MIL-OSI Europe: REPORT on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – A9-0281/2021

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Source: European Parliament

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 (11352/2021 – C9‑0353/2021 – 2021/0227(BUD))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

 having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

 having regard to Council Decision (EU, Euratom) 2020/2053 of 14 December 2020 on the system of own resources of the European Union and repealing Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom[1],

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014 and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012[2]  (the ‘Financial Regulation’),

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027 (the ‘MFF Regulation’)[3], and to the joint declarations agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission in this context[4], as well as to the related unilateral declarations[5],

 having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources[6],

 having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law),

 having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2019, on “The European Green Deal” (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to its resolution of 25 March 2021 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Section III – Commission[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 29 April 2021 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2022[8],

 having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022, which the Commission adopted on 9 July 2021 (COM(2021)0300) (the ‘DB’),

 having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022, which the Council adopted on 6 September 2021 and forwarded to Parliament on 10 September 2021 (11352/2021 – C9‑0353/2021),

 having regard to Rule 94 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the committees concerned,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0281/2021),

Section III

General overview

1. Recalls that, in its abovementioned resolution of 25 March 2021 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2022 budget, Parliament defined clear political priorities for the 2022 budget to support the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, to boost investments and tackle unemployment, and to lay the foundations for a more resilient and sustainable Union; reaffirms its strong commitment to those priorities and sets out the following position to ensure an appropriate level of financing to deliver on them;

 

2.  Believes that the Union budget must be equipped with the tools to enable it to respond to multiple crises simultaneously; reiterates Parliament’s view that 2022 should be a full implementation year and the 2022 budget should play a pivotal role in ensuring a positive and tangible impact on citizens’ lives; against this background, supports increases to boost investment with a particular focus on SMEs, which are a cornerstone of the Union economy and play a crucial role in delivering excellent quality investment and job creation in all Member States, to strengthen efforts towards the green and digital transitions, to give fresh opportunities to young people and to provide protection to children, to build a strong European Health Union and to support COVAX programme; reinforces, further, priorities in the fields of security, migration, asylum and integration, fundamental rights and Union values, while acknowledging the recent deteriorating situation in external policy and humanitarian aid and the need to be able to react swiftly as well in the medium and long term to the upcoming challenges;

 

3. Takes note of Council’s position on the DB, cutting EUR 1,43 billion in commitment appropriations for the MFF headings compared to the Commission’s proposal; considers that the cuts proposed by the Council follow the usual top-down approach of implementing an overall arbitrary reduction target, which is neither driven by an objective assessment of implementation trends nor absorption capacities and does not reflect the multitude of challenges the Union is facing or the commitments the Union has entered into; points out the contradiction with core shared policy priorities; concludes that the Council’s position is far from Parliament’s expectations for a recovery budget; decides therefore, as a general rule, to restore appropriations on all lines cut by the Council to the level of the DB, for both operational and administrative expenditure, and to take the DB as the starting point to build its position upon; accepts, however, to enter EUR 1 299 million in both commitment and payment appropriations in 2022 for the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) as this reflects the political agreement on the BAR Regulation;

 

4. Insists that new policy priorities or tasks must be accompanied by fresh resources, and that creating an agency or expanding its mandate should not come at the expense of existing programmes or agencies; compensates, therefore, reductions in appropriations for funding programmes proposed by the Commission to reinforce the financial envelopes of decentralised agencies; underlines the fact that proper coordination and synergies between agencies are needed to increase the effectiveness of their work, especially where there is convergence towards specific policy objectives, in order to allow for the fair and efficient use of public money;

5. Takes note, in this context, of the recent initiative on a European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA); expresses deep concern over Parliament’s exclusion from the decision-making procedure for establishing such an authority; points, further, to the important budgetary implications of this initiative and the need for Parliament to be also able to fully exercise its role as one arm of the budgetary authority; is strongly opposed to any financing architecture that would redeploy funds away from key objectives and actions initially planned and agreed upon by the co-legislators under Horizon Europe, EU4Health and RescEU; highlights, in this context, the need to ensure adequate funding for Europe’s Beating Cancer plan as a priority objective for the Union budget, which should not be jeopardised as a result of redeployments in favour of other policy initiatives; underlines that the timing of such an initiative has not made it possible for Parliament to take it into account in its reading on the 2022 budget; expects that this issue be addressed during the budgetary conciliation on the 2022 budget and calls for other means of funding to be explored for this purpose;

 

6. Stresses, also, that the Commission announced a package in favour of refugees from Syria and beyond after the publication of its DB; in that respect, calls for a comprehensive agreement to be found on the overall package in the budgetary conciliation on the 2022 budget, which would also include Draft Amending Budget No 5/2021; acknowledges that further measures will be needed to adequately respond to the recent events in Afghanistan, including support for citizens, including women and girls, children, vulnerable groups, as well as heavily targeted risk groups, such as researchers, teachers, doctors, and scholars, who do not have the possibility to continue their life and work in Afghanistan; underlines that, given the changing situation and the lack of a comprehensive and longer-term needs assessment, these issues could not be fully factored into the Parliament’s reading and will be reassessed in the light of the Commission’s Amending Letter 1/2022 and subsequent information presented at a later stage;

 

7. Decides to reinforce lines that have an excellent implementation rate and the operational capacity to absorb the additional appropriations in 2022; indicates that, for the purpose of adequately financing the pressing priorities expressed above, the Flexibility Instrument needs to be fully mobilised, and a partial use of the Single Margin Instrument (amount offset against current year margins) will further be required; requests, moreover, the entire amount of the 2020 decommitments to be made available in line with Art 15(3) of the Financial Regulation in 2022;

8. Underlines the need to restore the level of the DB for the financing cost of the European Union Recovery Instrument (EURI) to avoid giving a negative signal towards the financial markets, pending any reassessment of forecasted needs by the Commission in conciliation; reiterates its clear position, as defended in the 2021-2027 MFF negotiations, that the NGEU interest costs and repayments should be counted over and above the MFF ceilings;

 

9. Underlines the importance of supporting climate action and environmental protection by providing additional resources for the relevant Union programmes and instruments in 2022; emphasises, once again, that in the spirit of climate mainstreaming, efforts should be enhanced across all policy areas with a view to achieving the overall target for climate spending over the entire MFF 2021-2027 of at least 30 % of the total amount of the Union budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument expenditure; stresses, furthermore, the need for continuous work towards providing 7,5 % of annual spending under the MFF for biodiversity objectives in 2024, and 10 % as of 2026; insists that Parliament be fully involved in the development of more robust, transparent and comprehensive methodologies for implementing and tracking such expenditure, and remains committed to the annual consultations and close cooperation with the Commission and the Council, as laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement; recalls that,for the implementation of the Green Deal, it is essential that funding is only awarded for activities which are in line with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle and consistent with the Paris Agreement;

 

10. Recalls that women have been disproportionately affected by the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis; underlines the importance of gender mainstreaming in all relevant programmes in the 2022 budget and of the implementation of gender-responsive budgeting to ensure that women and men benefit equally from public spending; calls, in this context, on the Commission to accelerate the introduction of an effective, transparent and comprehensive methodology, in close cooperation with Parliament, to measure relevant gender expenditure, as set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement, in order to be able to show tangible results for the 2022 budget and in view of the extension of the methodology to all MFF programmes; calls, furthermore, for the swift implementation of the EU gender equality strategy 2020-2025 and the need for additional actions, in particular training and initiatives to foster gender equality and fight gender bias;

 

11. Sets, therefore, the overall level of appropriations for the 2022 budget (all sections) at EUR 171 802 114 290 in commitment appropriations, representing an increase of EUR 4 008 766 380 compared to the DB; decides in addition to make available an amount of EUR 486 000 000 in commitment appropriations further to decommitments under Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation; sets the overall level of appropriations for the 2022 budget (all sections) at EUR 172 467 593 189 in payment appropriations;

Heading 1 – Single market, Innovation and Digital

12. Considers that a successful research and innovation programme is essential for the Union’s future prosperity; stresses that Horizon Europe, which has very high European added value, will make a critically important contribution to the Green Deal and efforts towards a climate-neutral economy, to a successful digital transition and to the recovery of the Union economy from the pandemic; highlights in particular the need to bolster Union investment in health research, including funding for cancer research; stresses the excellent implementation rate of this programme, reflecting its ability to absorb additional appropriations in next year’s budget; increases, therefore, the allocation of Horizon Europe over the level of the DB by EUR 305 million in commitment appropriations;

 

13. Supports the proposal in the DB to make available EUR 77,3 million in decommitments for the three clusters referred to in the relevant Joint political statement attached to the Horizon Europe regulation[9]; notes, however, that the remaining 2020 research decommitments amount to EUR 408,7 million; reiterates its strong conviction that this unexpectedly high amount of research decommitments, which was not forecast by the Commission during the MFF negotiations, should be made available in their entirety under Horizon Europe, in full compliance with Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation; believes strongly that, in the light of the continuing health crisis, half of the remaining amount should go towards the Cluster Health;

 

14. Stresses that the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) plays an absolutely crucial role in the building of high-quality, sustainable, affordable, interconnected trans-European transport, energy and digital networks and is therefore at the heart of efforts to strengthen the Union economy and make a success of the green and digital transitions; recalls that CEF makes a very significant contribution to the overall target of at least 30% climate expenditure from the MFF and Next Generation EU (NGEU); notes that CEF plays an essential role in boosting economic, social and territorial cohesion and in promoting interconnectivity across the Union territory; proposes therefore to increase the funding for the three CEF strands by a total amount of EUR 207,3 million in commitment appropriations above the level of the DB;

 

15. Stresses the need to bridge the digital divide and strengthen the Union’s resilience and digital sovereignty; believes that the Digital Europe Programme is a vital tool in increasing rates of digitalisation in the Union, thereby leading to significant productivity gains, and in helping to bolster investments in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence; recalls the need to support businesses, especially innovative digital SMEs and start-ups; considers, moreover, that additional appropriations are required to promote digital inclusion and digital literacy and skills across Europe, with a particular focus on women’s digital literacy; proposes therefore to increase the amount allocated to the programme by just over EUR 71 million;

 

16. Supports increases to the various strands of the Single Market Cluster by a total amount of just over EUR 37 million in commitment appropriations above the level of the DB; underlines the importance of an adequately funded Single Market Programme to boost competitiveness, promote entrepreneurship, and effectively support small businesses, including start-ups, with the significant, dual challenge of a green and digital transition; draws particular attention, therefore, to the need to significantly increase the budget line dedicated to improving the competitiveness of enterprises and their access to markets, considering in particular the severe and long-lasting consequences of the health crisis on SMEs;

 

17. Highlights its long-standing request for a dedicated budget line and allocation for tourism, particularly considering the severe contraction that the sector, which includes many SMEs, has experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; acknowledges that several EU programmes contribute to the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the sector, but strongly believes that an EU tourism programme would ensure more coordinated, visible and transparent action that would effectively support the sector’s recovery and would put it on a path towards a sustainable future;

 

18. Considers InvestEU to be a cornerstone of the recovery strategy and underlines the need for sufficient funding to be made available in the 2022 budget so that the programme can deliver without delay on its objectives and the rebuilding of European long-term competitiveness; stresses, moreover, the importance of the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal in strengthening the investment and business environment across the Union; rejects, therefore, all cuts to this programme proposed by Council and decides, as a minimum requirement, to restore all relevant budget lines to the level of the DB;

 

19. Decides to create a reserve conditional on further improvements in the governance of the International Accounting Standards Board operating under the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation in line with the demands contained in the European Parliament resolution of 7 June 2016 (2016/2006(INI)); decides to create a reserve for the European Banking Authority (EBA) in light of the serious deficiencies and shortcomings identified by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) in its Special Report 13/2021 as regards the lack of sufficient action in the area of anti-money laundering / counterterrorist financing until the ECA recommendations are fully complied with;

20. Reinforces the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), in line with the identified needs of this agency, to ensure it can adequately fulfil its role in supporting the transition towards the decarbonisation of transport modes, also for segments where direct electrification is complex, and to ensure an overall level playing-field with other modes, ensuring, inter alia, the completion of rail missing links, particularly cross-border ones; highlights that a greater number of staff is necessary for the Agency to cope with the high demand for issuing vehicle authorisations (VA), single safety certificates (SSC) and ERTMS trackside approvals (TA) and the implementation of the 4th Railway Package;

 

21. Increases therefore the level of commitment appropriations for Heading 1 by EUR 668 593 067 above the DB (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using the available margin and mobilising the special instruments; moreover, makes available to the heading an overall amount of EUR 486 000 000 in commitment appropriations corresponding to de-commitments made under Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation;

Sub-heading 2a – Economic, social and territorial cohesion

22. Decides to create a separate budget line under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), to provide a special additional allocation to foster the implementation of the European Child Guarantee in order to contribute to eradicate child poverty and to meet targets of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action plan, while mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic on children; reinforces, for this purpose, Sub-heading 2a by EUR 700 000 000 above the DB in commitment appropriations (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using the available margin and mobilising the special instruments;

23. Recalls that the support of the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU) to the ESF+ and to the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) should contribute to provide notably for job creation and quality employment, in particular for people in vulnerable situations, and for social inclusion and poverty eradication measures, notably on child poverty;

Sub-heading 2b – Resilience and values

24. Emphasises, in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the need to build up a strong European Health Union and strengthen resilience of the health systems; decides therefore to increase resources of the EU4Health Programme by EUR 80 million;

 

25. Underlines that additional resources should notably be allocated for sexual and reproductive health and right services (SRHR), particularly to ensure timely and free access, as well as quality of services;

26. Emphasises that youth remains an overarching priority for the Union budget; reinforces therefore funding to meet increasing demand for the Erasmus+ programme by a total amount of just over EUR 137 million, as a 5% increase represents an additional 40,000 mobility exchanges and is an important step to compensate for last years’ missed opportunities; recalls that Erasmus+ is a key flagship programme and one of the most successful Union programmes with strategic investment in the future of the Union and of its citizens; recalls that insufficient funding for the Erasmus+ programme would endanger the continued creation of new opportunities for young people and their increased employability; furthermore increases the European Solidarity Corps by EUR 5 million as the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic should not adversely affect support for the youth;

 

27. Stresses that for emergency situations, including those connected to the increasingly severe impact of climate change, sufficient resources must be mobilised in the Union budget; highlights, in this context, the relevance of increasing the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU) by EUR 10 million, in particular in relation to the natural disasters in Europe, to enhance the protection of EU citizens and strengthen preparedness in the event of future disasters due to climate change; stresses therefore the need to invest in climate mitigation and adaptation for particularly vulnerable regions and rebuild them in a more sustainable way;

 

28. Proposes, further, a reinforcement to the Culture strand of the Creative Europe Programme by EUR 10 million to support Europe’s cultural and creative sectors and creative industry, particularly hit by the COVID-19 crisis, in the recovery; underlines that no funding from any of Creative Europe’s three strands should be used for financing projects in the framework of the New European Bauhaus initiative;

 

29. Stresses the crucial role of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme to strengthen European citizenship and democracy, equality and gender equality and the rule of law in the Union, as well as to support victims of gender-based violence, and insists that additional appropriations are required to support these objectives; increases the Justice Programme to offset the proposed cut to finance increased tasks for the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA) under the e-CODEX proposal;

30. Decides to increase the budget for “Multimedia actions”, to create a reserve in order to encourage the Commission to provide more stability and predictability for radio networks covering EU affairs with funding covering at least two years and to clarify the different objectives financed through this budget line; increases, also, appropriations on social dialogue in order to enhance social dialogue and to support in particular national social partners in the response to the COVID-19 crisis and its long-term consequences;

 

31. Deems it necessary to increase appropriations for the Turkish Cypriot Community budget line for the purpose of contributing decisively to the continuation and intensification of the mission of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, and of supporting the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, thereby promoting trust and reconciliation between the two communities;

32. Reinforces the Employment and Social Innovation strand of ESF+ with a focus on advancing women’s participation in the labour market;

 

33. Recalls the important role played by the decentralised agencies active under this Sub-heading; decides to increase funding for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) in line with the identified needs of those agencies; increases, further, staffing levels for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), FRA and Eurojust; emphasises also the importance to further assess and possibly further increase funding in line with the needs of Union agencies dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis in the future, in particular of the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) in light of the amended founding regulation;

 

34. Underlines the importance to enhance the protection of the Union budget against fraud and irregularities; reiterates, in this context, the fundamental role that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) plays in protecting the financial interests of the Union, including the use of funds from Next Generation EU, as well as ensuring the respect of the rule of law; decides, therefore, to apply targeted reinforcements to the EPPO and increase its staffing levels to allow the body to fulfil its duties in line with the requirements to fulfil its mandate; calls on the Commission, in light of the difficulties experienced by the EPPO in recruiting the necessary staff to fulfil its mandate in 2021, to show the necessary flexibility to ensure that appropriations agreed by the budgetary authority can be fully implemented going forward; points out the significant backlog of cases and the fact that after only some weeks of operations the EPPO has registered more than 1.000 reports of fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union, which underlines the urgency of the request;

 

35. Reinforces Sub-heading 2b overall by EUR 296 065 210 above the DB in commitment appropriations (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using the available margin and mobilising the special instruments;

Heading 3 – Natural Resources and Environment

36. Observes that the COVID-19 pandemic has served to emphasise the strategic role that agriculture plays in avoiding a food crisis by providing safe, high-quality food at affordable prices all over Europe; insists that additional support measures under some budget lines for selected agricultural sectors, namely the support for the school scheme, young farmers and apiculture, need to be funded in 2022 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

37. Stresses the urgent need to act on climate change, as underlined by the latest IPPC report published on 9 August 2021; recalls, the importance of the LIFE programme in supporting and underpinning climate action and environmental protection in the Union; in light of the programme’s remarkable absorption capacity, reinforces budgetary support for LIFE by EUR 171 million (25 % above the DB) across the various programme strands;

 

38. Stresses the need to significantly increase the budget of the European Environment Agency to provide sufficient financial and staff resources to enable full implementation of the European Green Deal and its related policies, and to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; underlines that the reinforcement of the European Environment Agency should not be financed from the LIFE programme, which has not been intended by the co-legislators for such purposes;

 

39. Calls, therefore, for a reinforcement of allocations under Heading 3 by EUR 212 750 473 in commitment appropriations above DB levels (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using part of the available margin;

 

40. Recalls that traditionally, an Amending Letter will still complete the picture regarding the availabilities for the EAGF and that the approach to amendments in Heading 3 can be adjusted accordingly in the course of the conciliation;

Heading 4 – Migration and Border Management

41. Underlines the importance of increasing appropriations for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, in particular in the light of the recent developments in Afghanistan; reverses, further, the decrease for the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) programmed by the Commission to finance new tasks for Europol under its enhanced mandate, as the necessary appropriations for Europol should be drawn exclusively from unallocated margins under the relevant MFF heading ceilings and/or through the mobilisation of the relevant MFF special instruments; against this background, offsets also the redeployment of BMVI for eu-LISA;

 

42. Recalls the importance of providing the Union budget with a sufficiently detailed nomenclature to allow the budgetary authority to fulfil its decision-making role effectively and for Parliament in particular to fulfil its democratic oversight and scrutiny roles across all headings; regrets, therefore, that the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund does not benefit from a more detailed nomenclature reflecting the specific objectives of the Fund;

43. Underlines the need to increase funding and staffing levels for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in line with the tasks stemming from the political agreement on the European Asylum Agency; highlights the need for further increase of the staffing for eu-LISA in line with the agency’s identified needs, assisting the agency to implement a number of highly critical EU projects for internal security and border management in 2022 such as EES, ETIAS, Interoperability, VIS Revised Regulation and EURODAC Recast;

44. Reverses the Council’s cuts to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) as the agency must be adequately equipped and its staff promoted to enable it to deliver in all areas of responsibility falling under its new mandate; decides, however, to place EUR 90 000 000 into the reserve subject to the recruitment of the remaining 20 fundamental rights monitors at AD grade, the recruitment of the three deputy executive directors and the adoption of a procedure for the implementation of Article 46 of Regulation  2019/1896[10];

 

45. Reinforces therefore Heading 4 by EUR 106 231 750 in commitment appropriations above DB levels (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using the available margin and mobilising the special instruments;

Heading 5 – Security and Defence

46. Stresses the importance of a progressive framing of the Union’s common security and defence policy while respecting the status of neutrality of some of the Member States; underlines the importance of enhancing European cooperation in defence matters since it not only makes Europe and its citizens safer, but also leads to a cost reduction; notes that the purpose of European defence cooperation is to create synergies and to avoid double spending in the Member States; calls for increased funding for the European Defence Fund and for military mobility in order to fully foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base that will contribute to the much-needed strategic autonomy of the Union;

 

47. Recalls the important role played by decentralised agencies operating in the field of security and law enforcement, in particular with regard to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), and proposes targeted increases and/or staffing changes to allow them to properly perform their tasks; stresses that, in the absence of the adoption of Europol’s revised legal basis by the end of 2021, the reserve retained on the agency’s budget may lead to a delayed recruitment of staff which is required to ensure the preparation for an efficient implementation of Europol’s revised legal basis and mandate, and to boost Europol’s response against terrorism and cybercrime, innovation, to support large scale investigations, cooperation with EPPO and anti-money laundering activities;

 

48. Reinforces Heading 5 overall by EUR 82 621 461 above the DB, to be financed by using part of the available margin;

Heading 6 – Neighbourhood and the World

49. Emphasises that at a time when external challenges and matters of international politics are gaining importance in international politics, the Union must ensure that the external dimension of its budget is appropriately funded and prepared to respond without delay to current, emerging as well as future and long term challenges; insists on supporting agreed priorities under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI-Global Europe) and Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III);

50. Underlines the need to increase funding for the UNRWA in recognition of its essential role of contributing to regional stability and as a unique provider of vital services for millions of Palestine refugees; emphasizes that the proposed increase is dedicated to ensure the predictable funding to UNRWA; emphasises the importance of education of children to tolerance, peace and mutual respect; calls on the Commission to continue engaging with the Palestinian Authority and the UNRWA to promote quality education for Palestinian children and to continue ensuring full adherence to UNESCO standards;

 

51. Emphasises the need to increase funding for Western Balkan countries and the countries of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood to support comprehensive reforms and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and its long-term social, environmental and economic consequences and to increase funding for civil society and non-state actors in accession countries; points, in that context, to the need to ensure adequate funding for crucial areas such as democracy support, civil society and the rule of law; calls in particular for continued support to human rights and democracy activists, and civil society organisations in Belarus and neighbouring countries; 

 

52. Expresses deep concern about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan; believes that the humanitarian aid budget for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries should be significantly increased to support and protect vulnerable Afghans and their families; insists furthermore that all funding for independent development and humanitarian  aid organisations in Afghanistan be allocated directly to these organisations without using the Taliban government as an intermediary; given the expected needs arising from the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world to be financed by the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve, both internally and externally, that might lead to financial shortcomings, decides to reinforce the funding of the humanitarian aid by 20%;

 

53. Deplores the inequality of vaccination coverage in the world; therefore stresses the need to enable access to COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries, particularly through the COVAX initiative, as well as to support the improvement of their health systems; decides, therefore, to earmark the amount of EUR 1 billion under the emerging challenges and priorities cushion of NDICI-Global Europe in 2022 to this effect, deducting from this amount the NDICI carry-over funds from year 2021, as well as a further EUR 100 million under the line “People – Global Challenges” on the top of all pledges and commitments already made by the Commission; requests that Member States fulfil with urgency the COVAX pledges already made and invites them to commit additional EUR 2 billion, either to COVAX or in vaccine doses, in the first semester of 2022; recalls that the line “People – Global Challenges” also aims to finance immediate, middle and long term challenges;

 

