005 the development of the ECJ as an institution was notable chiefly for the taking-up of its duties by the Civil Service Tribunal, composed of seven judges;

9.

Notes with satisfaction that the number of completed cases per year in the ECJ rose from 494 in 2003 to 574 in 2005 while the number of cases pending fell from 974 to 740;

10.

Points out that in 2005 the number of officials and agents (members of auxiliary and temporary staff, contract agents) in service rose over the year from 1 512 to 1 704 (13 %) and the number of Members grew by eight (as a result of the creation of the Civil Service Tribunal);

11.

Notes with concern the repeated references, in a number of administrative sectors described in the ECJ's activity report, to problems in recruiting qualified staff covered by the Staff Regulations;

12.

Notes that no ex post verifications were carried out in 2005;

13.

Welcomes the inclusion in the ECJ's activity report of a chapter setting out the follow-up given during the year to earlier discharge decisions by the European Parliament and reports by the ECA;

14.

Notes that following the creation of the Civil Service Tribunal and the accession of Bulgaria and Romania the overall number of judges, advocates-general and registrars has now reached 72 and that the ECJ's expenditure on vehicles has increased by some 50 % from EUR 809 853,24 in 2005 (out-turn) to EUR 1 218 000 in 2007 (budget estimate);

15.

Notes that at the ECJ ex ante verification is carried out on the basis of a centralised system connected by line management to the Authorising Officer by Delegation and the ECJ's view that this appears to be the most suitable system, having regard to the size of the institution and the purely administrative nature of its financial transactions;

16.

Notes with satisfaction that following the comments contained in its previous year's discharge resolution, the Members of the Institution have agreed to set up, among themselves, a working group with the task of conducting a study on the advisability of drawing up a code of conduct applicable to them and of the contents of any such code; the question of a declaration of the Member's financial interests forms part of that study; notes that the Court of First Instance and the Civil Service Tribunal are also associated with this initiative;

17.

Stresses the repeated request of the European Parliament for publication of the declarations of economic and financial interests made by the judges of all three courts; calls on the ECJ to inform Parliament by 30 September 2007 of what appropriate measures it will take;

18.

Notes with satisfaction the measures taken by the ECJ to reduce the quantity of documents to be translated which contributes to a reduction of the workload of translators; also calls upon the ECJ to explore the possibility of reducing the length of rulings in order to contribute to a further reduction in costs and to a better understanding of these rulings.


(1)  OJ L 60, 8.3.2005.

(2)  OJ C 264, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 10.

(5)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).