Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alfred Sant (S&D)
E-009721/2016

Subject: Court of Auditor’s briefing paper on the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020

In its briefing paper ‘EU budget: time to reform?’ the Court of Auditors stated that ‘the Commission’s mid-term review of the MFF does not constitute a much needed comprehensive EU spending review of the performance and added value of the different areas of the EU budget and spending programmes. Such an exercise should be carried out before a new long-term financial plan is agreed, if the lessons of the current period are to be learned and available EU funds are to deliver better value-for-money in the future.’
— How is the Commission acting upon the ECA’s advice to perform a comprehensive EU spending review before the new long-term budget is set? — What will be the Commission’s approach to combat the considerable delays in spending that have occurred at the beginning of the current MFF period and that resulted from commitments from the previous period not having being paid out?

Answer given by Mr Oettingeron behalf of the Commission

The Commission will come forward with a comprehensive proposal for the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) beyond 2020, including on own resources. This proposal will be guided by the ‘EU-budget-focused-on-results’ initiative and reflect the future challenges and needs of the Union post-2020 on the basis of an assessment of existing spending policies and instruments. The interim evaluations to be performed on the current MFF programmes, when required in their legal bases, as well as other relevant sources(1),will be an important input to this.

The level of payment appropriations between 2012 and 2014 did not correspond to the high accumulated payment needs resulting from the implementation cycle of the cohesion programmes from the previous MFF. This led to the building up of a significant backlog of outstanding payment claims for the 2007-2013 cohesion policy programmes, which reached a peak in 2014(2).

In order to address the backlog, the Commission proposed ‘Elements for a payment plan to bring the EU budget back onto a sustainable track’(3) in March 2015.

It was followed by a joint statement, in which the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to implement a plan to reduce the level of unpaid bills corresponding to the implementation of the 2007-2013 programmes to a sustainable level by the end of 2016. This commitment to fully absorb the backlog has been fulfilled.

The Commission continues to monitor and report on the payments situation through weekly implementation tables as well as relevant information notes(4). Working Document XI(5), presents the schedule of payments due to meet budgetary commitments from previous years.

(1) Such relevant sources of performance information may include monitoring information, progress reports, outcomes of studies on performance aspects of 2014-2020 programmes, etc..
(2) At the end of 2014, it stood at EUR 24.7 billion.
(3) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/documents/budg/dv/2015_elements_payment_plan_/2015_elements_payment_plan_en.pdf
(4) Active Monitoring and Forecast of Budget Implementation information notes: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/biblio/documents/2016/2016_en.cfm#budget_implementation
(5) http://ec.europa.eu/budget/biblio/documents/2016/2016_en.cfm#working_documents. This is a document that accompanies the draft budget each year.

Maltese Version – Id-dokument informattiv tal-Qorti tal-Awdituri dwar l-analiżi ta’ nofs it-terminu tal-Qafas Finanzjarju Pluriennali 2014-2020

Fid-dokument informattiv tagħha “Il-baġit tal-UE: wasal iż-żmien għal riforma?”, il-Qorti tal-Awdituri stqarret li “l-analiżi ta’ nofs it-terminu tal-QFP proposta mill-Kummissjoni ma tikkostitwixxix analiżi komprensiva tant meħtieġa tal-infiq tal-UE b’rabta mal-prestazzjoni u l-valur miżjud tal-oqsma differenti tal-baġit u l-programmi ta’ nfiq tal-UE. Tali eżerċizzju għandu jitwettaq qabel ma jintlaħaq ftehim dwar pjan finanzjarju ġdid fuq terminu twil, jekk irridu nisiltu t-tagħlimiet tal-perjodu attwali u jekk irridu li l-fondi disponibbli tal-UE jrendu valur aħjar għall-flus fil-futur.”
Il-Kummissjoni x’azzjoni qed tieħu b’segwitu għall-parir tal-QEA li twettaq analiżi komprensiva tal-infiq tal-UE qabel ma jiġi stabbilit il-baġit il-ġdid fuq terminu twil?
X’se jkun l-approċċ tal-Kummissjoni biex tiġġieled id-dewmien konsiderevoli fl-infiq li seħħ fil-bidu tal-perjodu tal-QFP attwali u li rriżulta minn impenji mill-perjodu preċedenti li ma kinux tħallsu?

