Text adopted – Implementation of the EU external financing instruments: mid-term review 2017 and the future post-2020 architecture – P8_TA-PROV(2018)0119 – Wednesday, 18 April 2018 – Strasbourg – Provisional edition

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 232/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI)(1)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 231/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II)(2)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (IcSP)(3)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/2306 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace(4)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 234/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a Partnership Instrument (PI) for cooperation with third countries(5)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 235/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide(6)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020(7)
(DCI Regulation),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 236/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 laying down common rules and procedures for the implementation of the Union’s instruments for financing external action(8)
,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service(9)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/1601 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 September 2017 establishing the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund(10)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(11)
(the ‘Financial Regulation’),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 18 April 2017 for the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Budgetary Control on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and amending Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 and Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1305/2013, (EU) No 1306/2013, (EU) No 1307/2013, (EU) No 1308/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014 and (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (COM(2016)0605 – C8-0372/2016 – 2016/0282(COD))(12)
,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(13)
(‘Comitology Regulation’),

–  having regard to Commission Decision C(2014)9615 of 10 December 2014 on the establishment of a European Union Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, ‘the Madad Fund’, and to Commission Decision C(2015)9691 of 21 December 2015 amending Decision C(2014)9615,

–  having regard to Commission Decision C(2015)7293 of 20 October 2015 on the establishment of a European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa, and Commission Decision C(2017)0772 of 8 February 2017 modifying Commission Decision C(2015)7293,

–  having regard to Commission Decision C(2015)9500 of 24 November 2015 on the coordination of the actions of the Union and of the Member States through a coordination mechanism — the Refugee Facility for Turkey(14)
, and to Commission Decisions C(2016)0855 of 10 February 2016(15)
and C(2017)2293 of 18 April 2017(16)
on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey amending Commission Decision C(2015)9500,

–  having regard to various reports of the European Court of Auditors on EU external financing, in particular Special Report No 18/2014 on EuropeAid’s evaluation and results-oriented monitoring systems,

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 15 December 2017 entitled ‘Mid-term review report of the External Financing Instruments’ (COM(2017)0720) and the accompanying staff working documents on evaluation of the Common Implementing Regulation (SWD(2017)0606), of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (SWD(2017)0602), of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (SWD(2017)0463), of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (SWD(2017)0607), of the Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries (SWD(2017)0608), and of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) (SWD(2017)0604),

–  having regard to external evaluations of the External Financing Instruments(17)
,

–  having regard to ongoing European Parliament procedures on the future post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF),

–  having regard to the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) European Implementation Assessment entitled ‘The EU external financing instruments and the post-2020 architecture’,

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 24 November 2015 entitled ‘2015 Annual Report on the European Union’s development and external assistance policies and their implementation in 2014’ (COM(2015)0578),

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 19 December 2016 entitled ‘2016 Annual Report on the implementation of the European Union’s instruments for financing external actions in 2015’ (COM(2016)0810),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘A Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external action’ (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2017 on the Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(18)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2017 on the revision of the European Consensus on Development(19)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2016 entitled ‘The EU in a changing global environment – a more connected, contested and complex world’(20)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 April 2014 on the EU comprehensive approach and its implications for the coherence of EU external action(21)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2015 on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy(22)
,

–  having regard to its recommendation of 15 November 2017 to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the November 2017 Summit(23)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2017 on the 2016 Commission Report on Turkey(24)
,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 15 February 2017 on the 2016 Commission Report on Albania(25)
and on the 2016 Commission Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina(26)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2017 on the 2016 Commission Report on Montenegro(27)
,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 14 June 2017 on the 2016 Commission Report on Kosovo(28)
, on the 2016 Commission Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(29)
, and on the 2016 Commission Report on Serbia(30)
,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 February 2018 entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2013 on local authorities and civil society: Europe’s engagement in support of sustainable development(31)
,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2017 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018(32)
,

–  having regard to the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy presented in June 2016(33)
,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 19 June 2017 on EU engagement with civil society in external relations,

–  having regard to the EU’s Trade for All strategy,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 9 November 2017 on the implementation of EU free trade agreements (SWD(2017)0364),

–  having regard to the competences of its Committee on Foreign Affairs as the committee responsible for all legislation, programming and scrutiny of actions carried out under the ENI, the IPA II, the EIDHR, the PI and the IcSP, and the policies underpinning them (Annex V(I) of its Rules of Procedure),

–  having regard to the declaration of the European Commission attached to the Regulations establishing the external financing instruments, in which it commits to engaging in Strategic Dialogues with Parliament on Commission programming,

–  having regard to the Rules of Procedure of the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI Committees,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions and position in the form of amendments of the Committee on Development, the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Budgets (A8-0112/2018),

A.  whereas the European Union remains the world’s biggest provider of external assistance;

B.  whereas external financing instruments are the main mechanism for supporting the EU’s action on the global scene, and whereas the EU’s external action is of increasing importance to European citizens;

C.  whereas, due to limited resources, the external financing instruments have often been stretched to their limits;

D.  whereas the Commission considers in its mid-term review report that the current external instrument architecture is generally fit for purpose;

E.  whereas a merger of instruments cannot be a goal in itself;

F.  whereas the EU has been facing numerous challenges not only in its close neighbourhood, but also on the global scene;

G.  whereas EU external action must give priority to addressing critical global challenges such as peace and sustainable development, and recognise that the promotion of human rights for all, the rule of law and democracy, with a particular focus on gender equality and social justice, as well as support for human rights defenders, are essential to achieving these goals;

H.  whereas the EU’s external financial assistance is a key instrument for supporting economic reforms, as well as for supporting democratic, political and institutional consolidation in partner countries;

