European Interest

MEPs approve Brussels’ budget management

Flickr/European Parliament/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee has backed the discharge for budget implementation for the 2016 budget of the European Union. The discharge will “release” the European Commission from its responsibility for managing the given budget, by marking the end of that budget’s execution.

As such, the committee voted in favour of the decrease in errors affecting payments, according to the Court of Auditors (ECA) report.

The error rate of 3.1% was the lowest that it has been in the last 10 years.

According to a European Parliament press release, the MEPs urged the European Commission to speed up the delivery of cohesion policy programmes and related payments. They said that delays led to low payments in 2016 and created an all-time high of €238bn in outstanding commitments at the end of 2016, equalling a backlog of 2.9 years of payments.

MEPs also expressed concern that the amounts left may not be sufficient to fund unexpected events that may still occur before 2020, end of the current long term budget.

They called on the European Commission to “fundamentally review” the young farmers’ and greening schemes, initially introduced to encourage young people to take up farming and provide for more environmentally sustainable farming practices respectively.

The draft resolution also calls on the Commission to improve transparency on the financing of migration policy. The MEPs suggested Brussels regroup the budget lines financing migration policy under a single heading.

The plenary is slated to vote on more than 50 discharge reports during the part-session in April, covering the implementation of the 2016 budget by EU institutions, agencies, Joint Undertakings and the European Development Fund.

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