Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-180"

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"The budgetary increase given to the other sections in 2007, when compared to that given in 2006, was only marginal and much less than that requested in the preliminary draft. The increase agreed upon reflects the rate of inflation and the amounts related to each institution’s specific priorities. The Committee on Budgets decided to restore more than EUR 10 million out of the reductions of around EUR 29 million made by the Council to the other sections, excluding Parliament and the Council. The 2007 budget was based on the institutions’ essential priorities, while ensuring their unhindered operational and functional efficiency. Globally, the increase for institutions amounts to EUR 31 million compared to the EUR 48 million requested. Over the years, Mr President, exaggerated margins have become common features of some institutions’ estimates. This practice, or rather bad practice, brought with it an awkward system of last-minute transfers or the cancellation of certain appropriations. This situation will be difficult to manage when, in a few years’ time, the property-acquisition process will start to decline. In this regard, we believe that an increasingly activity-based approach would be more effective. Moreover, the presentation of budget estimates should be more standardised, motivations should provide clearer justifications and estimates should be more accurate. With regard to Parliament, the Committee on Budgets agreed that the final amount of the 2007 budget should be of EUR 0.1397 billion, that is to say a margin of EUR 25 million below the maximum of 20%. This level corresponds to 19.65% of the administrative expenditure under Chapter V. In this regard, however, Parliament is not renouncing its traditional 20% share. In fact, the committee extends its support to the appropriation of unused funds for unexpected, but justified, expenses by means of ‘amending budgets’. The creation of an efficient structure, together with the implementation of a redeployment exercise should be the main objectives in the strategic planning for the 2007 Establishment Plan. Moreover, the filling of vacancies resulting from retirement will not be considered an automatic process. With regard to support and services for Members, we agree with the Secretary-General that the main objectives relating to the ‘raising the game’ exercise were, broadly, achieved. However, there is a recurrent complaint that there is insufficient information about the support services available for MEPs. The administration should address this shortcoming and corrrect it by no later than the end of this year. Mr President, due to lack of time I am unable to to talk in detail about all the priorities addressed in the budget and in my report for 2007. These priorities relate to the EUR 48 million allocated for expenses connected with enlargment involving Bulgaria and Romania; the measures taken for the simplification and upgrading of legislation; the scrutiny of the cost-efficiency of translation services, especially with regard to the length of texts; the authorisation of EUR 9.5 million in supplemetary funds for the improvement of the visitors’ programme; the decision to keep EUR 6.7 million in the reserve for Web TV, a final decision about which will be taken after a presentation of the prototype in CoBu; and the need for greater control of the administration of multinlingualism, for which we put EUR 3 million in reserve. The misuse of this service by some, including political parties, should attract sanctions. EUR 50 million have been reserved for buildings, and we must ensure that buildings policy is periodically reviewed. I must conclude by saying that budget implementation requires better management if objectives are to be achieved. There is also a need for annual reports based on more detailed information about the work carried out by the institutions. These reports should be used to justify requests for additional funds so that Parliament might arrive at a more rational decision about fund allocation. This way, budgets financed by European taxpayers will provide real added-value to their everday lives. Finally, I would like to thank all those who contributed towards the drawing up of this report. I would especially like to thank the Secretary General, who has handed in his resignation. We will miss him; whether he will miss us is another matter."@en1

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