I.  whereas no equal and robust parliamentary scrutiny of all instruments is in place;

J.  whereas there is an urgent need to enhance the visibility of EU assistance vis-à-vis both the citizens of partner countries and those of the European Union, in order to better communicate the benefits of EU support; whereas investing in favour of concrete and tangible projects, the visibility of which can be more easily accessed by the general public, while developing a comprehensive, effective and systematic communication strategy within each instrument, can be of significant value in this regard;

K.  whereas strategic communication is often confronted with external challenges, including misinformation campaigns against the EU and its Member States, which require further efforts; whereas promoting objective, independent and impartial information while also addressing the legal aspects of the media environment in which EU instruments and actions operate are therefore of fundamental importance;

L.  whereas international trade is a core EU tool for helping countries in their social and economic development, as well as for defending and promoting human rights, fundamental values and the rule of law;

M.  whereas, according to the Treaties, trade policy should contribute to the external objectives of the Union, including sustainable development;

N.  whereas the combined assistance programmed under the ENI (EUR 15,4 billion), the IPA II (EUR 11,7 billion), the IcSP (EUR 2,5 billion), the EIDHR (EUR 1,3 billion) and the PI (EUR 1 billion) amounts to EUR 32 billion for the period 2014-2020;

O.  whereas IPA II has been used in the management of migration;

P.  whereas the EIDHR and, in particular, the IcSP are subject to the legal basis of Articles 209 and 212 TFEU, both of which refer to Article 208 TFEU, which states that ‘Union development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty’;

Q.  whereas the Commission is responsible for the identification, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EU assistance under these instruments; whereas the EEAS has the responsibility to ensure the continuity and coherence of EU external policies, among other things through the instruments; whereas Parliament is responsible for democratic oversight and scrutiny and as co-legislator under the codecision procedure;

R.  whereas the dual nature of the office of Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy means that the holder must play a key role in the political coordination of the Union’s assistance under the instruments;

S.  whereas various projects and grants under the current instruments cannot be evaluated fully, as they remain in the early stages of implementation; whereas some objectives are qualitative in nature and are related to legislation, practices and attitudes that cannot be easily measured quantitatively;

T.  whereas the Commission states in its mid-term review that it is difficult to measure the overall effectiveness of the instruments in meeting their objectives, partly because of the difficulty in defining appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems at the instrument-level (p. 10); recalls that the Court of Auditors pointed to serious deficiencies in EuropeAid’s evaluation system in its Special Report No 18/2014;

U.  whereas the Common Implementing Regulation (CIR) contains key provisions on development and aid effectiveness principles such as untying of aid and the use of partner countries’ own institutions, systems and procedures;

V.  whereas current administrative procedures often entail excessive bureaucratic burdens for potential recipients, making it difficult for smaller civil society and social partner organisations to get involved in project design and implementation, as they often lack the know-how and administrative capacity to put forward eligible and successful proposals;

W.  whereas the Regulations setting up the external financing instruments (EFIs) provide that implementing powers be granted to the Commission in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, and whereas these Regulations also provide that the Commission will be assisted in this by the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI Committees;

X.  whereas draft implementing acts must be sent to the Council and Parliament at the same time as they are sent to the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI committees’ members, and whereas the Rules of Procedure of these Committees provide that draft implementing acts must be sent to the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI committees’ members at least 20 calendar days before the relevant committee meeting; whereas draft implementing acts should therefore be sent to Parliament at least 20 calendar days before these meetings, and whereas written procedures for the adoption of draft implementing acts are an exception to this rule in duly justified cases;

Y.  whereas the drafting of implementing acts entails a preparatory phase internal to the Commission – including inter-service consultation – of significant length, which usually spans several months;

Mid-term review

1.  Notes that the Commission mid-term review (MTR) found the current instruments to be generally fit for purpose;

2.  Regrets that the quantity and lack of flexibility and coherence of the EU funding under Heading 4 of the current MFF have been indicative of the EU’s limited ambition to act as a genuine global player; notes, however, that many of the partner countries and themes addressed by the EU EFIs have seen positive progress, which is testament to the relevance and importance of the EFIs;

3.  Is concerned, however, about some findings, including the lack of political guidance and overarching vision, inconsistent implementation of EU values and partnership principles, the slow or non-existent progress in objectives related to social and legal reform in the wider neighbourhood, the absence of robust monitoring and evaluation and limited flexibility;

4.  Regrets the absence of a single clear vision document clarifying synergies between the instruments and how these feed into a global, overarching EU foreign policy strategy;

5.  Is concerned that the EU and its instruments face significant challenges, including political trade-offs between the promotion of values and rights and short-term security interests, the emergence of new actors in the field of global governance and international financial institutions, as well as numerous violent global conflicts around the world, including volatility in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, both to the East and to the South, and an increasingly aggressive and assertive policy of Russia;

6.  Notes that EU Trust Funds were created to address the root causes of migration; regrets that the contributions from the EU budget to the EU Trust Funds and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey have reduced the overall coherence, long-term vision and impact of the Union’s action; stresses once again that new priorities must be financed with new appropriations; deeply regrets that Parliament was not formally consulted or asked to give its approval at any stage of the decision-making process in relation to the ‘Turkey statement’;

7.  Reiterates the need for the instruments to be complementary and adaptable to the local context, as well as able to respond to new and unforeseen challenges quickly and effectively without losing sight of their original objectives;

8.  Regrets that the instruments do not contain any explicit reference to the possibility of suspending assistance in cases where a beneficiary country (in particular where indirect management with the beneficiary country – IMBC – has been used) fails to observe such basic principles as democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

9.  Notes that EU development aid (official development assistance, ODA) has not reached the UN target of 0,7 %; calls, therefore, for an increase in the resources available for development aid in order to meet the Agenda 2030 commitments;

