Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-182"

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"Mr President, I should like to express the Commission’s appreciation for the work that was done by the Committee on Budgets and its rapporteur, tackling more than 1200 proposals from other committees in the process of the preparations for first reading. We know what that means and how it was done. In general, the Commission has had a positive reaction to the proposal that has been placed on the table by Parliament for tomorrow’s vote. However, I should like to mention three sensitive points, which we would like to solve, together with Parliament, before second reading. The first point is about the horizontal reserves on 30% of budget lines on value-added programmes. We are a bit concerned about the first application of the programme – not as a political idea, which we supported from the very beginning, but the first application of it on the amount in general and some conditionalities that are coming together. However, the Commission and its secretariat are ready to come in the middle of November for the hearings, to which Parliament has invited us, to explain as much as we can, to allow Parliament to lift as much as it will be able to before the second reading. The second element is on agencies, especially three new ones. They are supposed to come into being in 2007. The Committee on Budgets was removing preparations for them. We understand that it concerns point 47 in our new interinstitutional agreement. The relationship between two budgetary authorities needs to be clarified and the new procedures defined –that is why we will in the near future be asking for technical meetings between the three institutions to clarify the situation in order to allow those three agencies to come into being as of January 2007. The third element is a reserve of EUR 50 million on Commission staff salaries in heading 5. We would like to thank Parliament for restoring the cuts which have been performed by the Council, but reserves are still of concern to us because conditionalities are wide and there are a lot of them. But as I said in the beginning, we will strive to make as much information as possible available before 15 November and before the final conciliation with both arms of the budgetary authority, so as to be able to lift as much as we can. If a reserve is not lifted at least partially from 1 January, we are not able to start recruitment at all for anybody, including from new Member States and the replacement of retired staff. In general we are positive. We are ready to work closely with Parliament on lifting and fulfilling all conditions provided at first reading as a proposal for us. We hope that by 21 November we will be able to come to an agreement that will be good for all three institutions and acceptable."@en1

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