2008/509/EC: Decision of the European Parliament of 24 April 2007 on the discharge for implementation of the budget of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005


Published: 2008-04-24

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15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/85
DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
of 24 April 2007
on the discharge for implementation of the budget of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005
(2008/509/EC)
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,
having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005 (1),
having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the final annual accounts of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005, together with the Foundation's replies (2),
having regard to the Council's Recommendation of 27 February 2007 (5711/2007 — C6-0080/2007),
having regard to the EC Treaty, and in particular Article 276 thereof,
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 (3), and in particular Article 185 thereof,
having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (4), and in particular Article 16 thereof,
having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (5), and in particular Article 94 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 and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0098/2007),

1.

Grants the executive director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions discharge for the implementation of the Foundation's 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 executive director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, 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 C 266, 31.10.2006, p. 37.

(2)  OJ C 312, 19.12.2006, p. 80.

(3)  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).

(4)  OJ L 139, 30.5.1975, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1111/2005 (OJ L 184, 15.7.2005, p. 1).

(5)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.


15.7.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 187/86
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 budget of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,
having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005 (1),
having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the final annual accounts of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the financial year 2005, together with the Foundation's replies (2),
having regard to the Council's Recommendation of 27 February 2007 (5711/2007 — C6-0080/2007),
having regard to the EC Treaty, and in particular Article 276 thereof,
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 (3), and in particular Article 185 thereof,
having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (4), and in particular Article 16 thereof,
having regard to Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (5), and in particular Article 94 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 and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0098/2007),

A.

whereas the Court of Auditors stated that it obtained reasonable assurance that the annual accounts for the financial year ended 31 December 2005 were reliable and that the underlying transactions, taken as a whole, were legal and regular,

B.

whereas on 27 April 2006 Parliament gave discharge to the director in respect of the implementation of the Foundation's budget for the 2004 financial year (6) and in the Resolution accompanying the discharge Decision Parliament, inter alia,



noted the Court of Auditors' finding that 37 % of appropriations carried over into 2005 related to commitments entered into in December 2004 and that the majority of these related contracts for studies to be carried out in 2005,



reminded the Foundation of the principle of budget annuality and urged it to respect this principle in order to allow a correct and transparent implementation of the budgets set by the Budgetary Authority;
General points concerning the majority of EU Agencies requiring individual discharge

1.

Considers that the ever-growing number of Community Agencies and the activities of certain of them do not seem to form part of an overall policy framework, and that the remits of some Agencies do not always reflect the real needs of the Union or the expectations of its citizens, and notes that in general terms the Agencies do not always have a good image or a good press;

2.

Invites the Commission therefore to define an overall policy framework for the setting up of new Community Agencies and to present a cost-benefit study before the setting up of any new agency, while being careful to avoid any overlap of activities between Agencies or with the remits of other European organisations;

3.

Calls on the Court of Auditors to give its opinion on the cost-benefit study before Parliament takes its decision;

4.

Invites the Commission to present every five years a study on the added value of every existing Agency; invites all relevant institutions in the case of a negative evaluation of the added value of an Agency to take the necessary steps by reformulating the mandate of that Agency or by closing it;

5.

Considers it regrettable, given the growing number of regulatory agencies, that the negotiations on the draft interinstitutional agreement on the operating framework for the European regulatory agencies have not yet been concluded, and calls on the relevant departments of the Commission, in consultation with the Court of Auditors, to do their utmost to ensure that the agreement is brought to a rapid conclusion;

6.

Notes that the Commission's budgetary responsibility calls for closer linking of the Agencies to the Commission; calls on the Commission and the Council to take all necessary steps to give the Commission a blocking minority in the supervisory bodies of the regulatory Agencies by 31 December 2007 and to provide for such a minority from the outset when new Agencies are set up;

7.

Invites the Court of Auditors to create an additional chapter in its Annual Report, devoted to all Agencies to be discharged under the Commission's accounts in order to have a much clearer picture of the use of EU funds by Agencies;

8.

