Table of Contents
TITLE VI - THE FUNCTIONING OF THE UNION
CHAPTER II - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 3 - IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BUDGET AND DISCHARGE
The Commission shall implement the budget in cooperation with the Member States, in accordance with the European law referred to in Article III-412, on its own responsibility and within the limits of the appropriations allocated, having regard to the principles of sound financial management.
Member States shall cooperate with the Commission to ensure that the appropriations are used in accordance with those principles.
The European law referred to in Article III-412 shall establish the control and audit obligations of the Member States in the implementation of the budget and the resulting responsibilities. It shall establish the responsibilities and detailed rules for each institution concerning its part in effecting its own expenditure.
Within the budget the Commission may, subject to the limits and conditions laid down by the European law referred to in Article III-412, transfer appropriations from one chapter to another or from one subdivision to another.
The Commission shall submit annually to the European Parliament and to the Council the accounts of the preceding financial year relating to the implementation of the budget. The Commission shall also forward to them a financial statement of the Union's assets and liabilities.
The Commission shall also submit to the European Parliament and to the Council an evaluation report on the Union's finances based on the results achieved, in particular in relation to the indications given by the European Parliament and the Council pursuant to Article III-409.
1. The European Parliament, on a recommendation from the Council, shall give a discharge to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget. To this end, the Council and the European Parliament in turn shall examine the accounts, the financial statement and the evaluation report referred to in Article III-408, the annual report by the Court of Auditors together with the replies of the institutions under audit to the observations of the Court of Auditors, the statement of assurance referred to in the second subparagraph of Article III-384(1) and any relevant special reports by the Court of Auditors.
2. Before giving a discharge to the Commission, or for any other purpose in connection with the exercise of its powers over the implementation of the budget, the European Parliament may ask to hear the Commission give evidence with regard to the execution of expenditure or the operation of financial control systems. The Commission shall submit any necessary information to the European Parliament at the latter's request.
3. The Commission shall take all appropriate steps to act on the observations in the decisions giving discharge and on other observations by the European Parliament relating to the execution of expenditure, as well as on comments accompanying the recommendations on discharge adopted by the Council.
4. At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, the Commission shall report on the measures taken in the light of these observations and comments and in particular on the instructions given to the departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget. These reports shall also be forwarded to the Court of Auditors.