54. Highlights the Union’s global support efforts for refugees and recalls the important role played by Turkey and the other host countries, including in the Southern Mediterranean, in welcoming refugees, in particular from Syria; reaffirms that the Union and its Member States must continue to provide effective and monitored aid to Syrian refugees in host countries; emphasises that the future funding for the needs of the Syrian refugees was not factored in the MFF or NDICI-Global Europe negotiations and should therefore not be borne by the programmed instruments, including the NDICI-Global Europe cushion, as the package in favour of refugees from Syria, Iraq or other countries is not responding to a new crisis or unforeseen needs; requests that any successor of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT) shall be financed by fresh appropriations and by additional contributions from the Member States and should be accompanied by the corresponding revision of the MFF Regulation to increase the ceiling of Heading 6 in order to reflect the actual financial needs for the EU external actions;

 

55. Underlines the key role of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Moldova, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Tunisia and Ukraine to promote investments and support recovery from the COVID-19 crisis;

56. Emphasises that the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy globally as well as the empowerment of women and protection of vulnerable groups, such as children, continues to be of core interest for the Union’s external action; decides therefore, to increase the funding of these lines;

 

57. Decides to increase support for strategic communication, especially to measures aimed at countering global disinformation through the systematic tracking and exposing of disinformation spread by state and other actors;

 

58. Increases therefore the level of commitment appropriations for Heading 6 by EUR 563 429 451 above the DB (excluding pilot projects and preparatory actions), to be financed by using the available margin and mobilising the special instruments;

Heading 7 – European Public Administration

59. Considers that Council’s cuts are unjustified and would not allow the Commission to fulfil their tasks; restores therefore the DB for the Commission administrative expenditure, including on its offices;

 

60. Stresses that, given the new legislative proposals, and strategic initiatives arising from the European Green Deal goals, such as the Fit for 55 package, the Biodiversity Strategy, the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and increased Union spending due to NGEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, some services, in particular the Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), will need staff reinforcements; asks the Commission as honest broker to reassess these needs promptly and to propose adequate reinforcements in its Amending letter or during the Conciliation, without undermining the actual human resources level in its other services or agencies; highlights that the current level of budget and staff hinders the ability of OLAF to conduct its work in all Member States; also highlights the increased workload of OLAF with reference to the implementation of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility and the liaison with EPPO;

Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs)

61. Recalls the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP-PAs) as tools for the formulation of political priorities and the introduction of new initiatives that have the potential to turn into standing Union activities and programmes; having carried out a careful analysis of all the proposals submitted and taking fully into account the Commission’s assessment of their respect of legal requirements and implementability, adopts a balanced package of PP-PAs that reflects Parliament’s political priorities; calls on the Commission to swiftly implement PP-PAs and provide feedback on their performance and results delivered on the ground;

Payments

62. Underlines the necessity to provide a sufficient level of payment appropriations in the 2022 budget and decides, therefore, to reverse Council’s cuts and to reinforce payment appropriations on those lines which are amended in commitment appropriations;

Other Sections

Section I – European Parliament

63. Maintains unchanged the overall level of its budget for 2022, in line with its estimates of revenue and expenditure adopted by the Plenary on 29 April 2021, at EUR 2 112 904 198; incorporates budgetary-neutral technical adjustments to reflect updated information which was not available earlier this year;

 

64. In line with its abovementioned resolution of 29 April 2021 on its estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2022:

 

a) takes note of the upcoming mid-term review of the Environmental Management System (EMAS) Mid-Term Strategy; reiterates its call to amend its current CO2 reduction plan for reaching carbon neutrality by 2030, using an internal carbon price;

 

b) takes note that one of the main focus areas for EMAS in the medium term will be reducing emissions resulting from transport of persons; reiterates its call for a reasonable decrease of travel for meetings that can be effectively conducted remotely or in hybrid mode and for promoting a shift to low carbon alternatives for all remaining travel, provided that this does not affect the quality of legislative and political work;

 

c) welcomes the expansion of voluntary teleworking for Parliament staff; reiterates its call for a preference to be given to hybrid meetings or fully remote meetings when they do not involve political decision making, such as hearings and exchanges of views or internal and preparatory meetings; reiterates its call for fully remote preparatory meetings and post-mission debriefings for all official delegation visits as a condition for authorisation, and the limiting of authorisation of delegations to only those within entitlements from 2022; reiterates its call on the Bureau to ensure that extraordinary committee meetings in Strasbourg are strictly limited to exceptional circumstances and that they are required to be duly justified before they are approved in each individual case;

 

d) welcomes the on-going process to revise the mission rules; reiterates its call for a proper needs-based approval and for using of low carbon modes of transport whenever possible; reiterates its call to revise the missions rule for APAs following the same principles;

 

e) encourages Members to use low carbon transport alternatives; reiterates its call to revise the implementing measures of the Statute for Members to reimbursement of flexible economy airline tickets when travelling within the Union except for duly justified exemptions;

 

f) reiterates its call for the Parliament to closely collaborate with the relevant local authorities and especially the Brussels Region in its efforts to be a frontrunner in sustainable urban mobility by taking a proactive role in the implementation of the GoodMove Plan, in particular as regards parking spaces; reiterates its calls for the expansion of the service bike scheme within Parliament and for official cars to be used to transport Members, staff and APAs with mission orders between Brussels and Strasbourg; reiterates its call for an appropriate increase in the number of car parking spaces reserved exclusively for electric vehicles;

 

g) welcomes the future proposal for a revision of the rules governing visitor groups; takes note of the actions taken by the responsible services as regards informing visitors groups about the environmental impact of their transport; reiterates its call for a system of incentive reimbursement of travel costs based on environmental impact to be established in 2022; calls for the revised rules to be in line with Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future (COM(2020)0789), in particular its paragraph 9;

 

h) notes that feasibility studies are in progress to assess the cost effectiveness of the installation of new photovoltaic panels in several buildings in Brussels and at the same time reiterates its call for the installation of state of the art rooftop photovoltaics for the maximum potential in Brussels by 2023; reiterates its call for a halt to upgrading of fossil fuel heating installations and for a roadmap to phase out fossil fuels with specific milestones to be adopted in 2022 to avoid stranded assets and for an analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of using heat pump systems and other relevant technologies in line with EMAS objectives; reiterates its call in parallel for the gradual replacement of Guarantees of Origin procurement with local renewable energy source;

 

i) recalls the support of the vast majority of Parliament’s Members for a single seat to ensure that Union taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently and for Parliament to assume its institutional responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint; recalls that according to the Treaty on the European Union, the European Parliament is to have its seat in Strasbourg; notes that permanent changes would require a Treaty change for which unanimity is needed;

 

j) welcomes that the EMAS Action Plan 2021 provides for an obligatory consultation of the “Green Public Procurement Helpdesk” for all procurement procedures in the priority product categories, if deemed appropriate; reiterates however its call for an obligation to consult the Green Public Procurement Helpdesk for procurement above EUR 15 000;

 

k) reminds that following the 2018 Bureau decision on the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA), subsequent plenary decisions have been taken and therefore reiterates its demands to the Bureau to introduce changes to the rules governing the GEA by the end of 2021;

 

l) invites the Bureau to define clear and legally certain standards specifying in which cases whistleblower protection can be granted, including for APAs, and to publish those standards;

 

m) highlights the need to revisit Parliament’s HR policy in order to allow the institution to make use of expertise acquired by all Parliament staff; believes that it is therefore necessary to change the rules to enable all categories of staff, including APAs, to participate in internal competitions and to establish HR development schemes that will allow Parliament to keep the expertise of these categories at the service of the Institution;

n) regrets that the Bureau refuses to implement the will of the Plenary expressed on numerous occasions to take action for the full alignment of the allowances rates of officials, other civil servants and APAs in respect of duty travel between Parliament’s three places of work; calls on the Bureau to address this issue to remedy that inequality without any further delay and to take immediate action with regard to the revision of the applicable Rules which is necessary to change the legal framework;

 

o)  reiterates its call on the Conference of Presidents to revise the Implementing provisions governing the work of delegations and missions outside the European Union; underlines that such a revision should consider the possibility for APAs, subject to certain conditions, to accompany Members on official Parliament delegations and missions;

 

p) takes note of the Bureau decision on 8 February 2021 regarding voting under the remote participation regime; notes that voting remotely in the absence of a decision by the President establishing extraordinary circumstances is currently not possible; reiterates its call on the Bureau to allow Members to exercise their right to vote while benefiting from maternity or paternity leave, during a long-term illness or in cases of force majeure;

 

q) takes note on the ongoing works to replace the WI-FI infrastructure in the three places of work; calls for a fast installation of the new infrastructure;

 

r) recalls the inherent risks for information security and privacy of using third-party-dependent solutions and the positive impact of using open source software; insists that users should be enabled to use open source software on Parliament’s devices, and the need for decentralised, open source solutions for virtual meetings and instant messaging; highlights the need to properly train users with a special focus on cybersecurity; stresses the need for automatic language transcription and translation software to support the equal diffusion of information in all official languages;

 

s) takes note of the Cloud strategic orientations adopted by the Bureau in June 2020; reiterates its call for measures to ensure that Parliament’s procurement of software and digital infrastructure, including cloud solutions, avoid vendor lock-in effects through portability and full interoperability requirements and use open source software and earmarks procurement for SMEs and startups;

 

t) takes note of services provided by some EPLOs in non-official languages of the Union; requests the Bureau to analyse the feasibility and estimate the financial cost of providing communication materials, for example for the Europa Experience Centres, in the languages of linguistic minorities, regions and communities within different Member States;

 

u) takes note of the approximate costs of outsourcing the translation of key foreign policy resolutions into the official language of the country concerned; reiterates its call to draw up translation of such documents, with a view to enhancing the impact and outreach of the Parliament’s foreign affairs activities, and to ensure that sufficient appropriations are made available for that purpose;

 

v) takes note of the project “Immersive Online Experience” and other online activities available to visitors; asks to develop and promote opportunities for the citizens and the residents of Member States and partner countries to make virtual guided tours in Parliament in order to achieve a better understanding of the work and values of the institution among the broader public;

 

w) reiterates its request to the Bureau to make known its decision on the PHS building including a detailed breakdown of costs and the supporting documents;

 

x) recalls Article 27(1) and (2) of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament on the voluntary pension fund set up by Parliament;

 

y) takes note of the actions taken by the Parliament to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cleaning and catering service providers; reiterates its call on the Bureau to reconsider Parliament’s externalisation policy as regards cleaning and catering services.

Other Sections (Sections IV-X)

65. Notes that, in the main, the DB reflects the estimates of the various institutions falling within the other sections of the budget and therefore matches, with some exceptions, their financial requirements; considers that the systematic cuts proposed by the Council would therefore have a deleterious effect on the working of the institutions concerned and consequently on the vital contribution they make to the functioning of the Union; on that account, proposes to restore the levels of the DB in almost all cases, including with regard to the European Data Protection Supervisor and to the Committee of the Regions, including its establishment plan in order to allow them to carry out all the tasks they have been entrusted to, including new functions; in line with the gentlemen’s agreement, does not modify the Council’s reading concerning the Council and the European Council;

 

66. Considers that, in some cases and taking into account the institutions’ estimates, it is necessary to increase appropriations or staff above the DB to meet new needs and policy objectives; proposes therefore:

 

a) in relation to the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Economic and Social Committee, to increase the appropriations above the DB for lines related to remuneration and entitlements of staff, including with regard to the establishment plans, so as to maintain a level of appropriations in line with their estimates;

 

b) in relation to the European Court of Auditors to increase the appropriations above the DB for line 1200 “Remuneration and allowances”, including with regard to its establishment plan, so as to maintain a level of appropriations deemed necessary by the European Court of Auditors, in particular to cover additional audit tasks linked to increased Union funds (Recovery and Resilience Facility and NGEU);

 

c) in relation to the European External Action Service to increase the appropriations above the DB for the line 2214 “Strategic Communication Capacity” and line 1200 “Contract staff” to step up further the fight against disinformation, in particular in the Far East region; in addition, to reinforce line 1100 “Basic salaries”, few additional related lines and its establishment plan to allow the European External Action Service to replace seconded national experts with statutory staff and to fulfil its functions under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

o

o o

67. Instructs its President to forward this resolution, together with the amendments to the draft general budget, to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions and bodies concerned and the national parliaments.

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS (28.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022

(2021/0227(BUD)

Rapporteur for opinion: Urmas Paet

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Notes that due to delays in the adoption of most of the basic acts under Heading 6, 2022 will be the first full year of operation for most Union external financing instruments;

2. Acknowledges the increase in payment appropriations in Heading 6 due to the beginning of implementation period of the financing instruments and launching of new programmes under that Heading;

3. Emphasises that at a time when external challenges and matters of international politics are gaining importance, it must be ensured that the external dimension of the Union budget is appropriately funded and prepared to respond without delay to current, emerging as well as future challenges; insists that the budget for the external action should focus on priority areas, both geographically and thematically, and on areas where Union action can bring most added value;

4. Notes that the majority of external action spending is concentrated under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI-Global Europe) and Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) and insists on supporting agreed priorities under those external financing instruments, including those decided during the NDICI-Global Europe high-level geopolitical dialogue; reiterates its previous demand for a differentiated budget nomenclature for the new external financing instruments; stresses that in the context of a more streamlined set of instruments, the budget structure needs to be sufficiently detailed to allow Parliament to carry out its budgetary functions effectively and fulfil its oversight role;

5. Stresses the urgent need to substantially increase NDICI-Global Europe funds available for the thematic programme on peace, stability and conflict prevention and rapid response as well as human rights and democracy and welcomes the increased contribution from NDICI-Global Europe and IPA III to Erasmus+, enabling increased mobility of students from the pre-accession countries;

6. Emphasises the need to increase funding for Western Balkan countries and the countries of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood to support comprehensive political and socio-economic reforms and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and its long-term economic consequences, but also to support areas such as media freedom, the fight against corruption and organised crime, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups, as well as empowerment and protection of women, girls and LGBTQI persons;

7. Points to the numerous challenges in the Union’s neighbouring regions to the East and South and emphasises the need to ensure adequate funding for crucial areas such as supporting democracy, civil society and the rule of law; calls in particular for continued support to Belarusian human rights and democracy activists;

8. Reiterates its firm belief that in countries of specific strategic interest for the Union, particularly the accession countries and the associated countries of the Eastern Partnership, as well as the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood, a closer link between the European Parliament and the respective national parliaments should be established, and therefore calls for adequate funding to ensure the required level of parliamentary cooperation;

9. Believes that to ensure cross-cutting implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda, the Union and its bodies should mainstream YPS in policymaking, programming, funding, and monitoring; calls for the creation and opening up of existing dedicated funding instruments for YPS initiatives that are flexible and accessible to all youth, including those who face multiple forms of marginalisation;

10. Considers that the human rights situation in Egypt requires a revision of the Commission’s budget support operations and requires the prioritisation of Union aid to primarily supporting democratic actors and civil society; calls for more transparency on all forms of financial support or training provided by the Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank to Egypt;

11. Welcomes stronger conditionality related to democracy, human rights and rule of law under the modernised IPA III; calls on dedicated budget lines for the Western Balkan countries and Turkey under IPA III, which should provide sufficient funding for Turkish civil society and people-to-people contacts; underlines that misuse of Union funds by any government must be prevented; calls in the case of Turkey for continuing the management of IPA III funds by the Commission or by international organisations and allowing indirect management with the beneficiary country only where strictly necessary; reminds that all the funding under IPA III, including the Economic and Investment Plan for Western Balkans needs to be in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement and Union decarbonisation goals;

12. Highlights the Union’s global support efforts for refugees and recalls the important role played by Turkey in welcoming refugees from Syria; reaffirms that the Union and its Member States must continue to provide effective and monitored aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey, ensuring that its funds are directly and in full transparency channelled to non-governmental organisations; reiterates that any successor to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT) should not be financed to the detriment of the newly adopted financing instruments such as IPA III and NDICI-Global Europe (including the cushion); requests that any successor of the FRT should be financed by fresh appropriations and by contribution from the Member States and insists on full involvement of the Parliament in decisions, including decisions concerning contributions to the Union trust funds from the Union budget and concerning the establishment of any FRT successor, in full respect of the role of the budgetary authority; calls, furthermore, for a fully-fledged human rights impact assessment of the EU-Turkey Statement and underlines the importance of both parties’ compliance with fundamental rights as part of its implementation;

13. Insists that the room for external action expenditure given by the multiannual financial framework (MFF) ceiling for Heading 6 ‘Neighbourhood and the world’ and the rules for the mobilisation of the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve must be fully utilised; reiterates that the balance between the resources assigned to the different external action instruments through the respective regulations must be preserved; emphasises that the future funding for the needs of the Syrian refugees was not factored in the MFF or NDICI-Global Europe discussion and it should therefore not be borne by the programmed instruments; furthermore, as the expected Syrian refugees package is not responding to a new crisis or unforeseen needs, stresses that any funding from the emergency cushion of NDICI-Global Europe towards this should be limited; calls instead on Member States to make available additional “fresh funds” for this package; recalls that any flexible funding mechanism established in the framework of the NDICI-Global Europe must comply with the thematic spending targets defined in the Regulation;

14. Recognizes the essential role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as a unique provider of vital services for millions of Palestine refugees in the Middle East and calls for an increase in the Union financial contribution to UNRWA as an investment towards security, stability and development in the region and beyond; takes good note of the recent findings of the Union-funded external study of Palestinian textbooks, which points to a limited number of  areas requiring improvement and largely disproves allegations of widespread incitement to hatred and violence, therefore confirming that these textbooks adhere to UNESCO standards; takes good note of the Commission’s vigilance on this matter and welcomes the Commission’s firm commitment to fighting antisemitism; calls on the Commission to continue engaging with the Palestinian Authority and the UNRWA to promote quality education for Palestinian children and to continue ensuring full adherence to UNESCO standards; furthermore, calls on the Commission to ensure that its funding to the Palestinian Authority counters the negative trends and growing inter-Palestinian division, contributes to promoting pluralism and accountability and supports Palestinian civil society;

15. Stresses that the humanitarian aid budget for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries should be strongly increased to support and protect vulnerable Afghans and their families, including internally displaced people and refugees, and to enhance resettlement; reiterates in this respect the need to ensure humane and adequate support both for the people seeking shelter, as well as the host countries; demands that, unless the respect for human rights and especially the rights of women and girls can be guaranteed, development assistance to the Afghan regime remains suspended and is redirected towards independent development and humanitarian organisations in line with the Union external action objectives; insists, furthermore that all funding for the civil society organisations in Afghanistan will be allocated directly to these organisations without using the Taliban government as an intermediary; underlines the need to draw the necessary lessons from the international engagement to fight terrorism and advance freedom, human rights and civil liberties in Afghanistan;

16. Calls for a more ambitious budget in the human rights and the support to civil society organisations including the ones committed to women and girls empowerment; recalls the need to implement strict conditionality in regard to financial support for Union’s partner countries and neighbourhood in cases of human rights violations; calls in this context also for greater transparency regarding human rights-related provisions in financing agreements and a clarification of the mechanism and criteria for the suspension of such agreements in the event of a breach of human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law and in serious cases of corruption; highlights, furthermore, that the Union should strictly refrain from budget support as a modality to provide assistance in countries that grossly fail to meet international standards in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law or that fail to demonstrate their commitment to fighting corruption; in this respect, encourages a thorough application of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) and extension of its scope to acts of corruption;

17. Emphasises that the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy globally continues to be of core interest for external actions of the Union; calls for increased funding for electoral observation missions, including local observers, given their role in consolidating democratic institutions and bringing stability in fragile countries notably by local civil society groups;

18. Stresses the need to improve the visibility and communication concerning Union aid and Union financing in third countries, particularly candidate and partner countries; calls upon the Commission to put greater focus on dissemination of the successfully implemented projects, and their positive impact and benefits in order to strengthen the impact of funding and enhance Union public diplomacy and to take particular care to assess and prevent any violation linked to the Union’s own projects and funding in third countries;

19. While condemning any attack against religious minorities, in particular Christians, around the world, emphasises that adequate funding for actions to protect persecuted minorities must be available, and in this regard further underlines its support for the office of the Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside European Union;

20. Highlights the importance of building a strong Union common security and defence policy (CSDP) and enhancing cooperation in defence and security matters through various instruments such as permanent structured cooperation, Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, and the European Defence Fund, a key contributor to the Union’s strategic autonomy, technological sovereignty and its ability to decide and act autonomously if needed; expects that the upcoming Union Strategic Compass, and its resulting conclusions, will also result in further increases of spending on defence related initiatives in order to respond to the multiple ongoing challenges and lead to a more geostrategic Union that is able to defend its interests and values and take over more responsibilities in security and defence, in partnership with the United States and NATO, in particular in the Union neighbourhood; stresses the importance of civilian CSDP missions and calls on the Member States to commit sufficient personnel within short time frames;

21. Underlines the importance of evaluating regularly all Union security assistance measures (civilian CSDP and Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace/NDICI-Global Europe) and of readjusting certain missions, operations, and measures with a view to incorporating a meaningful human security approach, which takes into account the real security needs of local populations;

22.  Stresses the importance of the protection of the Unon against foreign malicious interference and influence, notably through hybrid attacks and disinformation; calls for ensuring appropriate funding and mandates for the European External Action Service (EEAS) units and projects dealing with those issues and emphasises the relevance of coordination among Union institutions; calls for a creation of dedicated teams to tackle threats coming from particular regions; recalls that the European Court of Auditors concluded that the EEAS needs a broader mandate to tackle the surge in hybrid attacks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and new emerging threats, accompanied with sufficient funding;

23. Repeats its previous statements about the threats related to cyber security as well as the spreading of fake news, in this context highlights the need for the Union budget to better address and respond to those key challenges on a horizontal level, including in particular at the headquarters of the Union as well as its delegations around the world;

24. Emphasises that optic fibre cables are the central nervous system of the global internet, as 97% of all internet traffic travels through those cables; underlines that although those cables are a central and indispensable part of the critical infrastructure of the Union and thus of great geopolitical importance, they have recently been the subject of foreign spying operations; believes that the Union should prioritize the security and protection of those cables; calls for the Union to set up a Union optic fibre cables security programme, that includes research, coordination, policy-making, the tracking of incidents and the training of coast guards;

25. Stresses the continuous ripple effect of COVID-19 globally; calls for a coordinated and coherent response within the Union and its partner countries when providing medical help and better capacity building with vaccine distribution and sharing, including through COVAX, as well as support for countries’ social and economic recovery;

26. Stresses the need for sufficient funding to facilitate the planning and implementation of the Union’s global connectivity agenda; emphasises the importance of including concrete connectivity projects and investments in the programming process for the 2021-2027 MFF;

27. Underlines the importance of connecting the common foreign and security policy to the EU Arctic Policy and stresses the responsibility of the Union to support the protection of the Arctic and its local communities;

28. Notes that NDICI-Global Europe foresees mid-term and final evaluations and the detailed annual reporting by Commission to Parliament and Council on the ongoing activities, results delivered, effectiveness, as well as progress towards the thematic targets and objectives of Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council[11]; calls on the Commission to develop and implement a precise methodology for tracking the thematic targets, in particular on climate, biodiversity, gender equality, as well as migration and forced displacement, to ensure transparency, proper accountability and enable the Parliament to effectively fulfil its scrutiny role as an arm of the budgetary authority;

29. Welcomes an ambitious external Gender Action Plan (GAP) III; calls for adequate financial resources for its implementation and stresses the need for proper and measurable indicators and a specific methodology, as well as regular monitoring, to analyse the impact of the Union budget on gender equality and effectively implement gender budgeting in Union external action;

30. Calls on the Bureau to draw up a translation of key foreign policy resolutions adopted under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament (own-initiative reports) into the non-Union official languages of the United Nations (namely Arabic, Chinese and Russian), as well as country-specific resolutions adopted under Rule 132 of the Rules of Procedure (resolution accompanying the statements by the Commission or High Representative or Vice-President) and Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure (urgency resolution) into the official language of the country concerned, with a view to enhancing the impact and outreach of the Parliament’s foreign affairs activities, and calls on the budgetary authority to ensure that sufficient appropriations are made available for that purpose;