Recalls the principle according to which all Community Agencies, whether subsidised or not, are subject to discharge by the Parliament, even where a discharge authority exists by virtue of their constitutive texts;

9.

Calls on the Court of Auditors to perform performance audits for all Agencies and to report back to the relevant committees of Parliament, including the Committee on Budgetary Control;

10.

Notes that the number of Agencies is constantly increasing and that, in accordance with the Commission's political responsibility for the operation of the Agencies, which goes far beyond mere logistical support, there is an even higher need for the Directorates-General of the Commission charged with the setting up and monitoring of Agencies to develop a common approach to the Agencies; considers that a structure similar to the one created by the Agencies for coordination among the DGs concerned would be a pragmatic way forward towards a common approach by the Commission on all matters relating to the Agencies;

11.

Invites the Commission to improve administrative and technical support to the Agencies, taking into account the growing complexity of the Community's administrative rules and technical problems;

12.

Notes the lack of a disciplinary body in any of the Community Agencies, and calls on the Commission to take the necessary steps to ensure that such a mechanism is rapidly put in place;

13.

Welcomes the considerable improvements in the coordination among the Agencies, which allows them to tackle recurring problems and makes cooperation with the Commission and Parliament more efficient;

14.

Takes the view that the establishment by a number of Agencies of a shared support service aimed at making their computerised financial management systems consistent with those of the Commission is a measure that should be taken further and extended;

15.

Calls upon the Agencies to improve their cooperation and benchmarking with actors in the field; urges the Commission to adopt any measures it considers necessary to help the Agencies enhance their image and raise the profile of their activities;

16.

Calls upon the Commission to come up with a proposal to harmonise the format of the annual reporting by the Agencies and to develop performance indicators which would allow a comparison of their efficiency;

17.

Invites the Agencies to present at the beginning of every year performance indicators against which they could be measured;

18.

Invites all Agencies to increasingly use SMART objectives which should lead to more realistic planning and implementation of goals;

19.

Agrees with the Court of Auditors that the Commission also bears responsibility for the (financial) management of the Agencies; therefore, urges the Commission to monitor and where necessary direct and help the management of the different Agencies, especially in relation to the proper application of tender procedures, transparency of recruitment procedures, sound financial management (underspending and overbudgeting) and most importantly the proper application of the rules concerning the internal control framework;

20.

Considers that the Agencies' work programmes should express their contributions in operational and measurable terms and that due consideration should be given to the Commission's Internal Control Standards;
Specific points

21.

Invites the Foundation to pay better attention to carry-over rates in 2005 in respect to commitments for administrative expenditure (Title II) and operating activities (Title III), which remained high at 37 % and 44 % respectively;

22.

Invites the Commission and the Foundation to continue to clarify the situation of non-cancelled appropriations;

23.

Invites the Foundation to present a work programme which expresses its contribution in operational and measurable terms;

24.

Considers the Foundation to be a source of important information for all EU institutions, for political decision-making and for the general public;

25.

Is worried that there was in 2005 no comprehensive document analysing the risks arising from the financial and operational aspects of the Foundation's activities, nor a validation of the procedures introduced by the Authorising Officers in order to ensure the accuracy and the exhaustivity of the financial information it sent to the Accounting Officer, except as regards data-processing aspects;

26.

Encourages the Foundation to continue its efforts to improve further its methods of communication in order to ensure that the public can be better informed about the findings of its studies and that the public debate on important issues, such as the effects and causes of restructuring measures by companies, is thereby enhanced.

(1)  OJ C 266, 31.10.2006, p. 37.

(2)  OJ C 312, 19.12.2006, p. 80.

(3)  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).

(4)  OJ L 139, 30.5.1975, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1111/2005 (OJ L 184, 15.7.2005, p. 1).

(5)  OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.

(6)  OJ L 340. 6.12.2006, p. 69.