IPA II

10.  Encourages efforts to make IPA II more strategically relevant in the long term and deliver concrete results through beneficiary-specific planning and a sectoral approach; believes that such an approach could help in cutting down the huge backlog of unspent funds from IPA I and II in Turkey resulting from inefficiencies of IMBC as well as weak absorption capacities;

11.  Is deeply concerned about Turkey’s backsliding in terms of the rule of law and democracy, in spite of the EUR 4,5 billion programmed under the IPA II for the current MFF period; recognises that the current accession perspective for Turkey feeds into widespread uncertainty over the value of IPA II in the country; notes that IPA II funds have been used to finance commitments under the ‘Turkey statement’;

12.  Notes the varying stages of progress of several countries in the Western Balkans under the long-term assistance from the IPA II; notes that, in some cases, IPA II assistance has led to limited results in steering reforms, especially in the areas of the rule of law, public administration and the fight against corruption;

13.  Notes the remaining weaknesses in the quality of indicators in country programmes and action documents;

14.  Emphasises the need to be able to suspend or redirect IPA II funds in cases where a thorough analysis by the Commission finds that partner countries have systemically been failing to meet their commitments or are exhibiting severe political backsliding; regrets that such measures have in the past been hampered by a systemic and political inability to act;

15.  Notes the existence of the performance framework; regrets, however, that the performance rewards are yet to be considered and awarded; calls, in this context, for increased work to be undertaken to further improve the framework, also taking into account cases of negative performance and an ensuing decrease in funding;

16.  Reiterates the importance of IPA II as the main EU funding instrument for pre-accession financing of key social, economic, political and institutional reforms in priority areas in order to align countries with the EU acquis; notes that such reforms may also contribute to regional security in the long term; welcomes the increased strategic focus of IPA II, but underlines that funding under IPA II must be ambitious and forward-looking and must match the actual needs, obligations and aspirations linked to the accession process and EU membership; recalls, in this regard, that funding should be used in accordance with the specific objectives pertaining to the instrument;

17.  Acknowledges that the Civil Society Facility of IPA II provides crucial support to local civil society organisations (CSOs); emphasises that commitments do not match the real needs on the ground; calls, in this context, for more complementarity of IPA II with actions of other instruments, notably the EIDHR and the IcSP; notes that this requires more coordination during both the planning and the programming phases;

18.  Considers the sectoral approach valid, but regrets the lack of clear ownership of projects due to fragmented responsibilities; notes that indirect management has improved overall ownership of the programmes, but has also led to decreased efficiency through longer delays in implementation;

19.  Welcomes initiatives to set up systems to better monitor and measure performance, including through Sector Monitoring Committees, internal guidelines, and the development of a new information management system (OPSYS);

ENI

20.  Welcomes the support to structural reforms provided in the form of programmed assistance, and underlines the special nature of the ENI, enabling the EU to devise tailor‑made policies adapted to the specific needs of the partner countries;

21.  Shares the Commission’s assessment that the existence of a dedicated financing instrument for the neighbourhood has provided concrete evidence of the political importance attached by the EU to relations with its neighbours and to the deepening of political cooperation and economic integration with and within the region;

22.  Recognises that current challenges and needs in the neighbourhood, as well as discrepancies between objectives, interests and financial resources, have placed serious strain on the ENI budget and human resources, and highlights the need for more flexibility;

23.  Is concerned that ENI funding has been less effective among partners less committed to reforms and remains challenging but necessary in politically sensitive and conflict situations, especially with regard to the promotion of shared values of democracy and human rights; regrets that the ‘more for more’ and incentive-based approaches have not been used effectively, and that countries that are manifestly departing from their stated commitments to human rights and democratic reform have enjoyed increasing financial assistance over the most recent programming period;

24.  Reiterates that the neighbourhood has been confronted with unprecedented challenges since 2014, due to the increasing number of long-standing and newly emerging challenges, such as the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the Syrian crisis, the situation in Libya, radicalisation and terrorism, youth unemployment, and the challenge of migration;

25.  Is concerned that these developments, as well as discrepancies between the objectives, the interests of both the EU and partner countries and the financial resources available have stretched the financial capacity of this instrument to the limit, while highlighting the need for more flexibility;

26.  Underlines that EU values and principles, including democracy, the rule of law, human rights and efficient, accountable and transparent public institutions, are in the interests of neighbouring societies as much as of our own in terms of stability, security and prosperity; welcomes the support to structural reforms provided under programmed assistance; considers that the implementation of the principle of differentiation has allowed the EU to adapt its support to partner countries’ needs and ambitions;

27.  Takes note of the contributions under ENI to the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa;

28.  Underlines the need for greater coordination between regional and bilateral programmes and investment facilities to better support and foster private sector development; notes that shortcomings related to the lack of joint programming with Member States have slightly improved;

29.  Welcomes the monitoring of ENI assistance through Results-Oriented Monitoring (ROM); regrets that no consistent monitoring and evaluation systems exist at instrument level;

30.  Emphasises that the trade-related technical support and economic assistance provided by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) to the Union’s close partners on its southern and eastern borders make an important contribution to democratic evolution in those regions; observes that funds under the ENI may be used for trade facilitation and as such can be complementary to existing EU funding for the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which should better guarantee medium- and long-term political stability;

IcSP

31.  Recognises that the IcSP’s primary added value is its speed and flexibility when it comes to addressing conflict, and its broad range of civilian actors with whom the EU can partner up; recalls that the IcSP is the only EU instrument for civilian conflict prevention, including mediation, dialogue and reconciliation;

32.  Takes note of the complications involved in collecting data and measuring the results of IcSP actions, both of which may have proven challenging due to difficulties in assessing political outcomes and the attribution of results to IcSP actions when followed up by concurrent actions under other instruments, as well as to difficulties in accessing conflict‑affected areas;

