Discharge of the 2021 financial year granted by European Parliament©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre
The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament’s final approval of how the EU budget was implemented in 2021. The vote granting the ‘discharge’ to the Commission is an acknowledgement that EU funds were spent in line with the rules, were well protected from fraudsters, and contributed to the economic recovery on the ground. With this final approval the 2021 financial year is effectively closed.
In 2021, spending programmes from the previous long-term budget (2014-2020) were still running and kept delivering on the EU’s key political priorities. 2021 was also the first year of implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, to recover from the coronavirus crisis and strengthen Europe’s resilience. The implementation of the spending programmes within the new long-term EU budget (2021-2027) also started.
On the occasion of the vote, Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of the budget, said: “I am pleased by the decision of the European Parliament to grant discharge to the Commission, and I congratulate the rapporteurs for their excellent work. This is a vote of confidence and we will do everything to prove that it is justified by continuing our efforts and doing even better in the coming years. The European Commission will keep doing its outmost to ensure that the EU budget is spent in line with the rules, that it is disbursed in full transparency and that it delivers maximum value for its citizens. We will work with the co-legislators to ensure that the revision of the Financial Regulation achieves its objective to strengthen control and audit as well as and to enhance transparency on the use of the funds.”
The annual budget discharge is the European Parliament’s final approval of how the European Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, has implemented the EU budget in a given year. The discharge vote is the formal closure of the budgetary year in question. The European Parliament grants discharge on a recommendation from the Council. The procedure therefore enables the European Parliament and the Council to exercise democratic control over the way taxpayers’ money is being spent.