Nedzhmi Ali on the 2017 Discharge to the Agencies

N. Ali - CONT ALDE

This statement was presented during the meeting of CONT Committee of the European parliament on 22.01.2019. Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) was shadow rapporteur for the 32 total reports for the Discharge to the Agencies.

Dear Mme Chair, Mr. Sarvamaa, dear colleagues,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for the reports on discharge of the European Union´s decentralized agencies for the financial year 2017. Having in mind the importance of agencies´ impact on the daily lives of Union´s citizens, the presented today bulky work answers the questions related to the real outcomes of agencies´ functioning during the year 2017.

Once again, we should underline that these 32 agencies had a combined budget in 2017 amounting to 2.35 billion EUR in commitment appropriations as well as 2.24 billion EUR in payment appropriations, presenting a substantial increase in comparison with the previous year.

Concerning the horizontal report, covering the areas of performance, financial management and control of all of the agencies activities, I would like to share some observations:

Firstly, the scope and structure of the report reflect to a very high extent the task to present the overall activities of EU’s agencies in year 2017. While the budget and financial management, performance, staff policy and procurement are among the most important aspects of their activities, a better understanding of the quality of these activities would be achieved through a bit higher emphasize on the inclusion of principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in Agencies´ daily operations, annual planning and controls.

Secondly, we are satisfied with the observation that the overall risk to the reliability of accounts is low for all of the agencies. At the same time, the overall risk to the legality and regularity of transactions underlying the agencies´ accounts as well as the risk to sound financial management are medium.

Thirdly, calculating the percentage of the payment appropriations financed by the Union´s budget in 2017 however, we see some increase in comparison with year 2016, which is not a step in the right direction. Indeed for the next MFF the individual agencies should explore new sources of incomes in order to overcome the excessive dependence on the EU budget.

Fourthly, it is absolutely correct to urge the agencies and the Commission to apply the principle of performance based budgeting, to provide the highest possible added value and to improve the efficiency of resources management. One of the most effective way to accomplish the latter is to increase the interagency cooperation not only in establishing shared services but also in their common policy areas.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that the EU agencies with the efforts of their employees and using a substantial budget are highly visible in the Member States and have significant influence on policy and decision making and programme implementation in areas of vital importance to European citizens. This requires from our side maximum scrutiny on all of their activities.

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