CM(2009)167 29 October 20091
1071 Meeting, 24-26 November 2009
11 Administration and Logistics
11.1 Adjustments to the 2010 Draft Budgets and Programme of Activities
Memorandum from the Secretary General
1. The Draft Budget and draft Programme of Activities for 2010 were prepared strictly in line with the decisions on Priorities for 2010 taken by the Committee of Ministers on 9 July 2009, on the basis of the principle of Zero Real Growth of member states’ contributions to the Ordinary Budget and the budgets of the Partial Agreements. Given the decrease in other receipts the budget of expenditure of the Ordinary Budget will grow only by 0.51% in nominal terms (excluding zero sum technical transfers between the Ordinary Budget and the Pension Reserve Fund budget). This will mean in practice decreases in real terms in all sectors of the Budget except for the European Court of Human Rights (Vote IV).
2. The adjustments which are proposed below follow this principle. They involve a number of budgetary reallocations and different sources of financing in order to meet additional budgetary requirements and adjustments to the draft Programme of Activities following discussions in the relevant Rapporteur Groups of the Committee of Ministers.
3. In this respect the Secretary General has noted the written contributions from the delegations of the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. He also met a number of delegations and was informed of the exchanges of views which took place at the GR-PBA at its meetings on 8 and 22 October, also on the basis of the presentation of the Chair of the Budget Committee and the synopsis of discussions in the various Rapporteur Groups concerning the Programme of Activities (doc.
4. It is apparent that some of the views expressed by delegations are of a strategic nature and their implications need to be considered with care before comprehensive action can be taken. They will be taken into account in the process of reform of the organisation to which the Secretary General is strongly committed. Other proposals (e.g. review of remunerations adjustment method) have to be discussed in the context of the Co-ordinated Committee on Remunerations (CCR) which has already started work on the review of the adjustment procedure and on a new salary structure for the co-ordinated organisations.
5. At this juncture the Secretary General proposes to act only on the proposals for targeted savings aiming at solving some outstanding issues concerning the 2010 draft Budget and Programme of Activities and to come back to the other issues once he has been able to assess them in greater depth. The proposals below include also adjustments to the draft Programme of Activities for 2010.
II. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
a) Information Offices
6. As a result of several discussions, both in meetings of the TC-INF and GR-PBA the Deputies, at their 1063rd meeting on 9 July 2009, "1) agreed in principle to maintain the Council of Europe Information Offices until 31 December 2010, subject to finding the necessary funding; 2) invited the Secretariat to examine with the authorities of the member states concerned possible new arrangements for the operation of these offices, in particular through reduction of staff expenses at the charge of the Council of Europe and seeking alternative sources of the financing of activities, and to report back before 15 September 2009”.
7. It is recalled that the Secretary General's priorities for 2010 did not include appropriations for the financing of ten Information Offices in the following member states: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The total savings for the Council of Europe's budget would amount to €803 000.
8. Following discussions between the Secretariat and the relevant national authorities it is now proposed that an amount of €480 000 be included in the budget for 2010 in respect of the above mentioned information offices.
9. The decrease in the cost from €803 000 to €480 000 has been achieved through reductions in the number of staff within the information offices by on average one staff member per office and the agreement by some host countries to provide direct support in respect of activities of the centres.
10. Any additional direct support from member states to the Information Offices will be used exclusively to strengthen either the staff of the respective office or its activities during 2010.
b) Salary adjustment for 2010
11. The draft budget for 2010 was prepared on the basis of a salary adjustment of 1.9% for staff based in France. The Co-ordinating Committee on Remuneration (CCR) has recommended an adjustment of 2.0% to be applied on 1 January 2010. This rate comprises -0.5% in respect of inflation in France for the period June 2008 to June 2009 and +2.5% to reflect the evolution of the net remuneration of national civil servants in the 8 reference countries. The amount required to fund the shortfall between 1.9% and 2.0% is €128 000.
12. In the light of the provisions of the CCR’s 171st report, as amended by the Deputies at their 983rd meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2006)983/11.2, Part 1), the Secretary General proposes that the CCR recommendation be implemented. However, given the difficult budgetary situation the Secretary General proposes to absorb the above mentioned shortfall through ad-hoc measures without increasing total staff expenditure through selective postponement of some recruitments.
III. OTHER ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES
13. During discussions in the Rapporteur Groups in September and October 2009, a number of suggestions were made by delegations to adjust the proposals in the draft Programme of Activities. Taking into account those – sometimes conflicting - suggestions and the discussions at the GR-PBA meeting on 22 October, the following adjustments are proposed for the final Programme of Activities:
a) Human Rights: reinforcement of the Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)
14. Responding to the request of a number of delegations, it is proposed to facilitate the operations of the monitoring mechanism GRETA by a further increase of €50 000 of its appropriations, on top of the 9.1% increase already foreseen in the draft Programme of Activities. In addition, it is proposed to reinforce implementation capacity by redeploying one additional A2/3 post to GRETA (in the draft budget this post was foreseen for DLAPIL; following the recommendation of the Budget Committee and the views expressed by delegations aiming at reinforcing action against trafficking in human beings, the Secretary general proposes that this post is allocated to GRETA).
