Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-210"

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"Mr President, I shall concentrate on the European Parliament’s budget. The Grech report is the definitive word on the European Parliament’s budget, and I should like sincerely to thank Mr Grech for the quality of his work and, especially, for the climate of dialogue that he has been able to create. For the period of a year – and a year is a long time – he will have to administer all the releases of funds, as well as the reserves. Make no mistake: we shall have someone open, coherent and fair to engage with. For the second time in its history, Parliament will not achieve the mythical 20% mark. It is useful to think in terms of an operational budget, but it is necessary to be very attentive and very much on the ball if, as proposed by the Grech report, we wish, as the need arises, to mobilise more money in order to acquire buildings, given that acquisition procedures are extremely protracted, what with the Bureau being required to give a decision, the Committee on Budgets needing to offer an opinion and the Council having to give us the go-ahead. If, for example, I were to purchase a building in London or Paris over the next few days, I am not sure that we could, in a few weeks, release the funds for which we had, however, made provision the previous year. It is therefore a very good idea to stay below the 20% mark whilst, however, remaining very much on the alert in case an opportunity should present itself. The second very important feature of the Grech report is that it has placed the individual at the heart of our objectives. Next year, and for the first time, we are going to embark on a new process through the setting up of the parliamentary web-TV channel project, the beginning of the work in our visitors’ centre and the meeting of the first citizen ‘agora’, which will involve people in our legislative work. I think that we have made a lot of effort to put the citizen centre stage, and I should not like to conclude without emphasising – since we learned yesterday evening that he was to be leaving – that Mr Priestley, our Secretary-General, has, during the ten years that he has headed the administration, worked hard to modernise our budgetary procedure and to make it more rigorous and transparent."@en1

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