PositionBrief Article

The Budget Committee stresses the general need to devise a Draft Budget that caters solely for "actual" and "clearly identified" funding requirements. This is an indirect but crystal clear reference to the budget implementation shortcomings that result in payments and commitments having to be postponed each year. The Commission is being asked to act at an early date (and at the same time as its Preliminary Draft Budget if need be, but no later) to forward any information it has to allow the budget authority to decide the suitable level of commitment appropriations. In addition, the information has to be in a "usable form".The cornerstone of the strategy is the need to manage commitments remaining to be settled. This applies in particular to Category 2 (Structural measures). The Commission has pledged to issue an action plan ahead of the Preliminary Draft Budget for 2003 where it will be proposed to consider all potentially irregular items relating to commitments remaining to be settled. This may serve to cut down the number of payment appropriations initially required. Also in the pipeline is the advent of the first sunset clauses for programmes whose deadlines have not been observed, involving automatic releases of commitment appropriations.The Council's budget experts believe the May 1999 Inter-Institutional Agreement continues to be the key to guaranteeing a smooth budget procedure and all the mechanisms now involved are enough to cope with contingencies and budgetary developments. In other words, the only acceptable freedom for movement is the use of the flexibility instrument with any financial perspective revision being ruled out.The Euro 200 million for the flexibility instrument will once again dominate the budget horse-trading this year. The Commission seems anxious to deploy it to deal with Category 5...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT