The Budgetary Control Committee does not grant a budget discharge to the Council of Ministers

According to the Budgetary Control Committee at the European Parliament, the European Police College (CEPOL) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) should be granted a discharge for the way in which they managed their funding in financial 2009, but the Council of Ministers should not

For the management of its 2009 budget, all EU bodies have already been granted discharges for their 2009 budgets in May 2011, except the Director of the Police College, the Medicines Agency and the Council of Ministers. During the Budgetary Control Committee meeting held on 3 October, MEPs were unable to recommend granting a discharge to the Council for financial 2009 because Parliament has not yet received all the documents and information required. MEPs maintain that they are entitled to take separate decisions on whether to grant budget discharges to EU institutions, including the Council, a view which is not currently accepted by the Council itself.

On the other hand, the European Police College (CEPOL) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) should be granted a discharge (approval). The Budgetary Control Committee's recommendation to grant one now reflects the facts that the Police College has since improved its procurement procedures and practices, its current Director is more open about the accounts, and it is progressing according to its set targets. The Medicines Agency (EMA) has taken action to remedy shortcomings in its management of the Agency's 2009 budget. Although the committee recommends granting the Agency’s Executive Director a discharge, some concerns remain. Parliament wants EMA staff members' impartiality and independence to be assessed thoroughly when they are appointed project team leaders for evaluating medicinal products. Furthermore, it calls on the EMA to improve procurement procedures and to keep the Parliament better informed of the results of actions requested.

The European Parliament is the EU budget discharge authority. Once annual accounts are audited and finalised, Parliament decides - on a recommendation by the Council of Ministers - whether or not to grant discharge to the Commission and the other EU bodies for their spending in that year. This is the 'budget discharge procedure' which is voted first of all by the Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee. The two new discharges will have to be approved by Parliament as a whole, in plenary session. The plenary votes are currently scheduled for 25 October.