33.  Notes that the need for conflict prevention and to address security challenges has drastically increased in the recent period; believes that there is a need for reconciliation, mediation and dialogue initiatives in many post-war crisis countries; underlines the need for prompt action in the context of crises and conflicts; stresses the need to significantly increase the funds available for such initiatives; notes that the amendment to the IcSP in November 2017 aims to strengthen the security capabilities of third countries in order to further promote stability, security and sustainable development; notes that the IcSP functions as a measure of last resort or a forerunner of longer-term actions funded by other instruments;

34.  Notes that the IcSP is in the early stages of countering cyber threats globally; urges that stronger emphasis be placed on cyber security, including through a coherent strategy applicable throughout all EU external actions; calls for an accompanying increase in the funds allocated to cyber security under the IcSP as the appropriate instrument for dealing with such threats;

35.  Notes that cooperation with Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and missions as well as EU humanitarian aid provision has increased;

EIDHR

36.  Underlines the added value of the worldwide holistic approach of the EIDHR, despite its relatively small budget, and the importance of civil society organisations in achieving its objective, as well as its unique feature of being the only instrument through which the EU can support civil society actions, irrespective of interference by the authorities of the State concerned by such actions;

37.  Notes that, during the current period, the EIDHR has been used more flexibly and in a more complementary manner than in the previous period, reacting to emerging human rights and democracy crises more quickly; welcomes its complementarity with funding from other sources, such as the European Endowment for Democracy, which enhances the effectiveness of the EIDHR’s funding in urgent cases; welcomes the increased focus on human rights defenders, including through the emergency fund available at EU delegation level, and the establishment and successful operation of the EU’s Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Mechanism ProtectDefenders.eu; highlights that the call for proposals process is long, inconvenient and over-competitive;

38.  Notes, furthermore, the benefits of the ProtectDefenders.eu mechanism, implemented by civil society, which has provided critical support to a large number of HRDs; urges the continued support of such mechanisms;

39.  Is concerned about the difficulties in mainstreaming human rights and democratic values through geographic programmes and about the reduced EU support to civil society organisations, leading to increased pressure on the EIDHR at a time of shrinking space for civil society worldwide;

40.  Believes that the EU must show leadership and ambition by deploying an overarching policy for mainstreaming its support to democracy in all its external relations; considers, therefore, that the funding allocated for democracy support must be increased accordingly, in particular in the light of the current attacks on democracy worldwide; insists on the need to ensure that the spending on Objective 1 of the Country‑Based Support Scheme (CBSS) effectively and efficiently reaches the human rights defenders who are most at risk; urges the EU delegations to deploy all necessary support in this regard;

41.  Recognises that the evaluation of EIDHR actions is challenging due to the absence of strategic and operational indicators; notes that the challenges in evaluation also arise due to significant levels of support to CSOs and human rights defenders being understandably delivered confidentially in order to protect the identities and safety of beneficiaries;

42.  Reiterates the added value of EU election observation missions, an area where the EU is leading globally; welcomes the fact that monitoring and follow-up missions to take account of election observation missions’ recommendations have increased in number;

PI

43.  Underlines that the PI is specifically intended to pursue thematic EU and mutual interests with third countries and to build alliances and foster cooperation with current and emerging strategic partners; notes that in practice, the PI is used as an instrument of last resort, deployed when it is considered to be the only instrument that can facilitate the pursuit of the EU policy agenda and tackle global challenges;

44.  Notes that in comparison with previous instruments, the PI has been able to engage in more cooperative ways with third countries, including strategic partners, countries graduated from bilateral development aid and various international fora, but is of the opinion that increasing the provision of resources and input by policy-making services is necessary to ensure they are fully involved in designing, programming and implementing the actions, as well as enhancing the active role played by EU delegations in the formulation of actions, and enhancing information sharing with Member States;

45.  Advocates improving the visibility of the objectives of the PI and knowledge and understanding of them, especially within the EU institutions;

46.  Notes with regret that the evaluation has been hampered by the fact that no central repository of action documentation has been created due to the late adoption of a results indicator framework and the unfinished nature of most projects;

CIR

47.  Recalls that the EU’s external financing instruments are a complex set of tools for the EU to support and enhance its action on the international scene, and that their complex structure is coordinated by the CIR; reiterates that the CIR needs to meet the criteria of budgetary scrutiny and democratic oversight; regrets that the high complexity and restrictive nature of the CIR have hampered the efficient use of Union resources and are preventing a timely response to new challenges and partner needs; regrets that the commonality of rules has not led to the joint programming of assistance between the instruments;

48.  Notes that the CIR was established for the purposes of harmonisation, the simplification of implementation, greater flexibility, coherence, consistency and efficiency of the use of the Union’s resources, and of a smooth and complementary approach to the implementation of all instruments;

49.  Considers that sufficient time is key to Parliament being able to properly and duly exercise its powers of scrutiny with regard to draft implementing acts; considers that, given the amount of time that the draft implementing acts are in preparation before reaching the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI Committees, non-compliance with the 20-day time limit for submission of documents to Parliament and the Council in the final phase of adoption of the implementing act cannot be justified; regrets, therefore, that the deadline of 20 calendar days is not always respected, and considers its right of scrutiny impaired; calls for the submission of all draft implementing measures at least 20 days in advance, and calls on the Commission to amend the Rules of Procedure of the ENI, IPA II, EIDHR, IcSP, PI and DCI Committees in order to extend this 20-day time limit for submission, thereby facilitating Parliament’s scrutiny powers;

50.  Regrets that visibility of the EU’s External Funding Policy remains limited in a context where third actors are actively seeking to undermine EU foreign policy through disinformation;

