EU budget management: ARTEMIS, ENIAC and ITER projects fail 2014 discharge test

Met dank overgenomen van Europees Parlement (EP) i, gepubliceerd op maandag 4 april 2016, 18:25.

Three joint private sector-EU technology projects must do better justifying their use of EU funds in 2014 before the European  iParliament approves their accounts, said Budgetary Control Committee MEPs on Tuesday. Parliament should also postpone granting “discharge”, that is, approving the spending of the Council of Ministers and the European Council (EU leaders) for the same year, the committee recommended to the full House.

ARTEMIS, ENIAC, and ITER projects fail discharge tests

Three out of eight projects set up as EU partnerships with private companies (“joint undertakings”) failed to convince budgetary control MEPs that they had managed EU funds appropriately. The committee recommends that Parliament as a whole postpone granting them discharge.

The Stockholm-based ARTEMI iS project and the Brussels-based nanoelectronics project ENIAC i (European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) (now renamed Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership - ECSEL) were criticized for not delivering information necessary to calculate the error rates. They should provide additional documents and information from their respective national audit bodies, MEPs recommended.

The Cadarache-based ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project was criticized for growing project costs and delays. MEPS pointed out that the report on budgetary and financial management lacked coherence and was often incomplete and that the "ITER Council" failed to publish a new action plan.

Council and European Council

For the sixth consecutive year, the Budgetary Control Committee recommended that Parliament postpone granting discharge to the Council of Ministers and the European Council (heads of state or government) due to their failure to cooperate with Parliament by supplying the figures it needs to make an assessment of spending.

Next steps

The Budgetary Control Committee voted on Monday on the management of EU funds at 33 EU decentralized agencies, 8 joint undertakings and 8 institutions. The votes continue on Thursday 7 April on the European Commission budget (the general EU budget), the European Parliament, the European Development Funds and the European External Action Service. The Budgetary Control Committee’s recommendations will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole on 28 April. Parliament will take its final decision on the postponed discharges in October.


In the annual “discharge” procedure, Parliament, as the EU's sole discharge authority, verifies whether EU funds were spent according to the rules. It may grant, postpone or refuse to grant a discharge, which is the seal of approval required for the formal closure of institutional accounts.