31. Acknowledges the need to reinforce the EEAS in order to allow it to fulfil its functions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime; calls for adequate funding for additional staff in order to ensure carrying out the tasks under this new Union foreign policy tool, and urges the EEAS to adopt and implement without further delay its self-standing implementation provisions on outside activities and assignments, which create a sui generis legal basis for Heads of Delegations to better protect the image and reputation of the Union as a whole, as announced in the written answers provided to the Committee on Budgetary Control in the context of the 2019 discharge procedure;

32. Rejects the Council’s cuts to the administrative budget of EEAS; calls on the Rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets for section X to restore the draft budget on all lines cut by the Council in section X.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

50

8

8

Members present for the final vote

Alviina Alametsä, Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, Maria Arena, Petras Auštrevičius, Traian Băsescu, Anna Bonfrisco, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Susanna Ceccardi, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Katalin Cseh, Tanja Fajon, Anna Fotyga, Michael Gahler, Kinga Gál, Sunčana Glavak, Raphaël Glucksmann, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Sandra Kalniete, Maximilian Krah, Andrius Kubilius, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Nathalie Loiseau, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Claudiu Manda, Lukas Mandl, Thierry Mariani, David McAllister, Vangelis Meimarakis, Sven Mikser, Francisco José Millán Mon, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Demetris Papadakis, Kostas Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Manu Pineda, Thijs Reuten, Jérôme Rivière, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Andreas Schieder, Radosław Sikorski, Jordi Solé, Sergei Stanishev, Tineke Strik, Hermann Tertsch, Hilde Vautmans, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Thomas Waitz, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Salima Yenbou, Željana Zovko

Substitutes present for the final vote

Vladimír Bilčík, Ioan-Rareş Bogdan, Özlem Demirel, Angel Dzhambazki, Markéta Gregorová, Evin Incir, Assita Kanko, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Mick Wallace

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

50

+

NI

Fabio Massimo Castaldo

PPE

Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, Traian Băsescu, Vladimír Bilčík, Ioan-Rareş Bogdan, Michael Gahler, Sunčana Glavak, Sandra Kalniete, Andrius Kubilius, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Antonio López-Istúriz White, David McAllister, Lukas Mandl, Vangelis Meimarakis, Francisco José Millán Mon, Radosław Sikorski, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Željana Zovko

Renew

Petras Auštrevičius, Katalin Cseh, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Nathalie Loiseau, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Hilde Vautmans

S&D

Maria Arena, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Tanja Fajon, Raphaël Glucksmann, Evin Incir, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Claudiu Manda, Sven Mikser, Demetris Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Thijs Reuten, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Andreas Schieder, Sergei Stanishev

Verts/ALE

Alviina Alametsä, Markéta Gregorová, Jordi Solé, Tineke Strik, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Thomas Waitz, Salima Yenbou

 

8

ID

Maximilian Krah, Thierry Mariani, Jérôme Rivière

NI

Kostas Papadakis

The Left

Özlem Demirel, Manu Pineda, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Mick Wallace

 

8

0

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Anna Fotyga, Assita Kanko, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Hermann Tertsch

ID

Anna Bonfrisco, Susanna Ceccardi

NI

Kinga Gál

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT (28.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Charles Goerens

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Draws attention to the fact that the combined consequences of a health pandemic and a global recession will seriously undermine the capacity of developing countries, notably the Least developed countries (LDCs) to achieve the SDGs, with already poor and vulnerable people taking the hardest hits; stresses the need to support developing countries in accessing COVID-19 vaccines; believes that the current crisis is exacerbating inequalities worldwide and that, without access to vaccines, the gulf will widen even further;

2. Stresses that development assistance together with substantial debt relief measures involving all private and public creditors and further development of international cooperation on taxation matters and against illicit financial flows originating from cross-border operations by multinational enterprises, tax evasion and tax fraud are badly needed in order to improve the tax bases of developing countries, shore up their public finances and avert damaging austerity measures; reiterates that spending on COVID vaccination must not crowd out other crucial expenditure; calls on the European Commission to define a comprehensive European debt relief strategy towards developing countries; calls for support to the creation of a multilateral debt workout mechanism, under UN auspices and steps towards agreement on binding rules on responsible sovereign lending and borrowing in order to support improved debt crisis prevention; stresses, however, that alongside debt relief, support is needed so that systemic reforms can also be implemented at the level of developing countries;

3. Calls for the creation of a European Bank for Sustainable Development and International Climate Protection, which pools resources, involves all Member States and their national development finance institutions, and mobilizes private investment in developing countries;

4. Points out the urgency of scaling up funds for health care, food security and nutrition, education, access to basic water and sanitation service, social protection and gender equality and to reinforce the People and Planet – Global Challenges lines; stresses that human development should be prioritised in geographical lines; draws attention to the calamitous consequences of the global failure to take adequate action against the climate crisis and biodiversity loss and the need to reinforce the Planet – Global Challenges line;

5. Calls on the Commission to ensure that it will be able to convincingly demonstrate adherence to the NDICI – Global Europe regulation’s provisions and reach the committed targets on expenditure for social inclusion and human development, education, gender, climate, biodiversity and migration objectives and full respect of the requirement that 93% of the NDICI expenditure shall qualify as official development assistance (ODA); insists on the need to increase ODA, in particular to least developed countries, so as to contribute to fulfilment of the EU’s and its Member States’ collective pledges;

6. Calls on the Commission and financial institutions, including the EIB, to ensure that all operations engaged through EFSD+ – EAG respect the principle of development additionality and are compliant with the external action goals of the EU as defined in Article 21 TEU, including respect and promotion of human rights, eradication of poverty, and the management of environmental risks; calls on the Commission to assess the development additionality of channelling EU funds through EFSD+ to reinforce the COVAX facility;

7. Recalls that according to the NDICI-Global Europe Regulation, EDF reflows will be ring-fenced to ACP countries and channelled exclusively through the EIB via budgetary guarantees and blending operations under EFSD+ – EAG; calls on the use of EDF reflows to help remedy the current lack of presence of the EIB on the ground in ACP countries in order to analyse the reality of the situation around the projects it finances; underlines the positive role a stronger involvement of EU delegations could also play to this end;

8. Believes an ACP programme with its own budget line is essential to cover the common and intersecting objectives and strategic priorities under the new EU-OACPS agreement; considers that this programme would complement EU programming at regional and country level in these parts of the world and should primarily be dedicated towards vulnerable populations facing climate change and biodiversity loss, and support the financing of COVID-19 related healthcare to facilitate access to quality medical care and vaccines for all;

9. Considers that social protection systems accessible to all and universal health coverage should be promoted by a Pan-Africa Programme, which should have its own budget line; welcomes the funds for continued building of OACP capacity in the framework of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly as well as the continued support for capacity building of the African Union and the African Continental Free Trade Area;

10. Calls on the Commission to swiftly and coherently address the targeted promotion of renewable energy expansion and partnerships as well as to support developing countries capacity to export renewable energy including in the form of renewable hydrogen;

11. Calls on the Commission to appoint as soon as possible a high-level EU Climate Envoy to promote the fight against climate change at international level;

12. Insists that the room for external action expenditure given by the MFF ceiling for Heading 6 ‘Neighbourhood and the world’ and the rules for the mobilisation of the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve must be fully utilised; reiterates that the balance between the resources assigned to the different external action instruments through the respective regulations must be preserved; emphasises that the future funding for the needs of the Syrian refugees was not factored in the MFF or NDICI-Global Europe discussions and it should therefore not be borne by the programmed instruments; furthermore, as the expected Syrian refugees package is not responding to a new crisis or unforeseen needs, stresses that any funding from the emergency cushion of NDICI-Global Europe towards this should be limited; calls instead on Member States to make available additional “fresh funds” for this package;

13. Calls on the annual budget exercise to properly reflect the provisions of the NDICI-Global Europe on the mobilisation of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion, in particular to ensure the addition of EUR 1 billion in total to three programmes (EUR 200 000 000 for the Human Rights and Democracy thematic programme, EUR 200 000 000 for the Civil Society Organisations thematic programme and EUR 600 000 000 for the Global Challenges thematic programme) in the 2021-2027 period of validity of the MFF;

14. Expresses deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan; calls on the Commission to prepare humanitarian assistance and according to the assessed possibilities in line with the principle of sound financial management increase the humanitarian aid budget for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries to address critical food insecurity, support for refugees in neighbouring countries as well as Internally Displaced People, support for women, girls and children and human rights defenders in cooperation with the UN agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF), other international organizations and international NGOs; calls for preparation of the new financial programming and strategy to preserve hard-won development gains and continue to support people of Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries without using the Taliban government as an intermediary and under the condition that security guarantees for development aid workers are obtained.

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

2

5

Members present for the final vote

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, Dominique Bilde, Catherine Chabaud, Antoni Comín i Oliveres, Ryszard Czarnecki, Gianna Gancia, Charles Goerens, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Beata Kempa, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Erik Marquardt, Norbert Neuser, Janina Ochojska, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Michèle Rivasi, Christian Sagartz, Tomas Tobé, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Bernhard Zimniok

Substitutes present for the final vote

Evin Incir, Patrizia Toia

Substitutes under Rule 209(7) present for the final vote

Elisabetta Gualmini

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

19

+

ID

Gianna Gancia

NI

Antoni Comín i Oliveres

PPE

Anna‑Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Janina Ochojska, Christian Sagartz, Tomas Tobé

Renew

Catherine Chabaud, Charles Goerens, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou

S&D

Elisabetta Gualmini, Evin Incir, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Norbert Neuser, Patrizia Toia

The Left

Miguel Urbán Crespo

 

2

ID

Dominique Bilde, Bernhard Zimniok

 

5

0

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki, Beata Kempa

Verts/ALE

Pierrette Herzberger‑Fofana, Erik Marquardt, Michèle Rivasi

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS (8.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Luděk Niedermayer

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Calls for the 2022 Union budget to deliver on the European Green Deal; calls for an alignment of the 2022 Union budget with the Union climate commitments under the Paris Agreement;

2. Calls for the 2022 budget to contribute to the fulfilment of the priorities outlined in the European Semester, while allowing it to deliver on the European Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and calls for its spending associated with the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to be used in its policy goals structured in 6 pillars and to contribute to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of challenges identified in the relevant country-specific recommendations;

3.  Regrets the cuts proposed by the Council to the 2022 Union budget and recalls the need to keep the commitments agreed upon for the MFF at interinstitutional level;

4. Considers that the Union budget should continue to support the sustainable and inclusive social and economic recovery in the Union after the COVID-19 pandemic and to support Union priorities; underlines that the symmetric shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused asymmetric consequences for Member States and warns against the risk of uneven and unjust recovery both at Union and national levels;

5.  Calls for an inclusive Union budget that helps Europeans deal with the digital transitions; calls for the implementation of the EU Digital Education Policy and the European Education Area in order to deliver the digital skills objectives;

6. Supports the approach taken by the Union institutions to support health and to tackle economic and social shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; highlights that businesses and households have received necessary financial support since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged;

7. Stresses that the Next Generation EU (NGEU) represents a significant decision in the Union budget and that only efficient use of funds can lead to the instrument’s success; recalls that the approval of the national plans is only the beginning of the process and requests the Commission to guarantee that only projects consistent with NGEU will be financed;

8. Requests a more proactive approach by the Commission in combatting the misuse of Union funds, wrongdoings and conflicts of interest; stresses that significant improvement is needed to maintain the credibility of the key principles of Union budgetary policy; expresses concerns about insufficient progress made, particularly in spending, in the area of Common Agricultural Policy, where there is less transparency and the role of the Commission in controlling the proper use of Union funds is inferior to other parts of the Union budget;

9. Stresses the need for enhanced and targeted measures to swiftly and effectively support people, workers, the self-employed, sectors and regions hit harder by the pandemic; calls for increased resources to fight social and gender inequalities, poverty and unemployment, paying particular attention to women, youth and vulnerable groups;

10. Emphasises the importance of sufficient resources for the coordination and surveillance of macroeconomic, social and environmental policies, anti-money laundering, countering financial crime and for enforcement of the economic governance framework; regrets that the Union, Member States, and the Union budget lose hundreds of billions of euro each year due to tax evasion and tax avoidance, which could be channelled towards the recovery efforts;

11.  Stresses in particular the need, in light of the findings of the European Court of Auditors (the ‘Court of Auditors’) Special Report 13/2021, to immediately allocate adequate resources to strengthen the capacity of the Commission in order to ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of existing AML/CFT legislation across the Union;

12. Insists on its calls for the Court of Auditors, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to have sufficient financial and human resources to scrutinise the use of Union funds; is concerned that the Commission and Council have proposed only minimal increases in the budgets for those institutions and bodies;

13. Recalls that the introduction of a basket of new own resources is the best way of assuring the long-term sustainability of the Union budget;

14. Underlines the necessity to boost a fair sustainable and inclusive economic recovery, while pursuing socially-balanced reforms to modernise Union economies and enhance their resilience, cohesion and competitiveness, as well as facilitating access to finance for SMEs and start-ups; underlines that SMEs have been severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis; underlines the importance of adequate funding in order to effectively support SMEs and start-ups; calls for the 2022 Union budget to facilitate access to funding that supports companies in fulfilling the Union objective of achieving a climate neutral economy;

15. Welcomes the adoption of the InvestEU Programme; insists that in 2022, the InvestEU Programme should prioritise facilitated access to finance for SMEs as well as financing for social investment and skills;

16. Welcomes the extension of the State Aid Temporary Framework until 31 December 2021 in the context of the COVID-19 crisis; calls for reinforced resources to ensure full and fast application of Union competition policy; encourages Member States and the Union via its new recovery instrument, the RRF, to make full use of the State Aid Temporary Framework regarding financial needs directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic; expects the Commission to monitor all schemes approved under the Temporary Framework and their impact on the functioning of the internal market;

17. Underlines that the cultural and creative sectors, as well as tourism, including cultural tourism and education, are and will continue to be among the main sectors that bear the burden of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis the Union is facing;

18. Calls for the budget to contribute to fulfilling economic policy priorities like the completion of the Capital Markets Union, with the aim of improving the fostering of a long term and sustainable investment environment and access to finance for all market participants, but particularly SMEs and start-ups, while creating further investment opportunities for retail investors;

19. Underlines the importance of pilot projects and preparatory actions in the framework of the Union budget and calls on the Commission to show more flexibility in evaluating and reassessing the proposals made under the Union budget;

20. Calls on the Commission to come up with a more rigorous approach to decommitments and to reallocate and reuse the unspent funds to finance priority objectives and areas agreed upon at interinstitutional level, especially in areas related to pandemic management, education, healthcare, innovation and social policies;

21. Underlines the importance of transparency and accountability in bodies that receive Union funding;

22. Calls for adequate financial and human resources for the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) in view of their newly assigned tasks and powers deriving from the revision of the ESA Regulations (by Regulation (EU) 2019/2175); calls for increased transparency with regard to the functioning of their boards of supervisors in order to improve their accountability and their governance structures;

23. In light of the shortcomings identified by the Court of Auditors in its Special Report 13/2021 as regards the European Banking Authority (EBA) action in the area of AML/CFT; considers that a part of the budget should be put in reserve until EBA ensures full compliance with the recommendations outlined in the Court of Auditors’ report and adopts a clear strategy to effectively use all its tools for AML/CFT in its 2022 work plan;

24. Highlights that developments in the fields of sustainable finance, fintech, anti-money laundering, cyber resilience, payments and non-bank financial intermediation have or will entail new competences and tasks for ESAs, which should be matched by adequate resources; points out in particular that the adoption of legislation pertaining to Union central clearing counterparties (CCPs) has resulted in upgraded mandates and tasks for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), but has not been mirrored by additional budget, which could put a strain on ESMA’s ability to deliver on the supervisory and regulatory agenda of its CCPs; highlights that both the Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), the DLT pilot regime Regulation and the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) are likely to generate new competences for the ESAs;

25. Takes note of the important role of ESMA’ s Supervisory Committee, both in relation to Union and third-country CCPs, in keeping European financial markets stable and orderly and in enhancing investor protection; notes that while the funding of the activities in relation to Union CCPs is covered by ESMA’s budget, the third-country CCPs’ supervisory activities are covered by the fees collected by ESMA from third-country CCPs; notes that no additional resources were provided for ESMA regarding the new Union CCP tasks under EMIR 2.2 nor the CCP recovery and resilience tasks; calls for increasing ESMA funding to ensure that the CCP Supervisory Committee has the capacity to fulfil its ongoing and annual tasks in relation to Union CCPs; calls on the Commission to review the current framework for the collection of fees from third-country CCPs to allow ESMA to collect an amount that is reflective of the long-term sustainability and acceptability of the fee structure, whilst having a more proportionate approach for CCPs with differing levels of activity of relevance to Union financial markets;

26. Welcomes that the Council shares the opinion of the Commission on the financing of ESAs; stresses that acceptance of the proposed budget should lead to clear progress in the areas where some responsibilities are given to ESAs and where the current situation is unsatisfactory, especially in the area of anti-money laundering;

27. Emphasises that funding to accounting entities and tax authorities should continue, in particular to support them in the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion, and tax avoidance, and to promote transparency and certainty; emphasises that those entities should be accountable to the Parliament;

28. Calls for more transparency in the work of the Commission when evaluating pilot projects submitted by the Parliament, as some can be beneficial for the functioning of the Union; highlights that current working methods lack transparency and clarity, which results in several important and feasible proposals, that could have added value, being refused;

29. Stresses that all organisations receiving Union funding must behave in a politically neutral and unbiased way;

30. Notes the launch of the EU Tax and Financial Crimes Observatory as a preparatory action; considers that such Observatory can be a useful contribution to both the necessary democratic debate and to decision makers; calls on the Commission to make proposals for the continuation of the Observatory after 2022;

31. Recalls that the introduction of a basket of new own resources was integrated into the interinstitutional cooperation on a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources; insists that a carbon border adjustment mechanism and a digital levy should be adopted and implemented within a timeline allowing it to contribute to the NGEU;

32. Calls on Member States to swiftly adopt the upcoming Commission legislative proposals for a redesigned digital levy, the carbon border adjustment mechanism and the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and conclude the negotiations on a financial transaction tax under the enhanced cooperation procedure by the end of 2022;

33. Underlines the need for adequate resources for producing and disseminating high-quality statistics in the Union; stresses that despite some progress, important weaknesses and gaps still exist in terms of usability, coverage and accessibility in the statistics produced and prompt action is required; considers therefore that part of the budget should be put on reserve until Eurostat has put forward an ambitious action plan to substantially increase the user friendliness of its website, ensure the accessibility to data and information in all Union official languages and develop new statistics and indicators contributing to the implementation of Union policies and priorities;

34. Underlines the importance of adequate resources to support the development of robust and reliable financial and non-financial reporting and auditing standards globally and across the Union; believes however that part of the allocated budget should be put on hold until the IFRS Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have adequately followed up on the relevant demands made by the Parliament in its resolution of 7 June 2016 on IAS evaluation and the activities of the IFRS Foundation, EFRAG and PIOB[12].

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

1.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

45

4

7

Members present for the final vote

Gunnar Beck, Marek Belka, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Stefan Berger, Gilles Boyer, Francesca Donato, Engin Eroglu, Markus Ferber, Jonás Fernández, Frances Fitzgerald, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Luis Garicano, Sven Giegold, Valentino Grant, Claude Gruffat, José Gusmão, Eero Heinäluoma, Michiel Hoogeveen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Stasys Jakeliūnas, France Jamet, Othmar Karas, Billy Kelleher, Ondřej Kovařík, Georgios Kyrtsos, Aurore Lalucq, Philippe Lamberts, Aušra Maldeikienė, Pedro Marques, Fulvio Martusciello, Costas Mavrides, Jörg Meuthen, Csaba Molnár, Siegfried Mureşan, Caroline Nagtegaal, Luděk Niedermayer, Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Piernicola Pedicini, Lídia Pereira, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Dragoş Pîslaru, Evelyn Regner, Antonio Maria Rinaldi, Alfred Sant, Ralf Seekatz, Pedro Silva Pereira, Paul Tang, Ernest Urtasun, Inese Vaidere, Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, Marco Zanni, Roberts Zīle

Substitutes present for the final vote

Niels Fuglsang, Eugen Jurzyca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

45

+

PPE

Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Stefan Berger, Markus Ferber, Frances Fitzgerald, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Danuta Maria Hübner, Othmar Karas, Georgios Kyrtsos, Aušra Maldeikienė, Fulvio Martusciello, Siegfried Mureşan, Luděk Niedermayer, Lídia Pereira, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Ralf Seekatz, Inese Vaidere

Renew

Gilles Boyer, Engin Eroglu, Luis Garicano, Billy Kelleher, Ondřej Kovařík, Caroline Nagtegaal, Dragoş Pîslaru, Stéphanie Yon-Courtin

S&D

Marek Belka, Jonás Fernández, Niels Fuglsang, Eero Heinäluoma, Aurore Lalucq, Pedro Marques, Costas Mavrides, Csaba Molnár, Evelyn Regner, Alfred Sant, Pedro Silva Pereira, Paul Tang

The Left

José Gusmão, Dimitrios Papadimoulis

Verts/ALE

Sven Giegold, Claude Gruffat, Stasys Jakeliūnas, Philippe Lamberts, Piernicola Pedicini, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Ernest Urtasun

 

4

ECR

Michiel Hoogeveen

ID

Gunnar Beck, Jörg Meuthen

NI

Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos

 

7

0

ECR

Eugen Jurzyca, Roberts Zīle

ID

Francesca Donato, Valentino Grant, France Jamet, Antonio Maria Rinaldi, Marco Zanni

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (28.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. Whereas existing inequalities are widening because of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups and findings show that difficulties in making ends meet increased significantly among those already in a precarious situation;[13] Whereas according to latest Eurofound data 23% of minimum wage earners in the Union reported difficulties or great difficulties in making ends meet, compared to 11,5% among the rest of employees and a total of 16% of minimum wage earners lived in materially deprived households, compared to 6% among the rest of employees;[14]

B. Whereas the COVID-19 crisis and the unintended consequences of lockdown measures risk to jeopardise decades of gains achieved in gender equality with tangible risks of women disengaging from the labour market and of developments reinforcing gender roles; whereas due to the sectoral and occupational segregation, with women being overrepresented in low-paying jobs and part-time work and in sectors highly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, women are more at risk than other groups of suffering the employment and social fallout of the crisis.[15]

C. Whereas Eurofound research shows that the capacity of social dialogue needs to be strengthened to address distributional effects and facilitate a just transition and evidence shows that the undesired effects of some climate policies, especially as they affect firms and workers in certain sectors and regions, can be addressed by social partners, and solutions can be achieved through social dialogue and joint initiatives;[16]

D. Whereas Eurofound COVID-19 survey shows that mental well-being has reached its lowest level across all age groups since the onset of the pandemic over a year ago and this is especially prominent among young people and those who have lost their job;[17]

E. Whereas the Union and Member States have taken a wide range of actions in order to minimise the impact of the pandemic on businesses, workers and people; whereas the nature of the measures is changing and widening, and to this end measures and instruments that gather and structure information, like Eurofound’s COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database or the European Restructuring Monitor support instruments database, are important to monitor developments and provide evidence on their evaluation;[18]

1. Reiterates that the year 2022 will continue to be a critical year and stresses that the social and employment related challenges of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had a disproportional impact on different Member States, different regions and different groups in our society with the most severe impact on the most vulnerable groups and especially affecting the labour market;

2. Demands a strong response for all people, particularly young people, all families, including LGBTIQ families, workers including the self-employed and businesses, particularly SMEs and a social and economically and environmentally sustainable budget that leaves no one behind;

3. Highlights in this regard the crucial role of the Union funds and financial instruments including the Next Generation EU with the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in addition to the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), which is the key driver for strengthening the social dimension of the Union and ensuring a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable, just, inclusive and non-discriminatory recovery in line with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and the Green Deal, as well as of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF) and the Just Transition Fund (JTF);