Recommendations for 2017/2018-2020

51.  Calls for EU and universal values and human rights to remain at the core of all EU external actions;

52.  Urges increased synergies and coherence between all instruments under Heading 4, as well as better coordination with bilateral assistance programmes of Member States and, where possible, other donors; calls, in this regard, on the Commission and the EEAS to strengthen their cooperation and coordination, including with CSOs and local actors, and to fulfil their responsibilities under Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU);

53.  Calls for the establishment of solid, consistent and transparent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; reiterates that such mechanisms would allow for the tracking of tangible progress on crucial reform-related goals in neighbouring countries, which is particularly important where those reforms have stalled or otherwise been delayed;

54.  Calls for enhanced parliamentary control and scrutiny procedures and systems that are consistent for all instruments; recommends improving transparency through the creation of a single common transparent public database of projects and actions;

55.  Stresses the need to provide additional financial resources and training support to CSOs; insists that urgent measures are required to further diminish the bureaucratic burden and procedural obstacles encountered by CSOs, especially by local CSOs; calls for specific budget lines devoted to capacity building for CSOs in order to enhance their ability to access funding; regrets that the issue of the lack of CSO participation in programming and implementing external instruments has not been raised in the Commission’s mid-term review report; calls on the Commission to mainstream a more strategic involvement of CSOs in all external instruments and programmes, as requested by both the Council and Parliament;

56.  Is in favour of a more direct and active promotion of EU policies, its financial assistance and its visibility;

57.  Reiterates its position that the possibility to carry over unallocated ENI and IPA II funds should be introduced, within a limit of 10 % of the initial appropriations for each instrument, in order to increase the capacity to respond to unforeseen events, while maintaining the objectives set out in the relevant ENI and IPA II regulations;

IPA II

58.  Supports the principles listed in Article 21 TEU, and recommends a stronger emphasis on strengthening democratic institutions, the fight against corruption and public administration reforms, strengthening the rule of law and good governance and making improvements in the consistent implementation of human and minority rights; calls for more support for reforms in the sectors relevant to the accession process, as well as for stimulation of regional cooperation in order to complement the EU’s enlargement policy;

59.  Recommends enabling the transfer of funds to civil society when state authorities are unwilling to meet the EU’s stated objectives, or are unwilling to cooperate on the instrument’s objectives; calls on the Commission to moderate or suspend funding for countries that seriously breach EU fundamental values, including the basic Copenhagen criteria; calls for an easing of the administrative burden for recipients from civil society organisations applying for EU funding;

60.  Demands Parliament involvement should a suspension of funds or significant changes in maximum indicative allocations be considered;

61.  Insists on strong ownership on the part of the beneficiaries from programming to monitoring and auditing; calls on the Commission to provide targeted assistance to national audit authorities in terms of methodology, planning, recruitment, training and supervision;

62.  Recommends greater support for national authorities responsible for donor coordination, which have a weak capacity, but show a political willingness to meet the objectives; regrets the lack of transparency regarding the absorption capacity of these funds;

63.  Urges the channelling of funds into sectors with a proven track record, avoiding further chronic delays that have occurred under the IMBC, mainly in Turkey;

64.  Calls for increased visibility of the IPA II in the region given the crucial importance of enlargement policy for the EU, for example through appropriate targeted communication and information campaigns in national, regional and local media outlets, or any other means as may be deemed appropriate, with minimum requirements and the monitoring thereof defined by the Commission, in close cooperation with beneficiaries; supports targeted counter-propaganda and strategic communication efforts, especially in instances where the EU’s image and interests are actively targeted and undermined;

65.  Recommends making use of IPA II funds to create channels of communication for firms, particularly SMEs, in both the Member States and pre-accession countries, in order to create strong trade links between the respective areas, which would be very useful in preparing the recipient countries for accession to the single market;

66.  Reiterates the usefulness of the financial performance reward for countries making progress, as prescribed by the IPA II Regulation;

67.  Considers that flexibility and the use of funding to address specific crisis situations must be in line with the instrument’s key priorities and the fundamentals of the enlargement strategy and the accession process, which have to remain the main focus of IPA II;

68.  Calls for better coordination and additional synergies during the planning and programming phases of IPA II with the actions of other instruments, namely the EIDHR and the IcSP, in order to ensure coherence and to enhance complementarity, both internally between its own set of objectives and programmes and vis-à-vis other EFIs;

ENI

69.  Emphasises the need for an overall strategic document for ENI implementation aligning assistance with the larger political framework and for better coordination with other instruments; stresses that the priorities of ENI programming should also include socio-economic development, youth and the sustainable management of energy resources;

70.  Regrets that the multiannual programming already took place for the majority of the beneficiaries in the course of 2017, prior to the finalisation of the MTR of assistance in those countries; recalls that Parliament provided its recommendations on programming during a Strategic Dialogue with the Commission in April 2017;

71.  Stresses the political visibility and leverage that the ENI as a separate financing instrument grants to the EU in the neighbourhood, both in the East and the South;

72.  Calls for the existing balance in the allocation of funds between the Union’s southern and eastern neighbourhoods to be maintained;

73.  Underlines the interconnection between stabilisation, support for democratisation, conflict prevention and resolution, respect for human rights and the rule of law, education and socio-economic development; stresses the importance of projects that support young people in their education and employability;

74.  Reiterates the importance of the ability to respond more rapidly to challenges;

75.  Stresses that investment in stabilising and developing countries in the neighbourhood also addresses issues such as migration, terrorism, local conflicts and economic instability, which in the long run will be beneficial for the EU as a whole;

76.  Underlines that the specificity of the challenges in the neighbourhood requires an integrated and comprehensive approach based on beneficiaries’ various needs and situations, including through synergies with other EFIs and across policies of the Union; underlines that one of the primary tasks is that of swift and effective implementation of the Association Agreements (AAs) and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) and all related reforms, which must be backed up with adequate financial resources from the EU side;

