EEA budget discharge 2010
Management Board response to the postponement of the budget discharge 2010
The Management Board of the European Environment Agency met on 29 March 2012 and discussed the budget discharge and the closure of the accounts of the Agency for the financial year 2010. The Board noted that the Council of the European Union had recommended discharge for EEA for 2010 at its meeting of 21 February 2012. Moreover, this was based on the Court of Auditors Report on the EEA accounts for 2010, adopted in September 2011, which contained no findings or irregularities. Nevertheless, the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee voted on 27 March 2012 to postpone the EEA discharge for 2010.
The draft report adopted by the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee on the accounts of the Agency for the financial year 2010 includes several critical remarks and requests for further information from the Agency. The Management Board of the European Environment Agency takes this report seriously and has requested a full response from the EEA. The Management Board will consider this response and ensure that the necessary actions are undertaken to provide the European Parliament with the documents it requires in order to take an informed decision and grant the EEA discharge and the closure of the accounts of the Agency for the financial year 2010.
UPDATE: On 10 May 2012, the European Parliament voted to postpone the discharge for the EEA for 2010.
Recent media coverage
Over the past week, there have also been a number of media reports about the European Environment Agency (EEA) connected to the postponement of the discharge of the budget for 2010. In the report of the Budgetary Control Committee the EEA is asked to provide further information on certain issues. This information has now been provided.
The EEA monitors its media coverage. In recent years, we have on average used €11.300 on media monitoring tools annually. The EEA has not paid a consultancy firm €250,000 for assessing its media coverage as stated in some sources.
There have also been several incorrect claims in the media regarding the EEA’s Green Façade project in 2010. The Green Façade was carried out by a consortium of engineers, architects and the University of Copenhagen to provide an innovative visual communications project. The contract was awarded in accordance with the implementing rules of the Financial Regulation, Art. 126 (1)(b) which covers exclusive artistic and aesthetic skills.
The Facade project was designated as the major communication effort for the EEA during the International Year of Biodiversity. It was designed as a project to reach a wide public, provide support to the public debate on green infrastructure in cities and as a showcase for the municipality of Copenhagen’s initiative on creating greener buildings. The façade gained the interest of architects and city planners across Europe, and was seen by more than half a million visitors in situ and on-line.