4. Stresses that these funds and instruments should support activities of all relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental and charitable organisations;

5. Highlights that the budget with a strong social and economically sustainable dimension should help adapting to the imminent labour market changes, preserve and create quality and sustainable employment with full respect of labour rights and decent employment and working conditions, contribute to the eradication of poverty, and reduce social exclusion, inequalities and discrimination, in particular affecting children and youth, boost sustainable growth, and increase upward social convergence even more in a time of unprecedented crisis following the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the following negative social consequences;

6. Stresses that the crisis has shed light on many existing inequalities, has revealed new forms of discrimination and has worsened the living and working conditions of many people, including workers and their families, particularly vulnerable groups of workers and those working under precarious employment conditions and arrangements and small business owners and the self-employed;

7. Insists on the need to tackle economic, social, intersectional, territorial, generational and regional disparities and inequalities, as the Cohesion Policy must remain one of the priorities in the post-COVID recovery;

8. Agrees with the European leaders that, with unemployment and inequalities increasing due to the pandemic, it is important to channel resources where they are most needed to strengthen our economies and to focus our policy efforts on equal access to quality services in order to improve equal opportunities, quality job creation, entrepreneurship, up- and reskilling and reducing poverty and exclusion; stresses that the extraordinary resources made available to support Europe’s recovery are a chance that cannot be missed;

9. Stresses the importance of policies and measures to support labour market transition, progress in technologies and innovation, and to strengthen the competitiveness of our economies particularly when it comes to the digital and green transitions, especially in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and long-standing trends;

10. Stresses the need to adopt ambitious policies for improving the life prospects of the young generation, fighting poverty and social exclusion, including child poverty, and ensuring decent working conditions and their effective enforcement, employment security, adequate social protection, gender-balanced opportunities, and a working environment adjusted to people with disabilities and fostering a safe environment and well-being for all in the Union;

11. Insists on the need to adopt ambitious lifelong learning and up- and reskilling policies and to recognize skills gained through informal and non-formal learning in order to address the challenges posed by demographic change as well as green and digital transition, including the increased use of artificial intelligence;

12. Highlights in this context the importance of strengthening Union education and training programs in line with the needs of the economy and the society of the future, supporting employers and teachers to train the right skills as well as investing in digital infrastructure;

13. Recalls that the post-COVID recovery of the economy and the labour market must remain a priority;

14. Recalls that non-discriminatory and equal integration into the labour market or the improvement of the position in the labour market of women and of the most vulnerable groups, (such as people experiencing or at risk of poverty and social exclusion, in particular the most deprived, people with disabilities, the Roma and other disadvantaged ethnic minorities, young and elderly people, single parents and the unemployed, in particular the long-term unemployed, as well as self-employed workers and workers in precarious employment), is paramount to create a fair and socially just and inclusive society;

15. Takes note of the Commission proposal to allocate EUR 13,1735 billion in 2022 to the ESF+; highlights that the ESF+ must play a key role in supporting the Member States to foster social inclusion, fight against poverty, achieve high levels of quality employment for all, especially for those farthest from the labour market and particularly creating better opportunities for young people, non-discriminatory and inclusive labour markets, working conditions that allow work-life balance for parents and carers, gender equality, adequate social protection and a skilled and resilient workforce ready for the transition to a green and digital economy;

16. Welcomes the transfer from REACT-EU of an additional EUR 10,8 billion to cohesion in 2022, of which 30 % will be allocated to the ESF +; urges the Member States to quickly deploy these resources to mitigate the social impacts of the crisis; recalls that the REACT-EU resources shall support job creation and quality employment, in particular for people in vulnerable situations, as well as support social systems contributing to social inclusion, anti-discrimination and poverty eradication measures, with a particular focus on child poverty and enhance equal access to social services of general interest, including for children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and the homeless (as per REACT-EU Regulation Article 8);

17. Recalls that implementation of the EPSR and the Action Plan to implement the 20 principles of the EPSR will help to address the challenges facing Europe such as digitalisation, green transition and demographic change and will help alleviate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, employment, social and economic aspects;

18. Reiterates that the RRF must contribute to implementation of theEPSR, in order to create stable quality jobs, social cohesion and inclusion; stresses that the reforms from the national plans should be in line with the Porto objectives and with the EPSR and that the Member States should increase investments in area of the social dimension in line with their social reforms in the labour market, education and skills, social protection and social housing, in particular in those MS where there is an increased need for social measures within the Country Specific Recommendations;

19. Recalls that social dialogue and social partners must be a cornerstone of the Recovery Plan and contribute to the implementation of the EPSR, both at national and Union level, and be systematically involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of national and European Recovery and Resilient Plans; Calls on all the Member States to invest for the capacity building of social partners and civil society organisations, including in the form of training, networking measures, and strengthening of the social dialogue, and to activities jointly undertaken by the social partners in the delivery of employment, education and social inclusion policies;

20. Welcomes the Youth Employment Support Package, particularly the reinforced Youth Guarantee (YG) and stresses the need for Member States to implement this by investing relevant Union funds available for their education, training, upskilling and employment;

21. Calls on Member States and the Commission to make combating youth unemployment a priority, in particular as part of the European recovery effort and to make full use of financial instruments such as the YG;

22. Recalls the obligation for all Member States to allocate an appropriate amount of their ESF + resources under shared management to targeted actions and structural reforms to support youth employment, in particular in the context of implementing schemes under the YG and for Member States with a higher share than the average Union rate of young people not in employment, education or training to allocate at least 12,5 % of their ESF+ resources to implement the YG;

23. Calls on the Members States to make the best use of the directly managed strand of the ESF+, the Employment and Social Innovation strand for investment in social innovation and for supporting labour mobility but also preventing brain drain from certain Member States, remote or rural areas;

24. Deplores the fact that in 2019, 22% of all children in the Union were at-risk-of-poverty or severely materially deprived or living in (quasi-)jobless households; stresses that, in the context of recovery from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, tackling child poverty will become even more important in the coming years; Welcomes the adopted European Child Guarantee aimed at ensuring that every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to free healthcare, education, early childhood education and care as well as decent housing and adequate nutrition;

25. Recalls that Member States should use the ESF+ resources to efficiently tackle child poverty and underpin targeted actions to combat child poverty in view of supporting the implementation of the Child Guarantee; highlights, in this regard, the importance of Member States’ investment of Union funds in combatting child poverty and social exclusion;

26. Encourages Member States to go beyond the minimum requirements of the ESF+, in view of the persistently high levels of child poverty and social exclusion throughout the Union; reiterates its call on the Commission to invest at least EUR 20 billion in the European Child Guarantee in the period 2021-2027 out of which at least 3 billion must be made available in the year 2022;

27. Highlights the important role the revised EGF can play in supporting and reskilling workers made redundant as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis; Recalls that the EGF offers ex-post, temporary, one-off support to displaced workers and self-employed persons to adapt to structural change and return to employment as rapidly as possible in major restructuring events, in particular those caused by significant changes in the trade relations of the Union or the composition of the internal market and financial or economic crisis, the transition to a low-carbon economy or as a consequence of digitisation or automation;

28. Underlines the importance of the simplified application requirements and revised eligibility criteria in the EGF Regulation, lowering the minimum threshold of job displacement from 500 to 200;

29. Highlights that the EGF supports training packages to include skills required in the digital industrial age as well as in a resource-efficient and sustainable economy; calls on the Member States to make use of the opportunities provided by the EGF in case of major restructuring events;

30. Believes Member States should make use of the EGF and widely disseminate information on the possibilities for support to workers and their representatives;

31. Takes note that the level of EGF commitment appropriations in reserve for 2022 is set at EUR 201,3 million (+2% compared to 2021), corresponding to the maximum annual amount envelope of EUR 186 million (2018 prices) available in accordance with Article 8 of the MFF Regulation; Welcomes the alignment of the co-financing rate with the ESF+;

32. Recalls that the JTF provides support to the people, economies and environment of territories facing serious socio-economic and employment challenges deriving from the transition process towards the Union’s 2030 targets for energy and climate and a climate neutral economy of the Union by 2050;

33. Highlights that JTF is a key tool for supporting territories most affected by this transition and plays a key role in preventing an increase in regional disparities; highlights that the JTF must focus on the needs of individuals and social well-being and lead to social sustainability by supporting the creation of quality and sustainable jobs, reskilling of workers, and supporting social infrastructure for the purpose of child and elderly care facilities so no one is left behind; takes note of the Commission appropriations in 2022 of EUR 1 159,749 million;

34. Highlights the broadening of its scope to address the social aspects of the transition, in particular support to jobseekers, including job search assistance, upskilling and reskilling and their active inclusion into jobs as well as investments in smart and sustainable mobility, other activities in the areas of inclusive education training and labour market adaptation with a specific accent on green and digital employment and social inclusion, including support for social infrastructure for the purposes of training centres, child, elderly- and disability- care facilities and the possibility to support sustainable investments pursuant to regional State aid guidelines, if such support is necessary for quality and sustainable job creation in the identified territory;

35. Recalls that the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) has been integrated in ESF+ and welcomes that, in 2022, at least 3 % of the ESF+ budget shall be spent on food aid and basic material assistance, together with accompanying measures for the most deprived persons, with a co-financing rate of 90% since the current crisis hits the most deprived the hardest;

36. Acknowledges that the Member States are projected to reach their pre-crisis level of quarterly output by the end of 2022; warns that for the recovery to be sustainable, it is essential that quality jobs are created also for the medium and low skilled workers and especially for women, as it has been shown that they are essential for the resilience of our societies and economies;

37. Recalls that women are more widely affected by the pandemic in terms of health risks, pre-existing employment inequalities and care responsibilities and strongly promotes gender responsive budgeting and increased funding to support measures for the promotion of equality and equal access to the labour and to have comprehensive systems to monitor and measure gender budget allocations; acknowledges that most of the sectors which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis were feminised and essential sectors, many of which have precarious working conditions, and that special efforts should be made during the recovery period to improve employment conditions in those sectors;

38. Highlights that addressing the socio-economic dimension of environmental policy and climate action not only constitutes basic fairness, but also creates opportunities to realise broader wellbeing gains for all and create virtuous circles; believes that, if well designed, green and digital investments have a great potential for quality job creation and reduction of inequalities and that the transition to a new distribution of care needs to be added;

39. Calls on the Member States for the greater mobilisation of ESF+ and JTF resources and to combine them with national and local investment in order to tackle social exclusion, energy poverty, and material deprivation, to effectively counter the digital gap and digital exclusion, especially in rural areas and among the young, the elderly and persons with disabilities, and to secure access to digital tools and programmes and to affordable communication infrastructures;

40. Recalls that COVID-19 pandemic has once again exposed the lack of policy responses to the impact of demographic change in the Union, such as the lack of adequate and affordable housing, quality care facilities and sufficient care and support services; stresses that the budget 2022 should underline the importance of safeguarding and promoting the dignity of the elderly and their fundamental rights in the Union; calls, furthermore, for sufficient funding to support investment in housing in order to tackle effectively the growing problems of a lack of affordable housing, poor housing conditions, housing exclusion and homelessness;

41. Insists on the importance of budgetary accountability and prioritisation; welcomes in this regard the Commission Communication on the performance framework for the 2021-2027 MFF; stresses that in order to deliver true value for money for the people in the Union, the focus should be put on evidence-based and future-proof policymaking; to this end, considers it important to involve social partners and civil society organisations into the monitoring and evaluation of programmes; recalls that gender budgeting is key to ensure a sustainable, just and inclusive economy;

42. Strongly believes that gender and disability inclusive budgeting must be mainstreamed in the 2022 general budget to better align policies and activities that promote the equal participation of women and people with disabilities in the labour market and to have comprehensive systems to monitor and measure such budgetary allocations in line with the Union’s commitments under the European Gender Equality and Disability Rights Strategies and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD);

43. Recalls that it is important that local administrations are able to receive and manage a significant part of Union funds, as they are the public entities closest to European citizens;

44. Stresses that pilot projects (PPs) and preparatory actions (PAs) are important tools to test new policy initiatives in the fields of employment and social inclusion and inclusive equality, including through data collection that has already translated into a number of successful initiatives; recalls that the assessment of their implementability is formally anchored in the Interinstitutional agreement of 2 December 2013 and in practice, is meant to ensure that Parliament adopts PPs/PAs that are legally and technically implementable; highlights, therefore, that the evaluation must be thorough, detailed as well as transparent and objective and that the grade given must reflect only the merit of the proposal; also points out that the implementation of an adopted PP/PA must remain transparent and in line with their adopted objectives and recommendations of the proposal; Calls on the European Commission to establish direct communication and exchanges with the European Parliament in order to ensure reasonable evaluations of the PP/PA;

45. Recalls that the agencies and especially the European Labour Authority (ELA) play an important role in providing Union institutions and the Member States with specialised knowledge and expertise notably on employment and social issues and facilitating fair labour mobility; stresses that they must be given the necessary resources to fulfil their tasks which are constantly evolving; insists, in particular, on a proper staffing and financing of the new ELA in accordance with the financial statement;

46. Stresses that adequate financial means should be made available to ensure the correct and ambitious application and enforcement of occupational safety and health strategic framework; to this end calls for an increased funding for EU-OSHA to cope with the new challenges and to fulfil the new tasks; reiterates that labour inspectorates should be strongly involved, both in enforcement of OSH measures aimed at preventing COVID-19  infection as well as in developing guidance and assistance to employers and workers and that particular attention should be given to high-risk sectors, such as healthcare, services, education and transport;

47. Stresses that during the pandemic there is a significant risk of suffering mental health problems and poor mental well-being that would be exacerbated by both job loss and job insecurity and is of the opinion that people will need extra support in getting back to normal and in coping with the issues brought on by the pandemic and calls on the Member States to pay attention to ways of mitigating mental health risks in the case of further waves of the COVID-19;

48. Recalls that the transition to a digital economy, which delivers for decent working conditions and fully respect labour rights, will require investments to adapt industrial production facilities, improve related infrastructures, connectivity, network security, and the future organisation of work, as well as investment in new ways to deliver social and organisational support to workers; calls in this regard for adequate resources to ensure the right to disconnect for all workers in the Union as well as adequate teleworking conditions including psycho-social and ergonomic rules.

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

5

7

Members present for the final vote

Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Abir Al-Sahlani, Dominique Bilde, Gabriele Bischoff, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Milan Brglez, Jordi Cañas, David Casa, Leila Chaibi, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, Jarosław Duda, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Nicolaus Fest, Loucas Fourlas, Cindy Franssen, Helmut Geuking, Elisabetta Gualmini, Alicia Homs Ginel, France Jamet, Agnes Jongerius, Radan Kanev, Ádám Kósa, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Katrin Langensiepen, Miriam Lexmann, Elena Lizzi, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Dragoş Pîslaru, Dennis Radtke, Elżbieta Rafalska, Guido Reil, Daniela Rondinelli, Mounir Satouri, Monica Semedo, Vincenzo Sofo, Beata Szydło, Eugen Tomac, Romana Tomc, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Nikolaj Villumsen, Marianne Vind, Maria Walsh, Stefania Zambelli, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Alex Agius Saliba, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Johan Danielsson, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Sara Matthieu, Beata Mazurek, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

42

+

NI

Ádám Kósa, Daniela Rondinelli

PPE

David Casa, Jarosław Duda, Gheorghe Falcă, Loucas Fourlas, Cindy Franssen, Helmut Geuking, Radan Kanev, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Miriam Lexmann, Dennis Radtke, Eugen Tomac, Romana Tomc, Maria Walsh, Tomáš Zdechovský

Renew

Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Jordi Cañas, Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Dragoş Pîslaru, Monica Semedo, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

S&D

Alex Agius Saliba, Gabriele Bischoff, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Milan Brglez, Johan Danielsson, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Elisabetta Gualmini, Alicia Homs Ginel, Agnes Jongerius, Marianne Vind

The Left

Konstantinos Arvanitis, Leila Chaibi, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Nikolaj Villumsen

Verts/ALE

Katrin Langensiepen, Sara Matthieu, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Mounir Satouri

 

5

ECR

Margarita de la Pisa Carrión

ID

Dominique Bilde, Nicolaus Fest, France Jamet, Guido Reil

 

7

0

ECR

Beata Mazurek, Elżbieta Rafalska, Vincenzo Sofo, Beata Szydło

ID

Elena Lizzi, Stefania Zambelli

Renew

Abir Al-Sahlani

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY (05.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Pascal Canfin

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Highlights that the 2022 Union budget and its implementation as well as the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) as a whole should meet the expectations of people that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crises will be fast, resilient, sustainable, socially fair and equitable, and that it should accelerate the transition to an economy that ensures wellbeing within planetary boundaries; stresses that the 2022 Union budget should contribute to fostering a strong economic recovery, job creation and European competitiveness;

2. Recalls that this budget has to be aligned with the most recent policies adopted by the Union, within the frame of the European Green Deal, and thus reflect a paradigm shift; recalls that some policies, such as the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), should reflect this shift through its strategic planning;

3. Stresses that this budget should contribute to achieving the revised 2030 EU climate and environmental targets – including the targets and objectives laid down in the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies  – the Union’s energy and circular economy targets and the objective of making the Union climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest in line with the Paris Agreement goal to limit the temperature rise to under 1.5oC while supporting the Member States that have suffered the most and ensuring a green and just transition for all with social inclusion and regional cohesion through the European Green Deal; highlights that adequate support should be provided to the Member States that have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences;

4. Calls for an increased use of Union and international climate funding to protect and restore natural ecosystems as a way of achieving shared benefits between biodiversity and climate mitigation and adaptation;

5. Emphasises the importance of achieving the Union’s climate and biodiversity mainstreaming targets[19] as soon as possible, including by using the new funds available under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument, in particular the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)2 and the Just Transition Fund; recalls Parliament’s position calling for 10 % of the Union budget to be allocated to biodiversity expenditures; stresses the importance of using those funds to also ensure a just transition based on solidarity and fairness; highlights that it is essential that funding from the 2021-2027 MFF and the NGEU is only awarded for activities which are in line with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle and are consistent with the Paris Agreement objectives as laid down in the European Council conclusions of 21 July 2020;

6. Recalls that the position of 5 September 2019 of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety  was to set a 40% target for climate mainstreaming in the 2021-2027 MFF; notes that the overall spending on biodiversity in the 2014-2020 programming period was 8%; is concerned that the current 7,5% target on biodiversity represents a decrease in spending compared to the previous MFF;

7. Expects that the 2022 Union budget will serve as a stepping stone to reach the MFF biodiversity spending target of at least 10% as soon as possible and that it will facilitate unlocking at least EUR 20 billion to be spent on nature annually[20]; regrets that neither the EU 2022 proposal, nor preliminary estimates for 2023-2027 meet those expectations and calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase their efforts to uphold the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 and to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal and of subsequent Union strategies;

8. Calls on the Commission, ahead of the mid-term review of the 2021-2027 MFF, to carry out an assessment on whether the climate and biodiversity spending targets are sufficient to meet the objectives of the 8th Environmental Action Programme, or whether they need to be increased;

9. Reiterates its call for the phase-out of harmful subsidies and for coherence between all Union funds and programmes; insists that projects and programmes which are inconsistent with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5oC, or with the objective of halting and reversing biodiversity loss, should not be eligible for support under the Union budget;

10. Recalls that Union expenditure should be consistent with the ’do no harm’ principle of the European Green Deal; notes that the Commission issued technical guidance on the application of ’do no significant harm’ principle under the RRF; calls on the Commission to issue further technical guidance to ensure that Union spending under all programmes respects the ’do no harm’ principle and to avoid that projects that were deemed in violation of the ‘do no significant harm’ principle under the RRF are supported by other Union programmes;

11. Recognises that the CAP plays a key role in ensuring whether the climate and biodiversity spending targets are achieved or not; reiterates its call for the CAP to be fully in line with the Union’s increased climate and biodiversity ambition; calls on the Commission to assess the coherence of the updated CAP with the Union’s increased climate and biodiversity objectives and to propose remedies to ensure full alignment of the CAP with those objectives;

12. Demands that all infrastructure investments are resilient to adverse climate change impacts and are in line with the ‘Energy efficiency first’ principle as well as the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5 C; calls for the integration of greenhouse gas emissions into the mandatory cost-benefit analysis of the project over the entire lifecycle of the project using the most likely baseline in order to avoid stranded assets;

13. Reiterates its call to track climate- and biodiversity-related expenditure using robust, transparent, reliable and comprehensive methodologies for the achievement of the applicable targets; insists that the methodology for climate spending take into consideration the effects of the phasing out of NGEU funding, and differentiates between climate mitigation and adaptation where feasible; welcomes the new “’climate adjustment mechanism’ which can be triggered to modify spending in case of insufficient progress; expects the Commission to take into account the concerns of the Court of Auditors set out in the  Special Report No 16/2021 [21] when drafting the new methodology; expects that the reporting will be disaggregated and that there will be an adequate overview of individual expenditures and their impacts; looks forward to the consultations and close cooperation of the Council and the Commission and the annual report on both the climate and biodiversity targets, as set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020; welcomes that existing overlaps between climate and biodiversity goals will be taken into account;

14. Points to the need to ensure sufficient resources in the 2022 Union budget for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals;

15. Stresses that tracking of climate- and biodiversity-related expenditure should rely on a science based, life cycle approach in order to counteract the risk of ‘greenwashing’;

16. Welcomes that the methodology to track climate spending will be based on the use of outcome, rather than intended outcome markers as well as being deployed at the lowest level of granularity possible;

17. Calls on the Commission to present an improved method for tracking biodiversity-related expenditure into the Union budget and a complete assessment of the funding needs to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, current levels of funding and the remaining finance gap;

18. Welcomes the correction mechanism laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 in relation to the climate target; calls on the Commission to put forward a correction mechanism for the biodiversity target in case spending falls below the foreseen targets;

19. Considers that sufficient resources should be secured in the 2022 Union budget for the achievement of the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Pollinators Initiative, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Zero Pollution Action Plan and the new Soil Thematic Strategy and EU Forest Strategy; calls, therefore, on the Commission to promptly secure an adequate level of human resources for the directorates involved in ensuring the full implementation of those strategies; is concerned about the fact that the staffing levels of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment have been significantly reduced in the last few years and that it represents only 1.73 % of all Commission staff, jeopardising the successful implementation and enforcement of Union policies and calls for its imminent increase;

20. Considers it essential, that sufficient resources are secured in the 2022 Union budget for the investment in skills; recalls that the European Skills Agenda serves to strengthen competitive sustainability and resilience of the Union; underlines the importance of developing the skills of Europeans in order to grasp the opportunities of the green transition;

21. Welcomes the increase in the budgets for the EU4Health programme and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (rescEU) in order to support the European Health Union and enhance the Union’s capacity to respond to crises and build resilience to future shocks; reiterates that adequate funding should be provided to the HERA incubator awaiting the set up of a new European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, to notably address imminent challenges related to variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; calls for increased funding towards genome sequencing and epidemiological surveillance; reiterates the importance of increased funding towards a strong and inclusive European Health Union to contribute to equitable access to health care of good quality; stresses the urgency of strengthening the capacity and resilience of national health systems to be able to respond to the needs of patients across the Union; calls for additional budgetary support for the LIFE programme;

22. Stresses that sufficient funding for the European Health Union package should be accompanied by measures to support the open strategic autonomy of the Union with regard to pharmaceutical products, as well as research and innovation in the sector to the benefit of patients and society as a whole;

23. Recalls that only 4.3% of the population lives without any pre-existing medical condition; stresses that sufficient funding must be reserved for addressing this challenge in European health policies that can positively impact health outcomes for people with gateway chronic diseases as well as co-morbidities;

24. Calls for adequate and targeted funding of competitive European research into the treatment of major non-communicable diseases in order to facilitate innovation as well as contribute to building health system resilience and prioritising the most medically vulnerable in times of health crises; considers that the 2022 Union budget should ensure that adequate funds are allocated for the appropriate implementation of the Beating Cancer Plan from different sources of funding, notably the EU4Health, the RRF and Horizon Europe; stresses, in particular, the importance to dedicate the necessary funding for enhancing cancer research, prevention and therapeutics innovation; welcomes in this regard the planned Partnership for Personalised Medicine, announced in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and to be funded under Horizon Europe;

25. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Union funding for biomedical research and development includes clauses that contribute to the availability and affordability of final products;

26. Recalls the importance of the LIFE programme as a funding instrument for climate change mitigation and adaptation; calls for the level of budgetary support for the LIFE programme to be maintained;

27. Recalls the importance of ensuring sufficient, predictable and stable financial and human resources for the existing Union agencies under the remit of Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (the European Chemicals Agency, in particular budget and staffing of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Environment Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medicines Agency), as well as for the planned European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, enabling them not only to fulfil their mandates and execute their tasks, but also to respond optimally to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate the green transition; underlines the importance of enhancing coordination between those Union agencies to improve the consistency of their work in a cost-effective way; regrets that financial constraints has led some Union Agencies to cut on some of their activities despite proving their added value;

28. Emphasises, furthermore, that appropriate resources should be secured in the 2022 Union budget for the implementation of the European Health Union proposals, as amended during the legislative process; calls, therefore, on the Commission to revise the financial statements for the extended mandates of the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to take into account the additional tasks set out in the revised proposals;

29. Underlines that as resources are allocated for improved pandemic preparedness and management, note should be taken of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic;

30. Stresses that sufficient resources should be allocated in particular for increasing investments in research and development, which is essential in order to promote European innovation in the development of medicines; stresses that investments in the area of health should contribute to equitable access, availability and affordability of pharmaceutical products;

31. Stresses the need to significantly increase the budget of the European Environment Agency to provide sufficient financial and staff resources to enable full implementation of the European Green Deal and its related policies, such as all the monitoring and foresight obligations coming from the 8th Environmental Action Programme or the reporting and monitoring from other nature- or energy-related legislation;

32. Supports the own resources that contribute to the Union’s goals on health, the environment and the climate, with a high share of the income coming from the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and in particular from the reduction in free allowances, non-recycled plastic packaging waste and a carbon border adjustment mechanism that mirrors the ETS.