77.  Reiterates the importance of deeper joint programming with the Member States, in addition to the good progress made on joint analyses, coordination and consensus-building on donor priorities; urges improvements in donors’ coordination, especially in pairing with funds from other EU instruments, fellow donors and international financial institutions, to underpin economic transition and stability in partner countries;

78.  Is concerned that the response and financial capacities of the instrument have been stretched to the limit; regrets that in-house expertise in the form of political and geopolitical risk analysis was not taken into account at the planning stage to a sufficient degree;

79.  Concludes that increasing the indicative financial allocations by means of legislative amendment may be necessary in the light of current challenges in the neighbourhood;

80.  Reiterates that the objectives of funds programmed under the ENI are to be adhered to when such funds are shifted to other modalities such as Trust Funds, and that scrutiny and oversight by parliament are needed and must never be circumvented;

81.  Calls for stronger involvement of civil society in the identification of needs;

82.  Calls for making full use of conditionality and incentives-based mechanisms that support political and economic reforms where needed, and which are related to reforms and strategic objectives; regrets that the ENI has not been able to provide sufficient incentives to those countries which are reluctant to engage in political reforms; calls for effective monitoring of the ENI at instrument level;

83.  Is concerned about the destruction and confiscation of EU‑funded assistance in third countries; calls for further efforts to improve the EU’s strategic communication and visibility in neighbourhood countries;

IcSP

84.  Calls for better efforts to leverage IcSP influence through regular strategic dialogues with partners and international organisations; asks, in this context, for co-financing to be ensured by other important donors with a stake in the outcomes of relevant actions;

85.  Calls for an improved strategic framework and synergies between IcSP and follow-up actions from other instruments and actors;

86.  Calls for increased cooperation between other international organisations, governments and EU institutions on countering emerging new threats, such as in the area of hybrid conflicts and cyber-security where the expertise of the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) could be utilised;

87.  Recommends a more strategic use of IcSP mediation capacity not only in relation to conflicts of localised impact, but also to support the peace process and dialogue in existing or emerging conflicts with global significance, and calls for better early warning systems and conflict analysis tools that would allow for better prevention and peace-building;

88.  Stresses that this instrument will from now on enable the Union to fund training measures for and the supply of non-lethal equipment (such as IT systems, hospitals, etc.) to third-country armed forces in order to meet urgent, short- and medium-term needs, as part of the efforts to achieve sustainable development objectives;

EIDHR

89.  Reiterates the fundamental importance of supporting and promoting democracy and human rights in third countries, including the protection of human rights defenders, irrespective of interference by authorities of third countries;

90.  Notes the effectiveness and importance of the EIDHR in this regard, operating in a context of shrinking space for civil society; reaffirms the continued need for dedicated funding for human rights and democracy, without any decrease; calls, furthermore, for the consideration of increased funding for urgency assistance to HRDs, as well as the effective promotion of the availability of such funds;

91.  Reiterates that the EIDHR should not have its scope limited or be used as an instrument merely to fill gaps left by other instruments, but that the targeted promotion of democracy and human rights should be a clear and strategic goal in itself;

92.  Urges the Commission to find solutions to the issues of shrinking space for civil society, increased human rights violations and repression, for example by increasing the funds available for global, reactive programmes such as the EU HRDs Mechanism ProtectDefenders.eu; calls for the EU to continue funding HRDs, in particular those at risk, and civil society, as well as marginalised groups such as women, indigenous peoples, Roma, LGBTI, persons with disabilities, children and the elderly;

93.  Recommends increased strategic planning in conjunction with political guidance from EU authorities and coherence with the other instruments, especially in countries experiencing a decline in human rights and democratic standards, to counter the global trend of authoritarianism;

94.  Underlines the importance of focusing on internationally relevant thematic issues that may underpin, in the short-, medium- and/or long-term, the globalisation of human rights and the rule of international law and justice; calls for greater EIDHR support in a number of emerging thematic issues, notably the fight against corruption, businesses’ respect of human rights, environmental rights and rights of migrants;

95.  Welcomes support to international and regional human rights and accountability mechanisms, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Criminal Court (ICC);

96.  Recommends continued efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide;

97.  Reiterates the Commission’s commitments on further supporting civil society and promoting a more conducive environment for CSOs in partner countries; insists that urgent work is required to further diminish the bureaucratic obstacles encountered by local CSOs; encourages EU delegations to actively seek out HRDs and CSOs working on sensitive issues requiring funding, to publish calls for proposals in local languages and to allow applicants to submit project proposals therein, thereby also strengthening local ownership and the long-term embeddedness of projects;

98.  Calls for an increased focus on the sustainability of EIDHR-funded actions, notably in the context of Election Observation Missions (EOMs), where there is significant scope for stepping up the transfer of knowledge to local actors and improving the follow-up to recommendations; calls for EOM planning to be better coordinated with Parliament’s election observation activities;

99.  Calls on the Commission to provide specific funding to projects targeting the increasing abuse of surveillance technology and online attacks by repressive governments and non-state actors;

100.  Calls for the establishment of monitoring and evaluation systems that involve input from HRDs;

101.  Encourages coordinated action with the IcSP in pursuit of actions preventing crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide;

PI

102.  Welcomes the focus on the Union’s strategic interests;

103.  Recommends a more strategic and consolidated use of the scarce funds available under the PI, ensuring inclusive input and the identification of actions by all Commission departments and the EEAS, in close cooperation with Member States, and underscores the importance of a well-resourced PI for the proactive defence of EU values and interests in the context of a declining trans-Atlantic consensus and the growing number of middle-income countries whose strategic importance is rapidly increasing, including in Asia and Latin America;

104.  Recommends a review of the geographical allocations in the next Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) in order to adapt to challenges; suggests, in this context, enhanced coverage for cooperation with non-strategic third countries, such as middle-income countries which are currently not sufficiently covered;