Tweġiba tas-Sur Oettinger f’isem il-Kummissjoni
(7.3.2017)
Il-Kummissjoni se tippreżenta proposta komprensiva għall-Qafas Finanzjarju Pluriennali (QFP) ta’ wara l-2020, inkluż dwar ir-riżorsi proprji. Din il-proposta se tkun iggwidata mill-prinċipju tal-inizjattiva “baġit tal-UE ffukat fuq ir-riżultati” u tirrifletti l-isfidi tal-ġejjieni u l-ħtiġijiet tal-Unjoni wara l-2020 fuq il-bażi ta’ valutazzjoni tal-politika u l-istrumenti ta’ nfiq eżistenti. L-evalwazzjonijiet interim li għandhom isiru fuq il-programmi tal-Qafas Finanzjarju Pluriennali attwali, meta meħtieġa fil-bażijiet legali tagħhom, kif ukoll sorsi rilevanti oħra(1), se jkunu kontribut importanti għal dan.

Il-livell insuffiċjenti ta’ approprjazzjonijiet ta’ pagamenti bejn l-2012 u l-2014 ma kienx jikkorrispondi mal-pagamenti akkumulati għolja li rriżulta miċ-ċiklu ta’ implimentazzjoni tal-programmi ta’ koeżjoni mill-QFP preċedenti. Dan wassal biex ikun hemm ammont sinifikanti ta’ xogħol b’lura ta’ talbiet għall-pagamenti pendenti għall-programmi tal-politika ta’ koeżjoni 2007-2013, li laħqu l-ogħla livell tagħhom fl-2014(2). Biex tittratta l-problemi pendenti, il-Kummissjoni pproponiet “Elementi għal pjan ta’ pagamenti biex il-baġit tal-UE jerġa’ jaqbad triq sostenibbli”(3) f’Marzu 2015. Dan kien segwit minn dikjarazzjoni konġunta, li fiha l-Kummissjoni, il-Parlament Ewropew u l-Kunsill qablu li jimplimentaw pjan biex jitnaqqas il-livell ta’ kontijiet mhux imħallsa li jikkorrispondu mal-implimentazzjoni tal-programmi tal-2007-2013 għal livell sostenibbli sal-aħħar tal-2016. Dan l-impenn li jkun assorbit ix-xogħol b’lura ġie sodisfatt.

Il-Kummissjoni tkompli tissorvelja u tirrapporta dwar is-sitwazzjoni tal-pagamenti permezz ta’ tabelli tal-implimentazzjoni kull ġimgħa kif ukoll b’noti ta’ informazzjoni rilevanti(4). Id-Dokument ta’ Ħidma XI(5) jippreżenta l-iskeda ta’ pagamenti dovuti biex jiġu ssodisfati impenji baġitarji minn snin preċedenti.

(1) Dawn is-sorsi rilevanti ta’ informazzjoni jistgħu jinkludu monitoraġġ tal-informazzjoni, rapporti ta’ progress, riżultati ta’ studji dwar l-aspetti tal-prestazzjoni tal-programmi tal-2014-2020, eċċ.
(2) Fi tmiem l-2014, kien ta’ EUR 24,7 biljun.
(3) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/documents/budg/dv/2015_elements_payment_plan_/2015_elements_payment_plan_en.pdf
(4) Noti ta’ informazzjoni dwar il-Monitoraġġ Attiv u t-Tbassir tal-Implimentazzjoni tal-Baġit: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/biblio/documents/2016/2016_en.cfm#budget_implementation
(5) http://ec.europa.eu/budget/biblio/documents/2016/2016_en.cfm#working_documents. Dan huwa dokument li jakkumpanja l-abbozz tal-baġit kull sena.