33. Calls on the Commission to consider the impact of its methodology with regard to administrative burdens on national, regional and local authorities as well as other stakeholders and beneficiaries; highlights that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often among first movers with regard to innovation; recalls that SMEs can be particularly vulnerable to administrative burdens;

34. Welcomes the Better Regulation agenda of the Commission which aims to make Union regulation simpler, more targeted and easier to comply with; calls on the Commission to facilitate the achievement of the European Green Deal by tackling obstacles and red tape that may slow down its implementation, while also ensuring that the implementation of the European Green Deal targets is achieved with the lowest possible burden for citizens and businesses, for example by applying a ‘one in, one out’ approach and by paying special attention to the implications and costs of applying Union laws, especially for SMEs.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

1.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

55

11

15

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Bartosz Arłukowicz, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurélia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Alexander Bernhuber, Malin Björk, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Cyrus Engerer, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Anja Hazekamp, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Petros Kokkalis, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ewa Kopacz, Joanna Kopcińska, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Joëlle Mélin, Tilly Metz, Giuseppe Milazzo, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ville Niinistö, Ljudmila Novak, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Sándor Rónai, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Günther Sidl, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Annalisa Tardino, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Petar Vitanov, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Emma Wiesner, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes under Rule 209(7) present for the final vote

Salvatore De Meo

 

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

55

+

EPP

Bartosz Arłukowicz, Traian Băsescu, Alexander Bernhuber, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Salvatore De Meo, Christian Doleschal, Agnès Evren, Adam Jarubas, Ewa Kopacz, Esther de Lange, Peter Liese, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Dolors Montserrat, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Cyrus Engerer, Jytte Guteland, Javi López, César Luena, Alessandra Moretti, Sándor Rónai, Günther Sidl, Petar Vitanov, Tiemo Wölken

Renew

Pascal Canfin, Andreas Glück, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Emma Wiesner

The Left

Malin Björk, Anja Hazekamp, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig, Mick Wallace

NI

Athanasios Konstantinou

 

11

ECR

Rob Rooken

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Aurelia Beigneux, Marco Dreosto, Catherine Griset, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Sylvia Limmer, Joëlle Mélin, Silvia Sardone, Annalisa Tardino

NI

Ivan Vilibor Sinčić

 

15

0

ECR

Sergio Berlato, Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Giuseppe Milazzo, Alexandr Vondra, Anna Zalewska

Greens/EFA

Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Ville Niinistö, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY (29.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Christian Ehler

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the draft budget for 2022 as the first general budget with full implementation of the MFF Agreement including the relative share of climate-relevant EU expenditure and the contribution to the EU’s digital transition; stresses again that this budget should be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal, ultimately contributing to achieve the revised 2030 EU climate, energy and environmental targets and the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest and, in turn, prompting the updated New Industrial Strategy; stresses that 2022 should be a year for boosting a rapid recovery for a socially, environmentally and economically resilient Europe;

2. Takes note of the Council’s position on the 2022 budget; condemns strongly the cuts proposed to the Union programmes in the industry, research and energy areas, particularly considering that these programmes represent essential investments for recovery, and in the sustainability and digital transitions as well as Europe’s competitiveness, resilience and strategic autonomy;

3. Recalls the agreement on the MFF, including on the NGEU funding and the additional funding of EUR 4 billion for Horizon Europe; Considers the cuts proposed by the Council to run contrary to these agreements; intends to hold the Council to its commitments to the recovery of Europe;

4. Reminds that the ambitious policies in the pathway to climate neutrality require significant investments in research and innovation and in this regard regrets recent Council cuts in allocations to Horizon Europe for 2022;

5. Recalls its resolution of 16 September 2020 on the draft Council decision on the system of own resources of the EU; calls on Commission to ensure timely implementation of New Own resources as agreed in the Interinstitutional agreement of 16 December 2020;

6. Underlines the importance of enhancing the protection of the Union budget and NGEU against fraud and irregularities; welcomes the introduction of standardised measures to collect, compare and aggregate information and figures on the final beneficiaries of Union funding, including on beneficial owners of the recipients and contractors; calls on the Commission to ensure full application of these new measures on all levels of budget implementation and to monitor closely their effectiveness in view of detecting fraud;

7. Insists on the importance of increased investments in digitalisation and digital connectivity to clearly define 2030 digital target and tackle challenges related to reducing the digital divide and increasing digital literacy, cybersecurity, free flow of data, safety, liability and artificial intelligence;

8. Urges, in light of the climate emergency and the alarming findings of the 6th IPCC Assessment Report, for a substantial increase of the climate expenditure in the 2022 budget and to use available margins and flexibility instruments to strengthen the Union’s programmes supporting the ecological, energy and resource-efficient transition; believes, moreover, that the Union funds spent for harmful projects or false climate solutions should be redirected into the development and deployment of energy- and resource-efficiency measures and sustainable renewable energy solutions that are already available or will be available in the near future in order to deliver the EU climate and energy goals;

9. Calls for additional funds to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures in order to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement and to accelerate clean energy transition or transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;

10. Reminds that the implementation of the Green New Deal requires the MFF and NGEU funding to be awarded consistently with the Paris Agreement; stresses the importance of achieving the biodiversity spending level of 10 % and a climate mainstreaming spending level of 30 % agreed under the 2021-2027 MFF; stresses that clear eligibility criteria and comprehensive methodology for defining and tracking relevant climate and biodiversity expenditure in line with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle are necessary as well as the proofing mechanism to identify potential harmful impacts of Union actions on biodiversity and climate; reminds the Commission to fully involve the Parliament; emphasizes that the Commission needs to propose this methodology before the presentation of the draft budget for 2023 as to ensure that the target set out in the IIA of 16 December 2020 for 2024 can be met effectively; expects that the next performance report includes details on how the Union budget contributes to the Green New Deal and the ‘do no significant harm principle’;

11. Reiterates its call for the phase-out of harmful subsidies and for coherence between all Union funds and programmes; insists that projects and programmes which are inconsistent with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5oC, or with the objective of halting and reversing biodiversity loss, should not be eligible for support under the Union budget;

12. Reiterates that Union budget should benefit the people and primarily be focused on promoting social development, quality jobs, raising quality of living standards, improving access to knowledge, achieving the Sustainable Developments Goals, energy transition to more efficient and renewable-based energy system, fight against climate change, and eradicate energy poverty.

13. Reminds of the crucial role of strategic foresight and importance of the evidence based anticipatory policy making;

14. Highlights the need to further support research and innovation as a driver for prosperity in the context of the recovery from the current pandemic and the EU’s green and digital ambitions; Calls for making available to Horizon Europe Programme the research decommitments from 2020 in line with Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation; calls for the expenditure on health research from the Union budget to be at least equal to that in the 2021 general budget, given the evolving pandemic situation; calls for allocation of Next Generation EU funds to sectors hard hit by the crisis and to instruments that can contribute directly to the recovery while spurring the ecological and sustainable digital transition of the European economy; believes that the digital transition should itself facilitate and contribute to the green transition and highlights the importance of further greening of the ICT sector; underlines the role of the EIC and EIT in supporting research and innovation in the Union, and the need to increase their financial resources in 2022;

15. Highlights that the Union budget should support academic freedom and institutional autonomy across Europe and the world; calls for the Union budget to offer support to Afghan scholars now facing dire circumstances as academic freedom is likely to disappear under the Taliban-lead regime;

16. Supports the pilot project for setting up a Fellowship Scheme for Researchers at Risk, which should enable the Union to directly support scholars at risk, like those in Afghanistan;

17. Regrets the lack of ambition of draft budget for 2022 in regards to micro and SME policy; underlines that given the current economic situation, it is highly important to establish and strengthen the support mechanism for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. Without additional support it will not be possible to address adequately the severe, long-term consequences of the crisis on micro and SMEs. Calls, therefore, for stronger support in the 2022 budget for micro and SMEs and their representative associations, thus helping to support development, improve access to technology and promote better labour conditions.

18. Underlines the important role that SMEs, microenterprises and start-ups play in the recovery while maintaining employment and growth and calls on Union and Member States to ensure stronger support for SMEs and start-ups and to further reduce their administrative burden; underlines that SMEs are an essential part of the European economy and stresses the need to create a SMEs-friendly business environment and support SMEs cluster and network; Calls for the need for sufficient financial resources in the SME window under InvestEU;

19. Underlines the need to reform the European industry and hard-to-abate sectors in order to achieve a competitive and sustainable Union and its climate goals; stresses, therefore, the need for sufficient funding for programmes supporting these goals, innovative solutions and breakthrough technologies such as Horizon Europe, CEF, InvestEU and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH 2) Joint Undertaking;

20. Calls for addressing the social, economic, energy and environmental impacts of the transition whilst maintaining and expanding employment opportunities in the affected territories in order to avoid social exclusion; points, in this respect, to the role of the Just Transition Fund in addressing societal, socio-economic, technological and environmental impacts on workers, sectors and communities adversely affected by the transition from coal and carbon dependence; calls for securing workers’ rights, reducing of the energy poverty and avoiding deepening of inequalities;

21. Reiterates its support for an industrial policy based on an ecosystem approach that supports competitiveness and strengthens resilience of the Union while facilitating the ecological and digital transitions; highlights the need for alignment of investment across Union Programmes and actions, including Joint Undertakings, Industrial Alliances and IPCEIs where appropriate, to efficiently address the needs of each ecosystem;

22. Stresses the importance of successful implementation of ‘Fit for 55’ package; highlights the essential role of implementing the Union’s Circular Economy Action Plan in order to achieve the mentioned policies;

23. Welcomes the Commissions ambition to strengthen Union competitiveness, strategic autonomy and resilience and in this context recalls the success of the European Battery Alliance that in line with EGD, Circular Economy Action Plan and New Industrial Strategy aims to contribute to clean and digital transition by creating a competitive, circular, sustainable and safe value chain for batteries, crucial for future low-emissions mobility and energy storage and can, therefore, serve as a good example;

24. Considers the New European Bauhaus movement to be a potent mechanism to support Europe’s transition to a sustainable economy and society; believes Union programmes such as Horizon Europe, Connecting Europe Facility and InvestEU should contribute to that initiative; calls on the Commission to develop a mechanism to integrate this movement into existing Union programmes, leading to synergies and without any additional criteria or administrative burdens;

25. Calls for sufficient staffing for all agencies in line with their tasks and responsibilities; underlines in particular the need to substantially reinforce ACER and the EIT which have been understaffed for many years, as well as ensure sufficient budget for ENISA and BEREC to fulfil their missions; welcomes the addition of new establishment plan posts in the EUSPA, but calls for a gradual reduction of external personnel in order to prevent disruptions in security related activities.

26. Recalls its plea for promoting gender equality and equal rights and opportunities for all in the Union budget; highlights that special efforts are needed to ensure that the Union budget catalyses gender-equal ecological and sustainable digital transitions; stresses the importance of targeting, in particular, the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the field of ICT and space sectors; expects the commission to swiftly come up with its methodology to measure the contribution of each relevant programme to gender equality, in line with the inter-institutional Agreement accompanying the 2021-2027 MFF, taking on board the European Court of Auditors’ recommendations[22];

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

56

8

10

Members present for the final vote

Nicola Beer, François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Michael Bloss, Paolo Borchia, Marc Botenga, Markus Buchheit, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Carlo Calenda, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Josianne Cutajar, Nicola Danti, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Martina Dlabajová, Valter Flego, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Claudia Gamon, Nicolás González Casares, Christophe Grudler, András Gyürk, Henrike Hahn, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Ivars Ijabs, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Izabela-Helena Kloc, Łukasz Kohut, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Andrius Kubilius, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Thierry Mariani, Marisa Matias, Joëlle Mélin, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Ville Niinistö, Aldo Patriciello, Mauri Pekkarinen, Mikuláš Peksa, Tsvetelina Penkova, Morten Petersen, Markus Pieper, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Manuela Ripa, Robert Roos, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Riho Terras, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Marie Toussaint, Isabella Tovaglieri, Viktor Uspaskich, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Erik Bergkvist, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Cornelia Ernst, Valérie Hayer, Elena Lizzi, Jutta Paulus, Sandra Pereira, Angelika Winzig

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

56

+

NI

Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Viktor Uspaskich

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Andrius Kubilius, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Riho Terras, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss, Angelika Winzig

Renew

Nicola Beer, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Nicola Danti, Martina Dlabajová, Valter Flego, Claudia Gamon, Christophe Grudler, Valérie Hayer, Ivars Ijabs, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen

S&D

Erik Bergkvist, Carlo Calenda, Josianne Cutajar, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Nicolás González Casares, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia, Carlos Zorrinho

Vert/ALE

Michael Bloss, Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Jutta Paulus, Mikuláš Peksa, Manuela Ripa, Marie Toussaint

 

8

ECR

Izabela‑Helena Kloc, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Robert Roos, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Evžen Tošenovský

ID

Markus Buchheit

 

10

0

ID

Paolo Borchia, Elena Lizzi, Thierry Mariani, Joëlle Mélin, Isabella Tovaglieri

NI

András Gyürk

The Left

Marc Botenga, Cornelia Ernst, Marisa Matias, Sandra Pereira

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (12.7.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Eugen Jurzyca

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Notes that in the budgetary procedure the IMCO Committee is responsible for heading one – single market, innovation and digital, including budget clusters 03 02 single market programme, 03 03 EU anti-fraud programme, and 03 05 cooperation in the field of customs;

2. Notes that 2022 will be the second year of application of the Single Market Programme dedicated to support of the frictionless functioning of the internal market and improving the free movement of goods and services, providing support for small and medium business to scale up and expand across borders, as well as promoting the interest of European consumers and ensuring a high standard of their protection; strongly welcomes the creation of a specific line on surveillance within the Single Market Programme, as repeatedly requested by the Parliament;

3. Notes the increase of commitment and payment appropriations in heading one of the EU budget for 2022 reinforced by the contribution from the “Next Generation EU” should ensure an effective and efficient funding dedicated to improvement of functioning of the internal market, innovation, strategic infrastructure, digital transformation and the competitiveness of SMEs;

4. Notes that the COVID-19 crisis has hindered the free movement of persons, goods and services in the EU; calls for adequate and effective initiatives to restore, further deepen and complete the single market while supporting the transition towards a digital and sustainable economy, and to address unjustified and disproportionate barriers to free trade making the Single Market stronger and more resilient and in order to increase EU trade flows and improve value chains, thus contributing to economic growth;

5. Underlines that the COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of effective and efficient product safety policy both offline and online and proper enforcement of the consumers right in the single market; stresses the need to proper finance existing internal market tools to guarantee an high level of consumer protection and consumer welfare;

6. Stresses that the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis will heavily affect European citizens and micro- and small enterprises in the months to come; underlines therefore, the necessity to support micro- and small enterprises via the Single Market Programme; making the Single Market stronger and more resilient;

7. Calls on the Member States to continue to implement effectively the national recovery and resilience plans towards digital and sustainable transition and innovation; recalls the need to create synergies between the Single Market Programme and the Next Generation EU recovery fund;

8. Underlines in particular the great potential of the free movement of services, which is still underdeveloped, and calls for initiatives and actions to boost cross-border trade in services in full respect of the freedom to provide services, improve competitiveness of SMEs and to reduce unjustified administrative burdens for companies; as well as for actions in order to ensure adequate implementation and enforcement of existing legislation at national level;

9. Notes that cross-border infrastructure is the backbone of the single market, helping goods, services, businesses and citizens to move freely across borders; notes in this regard the reformed Connecting Europe Facility;

10. Believes that additional efforts are needed to support Member States in the digitalisation of the public sector, especially for procedures that affect businesses and consumers, enabling them to conduct administrative procedures online; underlines that completing the Digital Single Market should remain one of the key budgetary priorities;

11. Welcomes in this regard the new Digital Europe Programme dedicated to the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy; recalls the need to support businesses, especially SMEs, including innovative digital start-ups and scale-ups in Europe  in their access to the single market and digital transition and sustainable development; recalls the crucial importance of completing the Digital Single Market;

12. Underlines the need to ensure budgetary support of implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive and the European Accessibility Act at the Union level;

13. Notes that the adoption of best practices in public procurement for EU-funded projects could help to avoid frequent errors and ensure proper implementation of investments;

14. Reiterates the importance of an adequate and effective level of commitment appropriations to allow the modernisation of the customs union in support of the implementation of the Union Customs Code and the development of electronic and more automated customs systems in the interest of greater efficiency for EU companies and European and national authorities and streamlined protection of consumers; welcomes the strengthened Customs programme that will support the further digitisation and modernisation of the customs union, as well as the establishment of Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) that comprises the Customs Control Equipment Instrument (CCEI) providing support to the Member States to properly manage the various challenges and risks at EU borders; calls for this modernisation to take account of the changes related to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and to safeguard and fully support the northern Ireland protocol; commends for full compliance with the recommendations of the Court of Auditors on a more effective budget, consumer welfare and protection, and better value for businesses;

15. Underlines the importance of accountability and transparency for bodies that receive EU funding and underlines the importance of clear labelling to indicate publicly that a project has been funded or partly funded with EU funding; reiterates that effective and sustainable spending and proper evaluation creates savings that could finance further activities;

16. Stresses the need for all budgetary programmes to be subject to ongoing cost-benefit and sustainability analyses to ensure that the limited Union budget is used as effectively as possible, and that funding can be used for the most high-quality projects with a maximum effect and whose results match intended objectives, including the desired contribution to sustainability; points out that EU funding should be accompanied by measurable result indicators, rather than simple output measurements, which would allow comparability and efficiency ranking of individual EU programmes;

17. Asks the Commission to support the pilot projects and preparatory actions proposals within the IMCO Committee’s remit.

 

 

 

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

12.7.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Alex Agius Saliba, Andrus Ansip, Pablo Arias Echeverría, Alessandra Basso, Brando Benifei, Adam Bielan, Hynek Blaško, Biljana Borzan, Vlad-Marius Botoş, Markus Buchheit, Andrea Caroppo, Anna Cavazzini, Dita Charanzová, Deirdre Clune, David Cormand, Carlo Fidanza, Evelyne Gebhardt, Alexandra Geese, Sandro Gozi, Maria Grapini, Svenja Hahn, Virginie Joron, Eugen Jurzyca, Marcel Kolaja, Kateřina Konečná, Andrey Kovatchev, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Morten Løkkegaard, Antonius Manders, Leszek Miller, Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Miroslav Radačovský, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Róża Thun und Hohenstein, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Clara Aguilera, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Christian Doleschal, Claude Gruffat, Jiří Pospíšil, Kosma Złotowski

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

39

+

ECR

Adam Bielan, Carlo Fidanza, Eugen Jurzyca, Kosma Złotowski

ID

Alessandra Basso

NI

Miroslav Radačovský

PPE

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Andrea Caroppo, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Deirdre Clune, Christian Doleschal, Andrey Kovatchev, Antonius Manders, Jiří Pospíšil, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Róża Thun und Hohenstein

Renew

Andrus Ansip, Vlad-Marius Botoş, Dita Charanzová, Sandro Gozi, Svenja Hahn, Morten Løkkegaard, Marco Zullo

S&D

Alex Agius Saliba, Clara Aguilera, Brando Benifei, Biljana Borzan, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Leszek Miller, Christel Schaldemose

Verts/ALE

Anna Cavazzini, David Cormand, Alexandra Geese, Claude Gruffat, Marcel Kolaja

 

4

ID

Hynek Blaško, Markus Buchheit, Virginie Joron, Jean-Lin Lacapelle

 

2

0

The Left

Kateřina Konečná, Anne-Sophie Pelletier

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND TOURISM (28.09.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022

((2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Isabel García Muñoz

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. Whereas the Union transport and tourism sectors are essential for Union’s economic, social and environmental development and its sustainability and for ensuring the territorial accessibility and connectivity of all regions of the Union, with particular attention for peripheral, rural, mountainous, insular and outermost regions and other disadvantaged areas;

B. Whereas transport and tourism will be key to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 in a technologically neutral way, while making sure it remains affordable; whereas sufficient investment is needed to accelerate the shift to sustainable and smart mobility for all means of transport and to achieve the emissions reduction targets following the corresponding comprehensive impact assessment in line with the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement;

C. Whereas transport sector is one of the largest employers in Europe; whereas new challenges should be tackled in a way guaranteeing positive effects on job creations and worker’s conditions;

D. Whereas public transport systems should be promoted and improved, particularly in attractiveness, efficiency and capacity terms; whereas strengthening sustainable rural mobility is crucial to socioeconomic and territorial cohesion;

E. Whereas the transport and tourism sectors and the jobs generated by these are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis and will be key to the recovery of the internal market and EU economy; whereas transport has proven vital to ensuring the continuous flow of goods and the distribution of vaccines across the EU during the COVID-19 crisis; whereas tourism – that employs directly or indirectly 27 million workers – is an essential sector for the EU economy, as its fourth largest export industry, and plays an important role in fostering its competitiveness, employment and social well-being;

F. Whereas the EU’s Vision Zero objective sets the goal to reduce road deaths by 50% until 2030 and achieve zero fatalities by 2050; whereas investments in road safety are a key element of the EU’s Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety; whereas the persistent high road fatality numbers suggest that more investment should be provided to guarantee road and user safety;

1. Highlights that appropriate funding for transport and infrastructure projects will be instrumental in boosting EU recovery and advancing towards the green and digital transition while ensuring competitiveness of the sector; calls on the Commission and Member States to use the available financial tools including, but not limited to, CEF, RRF, Cohesion Fund, InvestEU, ERDF, in an articulate and complementary way to maximise their effect on recovery while ensuring adequate long-term funding of EU transport and infrastructure projects, including those for transport-related air pollution monitoring; welcomes the multiannual financial framework (MFF) agreement on a simpler, more efficient and results-oriented own resources system that takes into account EU priorities, in particular its environmental and digital ambitions;

