Five-year budget cycle could be solution
“The European Union’s seven-year budgetary cycle, which is not synchronised with the Parliament’s and the Commission’s five-year mandate, is the major cause of a deficiency in the Union’s political governance”, said Joachim Zeller MEP, the European Parliament’s Spokesman on the 2015 budget discharge of the European Commission. “Overlapping time frames result in the Union having different short, medium and long-term objectives”, he said.
“In the 2015 budget, the EU had to support the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives on the one hand and the ten political priorities set out by Commission President Juncker on the other. On top of this money, we had to tackle several crises, from refugees to financial. A new balance must be struck between the political agenda, policy implementation and financial frameworks. A rolling budget with a five-year plan could be a solution”, said Zeller.
The Report evaluating the European Commission’s spending underlines that an increasing number of financial mechanisms supporting Union policies are not directly financed by the Union’s budget.
“These shadow budgets, composed of loans, equity instruments, guarantees and risk-sharing instruments, may soon reach a third of the Union’s spending. As this poses higher risks for accountability and the coordination of Union policies and operations, the EPP Group welcomes Commissioner Oettinger’s intention to bring the various shadow budgets back under the Union budget in the long run”, he continued.
“It is important to remember that all the rules and procedures have been followed in EU spending, but the Commission must put more emphasis on measuring the performance of the spending: the efficiency and effectiveness of how the money is used, and the follow-up of objectives which have been met. For example, it is incomprehensible why 80% of agriculture payments go to 20% of the beneficiaries”, highlighted Zeller. The Report proposes to grant discharge to the European Commission for its 2015 accounts.
"Better spending, further reduction of error rates in accordance with the simplification of rules remain on the agenda", concluded Zeller.