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Discharge for 2018 budget – European Commission and executive agencies

11-05-2020

During the May plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to decide whether to grant discharge for the 2018 financial year to the different institutions and bodies of the European Union (EU). The first item in this process is the report covering the European Commission (including six executive agencies) which is in charge of managing the biggest share of the EU general budget. Separate discharge is granted to the Commission concerning management of the European Development Funds (EDFs), ...

During the May plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to decide whether to grant discharge for the 2018 financial year to the different institutions and bodies of the European Union (EU). The first item in this process is the report covering the European Commission (including six executive agencies) which is in charge of managing the biggest share of the EU general budget. Separate discharge is granted to the Commission concerning management of the European Development Funds (EDFs), which are not part of the general budget as they are established by intergovernmental agreement. The Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) recommends that Parliament should grant the Commission and all six executive agencies discharge for 2018. It also recommends granting discharge in respect of the implementation of the operations of the EDFs in 2018.

Discharge for 2018 budget - EU decentralised agencies and joint undertakings

11-05-2020

At its May plenary session, in the context of the discharge procedure for the financial year 2018, the European Parliament is due to vote on the discharge for 32 EU decentralised agencies and eight joint undertakings for their implementation of the 2018 budget. The Committee on Budgetary Control proposes to grant discharge to all of these entities, yet highlights a number of areas that require further improvement.

At its May plenary session, in the context of the discharge procedure for the financial year 2018, the European Parliament is due to vote on the discharge for 32 EU decentralised agencies and eight joint undertakings for their implementation of the 2018 budget. The Committee on Budgetary Control proposes to grant discharge to all of these entities, yet highlights a number of areas that require further improvement.

Discharge for 2018 budget – EU institutions other than the European Commission

11-05-2020

The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control recommends granting discharge for the budgets of seven administrative sections of the EU budget for 2018, but recommends postponing the decision on granting discharge for the European Council and Council, and for the European Economic and Social Committee. The votes on the discharge reports are expected to take place during the May plenary session.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control recommends granting discharge for the budgets of seven administrative sections of the EU budget for 2018, but recommends postponing the decision on granting discharge for the European Council and Council, and for the European Economic and Social Committee. The votes on the discharge reports are expected to take place during the May plenary session.

Discharge procedure for the EU Budget: Political scrutiny of budgetary implementation

05-05-2020

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant ...

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the execution of the European Union's budget. However, the process also involves a range of other players, including Member States, to which the Commission delegates implementing tasks relating to a significant share of the budget. Each year, the discharge procedure ensures that there is ex-post democratic oversight at political level of how the EU's annual budget has been used. It aims to verify whether implementation was in accordance with relevant rules (compliance), including the principles of sound financial management (performance). The decision on whether to grant discharge for the execution of the EU budget is made by the European Parliament, which acts on a non-binding recommendation by the Council, the other arm of the EU budgetary authority. Another key institution is the European Court of Auditors, the EU's independent external auditor, whose reports are a fundamental part of the procedure. The discharge procedure has proved to be a powerful tool, which has had an impact on the evolution of the EU's budgetary system, while helping to increase the Parliament's political leverage. Recent years have shown a trend towards a greater focus on results and performance, strongly supported and promoted by the European Parliament. For example, the 2018 version of the EU's Financial Regulation simplified the rules for budgetary implementation and introduced the 'single audit' approach to shared management. Another noteworthy issue is the question of how to ensure EU-level democratic scrutiny of financial tools set up to respond to crises either outside the EU's institutional framework (e.g. the European Stability Mechanism) or at least partially outside the EU budget (e.g. EU trust funds). This Briefing updates a previous edition of April 2016.

A Just Transition Fund - How the EU budget can best assist in the necessary transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy

15-04-2020

On 14 January 2020, the European Commission published its proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, intended to provide support to territories facing serious socioeconomic challenges related to the transition towards climate neutrality. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of how the EU can best ensure a ‘just transition’ in all its territories and for all its citizens with the tools at its disposal. It provides an overview and a critical assessment of the Commission's proposal, and suggests ...

On 14 January 2020, the European Commission published its proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, intended to provide support to territories facing serious socioeconomic challenges related to the transition towards climate neutrality. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of how the EU can best ensure a ‘just transition’ in all its territories and for all its citizens with the tools at its disposal. It provides an overview and a critical assessment of the Commission's proposal, and suggests possible amendments based on best practices from other just-transition initiatives.