2. Highlights the importance of counting with sufficient resources and encouraging cooperation between local, regional, national and EU level  to better understand local and regional realities and needs in advancing towards the green and digital transition, such as new mobility models;

3. Underlines that poor transport quality contributes to severe under-investment, regional disparities and inclusion gaps that adversely affect the business environment and jeopardise cohesion efforts; stresses the importance of substantial technical assistance and supervision at EU level in order to strengthen socioeconomic and territorial cohesion efforts;

4. Highlights the need to use EU adequate financing for awareness raising,  training and resources on road safety, including on safety and security of transport workers and the prevention of potential theft of cargo or vehicles and other security and safety threats;

5. [02 03 01] Reiterates the crucial role of CEF in fostering the development and timely completion of a high performance trans-European network (TEN-T) that is sustainable, safe, multimodal, interoperable and interconnected across the areas of transport, energy and digital services infrastructure;

6. Highlights that the CEF is the main instrument to finance infrastructure development with highest EU-added value in terms of economic, social and territorial cohesion and connectivity and  stresses  the need to strengthen regional  connections on the TEN-T ; points out the importance to accelerate cross-border projects and missing links for a timely completion of the TEN-T; regrets in that regard the proposed reduction of the CEF-transport budget in 2022 compared to 2021 and to the levels observed in the previous Multiannual Financial Framework; underlines the need for the use of CEF for actions related to safe and secure infrastructure and mobility, such as safe and secure parking areas in the EU;

7. Stresses the role of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and related national plans in stimulating the recovery in the transport and tourism sectors; insists on the need for proper parliamentary scrutiny of its implementation in full cooperation with regional and local authorities and all related stakeholders;

8. [05 03 03] Welcomes the increase in the Cohesion Fund allocation to the CEF for transport in 2022; notes however, that it is far from compensating the sharp decrease observed in 2021; reiterates the essential role the Union transport policy and investment play in enhancing territorial, social and economic cohesion in the Union, particularly in peripheral regions;

9. [09 03] Welcomes the important funding of the Just Transition Fund under the Just Transition Mechanism for 2022 to ensure a fair and inclusive transition to climate neutrality; highlights the role of the Mechanism and its public sector loan facility in investing in safe, sustainable and resilient transport and tourism infrastructure in the regions that are the most affected by transition challenges such as rural and sparsely populated, disadvantaged regions and environmentally vulnerable territories and in promoting affordable and accessible mobility services for all passengers, including those with disabilities and reduced mobility; stresses the need to support the up- and reskilling of workers and jobseekers in the transport sector, as well as productive and sustainable investment in SMEs;

10. Calls for the promotion of public transport and for an EU action plan to implement a single and multimodal ticketing system;

11. Calls for a specific POSEI transport programme to be established as an additional support to compensate for the disadvantages and losses resulting from the cost of transporting passengers and goods to the outermost regions;

12. [02 02] Notes with satisfaction the strong increase in the InvestEU budget from 2021 and its important reinforcement from NextGenerationEU in 2022; recalls the Commission that adequate funding of InvestEU beyond the operation period of NGEU and through the MFF 2021-2027 is key to foster sustainable and safe infrastructure, mobility solutions and equipment and for the deployment of innovative technologies and alternative fuels;

13. [13 04 01] Notes, despite the drastic reduction of its ambitions in the MFF negotiations, the slight increase in the military mobility budget in 2022 which aims to adapt parts of the TEN-T networks for a dual use of the transport infrastructure with a view to improving both civilian and military mobility;

14. Reiterates Parliament’s urgent and repeated request for the creation of a specific programme on sustainable tourism at European level and the creation of a specific budget line with an allocated amount that reflects both the importance of the tourism sector in the EU economy and its needs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis;

15. Welcomes financing under the REACT-EU across economic sectors, such us tourism, as it supported SMEs in job maintenance and job creation, among others, as well as in their green and digital recovery;

16. [02 10 02] [02 10 03] Requests alignment of the funding of European transport agencies with the level of their responsibility and their role in the transition towards decarbonisation of transport modes;

17. Regrets the decrease in the allocation foreseen for EMSA in the Council’s position, taking into account the agency’s key role in supporting the sustainability of maritime transport, monitoring emission’s reporting from vessels, its contribution in responding to marine pollution, among others, and its future responsibilities in the green transformation of the sector;

18. Stresses that a bigger increase is needed for the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) in order for it to be able to provide additional support to TEN-T completion objectives, particularly ERTMS and cross-border sections; stresses that ERA also has to address new tasks, unexpected needs such as those related to cybersecurity and the shortage of staff given the raise in applications to implement the Fourth Railway Package;

19. [02 10 01] Notes the slight increase of the EU total contribution to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) proposed for 2022; reminds that adequate financing of EASA is needed in line with its appointment in 2018 as a “European Strategic Investment” Agency, and its new core tasks with the adoption of its new Basic Regulation in 2018;

20. Requests earmarked funding for EASA for research on limitation of the spread of airborne infection diseases in the air transport environment and new health safety measures;

21. Underlines the role of the Agency in the Green Deal through its work to contribute to the green recovery of the EU’s aviation industry and improve the environmental impact of aviation, among others through the development of CO2 standards, the concept of an Eco Label programme to inform passengers and in support of the green renewal of airlines’ fleet and the engagement into the certification of sustainable fuels; underlines the need to reinforce EASA capability to prevent the aviation security risks;

22. [01 02 02 51/52/53/54] Salutes the establishment of the Clean Aviation, Europe’s Rail, Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking 3 (SESAR 3) and Clean Hydrogen partnerships; calls for adequate funding of these joint undertakings so that they can play their role in boosting innovation and research and in improving the transport sector’s performance, safety and sustainability;

23. [02 20 04 01] Recalls the importance of communication activities on EU transport policy such as transport security or Passenger rights to raise awareness and respond to citizens’ demands, particularly in the context of the European Year of Rail and the COVID-19 crisis;

24. [13 01 03 74] Welcomes the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), officially replacing INEA, and highlights its important role in continuing to support sustainable, safe and smart transport services and infrastructure projects;

25. [02 02 99 12] Recalls that the EFSI was established in order to contribute to highly innovative market-based projects, and therefore sees it as an essential instrument to help SMEs in the transport sector develop new mobility solutions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to speed up the completion of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and to increase assistance to SMEs and start-ups when preparing such projects;

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

44

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Magdalena Adamowicz, Andris Ameriks, José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Paolo Borchia, Marco Campomenosi, Massimo Casanova, Ciarán Cuffe, Johan Danielsson, Karima Delli, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Ismail Ertug, Gheorghe Falcă, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Mario Furore, Søren Gade, Isabel García Muñoz, Jens Gieseke, Elsi Katainen, Kateřina Konečná, Elena Kountoura, Julie Lechanteux, Peter Lundgren, Benoît Lutgen, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Tilly Metz, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, João Pimenta Lopes, Rovana Plumb, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Dominique Riquet, Dorien Rookmaker, Massimiliano Salini, Vera Tax, Barbara Thaler, István Ujhelyi, Henna Virkkunen, Petar Vitanov, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ignazio Corrao, Josianne Cutajar, Tomasz Frankowski, Markus Pieper

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

44

+

ECR

Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

ID

Paolo Borchia, Marco Campomenosi, Massimo Casanova, Julie Lechanteux

NI

Mario Furore

PPE

Magdalena Adamowicz, Gheorghe Falcă, Tomasz Frankowski, Jens Gieseke, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Benoît Lutgen, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Markus Pieper, Massimiliano Salini, Barbara Thaler, Henna Virkkunen, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi

Renew

José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Søren Gade, Elsi Katainen, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Dominique Riquet

S&D

Andris Ameriks, Josianne Cutajar, Johan Danielsson, Ismail Ertug, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Isabel García Muñoz, Rovana Plumb, Vera Tax, István Ujhelyi, Petar Vitanov

The Left

Elena Kountoura

Verts/ALE

Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Karima Delli, Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg, Tilly Metz

 

4

ECR

Peter Lundgren

NI

Dorien Rookmaker

The Left

Kateřina Konečná, João Pimenta Lopes

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (30.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Pina Picierno

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Recalls that under the common agricultural policy (CAP) transitional rules, the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) measures will continue in 2022 under the rules of the 2014-2020 framework until the implementation of the reformed CAP in 2023; highlights the importance of transitional CAP measures to bridge the gap to the new legal basis while contributing to the achievement of the European Green Deal objectives, guaranteeing a smooth and harmonious transition to the new provisions, giving legal certainty to the agricultural sector and safeguarding the legal framework for funding and the economic stability of European farms; draws attention to the need to bring the 2014-2020 programmes progressively to a successful closure with the final payments on outstanding commitments; welcomes the reinforcement of the EAFRD by EUR 5,7 billion from Next Generation EU (NGEU) in 2022; recalls that NGEU funds will be available as external assigned revenue not subject to the annual budget procedure; highlights that NGEU support to local actors is not only essential to the recovery of farmers and rural areas from the impact of the pandemic, but also crucial to the Union’s ambitious environmental targets, the resilience of the agricultural system in achieving the new strategic biodiversity and ‘farm to fork’ objectives as well as the objectives of the Long-Term Vision for the Development of Rural Areas in the first phase of its implementation; highlights therefore the need for a strong EAFRD and swift operation of the NGEU funds in 2022, taking into account Union commitments from that new recovery instrument;

2. Points out that a reformed and modernised CAP will support the transition towards a fully sustainable agricultural sector and the development of dynamic rural areas, in line with the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal and its related strategies, namely the ‘farm-to-fork’ and biodiversity strategies;

3. Welcomes the recovery funds which are devoted to supporting agri-food operators in their efforts to adapt to climate change and to provide European consumers with sustainable and local products; stresses that special attention must be paid to the quality agri-food products hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis;

4. Calls on the Commission and Member States in 2022 to focus on projects that safeguard existing jobs in the agriculture sector and create quality jobs with labour rights, stable and regulated pay and working conditions, in order to effectively and incisively combat poverty and social exclusion in rural areas;

5. Takes note of the EUR 54 117 million in commitments and EUR 55 859 million in payments for agriculture; takes note of the Council’s mandate and the absence of further cuts to the Commission’s draft budget; nonetheless calls for an increase of the budget considering the amount of challenges that the agri-food sector has faced in 2021 and still needs to tackle in 2022; welcomes the fact that Heading 3 – natural resources and environment – is to provide around half the total budget resources earmarked for combating climate change in the period 2021-2027; stresses that appropriations under that heading are earmarked for investments in a sustainable agricultural and maritime sector, seeking to ensure safe and high quality food supplies through the adoption of updated agricultural and maritime policy objectives; highlights the need for a strong contribution of the EAGF and EAFRD to a range of development objectives including the mainstreaming of climate and the protection of biodiversity in the budget 2021-2027; highlights the preliminary estimates showing that the EAGF and EAFRD contribution to climate mainstreaming reaches over 20 % of the Union target while their contribution to biodiversity mainstreaming represents over 60 % of the Union objective, thus estimated to compensate for programmes which do not contribute to those goals; stresses, however, the need for those estimates to be confirmed by accurate tracking of expenditure; recalls the Union responsibility to track its biodiversity-related expenditure to fulfil its reporting obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity; stresses that a transparent, comprehensive and meaningful tracking methodology should be adopted swiftly, and adapted if necessary during the MFF mid-term revision, for both climate-related spending and biodiversity-related spending; highlights that a year 2022 without adequate climate and biodiversity spending and reliable tracking risks impeding the achievement of those targets throughout the current MFF;

6. Welcomes the establishment of the new Digital Europe programme to address the current digital investment gap; emphasises that the Digital Europe programme will enhance essential EU digital capabilities by focusing on key areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security, advanced computing, infrastructure, governance and data processing and their interoperability, development and optimal use in critical sectors, including agriculture and the environment;

7. Questions the cost-benefit analysis of the current crisis reserve which has remained unused despite several demands for support during the COVID-19 pandemic; reiterates its request to use that reserve in the case of possible new market disruption or a sectoral crisis linked to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; welcomes the political agreement to improve the crisis reserve as reached in the framework of the CAP reform but regrets that it has not incorporated more ambitious proposals supported by the European Parliament;

8. Recalls that the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the strategic role that the CAP plays in avoiding a food crisis by ensuring safe, high-quality, nutritious and varied food at affordable prices; welcomes the slight increase in demand and appropriations for agricultural market interventions in the 2022 budget over the 2021 budget; insists that some of the COVID-19 crisis measures supporting agricultural sectors need to be continued and provided with additional funds in 2022 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to steadily reinvigorate rural communities so as to guarantee medium and long-term food security; asks the Commission to implement in the budgetary year 2022 exceptional measures to help farmers overcome the COVID-19 crisis, which has strongly hit some agricultural sectors, including flowers, wine, cheese and some meat producers and to do so in coherence with long term health and environmental goals of the Farm to Fork Strategy; is of the opinion that the Union should dedicate for that purpose the margin of 340 million euro that will remain after assigned revenues;

9. Recalls that Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for the priority treatment of rural areas; notes, however, that rural areas are undervalued in the distribution of funds under cohesion policy and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); calls, therefore, on the Commission to give higher priority to the funding of rural areas under the ERDF and cohesion policy;

10. Encourages Member States, under Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 establishing rules for direct payments, as amended, to channel direct payments under their national ceilings into the voluntary scheme for small farmers;

11. Reaffirms the significance of the Union’s school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme to help children follow a healthy diet; therefore cannot agree with the Commission’s proposal to reduce support for the school scheme by almost 10 percent, particularly given the varied but often detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people’s food security, their dietary habits and financial resources; invites Member States to fully use their allocations and prioritise sustainable, local and high-quality production;

12. Stresses the necessity to allocate a significant share of the Horizon Europe funds to the agri-food sector to support research and innovation in food, agriculture, bioeconomy and rural development in order to improve agricultural productivity and accommodate the ambitions of the European Green Deal; urges the Commission to ensure that the results reach farm level; calls on the Commission to implement the multi-actor approach in the Horizon Europe programme in an effective and practical manner, so that farmers can hold an appropriate role in those programmes and can be involved in the process of design, implementation and dissemination throughout the life of the project; recalls the importance of proper and accessible advisory services for farmers to integrate state-of-the-art technologies and practices, including cultivation and breeding methods, and improve the sector’s competitiveness and sustainability; stresses the need to maintain efforts for a geographical balance between all Member States as regards access to Horizon Europe funding;

13. Supports the extension, beyond 15 October 2021, of exceptional measures for the wine sector to help farmers overcome the COVID-19 crisis, taking into account the deterioration of the market due to persistent lockdowns; highlights the economic consequences of the crisis, which threaten to significantly alter consumption trends; underlines the fact that, for a year and a half, the Airbus/Boeing dispute worsened the economic damage suffered by the wine sector;

14. Regrets the conclusion of the Court of Auditors’ opinion n° 10/2021 that the Commission does not yet have a fully effective framework in place for supporting gender mainstreaming in the Union budget; stresses the importance of gender analyses and gender monitoring and evaluation in the agricultural sector to adjust for inequalities; calls on the Commission to develop specific actions to implement the new 2020-2025 Gender Equality Strategy in the agricultural sector;

15. Fragile agricultural sectors play an important role in economic, social or environmental terms; takes the view that voluntary coupled support to those sectors should be maintained at the same level; therefore opposes to the reduction of EUR 13 million proposed in the 2022 draft budget;

16. Stresses that future food sovereignty relies significantly on generational renewal in the agricultural sector; calls on the Member States to strengthen existing support measures for young farmers in 2022 in view of the lack of generational renewal in farming, which is currently one of European agriculture’s biggest challenges; calls on the Council and Commission to maintain at least levels of support for young farmers in the General Budget 2022; stresses the need to facilitate access to land and farm succession as a key prerequisite to enable young and new farmers to enter the sector; therefore rejects the reduction of EUR 5 million proposed in the draft budget for the young farmers’ payments;

17. Stresses that, in view of the progressive liberalisation of agricultural trade and the existence in our trading partners of different production standards, environmental practices and animal welfare rules, it is imperative to strengthen border controls; calls on the Commission to monitor existing trade agreements with countries where there are serious doubts about compliance with Union rules and which have been the subject of complaints made to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

30.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

0

8

Members present for the final vote

Mazaly Aguilar, Clara Aguilera, Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Álvaro Amaro, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Benoît Biteau, Mara Bizzotto, Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais, Asger Christensen, Angelo Ciocca, Ivan David, Paolo De Castro, Jérémy Decerle, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Luke Ming Flanagan, Dino Giarrusso, Martin Hlaváček, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Jarosław Kalinowski, Gilles Lebreton, Norbert Lins, Colm Markey, Alin Mituța, Marlene Mortler, Ulrike Müller, Maria Noichl, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Maxette Pirbakas, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Bronis Ropė, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Veronika Vrecionová, Sarah Wiener, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Substitutes present for the final vote

Claude Gruffat, Tilly Metz, Irène Tolleret

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

37

+

ECR

Mazaly Aguilar, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Veronika Vrecionová

ID

Gilles Lebreton, Maxette Pirbakas

NI

Dino Giarrusso

PPE

Álvaro Amaro, Daniel Buda, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Jarosław Kalinowski, Norbert Lins, Colm Markey, Marlene Mortler, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Renew

Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Asger Christensen, Jérémy Decerle, Martin Hlaváček, Alin Mituța, Ulrike Müller, Irène Tolleret

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Isabel Carvalhais, Paolo De Castro, Maria Noichl, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno

The Left

Luke Ming Flanagan, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

 

 

8

0

ID

Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca, Ivan David

Verts/ALE

Benoît Biteau, Claude Gruffat, Tilly Metz, Bronis Ropė, Sarah Wiener

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES (3.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Pierre Karleskind

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Recalls the economic, social and environmental aspects of fisheries, aquaculture and maritime affairs; stresses their vital role in boosting the development of the sustainable blue economy and their contribution to developing and revitalising coastal areas;

2. Welcomes the increase in the EMFAF Budget 2022; reiterates that, for sustainable fisheries, including small scale fisheries, and sustainable aquaculture to continue to be viable and competitive, appropriate funding for these sectors is needed; believes that the budget for these sectors must respond to the needs identified by the Member States and take into account social, environmental and economic objectives and contribute to the EU objective, notably those set out in the Green Deal, the new industrial strategy, the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, the New approach for a sustainable blue economy and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030; takes the view that maintaining the competitive position of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors must go hand in hand with achieving these goals any proposal must therefore be subject to an impact assessment;

3. Calls for attention to the fact that the blue bioeconomy can be an important element in taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. Fisheries, aquaculture and algae culture are crucial to increase sustainable aquatic food production in EU. The development of water-based food production systems resilient to climate change requires more research and innovation prior to their deployment. Algal biomass is a potential important aquatic resource that can be used as feedstock in a wide range of uses;

4. Recalls that, as a result of the Brexit, the EU fishing sector is suffering considerable economic loss; considers therefore, as a matter of priority, that the Commission secures compensation commensurate with the damage suffered by the sector and the fishing communities, taking into account all consequences, direct and indirect, of the Agreement; highlights the difficulties for the sector to obtain fishing authorisations in the 6-12 nautical miles and in Guernsey and Jersey waters; urges the Member States, in this regard, to fully use all of the resources under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve in order to mitigate the direct and indirect negative impacts of the Agreement, and to avoid discrimination between the European fleet affected by Brexit, whether they fish in UK waters or not;

5. Recalls that, as a result of the Brexit, the EU aquaculture sector is also suffering considerable economic loss; considers therefore, as a matter of priority, that the Commission secures compensation commensurate with the damage suffered by the sector, taking into account all consequences, direct and indirect, of the Agreement and of the UK now being a third country; highlights the difficulties for the import of shellfish from so-called class B and C areas from the UK to the EU and the prohibition of the purification of these shellfish in the EU; urges the Commission, in this regard, to make an exception and to allow for shellfish of class B and C areas from the UK to be brought to the EU in sealed trucks to be purified in EU member states at special depuration centers that meet the required capacity;

6. Stresses the importance of fixing the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the entire fisheries and aquaculture sector hard; welcomes the introduction, in the new EMFAF, of the possibility to trigger measures for the aquaculture and fisheries sectors in case of exceptional events generating a significant disruption of markets as well as temporary cessation in case of sanitary crisis; believes that the inclusion of such provisions better protects the sector in case of a new sanitary crisis;

7. Stresses the importance of fixing the economic and social damage caused by offshore windfarms, which have and will keep affecting the fisheries sector in a negative way; calls for the introduction of compensation for the disruptions and losses caused by offshore windfarms; reiterates that, for the fisheries sector to continue to be viable and competitive, appropriate funding and compensation for this sector is needed;

8. Welcomes the approvals by the Commission of Member states recovery plans; stresses out the importance of Member States using these resources to ensure sustainable recovery of the fishing and aquaculture sector when implementing their recovery plans;

9. Draws attention to the potential of European aquaculture, including in terms of food security and health benefits in the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy; calls on the Commission to foster the sustainable growth of this sector above the actual 2% of global aquaculture production with specific, acceptable and shared targets for 2030; Highlights that the strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture developed recommendations regarding animal welfare; stresses that the EMFAF should be used to further improve animal welfare standards in fisheries and aquaculture;

10. Insists on the necessity to improve scientific and technical knowledge to ensure the most reliable research-based solutions for all marine biological resources in line with the requirements of the CFP; reiterates the importance of ensuring sufficient financial resources for the collection, management, use and exchange of data in the fisheries sector;

 

11. Insists on the necessity to improve scientific and technical knowledge to ensure the most reliable research-based solutions; reiterates the importance of ensuring sufficient financial resources for the collection, management, use and exchange of data in the fisheries sector in the EU and in the waters of third countries with which we have and/or are establishing SFPAs;

12. Is concerned that less than 50 % of EMFAF operational programmes are expected to be adopted in 2021, while the remaining programmes will be adopted only in 2022. Asks the Commission to publish a detailed report on the re-programming of unspent EMFAF allocations; draws particular attention to the fact that 3 457, 6 million EUR amount on outstanding commitments related to the EMFF programme in the period 2014 – 2020 was not paid or reimbursed as the 1 January 2021; invites the Members States and the Commission to adopt the operational programmes under the EMFAF urgently; asks the Commission to improve the process of implementation, approval and application of the funds;

13. Draws attention to the international dimension of the CFP and its economic, social and environmental benefits and calls on the Commission to devote adequate resources to Oceans governance; stresses out the importance of international cooperation to achieve EU’s commitments;

14. Stresses the importance of control in securing the objectives of the CFP; welcomes, in this regard, the additional funding allocated to the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), and the two additional Offshore Patrol Vessels and aircraft missions in waters adjoining the United Kingdom; calls to carry out its activities contributing to the achievement of the CFP goals, especially in the light of increased complexity and challenges due to Brexit;

15. Recalls that EFCA budget should also assure the necessary means to assist  the uniform implementation and organisation of the operational coordination of control activities by Member States for the implementation of specific control and inspection programmes, control programmes related to IUU fishing and international control and inspection programmes, including in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations convention areas such as NAFO, IOTC and others;

16. Deplores the fact that the EU Atlantic Maritime Strategy makes no mention of fisheries and aquaculture; therefore, regrets that no funding has been earmarked for implementing the strategy;

17. Stresses that generational renewal is one of the European fishing sector’s priorities; invites Member States to draw on the EMFAF to finance the introduction of programmes specifically designed to help young people to take up careers in fisheries, to make the sector more diverse and to encourage people from under-represented groups, particularly women, to join the sector; highlights that generational renewal can contribute to the achievement of Green Deal objectives, since younger generations are more prepared and open to the green and digital transitions, which are fundamental for the sector;

