The European Parliament held a debate on the EU institutions’ budget discharge for 2009, on 10 May 2011. MEPs may approve the implementation of the EU’s budget, by accepting the relevant reports. During the debate, the Council was represented by Zsolt Becsey, Minister of State for International Economic Relations of the Ministry of National Economy.
At the beginning of the debate, President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek i thanked the Hungarian Presidency for attending a key plenary debate, on the budget discharge, and expressed hope that such example will encourage upcoming Presidencies to follow suit.
Zsolt Becsey explained that the Council paid special attention to the appropriate implementation of the EU budget, and it had thoroughly reviewed the Commission’s annual accounts and the Court of Auditor’s observations. The Minister of State reminded that the Council had presented its recommendations on 28 February, and proposed for the approval of the Commission’s discharge for 2009. According to Mr Becsey, although the implementation of the EU budget has demonstrated improvement, the results are still not satisfactory. The Minister of State emphasised on the need for the existing regulations to be made simpler and clearer, while transparency should also be enhanced.
Mr Becsey reminded MEPs: now the role of the Council and the Parliament was governed merely by a “gentlemen’s agreement”, although the Council had proposed the adoption of a formal agreement. Cooperation between the two institutions and a long-term formal agreement was in the interest of both institutions, said the Minister of State, who asked the European Parliament and personally President Buzek to conduct a “serious political debate”. Mr Becsey underlined that the Council considered the Court of Auditor’s report, as the frame of reference concerning the discharge procedure.