Tweede lezing van 2007 over EU-budget afgerond in begrotingscommissie (en)

dinsdag 5 december 2006

Begroting - 05-12-2006 - 18:24

The Budgets Committee is proposing to Parliament's plenary a draft EU budget for 2007 amounting to €115.5 billion in payment appropriations. Aside from the figures, MEPs won two victories: a firm commitment by the Council to provide Parliament with adequate and regular information on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and an agreement on the Financial Regulation. The committee also recommends dropping the idea of placing part of the Commission's administrative budget in reserve.

The total figure of €115.5 billion to be recommended by the Budgets Committee for adoption in plenary at second reading is equivalent to 0.9877% of gross national income of the EU27 and represents an increase of around €3.6 billion over the 2006 budget.

In the run-up to the Budgets Committee's second-reading vote, MEPs agreed not to put part of the Commission's administrative expenditure in the reserve.  The Commission undertook in a letter to take account of Parliament's concerns in connection with the "screening" exercise, or assessment, to be conducted by the Commission, the results of which are expected by 30 April 2007.  The Commission will also respond to the proposals contained in the annual policy strategy to be adopted by Parliament in February 2007.

Breakdown of payment appropriations

In the wake of the EP-Council accord on the total figure for payments in 2007, the Budgets Committee voted on the allocation to be made among the different budget lines remaining "open" at second reading.  €195 million had to be distributed among lines regarded as priorities by Parliament.

The most important increases in payments include: a combined total of +29 million for competitiveness and innovation (final amount 130 million); +20 million for the Lifelong Learning programme (583.6 million) and +17 million for the external frontiers fund (95 million).

Breakthrough on CFSP

A breakthrough in the negotiations had been achieved on 28 November by an exchange of letters between the Council Presidency and the EP which, with regard to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), states that Parliament will be provided with "timely information on planned individual CFSP/ESDP actions". This would straightaway cover the "proposed ESDP [European Security and Defence Policy] mission to Kosovo" regarding which the EP would be given information on the objectives and financial implications.

In response to this undertaking, the Budgets Committee proposes to restore the level of funding for the CFSP to €159.2 million by using the unspent funds in heading 4 and a new breakdown of funds in that same heading, with the result that there will be no need to use the flexibility instrument under the 2007 budget.

Financial Regulation: what Parliament gained

An integral part of the package deal with the Council is an agreement between the two arms of the budgetary authority on the Financial Regulation. Although this matter was dealt with under a consultation procedure, Parliament's rapporteur, Ingeborg Grässle (EPP-ED, DE), reached agreement with the Council on a number of points regarded as crucial by MEPs.

One of the key points of the deal relates to the creation of a database designed to exclude contractors who are "in situations of exclusion". This tool will shared by the EU institutions and agencies, and in it the Commission will list companies which, for example, are bankrupt, subject to court judgements or conflicts of interest. This will mean they are excluded from calls for tender issued by the Institutions.


Lastly, a declaration states that the potential legal vacuum threatening the environmental protection programme Life+ between the start of 2007 and the adoption of the corresponding legal basis will be addressed by allocating €15 million to "transitional measures".

Parliament's plenary holds its second reading vote on the 2007 budget on Thursday 14 December in Strasbourg.


REF.: 20061204IPR00924