18. Reiterates the need to provide substantial support for disadvantaged coastal areas and European outermost regions;

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

1.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Clara Aguilera, Pietro Bartolo, François-Xavier Bellamy, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Isabel Carvalhais, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Rosanna Conte, Rosa D’Amato, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Søren Gade, Francisco Guerreiro, Anja Hazekamp, Niclas Herbst, Ladislav Ilčić, France Jamet, Pierre Karleskind, Predrag Fred Matić, Francisco José Millán Mon, Grace O’Sullivan, João Pimenta Lopes, Manuel Pizarro, Caroline Roose, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Peter van Dalen, Emma Wiesner, Theodoros Zagorakis

Substitutes present for the final vote

Valentino Grant

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

26

+

ECR

Ladislav Ilčić, Bert-Jan Ruissen

ID

Rosanna Conte, Valentino Grant, France Jamet

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Peter van Dalen, Niclas Herbst, Francisco José Millán Mon, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Theodoros Zagorakis

Renew

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Søren Gade, Pierre Karleskind, Emma Wiesner

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Pietro Bartolo, Isabel Carvalhais, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Predrag Fred Matić, Manuel Pizarro

Verts/ALE

Rosa D’Amato, Francisco Guerreiro, Grace O’Sullivan, Caroline Roose

 

1

The Left

Anja Hazekamp

 

1

0

The Left

João Pimenta Lopes

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON CULTURE AND EDUCATION (28.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Romeo Franz

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Believes that the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic should not adversely affect investments of a social, educational, creative and cultural nature; therefore, increases the allocations of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps Programme to better support the recovery and the ‘greening’ of those programmes; underlines that particular attention should be paid to ensure good outreach to vulnerable people, whose exclusion has been worsened by the pandemic, in order to ensure equal access to the programmes for all, leaving no one behind;

2. Underlines the need to strengthen the digital dimension of the Union programmes in the fields of culture and education, in particular in the context of the pandemic and the recovery, and to support the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) in fully exploiting the digital transition as an opportunity;

3. Calls upon the Commission to ensure full implementation of the Union programmes in the fields of culture and education in 2022;

4. Given the dramatic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on Europe’s CCS, reinforces the Culture strand of the Creative Europe Programme, to support organisations, artists and all cultural workers in their recovery, to provide targeted support for the performing arts, in particular the music sector, and to ‘green’ and include a social dimension in the programme;

5. Reiterates that the increase in programme budgets must go hand in hand with a linear and gradual growth in annual allocations, in order to avoid disproportionate increases and absorption difficulties in the final years of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework;

6. Urges the Member States once more to earmark at least 2 % of the Recovery and Resilience Facility for the recovery of the CCS and industries, in line with Parliament’s request; welcomes the fact that some Member States have already earmarked part of their recovery plans to benefit CCS and industries and at least 10 % for education;

7. Insists that no funding from any of the three strands of the Creative Europe Programme should be used for financing projects in the framework of the New European Bauhaus initiative, in line with the repeated commitment of the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth to this effect, in order to prevent diversion of the programme’s already thinly spread funds towards new, unforeseen political priorities; calls upon the Commission to identify fresh resources for the New European Bauhaus initiative, tailored to the particular needs of that initiative;

8. Emphasises that more funding is needed to fund all high-quality projects submitted in the framework of calls for proposals under the Citizens’ engagement and participation strand of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme and to tackle the historically low application success rate of that strand;

9. Increases the budget for ‘Multimedia actions’ by EUR 2,2 million and creates a reserve of EUR 5 million, in order to encourage the Commission to find an adequate solution and provide more stability and predictability for the long-term strategic financing of radio networks covering EU affairs with funding covering at least two years; calls, however, for this reserve not to penalise the partnerships concluded by the Commission with other partners for the provision of quality European information, in the framework of ‘Multimedia actions’; affirms in particular its support for the editorial partnership concluded with Euronews in this perspective; furthermore, splits the existing budget line into its four components, for enhanced transparency and budgetary scrutiny;

10. Calls on the Commission to adopt specific measures to enhance the visibility and accessibility of Union funding so as to enhance the know-how of the CCS, in particular that of smaller organisations, to take on the administrative processes required to access Union funding.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

27.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Ilana Cicurel, Gilbert Collard, Gianantonio Da Re, Laurence Farreng, Tomasz Frankowski, Romeo Franz, Chiara Gemma, Alexis Georgoulis, Irena Joveva, Petra Kammerevert, Predrag Fred Matić, Dace Melbārde, Victor Negrescu, Niklas Nienaß, Peter Pollák, Marcos Ros Sempere, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Monica Semedo, Andrey Slabakov, Massimiliano Smeriglio, Michaela Šojdrová, Sabine Verheyen, Maria Walsh, Theodoros Zagorakis, Milan Zver

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marcel Kolaja, Elżbieta Kruk

Substitutes under Rule 209(7) present for the final vote

Evelyne Gebhardt

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

26

+

ECR

Dace Melbārde

ID

Gilbert Collard

NI

Chiara Gemma

PPE

Asim Ademov, Tomasz Frankowski, Peter Pollák, Michaela Šojdrová, Sabine Verheyen, Maria Walsh, Theodoros Zagorakis, Milan Zver

Renew

Ilana Cicurel, Laurence Farreng, Irena Joveva, Monica Semedo

S&D

Evelyne Gebhardt, Petra Kammerevert, Predrag Fred Matić, Victor Negrescu, Marcos Ros Sempere, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Massimiliano Smeriglio

The Left

Alexis Georgoulis

Verts/ALE

Romeo Franz, Marcel Kolaja, Niklas Nienaß

 

 

3

0

ECR

Elżbieta Kruk, Andrey Slabakov

ID

Gianantonio Da Re

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS (23.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – all sections

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Domènec Ruiz Devesa

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Is extremely concerned about the proposed reduction in the budget of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) by 0,5 %; calls instead for a budgetary increase of EUR 31 million in commitment appropriations and EUR 30 million in payment appropriations to effectively implement FRA’s new mandate and the projects that respond to identified needs, such as in the area of emerging technologies and artificial intelligence, migration and security, social and economic rights, and discrimination, and to compensate for the considerable extra efforts required to monitor the impact of fundamental rights during the COVID-19 pandemic; calls for the addition of 12 temporary agents and seven  contract agents in the FRA establishment plan; highlights that without additional financial and staff resources, FRA will not be able to carry out all the tasks assigned to it and fully implement its new mandate; stresses that the FRA`s tasks of collection and analysis of reliable information on fundamental rights compliance in the Member States are expected to increase in the future; recalls that the annual budget of FRA has not increased since 2013

2. Welcomes the proposed increase of the budget of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) by 11,2 % and calls for strong support from EASO to strengthen the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), enhance practical cooperation, provide operational and technical assistance and facilitate information exchange and convergence in the assessment of protection needs between the Member States; stresses that implementing the legal act to transform EASO into the European Union Asylum Agency agreed between the co-legislators on 29 June 2021 requires additional human resources which were not foreseen in the Commission’s draft budget; underlines in particular the need to recruit 28 new members of staff at AD and AST positions for the function of fundamental rights monitors, asylum support teams and liaison officers and to strengthen legal and training teams;

3. Is concerned with the serious and repeated allegations made against the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) related to pushbacks at external borders; is disappointed that, according to the Court of Auditors, Frontex has not managed to implement its mandate from 2016, let alone its updated mandate of 2019, and that serious and multiple deficiencies regarding its effectiveness have been identified; stresses that substantial budget and staff increases for Frontex are conditional on its accountability and transparency, on its commitment to Union law, and on its fulfilment of its mandate; proposes, therefore, to make the budget allocations conditional upon Frontex recruiting the remaining 20 fundamental rights monitors at AD grade, adopting a clear procedure for the implementation of Article 46 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council[23], and swiftly appointing deputy executive directors in line with Frontex’ 2019 mandate;

4. Recalls the estimate made by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) that it will process 3 000 investigations in 2022; emphasises that EPPO is a prosecutorial body with mandatory competences and obligations to investigate irrespective of budgetary provisions; is concerned that the funding proposed for 2022 does not include a meaningful increase as compared to 2021; stresses that a substantial funding increase to EUR 55,7 million , as well as 64 additional members of staff are required; considers that a further increase should be considered through a draft amending budget if the number of cases processed is on trend to meet the estimates of the EPPO;

5. Considers the work of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) crucial to ensure that the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies comply with Union data protection rules, especially in the context of digitalisation, including the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the risks it entails, the conclusions of the Schrems II judgment[24] and the new mandates of some of the Union agencies in the field of justice and home affairs; stresses the need to maintain at least the funding as per the Commission proposal and to reinforce the staff of the EDPS with four AD positions in order to allow the EDPS to carry out all the tasks it is entrusted to and to cope with the increase in workload;

6. Notes the budget increase of 11,2 % and the additional 71 temporary agents for the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol);regrets, however, that the grade of 14 members of staff in the draft proposal does not reflect Europol’s request for 2022; therefore requests a reclassification of 14 staff from AST to AD grades; highlights that Europol is a cornerstone of the EU Security Union Strategy and plays an ever greater role in the fight against terrorism, radicalisation, organised crimes and environmental crimes;

7. Regrets the small funding increase of 1,5 % proposed for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA); believes that this will not be sufficient to cover EMCDDA’s needs without hampering the scientific activities of EMCDDA; highlights that the 2021 budget was already insufficient and that EMCDDA was obliged to downsize a significant part of its work programme; notes with concern that the drug market has been remarkably resilient to disruption caused by the pandemic, while globalisation and new technology support the establishment of new trafficking routes and the growth of online markets; requests, therefore, an increase in EMCDDA’s 2022 budget to EUR 18,5 million;

8. Welcomes the proposed budgetary increase for the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust); is disappointed that the proposed establishment plan would reduce the number staff by two: from 207 staff in 2021 to 205 in 2022; considers that increasing Eurojust’s budget while reducing its personnel sends a conflicting signal on how to handle the challenges faced by Eurojust with its ever increasing caseload; requests two additional members of staff at AD 5 level; stresses that a staff increase is necessary for the Agency to carry out existing and future tasks, such as the digitalisation of justice or the fight against environmental crimes;

9. Notes the increase of 44,2 % in commitment appropriations and the increase of 39,1 % in payment appropriations for the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA); recalls that eu-LISA plays a key role in the development of a fully functioning Schengen area and therefore requests 27  additional members of staff,25 of which at AD grade, to support the implementation of important large-scale IT projects, including projects relating to interoperability, and in particular to reduce eu-LISA’s dependency on external contractors;

10. Regrets the decrease of 3,3 % in commitment and payment appropriations for the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), is concerned that CEPOL’s residential and e-learning capacities will be reduced and that CEPOL will not be able to address the digital transition without further human and financial resources; requests rather  additional funding of EUR 750 000 including for specific appropriations for training programmes to tackle the rise of environmental crime, and additional five posts at AD grade in the establishment plan, which would contribute to support CEPOL in providing effective fundamental rights and anti-racism trainings to law enforcement officials;

11. Notes the slight reduction in payment appropriations for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) compared to 2021; welcomes the 25,9% increase in commitment appropriations to get that new fund up to cruising speed as quickly as possible; stresses that this increase is essential at a time where the pressure on national authorities responsible for asylum remains very high, with huge gaps in terms of proper reception of asylum seekers and major delays in the procedures for asylum in the Member States; recalls the importance of providing adequate financial capacities to support the strengthening and developing of all aspects of the CEAS, legal migration and integration, and enhancing solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility; calls, in the light of the proposed New Pact on Migration, for a further 10 % increase in commitment and payment appropriations for the CEAS and the solidarity objectives of AMIF;

12. Recalls the importance of providing adequate financial capacities to support countering irregular migration and effective, safe and dignified returns and readmission;

13. Is deeply concerned by the continuing loss of lives in the Mediterranean Sea, which have increased 56,6 % as compared to the preceding year, representing at least 1 146 people who lost their life on maritime routes to Europe between January and June 2021[25]; is of the opinion that a more long-term approach to search and rescue (SAR) operations is necessary as SAR cannot be exclusively left to non-state actors; urges the Commission to present a legislative proposal and the corresponding budget line to set up a Search and Rescue Fund to support search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea as soon as possible;

14. Notes the 47 % increase in commitment appropriations and the 20 % increase for payment appropriations of the Integrated Border Management Fund; recalls that that fund provides support to effective European integrated border management and to the common visa policy;

15. Is concerned by the redeployment of funds from the Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy (BMVI) to finance the expansion of Europol´s mandate; recalls the Parliament’s long-standing position that Union funding instruments should not be used to fund decentralised agencies which enjoy their own budget lines;

16 Reiterates its call for the creation of a separate budget line per specific objective set out in the legal bases of AMIF and BMVI; believes that a separate budget line per specific objective would help ensure adequate funding for all objectives of AMIF and BMVI and would provide better readability and transparency regarding the annual allocation of financial resources to each of the specific objectives, thereby facilitating scrutiny of the implementation of the programmes;

17. Notes the 29,3% increase in commitment appropriations and the 33,3% increase of payment appropriations for the Internal Security Fund; stresses that that fund is a strong tool to implement the EU Security Union Strategy, by supporting cooperation and efforts of law enforcement authorities to strengthen cybersecurity and to combat terrorism and organised crime in Europe and calls therefore to maintain the increase in funding as proposed by the Commission;

18.  Welcomes the proposed increase in commitment appropriations for the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme; highlights the importance of that programme for supporting civil society, sustaining and promoting an open, democratic and inclusive society, and promoting gender-equality, citizens participation and European citizenship education; calls for an increase in commitment appropriations for the equality, rights and gender-equality budget line of EUR 4 millions of which 15% shall be allocated to support activities to promoting women’s full enjoyment of rights, gender equality, including work-life balance, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming, for the budget line to promote citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union of EUR 4,5 million, for the Daphne budget line of EUR 4,2 million to which 40 % shall be allocated to support activities to prevent and combat at all levelsall forms of gender based violence, and for the budget line to protect and promote Union values of EUR 8,2  million; recalls that appropriate funding for the CERV Programme is essential particularly to address the pressing need to protect and promote Union values which are under increasing pressure across the Union and the alarming number of victims of gender-based violence, which has increased during to the COVID-19 pandemic;

19. Recalls that, by bringing quality fact-based information, combating disinformation, raising awareness to citizens and revealing wrongdoings or crimes, independent and qualitative investigative journalism is an essential component of a well-functioning democracy; stresses that journalism across Europe faces serious challenges, in particular the lack of financial resources, that threaten their independence or survival; calls for ambitious funding programmes in the Union budget in this field;

20. Notes with regret the decrease in commitment and payment appropriations of 6 % and 16 % respectively for the Justice Programme, in particular in the field of support to access to justice and judicial training, such as on the increased use of AI systems in criminal justice;  proposes rather to maintain the funding in 2022 at the level of the 2021 budget; calls for an increase in commitment appropriations for the budget line to promote judicial cooperation of EUR 1 million, for the budget line to support judicial training of EUR 4 million and for the budget line to promote effective access to justice of EUR 3,5 million;

21. Urges the Commission, the Council and th Member States to implement gender budgeting in all public expenditure; recalls that gender budgeting should be an integral part of the budgetary procedure at all its stages and budget lines;

22. Regrets that Member States still provide an insufficient amount of seconded national experts to the Union agencies in the field of justice and home affairs; highlights the importance of such secondments not only to support Union agencies’ human resources, but also to develop a European culture of cooperation between national authorities.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

17.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

14

35

Members present for the final vote

Magdalena Adamowicz, Malik Azmani, Katarina Barley, Pernando Barrena Arza, Pietro Bartolo, Nicolas Bay, Vladimír Bilčík, Vasile Blaga, Ioan-Rareş Bogdan, Saskia Bricmont, Joachim Stanisław Brudziński, Jorge Buxadé Villalba, Damien Carême, Caterina Chinnici, Clare Daly, Marcel de Graaff, Anna Júlia Donáth, Cornelia Ernst, Laura Ferrara, Nicolaus Fest, Jean-Paul Garraud, Maria Grapini, Sylvie Guillaume, Andrzej Halicki, Evin Incir, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Patryk Jaki, Assita Kanko, Fabienne Keller, Peter Kofod, Łukasz Kohut, Moritz Körner, Jeroen Lenaers, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Lukas Mandl, Nuno Melo, Nadine Morano, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Emil Radev, Paulo Rangel, Terry Reintke, Diana Riba i Giner, Ralf Seekatz, Michal Šimečka, Birgit Sippel, Sara Skyttedal, Martin Sonneborn, Tineke Strik, Ramona Strugariu, Annalisa Tardino, Tomas Tobé, Dragoş Tudorache, Milan Uhrík, Tom Vandendriessche, Bettina Vollath, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Elena Yoncheva, Javier Zarzalejos

Substitutes present for the final vote

Olivier Chastel, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Tanja Fajon, Fulvio Martusciello, Rob Rooken, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Miguel Urbán Crespo

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

17

+

NI

Laura Ferrara, Martin Sonneborn

PPE

Vladimír Bilčík

S&D

Katarina Barley, Pietro Bartolo, Caterina Chinnici, Tanja Fajon, Maria Grapini, Sylvie Guillaume, Evin Incir, Łukasz Kohut, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Birgit Sippel, Bettina Vollath, Elena Yoncheva

 

14

ECR

Jorge Buxadé Villalba, Rob Rooken

ID

Nicolas Bay, Nicolaus Fest, Jean-Paul Garraud, Marcel de Graaff, Peter Kofod, Annalisa Tardino, Tom Vandendriessche

NI

Milan Uhrík

The Left

Pernando Barrena Arza, Clare Daly, Cornelia Ernst, Miguel Urbán Crespo

 

35

0

ECR

Joachim Stanisław Brudziński, Patryk Jaki, Assita Kanko, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

PPE

Magdalena Adamowicz, Vasile Blaga, Ioan-Rareş Bogdan, Andrzej Halicki, Jeroen Lenaers, Lukas Mandl, Fulvio Martusciello, Nuno Melo, Nadine Morano, Emil Radev, Paulo Rangel, Ralf Seekatz, Sara Skyttedal, Tomas Tobé, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Javier Zarzalejos

Renew

Malik Azmani, Olivier Chastel, Anna Júlia Donáth, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Fabienne Keller, Moritz Körner, Michal Šimečka, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache

Verts/ALE

Saskia Bricmont, Damien Carême, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Terry Reintke, Diana Riba i Giner, Tineke Strik

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS (7.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – General Introduction – Total expenditure – General statement of revenue – Statement of revenue and expenditure by section

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Antonio Tajani

 

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the proposed 18 % increase in commitment appropriations and 104 % increase in payment appropriations under the 2022 draft budget as compared to the 2021 budget for the budget line ‘Promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union’; recalls that, as laid down in Article 10(3) of the Treaty on European Union participation in the democratic life of the Union is a fundamental right of Union citizens; therefore believes that a further increase is necessary to secure sufficient financial means for the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme and adequate support for, inter alia, the European Citizens’ Initiative and consequently proposes a further 5 % increase for this budget line;

2. Underlines the importance of making sure the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme reaches the entire European Union by taking into consideration a fair, accessible and geographic distribution of the funds; welcomes in this regard the implementation and the commitment appropriations for the Pilot Project BELE – Building Europe with Local Entities, as a way to enhance the participation of towns and villages beyond Member States’ capitals in the democratic life of the Union; calls for specific additional allocations designed to increase the visibility and impact of the Conference on the Future of Europe by deploying, together with the European Parliament, more and better structured initiatives across Europe and within Member States in line with Parliament’s position;

3. Highlights the importance of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme for the promotion of European citizenship education and calls for a budget line on demonstrative and voluntary primary and secondary curriculum for EU and global citizenship education;

4. Disagrees with the Council’s position to reduce funding by 3,6 % in the 2022 draft budget for the line on ‘Commission Representations’; proposes a 5 % increase for this line as compared to the Commission’s proposal in the 2022 draft budget and deems this increase to be necessary for the purpose of encouraging proactive dialogues on EU matters with citizens in Member States, including virtual and hybrid formats, organising events in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe as well as developing communication activities to fight foreign interferences and disinformation; considers that Parliament should also guarantee appropriate resources for its Liaison Offices for this purpose;

5. Regards as insufficient the proposed levels of increase by 0, 9 % in commitment appropriations and by 3 % in payment appropriations for ‘Communication services for citizens’ compared to the 2021 budget; consequently, opposes the Council’s position to reduce funding by 3,1% for this budget line; points out that communication services for citizens ought to be state of the art in order to reach Union citizens and engage with them through different communication channels, substantially rendering the Union’s policies more visible; therefore proposes a 5 % increase compared to the 2022 draft budget levels for ‘Communication services for citizens’ inter alia in view of funding awareness-raising and information activities on the European Citizens’ Initiative in cooperation with the Commission Representations and local Europe Direct Centres in the Member States; underlines the importance of involving smaller NGOs, local authorities and stakeholders in communication strategies and actions; calls for making content available in all Union languages and making that content accessible to Union citizens living in Member States other than their country of origin;

6. Calls for the financing of a specific strategy and initiative focused on citizenship and civic education; calls for the creation under the 2022 Union Budget of a new agency focusing on citizenship and civic education;

7. Urges the Committee on Budgets to incorporate the abovementioned budget line increases in its position, as they serve the purpose of delivering concrete results and quality communication to citizens.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

2.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Gabriele Bischoff, Damian Boeselager, Geert Bourgeois, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Leila Chaibi, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Pascal Durand, Daniel Freund, Charles Goerens, Esteban González Pons, Sandro Gozi, Brice Hortefeux, Paulo Rangel, Antonio Maria Rinaldi, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Helmut Scholz, Pedro Silva Pereira, Sven Simon, Antonio Tajani, Mihai Tudose, Loránt Vincze, Rainer Wieland

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brando Benifei, Alin Mituța

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

22

+

NI

Fabio Massimo Castaldo

PPE

Esteban González Pons, Brice Hortefeux, Paulo Rangel, Sven Simon, Antonio Tajani, Loránt Vincze, Rainer Wieland

Renew

Pascal Durand, Charles Goerens, Sandro Gozi, Alin Mituța

S&D

Brando Benifei, Gabriele Bischoff, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Pedro Silva Pereira, Mihai Tudose

The Left

Leila Chaibi, Helmut Scholz

Verts/ALE

Damian Boeselager, Gwendoline Delbos Corfield, Daniel Freund

 

4

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Jacek Saryusz Wolski

ID

Gerolf Annemans, Antonio Maria Rinaldi

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY (8.9.2021)

for the Committee on Budgets

on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 – General Introduction – Total expenditure – General statement of revenue – Statement of revenue and expenditure by section

(2021/0227(BUD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Samira Rafaela 

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that the Union, in all its activities, shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women, thereby promoting the principle of gender mainstreaming in all of its policies, including via gender budgeting at all levels of the budgetary process;

B. whereas Parliament has repeatedly urged the Commission to promote and implement the use of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and to conduct gender impact assessments in all the Union policy areas; whereas the Court of Auditors confirmed this has not been achieved;

C. whereas Parliament has repeatedly called for sufficient funding for the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), for the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme and for the subsequent Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme and for its Daphne strand in order to enforce non-discrimination, gender equality and gender mainstreaming instruments and to ensure adequate resources to support measures dedicated to preventing and combating gender-based violence; whereas cases of domestic violence have surged due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following measures such as the lockdown or teleworking[26];

D. whereas women are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly women working in precarious employment, feminised sectors and the informal economy; whereas the Union budget for 2022 should play a key role in the economic recovery of the Union paying special attention to those sectors, heavily feminised, that have been essential during the pandemic or have been severely affected by the subsequent economic crisis;

E. whereas women remain under-represented in leadership and decision-making positions, while being overrepresented in low-paid sectors such as care and service work; whereas they devote more time than men to unpaid housework and care responsibilities;

F. whereas women remain under-represented in the digital economy and the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors in terms of education, training and employment; whereas resources supporting women’s and girls’ empowerment through digital inclusion could lead to advancing gender equality in the digital age;