105.  Recommends better alignment with CIR objectives and cross-cutting themes;

106.  Recommends that its monitoring and evaluation system, including relevant qualitative indicators, be finalised;

107.  Considers that the PI could be an important tool for supporting the implementation of free trade agreements, notably by supporting the work of the Domestic Advisory Groups; underlines the need to assess the use and distribution of funds, as well as the effectiveness of the PI and the Business Avenue and EU Gateway programmes, which should complement Member States’ competences in the area of foreign trade promotion;

108.  Notes that one of the objectives of the PI is public diplomacy in order to build trust and understanding in non-EU countries with regard to EU policies; stresses that civil society engagement is of the utmost importance, and welcomes the allocation of EUR 3 million to support the participation of civil society organisations in the Domestic Advisory Groups;

CIR

109.  Recommends a better use of the harmonised rules through possible joint calls for proposals and improved cooperation across Commission departments and the EEAS;

110.  Calls for the inclusion of gender mainstreaming among the provisions of the CIR;

111.  Calls for further stepping up of the efforts to increase the visibility of EU external policy funding through a comprehensive and coherent communication strategy which includes measures to tackle disinformation; calls for the introduction of conditionality mechanisms vis-à-vis implementing partners when measures to increase EU visibility are not complied with;

112.  Recalls the key importance of development and aid effectiveness principles in external action as highlighted in the CIR, and calls on the Commission to maintain these principles throughout all the measures it will take following the mid-term review report;

113.  Observes that EU SMEs should be taken into account with regard to access to the external financing instruments via less complex and more friendly regulation which can facilitate more agile use of the funds and at the same time help SMEs acquire international experience; asks the Commission to assess the existing tools aimed at promoting SME internationalisation regarding their coherence with other Union SME support instruments, such as COSME, as well as regarding subsidiarity, non-duplication and complementarity in relation to Member State programmes; calls on the Commission to make timely proposals for the mid-term review of those programmes in order to improve their efficiency and effectiveness; underlines the need to improve information and awareness among SMEs about the existing instruments, in particular at national level;

The post-2020 architecture

114.  Calls for funding of external relations instruments to reflect ambitious external actions, and for the budget for the EU as a global player to be increased while remaining based on values, fundamental and human rights and principles; reiterates that EU external actions also serve the common interests of EU citizens;

115.  Underlines that in the event of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union, the current budget ratio destined for external action should be increased or at least maintained at current levels, with the same rationale being applied to existing instruments, policies and priorities;

116.  Reiterates that reform of the current instrument architecture is required in order to provide more accountability, transparency and public oversight, and would also increase efficiency, coherence and responsiveness as well as effectiveness and flexibility; considers that reform could also increase cost-effectiveness, reduce overlaps and conflicts of interest between different actors and Commission services and contribute to tackling the current challenges related to strategy, programming and implementation;

117.  Recalls the essential role of Parliament as a co-legislator in the regulation establishing the next MFF; reiterates its willingness to work with the Commission, EEAS and Council to optimise the architecture of the external financing instruments; stresses, however, that the objective of any restructuring of the instruments should be increased transparency, accountability, efficiency, coherence as well as flexibility; stresses that these objectives cannot be achieved without a governance structure that allows for political control, is strategy driven, inclusive and accountable; stresses that Parliament will not accept any reform of the instruments without a solid governance structure; urges the Commission and EEAS to propose a plan for the reform of the instruments that includes such a governance structure; underlines the discrepancies between the findings of the mid‑term review and the Commission’s proposals to reform the current structure; underlines, furthermore, that robust democratic and transparent scrutiny by national parliaments and the European Parliament must be ensured;

118.  Calls for better integration of the EU Trust Funds and facilities into the budget in order to increase the transparency and democratic scrutiny of the EFIs; recalls the agreement, as part of the latest revision of the Financial Regulation, to consult with Parliament and the Council prior to setting up a new Trust Fund for thematic actions; calls, in addition, on the Commission to provide Parliament with detailed information about any significant autonomous transfer or decommitment under Heading 4;

119.  Highlights that EU delegations, together with Member States, could also help SMEs use these financial instruments with a view to creating medium-term relations between EU firms and the recipient countries’ economies;

120.  Stresses that no instrument can exist without the inclusion of clear and dedicated envelopes and allocations for the various goals, objectives and priorities of EU external action, including democracy, human rights, the rule of law, support to civil society, conflict resolution, fragile states, development policy and poverty eradication, economic and social development, and support to countries in various stages of EU accession and the countries of the EU neighbourhood;

121.  Appreciates the EU’s commitment to such issues as human rights, democracy and support to civil society, as well as various goals, objectives and the specific political and strategic value of the current instruments; underlines that reform should not undermine the policy goals of each instrument; understands the specificity in terms of objectives and implementation when it comes to the ENI, IPA II and EIDHR and considers, therefore, that these should remain independent due to strategic and political considerations;

122.  Recalls that, since 2006, the EIDHR has been the concrete expression of the EU’s commitment to support and promote democracy and human rights in third countries, and has allowed the EU to intervene without interference by governments in support of registered and non-registered NGOs and in areas not always covered by EU Member States;

123.  Stresses the need to establish common goals, including the necessity to enhance a rights-based approach and to mainstream human rights in order to give meaning to Article 21 TEU, which requires the EU to consolidate democracy, human rights and the rule of law as a necessary objective in external relations;

124.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to ensure clear communications to partner countries about any reforms;

125.  Calls for the setting up of solid, consistent evaluation and monitoring procedures that are able to provide qualitative and quantitative evaluation analysis and to track progress in achieving set objectives by means of EU funding via different instruments;