Externý autor

Bruegel Ms Aliénor CAMERON; Dr Grégory CLAEYS; Ms Catarina MIDŐES; Dr Simone TAGLIAPIETRA

The net operating balances or the "Juste retour" approach

19-02-2020

Operating budgetary balances (OBBs) are calculated and published annually by the European Commission as an attempt to document the differences between a Member State’s financial contribution to and its allocated expenditure from the EU budget. OBBs have become a highly politicised concept, with substantial shortcomings. Calculating Operating budgetary balances (OBB) is purely an accounting exercise. This is most convincingly demonstrated by the zero-sum assumption inherent in the Operating budgetary ...

Operating budgetary balances (OBBs) are calculated and published annually by the European Commission as an attempt to document the differences between a Member State’s financial contribution to and its allocated expenditure from the EU budget. OBBs have become a highly politicised concept, with substantial shortcomings. Calculating Operating budgetary balances (OBB) is purely an accounting exercise. This is most convincingly demonstrated by the zero-sum assumption inherent in the Operating budgetary balances concept, as a positive OBB of one country must necessarily be offset by a negative OBB of equal size by another Member State. Evidently, such a perspective stands in sharp contrast with the idea of an EU budget that is not primarily meant as a system of fiscal redistribution, but rather as a means to generate European added value..

Externý autor

Zareh Astryan, Annika Havlik, Friedrich Heinemann, Justus Nover, Marta Pilati

Net operating balances indicator: A distorted indicator of a Member's benefit from the EU budget

19-02-2020

Operating budgetary balance (OBB) calculations imply that EU spending is a zero-sum game. This feature is inconsistent with the main argument that EU spending creates European added value. Thus, taking simple net operating balances as an indicator of a Member State’s ‘net benefit’ from the Union’s fiscal activities can lead to misleading results, as demonstrated in the following points of argument.

Operating budgetary balance (OBB) calculations imply that EU spending is a zero-sum game. This feature is inconsistent with the main argument that EU spending creates European added value. Thus, taking simple net operating balances as an indicator of a Member State’s ‘net benefit’ from the Union’s fiscal activities can lead to misleading results, as demonstrated in the following points of argument.

Externý autor

Zareh Astryan, Annika Havlik, Friedrich Heinemann, Justus Nover

EU membership benefits: Not measured by net operating balances

19-02-2020

National operating budgetary balances (OBBs) do not take into account all of the economic and non-monetary benefits that Member States gain from EU membership. In many policy areas with cross-border characteristics and demand for critical mass, common action at the EU level may lead to better results than fragmented national initiatives. Several studies show that the Single Market has increased employment and growth. The effect of the Single Market deepening since 1990 has been quantified by 3.6 ...

National operating budgetary balances (OBBs) do not take into account all of the economic and non-monetary benefits that Member States gain from EU membership. In many policy areas with cross-border characteristics and demand for critical mass, common action at the EU level may lead to better results than fragmented national initiatives. Several studies show that the Single Market has increased employment and growth. The effect of the Single Market deepening since 1990 has been quantified by 3.6 million new jobs. Additionally, EU GDP would be 8.7% lower if there had been no Single Market integration. The average EU citizen gains €840 more per year thanks to the Single Market. While all EU citizens benefit from income gains thanks to the Single Market, these effects are higher for Western Europeans in absolute terms. Relative to GDP, gains and losses are more similar.

Externý autor

Marta Pilati, Fabian Zuleeg

How to overcome the "Juste retour" obsession

19-02-2020

A net budgetary balance is a highly misleading indicator of the benefits from EU spending and EU membership. Budgetary decisions taken on the basis of this indicator result in poor policies as they are biased towards programmes with monetary backflows into Member States. This ‘juste retour’ mentality is a major obstacle to achieving more European added value through the EU budget. The deeper underlying cause of this misleading and detrimental net balance preoccupation is the high salience and political ...

A net budgetary balance is a highly misleading indicator of the benefits from EU spending and EU membership. Budgetary decisions taken on the basis of this indicator result in poor policies as they are biased towards programmes with monetary backflows into Member States. This ‘juste retour’ mentality is a major obstacle to achieving more European added value through the EU budget. The deeper underlying cause of this misleading and detrimental net balance preoccupation is the high salience and political appeal of backflow policies, with their easily identifiable national and regional beneficiaries. Policies whose European benefits are more dispersed and do not entail payments into Member States do receive less voter and policy support.

Externý autor

Friedrich Heinemann, Marta Pilati, Fabian Zuleeg

"I want my money back": The history of national rebates

19-02-2020

This document is a brief overview of the history of the own resources system and its rebates.

This document is a brief overview of the history of the own resources system and its rebates.

Externý autor

Zareh Asatryan, Annika Havlik, Friedrich Heinemann, Justus Nover, Marta Pilati

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