G. whereas new strains of COVID-19 have been spreading through Europe imposing a threat of new lockdowns in the Member States; whereas, therefore, an on-going impact assessment framework on the consequences and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women is important to possibly alleviate the outcome of a new pandemic breakout;

1. Stresses that women’s rights and a gender equality perspective should be integrated and ensured in all policy areas, particularly in light of the multiple gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s rights; reaffirms its strong request to implement gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting throughout the budgetary procedure; recalls the Court of Auditors report 2021 on Gender mainstreaming in the EU budget, which revealed that gender mainstreaming had not been adequately applied across the Union budget, and its main recommendations; underlines that some Member States used the pandemic to further restrict women’s rights;

2. Calls for more funding from the Union for Member States to strengthen the protection of maternity and paternity in labour legislation, in particular by increasing corresponding leave and guaranteeing 100 % pay, as well as reducing working hours during the period of breastfeeding and taking steps to ensure this protection, but also investing in early childhood care and education services, and in long-term care services; notes that unavailability, prohibitive costs and lack of sufficient infrastructure to provide quality childcare services remain a significant barrier to women’s equal participation in all aspects of society, including employment;

3. Expresses its concern at the interrelation between the attacks on the rule of law and the backlash on gender equality and women’s rights; recalls that the budgetary conditionality applies in the context of women rights in the same way as in other policy areas; calls on the Commission to address this issue through the Article 7 procedure against Member States concerned;

4. Calls on the Commission to guarantee that Union funds do not support any projects, investments and programmes that contribute to segregation, discrimination or social exclusion;

5. Calls on the Commission, in the framework of the assessment of the national recovery plans, to provide specific recommendations, in line with the general goal of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to mitigate the social and economic impact of the crisis, in particular on women, stressing the need to ensure investments and reforms to address gender equality, to collect gender-disaggregated data and use gender-relevant indicators, and to facilitate women’s full participation in the labour market in order to include a gender perspective in the response to the crisis to ensure benefits for everyone;

6 Reiterates the need for the Union budget to increase its funding to close the gender pay gap, strongly applying the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, not just through legislation and measures to combat pay discrimination, but in order to promote collective bargaining; calls, furthermore, for measures to combat discriminatory practices in hiring and promotion decisions; calls for measures to increase social protection in maternity, unemployment, illness, work accidents and occupational diseases;

7. Calls for the collection of gender disaggregated data and the use of gender-relevant indicators, and impact assessments to evaluate the measures included in the recovery plans;

8. Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that all budget appropriations under the 2021-2027 MFF respect the principle of equality between men and women and promote it in all Union policies;

9. Calls on the Commission to accelerate the introduction of a methodology, in close cooperation with Parliament, to measure relevant gender expenditure, as set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2020 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources[27];

10. Calls on the Commission to ensure an adequate increase of the budget of the EIGE in order to promote gender equality across the Union, particularly in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, and to subsequently ensure adequate human resources to develop its tasks; underlines the EIGE’s central role in collecting, analysing, processing and disseminating data and information as regards gender equality, particularly on the gender dimension of the COVID-19 crisis, in understanding the extent and obstacles for achieving gender equality in the Union, and in developing, analysing, evaluating and disseminating methodological tools to support the integration of gender equality into all Union policies and the resulting national policies;

11. Stresses that, in the last decade, with the onset of the economic and financial crisis, economic, social, labour and gender inequalities within and between Member States have become more acute; recalls the important role played by the EIGE in understanding the extent and causes of inequality between men and women in the Union; calls, therefore, for the budget, staff and independence to be strengthened, as well as for an increase in the budget under the heading “Promotion of non-discrimination and equality”;

12. Reiterates its request to assign an independent budget line to the objective in the CERV Programme dedicated to promote gender equality and gender mainstreaming and another one for the objective dedicated to prevent and combat gender-based violence; strongly reiterates its request to strengthen the Daphne initiative by increasing the resources for the Daphne strand and, in particular, to measures to combat gender-based violence and to properly support victims, especially following the escalation of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 crisis; stresses the need to reinforce budgetary allocations that support actions ensuring the gender aspect of health through the facilitation of exchange between Member States including on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); calls on the Commission to allocate additional resources to the EU4Health Programme, in particular for the Member States to ensure adequate provision of accessible SRHR services;

13. Reminds the requirement to allocate at least 40 % of the funds dedicated to the Equality, Rights and Gender Equality strand and to the Daphne strand to activities to prevent and combat at all levels all forms of gender-based violence and at least 15 % to activities promoting women’s full enjoyment of rights, gender equality, including work-life balance, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming;

14. Calls on the Commission to revaluate the Daphne Initiative and dedicate the appropriate resources to this programme in order to properly support victims of violence and combat violence against women;

15. Stresses the need to increase Union funding so that Member States can provide public social services for victims of trafficking or sexual exploitation, with psychological and social support, staffed by specialised professionals, and implement policies social and economic policies aimed at helping vulnerable women and girls to leave prostitution, namely through the guarantee of jobs that effectively lead to their social inclusion;

16. Stresses the importance of using European Structural and Investment Funds such as the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) to promote gender equality, women’s employment and access to the labour market, childcare and long-term care facilities; calls for further adequate use, an increase of resources, and a more strategic application of the ESF+ for promoting gender equality in the field of employment as women are more likely than men to be in temporary, part-time and precarious employment and the COVID-19 pandemic affected women’s employment disproportionately, in particular in some heavily impacted and highly feminised sectors such as health, retail and care; asks the Commission to propose proactive measures through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in order to support women’s employment in rural areas;

17. Stresses that the Union budget should include an increase in investments in care infrastructures and care services for the provision of high-quality care; recalls that these investments are key for achieving economic recovery, coping with the social and health crises, building social resilience and combating inequalities;

18. Calls for the Union budget to encourage women’s participation and interest in the digital economy and STEM sectors and careers through Union programmes, for example in the research, innovation and technology area, or participation in the European Research Area, including the Youth Employment Initiative;

19. Reiterates the need for the Union budget to play a more active role in the pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially projects directed at eradicating poverty in the Member States; stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated already existing problems of women[28] and child poverty[29]; calls, therefore, for the Union to support measures and projects aimed at eradicating female and child poverty, promoting greater and better integration in the labour market, eliminating labour and wage inequalities between men and women, improving access to and provision of health care, and combating violence against women, children and young people.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

6.9.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

5

2

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Christine Anderson, Simona Baldassarre, Robert Biedroń, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Annika Bruna, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Frances Fitzgerald, Cindy Franssen, Heléne Fritzon, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Alice Kuhnke, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska, Maria Noichl, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Samira Rafaela, Evelyn Regner, Diana Riba i Giner, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Christine Schneider, Sylwia Spurek, Jessica Stegrud, Isabella Tovaglieri, Ernest Urtasun, Hilde Vautmans, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Susana Solís Pérez

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

24

+

PPE

Isabella Adinolfi, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Frances Fitzgerald, Cindy Franssen, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Christine Schneider, Elissavet Vozemberg‑Vrionidi, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Renew

Samira Rafaela, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Susana Solís Pérez, Hilde Vautmans, Marco Zullo

S&D

Robert Biedroń, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Heléne Fritzon, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Maria Noichl, Evelyn Regner

The Left

Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

Verts/ALE

Alice Kuhnke, Diana Riba i Giner, Sylwia Spurek, Ernest Urtasun

 

5

ECR

Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska, Jessica Stegrud, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión

ID

Christine Anderson, Annika Bruna

 

2

0

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Isabella Tovaglieri

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETARY CONTROL

Mr Johan Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: Opinion of the Committee on Budgetary Control for the Committee on Budgets on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 (2021/0227(BUD))

Dear Chair,

The Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) calls on the Committee on Budgets, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Underlines that the Union’s financial interests are to be protected in accordance with the general principles embedded in the Union Treaties, in particular the values in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and with the principle of sound financial management enshrined in Article 317 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union (the Financial Regulation);

2. Highlights that the principles of the rule of law such as the proper functioning of the authorities implementing the Union budget, the effective judicial review by independent courts, the proper functioning of investigation and public prosecution of fraud or corruption relating to the budget, equal access of all parts of society to EU subsidies and their fair and impartial distribution are essential preconditions for compliance with the principle of sound financial management and for the protection of the Union’s financial interests; recalls as well the importance of public scrutiny of the functioning of the rule of law by safeguarding transparency, media freedom and pluralism and protection of whistleblowers; emphasises the importance of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092 on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget including in particular its preventive effect given a strict application by the Commission;

3. Stresses that EU funds should benefit men and women equally and promote equal opportunities as a horizontal principle throughout all areas financed by the EU budget; notes that only 21.7% of EU programmes had gender-related indicators in the last multiannual EU budget for the period 2014-2020; urges the Commission to implement a methodology for the application of gender mainstreaming in the EU budget for 2021-2027;

4. Recalls ECA’s conclusions in its Special report 15/2019 that the 2014 staff cut has achieved the desired cost savings but has had negative consequences for staff, including ‘a marked decrease in staff satisfaction and an increase in sick leave’; points out that employment conditions have become less favourable for existing staff which has a negative impact on recruitment, under-representation of some countries and workforce ageing; is, therefore, firmly opposed to the non-documented ‘stable staffing’ principle which could imply new cuts; calls on the Commission to gradually increase the staff of the EU institutions according to the new needs and policy objectives;

New challenges

5. Emphasises the particular importance of EU and national anti-fraud and audit institutions and bodies in the context of increased EU resources through the Recovery and Resilience Facility; recalls the importance of incentivising, supporting and strengthening cooperation among the EU institutions, the EPPO, OLAF, EU agencies – notably Europol and Eurojust – and national authorities in order to detect and tackle fraud and corruption more effectively, while ensuring that roles do not overlap and promoting the exchange of relevant, consistent and complete information; recalls the need to ensure greater, more suitable resources for the ECA, EPPO, OLAF, the European Parliament and the relevant EU agencies in future budgets;

European Court of Auditors (ECA)

6. Highlights in particular the new tasks and need of the ECA to fulfil its mandate and perform its new audit tasks with appropriate resources, considering the challenges of auditing both the NGEU and the MFF. As a thorough insights into the spending of EUR 672 billion of the RRF, on top of its usual audit work, is of the highest priority, the Parliament underlines its strong support for the proposed change to the ECA’s establishment plan with an increase of staff by 20 permanent and 20 temporary posts with a corresponding increase of the institution’s budget by EUR 1.875.225;

European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)

7. Regrets that the funding proposed for 2022 is only a marginal improvement over the 2021 budget allocation; remarks that a substantial increase is needed, including additional staff, in order for EPPO to carry out its mission adequately and ensure the protection of the Union’s financial interests; supports an increase of its budget of EUR 20 683 496 and a total of 76 additional temporary agents to allow EPPO to fulfil its mandate and handle the rapidly increasing number of cases; in particular, emphasises the urgent need for additional case analysts (7 AD and 3 AST), financial investigators (8 AD and 1 AST), 24 AD and 4 AST for the support to the College and the 15 Permanent Chambers and the European prosecutors as well as 10 AD and 2 AST for IT and security;

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

8. Strongly believes that in order to ensure an adequate supervision and control, OLAF needs to be reinforced with budgetary means and personnel in order to be fully capable of carrying out its duties on prevention and investigation, not least in the Member States not participating in the EPPO; reiterates Parliament´s opposition towards the reductions of OLAF’s staff as a result of posts transferred to EPPO leading to a cumulative reduction of 45 posts by 2023 for OLAF; urges the Commission to mitigate the effect of posts already transferred and to reinforce the office in light of growing workload to scrutinize the use of rising EU funds with 59 AD and EUR 10 000 000;

Financial management

9. Welcomes the publication of the integrated financial  and  accountability  reporting  package, which  brings  together comprehensive  information  on  the  implementation,  performance,  results,  sound financial management and protection of the EU budget in 2020;

10. Welcomes the recent publication of the long-term forecast of future inflows and outflows of the EU budget 2021-2027, the first report on the long-term forecast issued after the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 and NextGenerationEU, in accordance with the requirements of Article 247(1)(c) of the Financial Regulation;

11. Highlights that the payments for the duration of the 2021-2026 MFF are expected to reach EUR 1 199.7 billion; remarks however that when seen in conjunction with NextGenerationEU (outside MFF ceilings), payments are expected to be heavily frontloaded to 2021-2024 for an annual average of EUR 247 billion;

12. Points out the calls from the ECA regarding Cohesion Policy, Common Agricultural Policy and Research to reduce their complexity and further apply simplification measures, without compromising their functioning and the sound financial management of the EU budget; recalls the ECA’s remark that errors rate is greater in high-risk expenditure areas due to complex rules; calls on the Commission to stablish simple, clear, stable and harmonised rules relating to different funds and programmes, to reduce the excessive administrative burden, to better use modern technologies and to set more efficient and effective controls;

Outstanding budgetary commitments (RAL)

13. Notes with grave concern that the level of the outstanding commitments (RAL) at the end of 2020 further increased and reached EUR 302.6 billion; takes note that according to the Commission, the increase in the level of RAL over the past years is mainly explained by the de-commitment rule in cohesion policy (so-called “N+3 rule”), the impact of inflation and the increase in the size of the EU budget as well as the interrelated gap between commitments and payments;

14. Acknowledges that according to the Commission’s long term forecasts, at the end of this MFF the level of outstanding commitments (RAL) will increase nominally by 4.8%, with temporary peaks in 2022-2023 due to NextGenerationEU, but when compared in constant prices, the RAL would potentially decrease by 7.0% between the level at the start of 2021 and projection for the end of 2027;

15. Calls on the Commission to continue to actively monitor budget implementation and the evolution of the RAL, and to keep the European Parliament regularly informed, notably on the long-term forecast of future inflows and outflows of the EU budget report;

Programme statements of operational expenditures accompanying the budget

16. Welcomes the programme statements of operational expenditures accompanying the general budget of the European Union that, in accordance with point (h) of Article 41(3) of the Financial Regulation, provide information on each of the spending programmes;

17. Calls on the Committee on Budgets, in coordination with the sectoral committees of this Parliament, to promote a profound culture of “result orientation” aimed at optimising the use of funds, analysing the reasons leading to low performance programmes and pushing for measures for improvement of absorption and performance;

Performance reporting

18. Welcomes the Commission’s Communication on the performance framework of the EU budget under the 2021-2027 MFF detailing its commitment to improve further; welcomes that the Commission has streamlined the set of indicators to focus on the most relevant ones, rendering the framework more accessible and decreasing its administrative burden;

19. Acknowledges the work carried out by the Commission to identify a high-quality set of indicators for the new programmes; takes note that the overall number of indicators has been reduced from over 1 100 in the 2014-2020 period to around 700 for 2021-2027;

20. Calls on the Commission to keep improving its data quality management and to mitigate risks by developing a robust data quality control framework and upgrading its systems for storing and sharing performance data both within the Commission and with external stakeholders;

Timely absorption

21. Calls on the Commission to afford proper technical assistance to the national authorities of the Member States so that they can absorb the amounts allocated and use them for sustainable and purposive projects; calls on the Commission to improve the accuracy of the payment forecast and to draw on the lessons learned from the previous programming period in order to ensure the timely absorption of EU funds;

Need for greater digitalisation, harmonisation and interoperability across all expenditure

areas

22. Emphasises that a greater degree of digitalisation, interoperability and harmonisation of reporting, monitoring and auditing in the EU is overdue and indispensable given the cross-border nature of misuse, fraud, misappropriations, conflicts of interest, double funding and other systemic problems;

23. Calls on the Commission to continue attaching the highest importance to the sound financial management of the Union budget, in particular through putting in place multiannual control strategies designed to prevent, detect and correct errors, as well as to continue carefully monitoring the implementation of the Union budget and to take immediate steps to correct the errors and to recover the funds incorrectly spent by Member States, intermediaries or final beneficiaries;

24. Underlines the importance to enhance the protection of the Union budget and NGEU against fraud and irregularities; welcomes the introduction of standardised measures to collect, compare and aggregate information and figures on the final beneficiaries of Union funding, including on beneficial owners of the recipients and contractors; calls on the Commission to ensure full application of these new measures on all levels of budget implementation and to monitor closely their effectiveness in view of detecting fraud;

Trust funds

25. Stresses that trust funds should be established only when their use is justified and the required action is not possible through other existing financing channels; further calls on the Commission, in line with the principle of budget unity, to consider closing trust funds that are unable to attract contribution from other donors or that do not provide an added value when compared to ‘traditional’ Union external instruments; believes that the operation and accountability of Union Trust funds is best achieved by their transparent management as part of the General Budget of the Union;

Own resources

26. Takes note that according to the Commission estimates, the own resources needed to finance the 2022 budget account for 1,05% of the total GNI; remarks that the total amount of own resources allocated to the Union to cover annual appropriations for payments shall not exceed 1,40 % of the sum of all the Member States’ GNIs (own resources ceiling); reminds that this ceiling is temporarily increased by 0,6 percentage points for the sole purpose of covering all liabilities of the Union for the allocation of the resources necessary for addressing the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis;

27. Remarks that the recording of the proceeds of the Union’s borrowings in the EU budget as external assigned revenue should be carefully controlled by the Court of Auditors and by Parliament in the discharge procedure due to their large financial magnitude; emphasizes that the extent of these borrowing activities requires increased professional expertise and administrative capacity in view of efficient borrowing and repayment operations, a dedicated risk management and control framework to guarantee the reliability of the accounting records and an accurate valuation of the incurred liabilities; underlines, however, that the control of management costs shall also be strictly supervised; requests that the progress report on the borrowing plan be timely communicated to the budgetary control authority in order to be properly scrutinized as part of the discharge procedure;

European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX)

28. Notes the ECA Special report 08/2021 entitled ‘Frontex’s support to external border management’ and the recommendations made to Frontex that were accepted by the Agency with deadlines from mid to end of 2022; calls on the Commission to guarantee that the ECA’s recommendations are fully implemented without any undue delay and that the Agency’s spending is fully in line with the principles of sound financial management; recalls that during the last budgetary conciliation it was agreed for the Commission to exert stronger control functions regarding the agencies; calls therefore on the Commission and the Agency, in close cooperation with the Parliament in the context of the discharge procedure, to expound how the identified deficits including recruitment and procurement will be solved for the budget 2022; suggests to the budgetary authorities to put a part of the Frontex’s budget in reserve until the identified deficits are duly resolved; emphasises that the reserve should not hamper the implementation of Frontex’s tasks under its new mandate; calls on the Commission and the Agency to pay due attention to the Parliament’s resolutions on discharge in respect of the implementation of the Frontex’s 2019 budget as well as to ensure a clear and transparent distribution of responsibilities;

European Council and Council

29. Regrets the difficulties repeatedly encountered in the discharge procedures for the Council to date which were caused by a lack of cooperation by the Council; reiterates the need to improve cooperation between the institutions in the framework of the discharge procedure through a Memorandum of Understanding; points out that the current position of the Council sends a negative signal to the citizens of the Union with regards to the transparency and democratic accountability of the budget of the Union;

Preparatory work for new Anti-Money Laundering Authority

 

30. Notes that the proposal to create the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) as a decentralised body in 2023 requires essential preparatory work, which will have to take place already next year and should be duly factored into the budget 2022 decision without prejudice to financing existing programmes.

 

Yours sincerely,

Monika Hohlmeier  Joachim Kuhs

CONT Chair Rapporteur for the 2019 the Commission discharge

JOINT STATEMENT ADOPTED AT THE BUDGETARY TRILOGUE OF 13 APRIL 2021

 

Dates for the budgetary procedure and modalities for the
functioning of the Conciliation Committee in 2021

 

A. In accordance with Part A of the annex to the interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree on the following key dates for the 2022 budgetary procedure:

1. The Commission will endeavour to present the Statement of Estimates 2022 by early June;

2. A trilogue will be called on 15 July (in the afternoon), after the adoption of the Council’s position;

3. The Council will endeavour to adopt its position and transmit it to the European Parliament at the end of week 36, in order to facilitate a timely agreement with the European Parliament;

4. The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets will endeavour to vote on amendments to the Council’s position by the end of week 39 (last week of September);

5. A trilogue will be called on 14 October (in the afternoon), before the reading of the European Parliament;

6. The European Parliament’s Plenary will vote on its reading in week 42 (Plenary session of 18-21 October);

7. The Conciliation period will start on 26 October. In agreement with the provisions of Article 314(4)(c) TFEU, the time available for conciliation will expire on 15 November 2021;

8. The Conciliation Committee will meet on 28 October (in the morning), hosted by the European Parliament and on 12 November hosted by the Council (and may resume as appropriate); the sessions of the Conciliation Committee will be prepared by trilogue(s). A trilogue is scheduled on 28 October (in the morning). Additional trilogue(s) may be called during the 21-day conciliation period, including on 11 November hosted by the Council.

B. The modalities for the functioning of the Conciliation Committee are set out in Part E of the annex to the above-mentioned interinstitutional agreement.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

11.10.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

2

5

Members present for the final vote

Robert Biedroń, Anna Bonfrisco, Olivier Chastel, Lefteris Christoforou, David Cormand, Paolo De Castro, Andor Deli, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Vlad Gheorghe, Valentino Grant, Elisabetta Gualmini, Francisco Guerreiro, Valérie Hayer, Eero Heinäluoma, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Moritz Körner, Joachim Kuhs, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Hélène Laporte, Pierre Larrouturou, Janusz Lewandowski, Margarida Marques, Silvia Modig, Siegfried Mureşan, Victor Negrescu, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Karlo Ressler, Bogdan Rzońca, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Nils Ušakovs, Johan Van Overtveldt, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

Substitutes present for the final vote

Damian Boeselager, Henrike Hahn

 

[1] OJ L 424, 15.12.2020, p. 1.

[2] OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.

[3] OJ L 433I, 22.12.2020, p. 11.

[4] OJ C 444 I, 22.12.2020.

[5] European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 December 2020 on the draft Council regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027, Annex 2: Declarations (Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0357).

[6] OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 28.

[9] Regulation (EU) 2021/695 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 April 2021 establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination, and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1290/2013 and (EU) No 1291/2013 (OJ L 170, 12.5.2021, p. 1).

[10] Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ L 295, 14.11.2019, p. 1).

[11] Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 June 2021 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe, amending and repealing Decision No 466/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU) 2017/1601 and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009 (OJ L 209, 14.6.2021, p. 1).

[12] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52016IP0248&from=EN

[13] Eurofound, 2021 – Living, working and Covid 19

[14] Eurofound, 2021, Annual minimum wage

[15] (Eurofound (2020), Women and labour market equality: Has COVID-19 rolled back recent gains?, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.)

[16] Eurofound, 2021 – Distributional impacts of climate policies in Europe

[17] Eurofound, 2021 – Living, working and Covid 19

[18] COVID-19 EU Policy Watch database, ERM database

[19] 30 % of Union expenditure contributing to climate objectives, and annual spending levels for biodiversity of at least 7.5 % in 2024, increasing to 10 % in 2026 and 2027.

[21]  Special report 16/2021 : Common Agricultural Policy and climate : Half of EU climate spending but farm emissions are not decreasing.

[22]  Special report N10/2021:”Gender mainstreaming in the EU budget:time to turn words into action. https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR21_10/SR_Gender_mainstreaming_EN.pdf

[23]  Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ L 295, 14.11.2019, p. 1).

[24]  Judgment of the Court of 16 July 2020, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited and Maximillian Schrems, C-311/18, ECLI:EU:C:2020:559.

[25] Migrants deaths on maritime routes to Europe in 2021, GMDAC and IOM: https://missingmigrants.iom.int/sites/mmp/files/Mediterranean_deaths_Jan-Jun_2021.pdf

[26] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2020/659333/EPRS_BRI(2020)659333_EN.pdf

[27] OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 28.

[28] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2021/693183/IPOL_STU(2021)693183_EN.pdf

[29]  https://eurochild.org/uploads/2020/12/2020-Eurochild-Semester-Report.pdf

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