126.  Stresses the need for the predictability of long-term funding while also introducing set amounts to be used flexibly; reiterates that flexibility requires the possibility to transfer funds between envelopes; recalls that funds destined for external action objectives cannot be rerouted to serve other objectives, including migration management and internal security; stresses that the possibility to carry over unallocated funds within the total budget of the external action instrument should be introduced within a limit of 10 % of the initial appropriations of the instrument for flexible and/or urgent actions while maintaining the policy objectives of the instrument;

127.  Highlights that country aid allocations should not be dependent on migration deals with the EU, and there should be no diversion of finance from poor countries and regions to migrants’ countries of origin or of transit to Europe on the sole basis that these lie on the migration route;

128.  Recalls the difficulties beneficiaries currently experience in securing funding under the instruments; calls for a simplification of procedures, the easing of administrative burdens and, where possible, the adoption of unified procedures for the various Commission and EEAS services involved and the setting up of a one-stop-shop for organisations applying for EU funding and the use of digital solutions, where possible, to streamline and reduce bureaucratic burdens, but not at the expense of budgetary oversight, traceability and control;

129.  Underlines the need for all Commission services and the EEAS to work together, making EU external funding policy- rather than instrument-driven, in order to prevent discrepancies, incoherence, unnecessary costs, overlap and a waste of knowhow and to achieve the goals and objectives shared by EU external action as a whole;

130.  Stresses the need for more strategic political guidance and an overarching strategy and accompanying documents, developed in conjunction with and shared by all relevant Commission services and the EEAS, managed and monitored by the governance structure that is yet to be created, setting out the goals and objectives of EU external action for the coming period and the way in which the instrument will be deployed to achieve them; calls for the use of both internal and external expertise in the setting of such goals and objectives; recommends that all programming include conflict-sensitivity and political economy analysis and risk assessment, as well as mitigation measures that could be flexibly redeployed in cases in which such risks occur;

131.  Calls for the exploration of ways to increase coordination and coherence with external funding policies by EU Member States, including through the enhancement of joint programming;

132.  Calls for an enhancement of the funding opportunities for NGOs by clarifying and providing more opportunities for co-financing, through providing for multiannual partnerships and ensuring the sustainability of the activities;

133.  Calls for improved requirements for faster decision-making in order to increase the EU’s capacity to respond to rapidly evolving events;

134.  Underlines the importance of increasing the visibility and raising awareness of the EU’s external action – including through the utilisation of the EU’s Strategic Communication Task Force – and its influence around the world; calls for this to be seen as a policy objective; stresses, therefore, the urgent need for country- and/or region-specific strategic communication in the EU delegations and significantly increased coordination and information sharing between EU delegations and Member States;

135.  Emphasises that EU delegations play a key role in local programming and oversight of programming and eventual disbursement of funds, and in the identification of beneficiaries, particularly in the case of HRDs and CSOs active in sensitive areas; reiterates that EU delegations cannot be solely responsible for funding decisions due to their work and status in third countries;

136.  Emphasises that the programming of instruments must closely involve civil society in the respective countries and be based to a greater extent on decentralised cooperation in its conception, rollout and implementation, in order to establish solid and lasting partnerships, to meet the specific needs of populations and take the social realities of the people concerned into account;

137.  Recalls that in certain instances, EU political goals and objectives, such as human rights, the rule of law and development, are better served through the disbursement of several smaller grants to grass roots organisations, rather than one larger envelope to a single beneficiary;

138.  Underlines the importance of the ‘more-for-more’ and conditionality principles; considers that stronger conditionality mechanisms should be set up under which direct budget support to state authorities, or government bodies and non-state actors can be suspended or, when possible, redirected to civil society in cases where such institutions do not adhere to, or comply with the need to meet the objectives of the dispersed funding, or violate the rule of law and human rights;

139.  Requires transparency, accountability, scrutiny, development additionality, respect for aid/development effectiveness principles and strong environmental, human rights and social safeguards when using development aid to leverage private sector investment;

140.  Invites the Commission to consider earmarking funds through the external financing instruments for cooperation and technical assistance with third countries, especially developing countries, to foster membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and to prevent human rights violations with regard to the ongoing recast of the Dual Use Regulation;

141.  Stresses that any future structure calls for proper checks and balances, transparency, right of scrutiny of implementation, including enhanced strategic policy input and scrutiny of implementation by Parliament, as well as the use of delegated acts for the revision of thematic priorities, if contained in Annexes to legislative acts, and for the adoption of additional substantial elements such as strategic and multiannual programming documents;

142.  Is convinced that the post-2020 generation of EFIs must respect the budgetary principles of sincerity and unity;

143.  Takes the view that mid-term review and budgetary control processes should be sufficiently rigorous and transparent to ensure the maximum absorption of funds possible and to enable appropriate modifications to increase absorption capacity where needed;

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144.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Council.

(1) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 27.
(2) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 11.
(3) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 335, 15.12.2017, p. 6.
(5) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 77.
(6) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 85.
(7) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 44.
(8) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 95.
(9) OJ L 201, 3.8.2010, p. 30.
(10) OJ L 249, 27.9.2017, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(12) See report A8-0211/2017.
(13) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(14) OJ C 407, 8.12.2015, p. 8.
(15) OJ C 60, 16.2.2016, p. 3.
(16) OJ C 122, 19.4.2017, p. 4.
(17) Published on the Commission website: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/public-consultation-external-financing-instruments-european-union_en
(18) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0493.
(19) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0026.
(20) OJ C 58, 15.2.2018, p. 109.
(21) OJ C 408, 30.11.2017, p. 21.
(22) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 110.
(23) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0440.
(24) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0306.
(25) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0036.
(26) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0037.
(27) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0094.
(28) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0262.
(29) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0263.
(30) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0261.
(31) OJ C 208, 10.6.2016, p. 25.
(32) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0408.
(33) https://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/top_stories/pdf/eugs_review_web.pdf