€50 000 + additional A2/3 post
b) Rule of Law: strengthening European standards of crime control
15. Within the Programme II.3.2, MONEYVAL and the relevant monitoring mechanism have been strengthened by additional operational appropriation of the Ordinary budget (€67 000) but also by significant extra-budgetary resources, notably several new joint programmes with the EU. This will also lead to an important additional allocation from the joint programme provision to the crime control programme budget during the year 2010. Furthermore, an A5 post has already been transferred from Private Office to DG-HL in the third quarter of 2009 in order to allow for the reinforcement of Moneyval.
c) Democracy: preserving an adequate level of pre-electoral and post-conflict assistance
16. In order to respond to the request of several delegations to review the funds allocated to Democracy and Good Governance, it is proposed: i) to increase pre-electoral assistance activities to the previous level
(+ €29 000 in comparison to the draft Programme of Activities); ii) to increase the available funds for the Programme of specific co-operation activities in post-conflict situations, III.1.5, by €40 000; iii) to strengthen the staff capacity in the Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs by redeploying to it an A4 post on a permanent basis.
€69 000 + additional A4 post
d) Social Cohesion and Roma: implementing decisions and enhancing ROMA activities
17. The new project “Taking action for social cohesion in the context of the global economic crisis” has raised some questions regarding its pertinence and content. On the other hand, it has also received strong support by a number of other delegations, based notably on recommendations by the High Level Task Force on Social Cohesion, a recent Ministerial Conference in Moscow (February 2009) and a related CM decision.
18. It is therefore proposed to approve this project, subject to a reduction in appropriations by €20 000 and a thorough review after one year, as suggested by some delegations and the Chair of GR-PBA. This will enable the preparation of the draft Council of Europe Action Plan for Social Cohesion expected in May 2010 and facilitate the definition of priorities in this field for the years ahead.
19. Following the request of several delegations, it is proposed to enhance ROMA activities by an increase of €30 000. This would notably allow to increase visibility concerning CoE ROMA activities.
€10 000 (net)
e) Intercultural Dialogue: strengthening history teaching and remembrance
20. The project “Teaching Remembrance – Education for the prevention of crimes against humanity” has received strong support from several delegations. Therefore its budget of €14 700 will be more than doubled by an increase of €20 000,- through reallocation of funds within the same programme to reflect its political importance and broaden its outreach. At the same time, the associated Voluntary Contribution project will be maintained in order to allow even more action to be undertaken with support from committed member states.
IV. FUNDING OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS AND ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES
21. The Secretary General proposes to fund the additional requirements in relation to the information offices (€480 000) and other adjustments to the Programme of Activities (€129 000) without increasing member states’ contributions.
22. To this end, he has identified the following net cuts and redeployment of resources (amounting to €609 000) to be made in addition to the efficiency gains, and other reductions already proposed in the draft budget for 2010 (amounting to €4 569 600). These additional proposals take into account several recommendations made by the Budget Committee and delegations.
a) Cut in appropriations for consultants’ expenses (a reduction of approximately 5.0% of relevant expenditure). It should be recalled that the consultants appropriations were already reduced by €359 500 in 2009.
b) Cut in appropriations for official journeys (a reduction of approximately 5.0% of relevant expenditure). It should be recalled that the official journeys appropriations were already reduced by €170 000 in 2009.
c) Freeze on the rates of various retainers, honoraria and allowances for 2010 as detailed in Appendix II of the CM(2009)130 Vol. 1 – Draft Budget for 2010, as recommended by the Budget Committee at its October 2009 meeting.
d) As an ad hoc measure for 2010 and notwithstanding any decisions on the transfer of responsibilities for information offices to the Directorate of Communication for future years, it is proposed to transfer €225 000 from the budget of the Directorate of Communication to Vote II in order to finance part of the shortfall in the budget for information offices.
AMOUNT TO BE REDEPLOYED €609 000
V. RETURN TO RELEVANT MEMBER STATES M€1 OF THE ACCUMULATED RESERVES OF THE EUROPEAN DEPARTMENT FOR THE QUALITY OF MEDICINES
23. The Secretary General would like to stress that the member states concerned already make a zero annual contribution to the budget of the EDQM, using accumulated reserves for this purpose. Returning a higher amount to member states will lead to the rapid depletion of these reserves. This will create a budget problem at the horizon of 3-4 years. Having stated his position the Secretary General will not oppose the compromise proposal (return of M€1) which emerged at the GR-PBA meeting on 8 October 2009.
€1 000 000 returned to member states
VI. TRANSFER OF CERTAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE PARTIAL AGREEMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE DEVELOPMENT BANK TO THE BANK ITSELF
24. The current draft Budget includes the transfer of certain functions related to the Secretariat of the organs of the Bank to Paris (with a reduction of member states contributions of €716 400 at 2009 prices). This proposal was approved in principle by both organs of the Bank (Governing Board and Administrative Council) at a joint meeting in Vilnius last June.
25. At the meeting of GR-PBA on 8 October a sizeable number of delegations expressed reservation to the new arrangements. At the meeting of the GR-PBA on 22 October the Chair asked the Secretariat to discuss with the Governor of the Bank the possibility of provisional arrangements for 2010 until a more lasting solution could be find.
26. The discussion on this matter cannot be concluded before the meeting of the Administrative Council of the Bank in Paris on 19-20 November which will approve the budget of the Bank for 2010. Only after that meeting the Secretariat will be in a position to report to the Committee of Ministers on this matter.
27. The Secretary General would like to point out that such a provisional arrangement depends mainly on the position that member states of the Partial Agreement will take at the Administrative Council of the Bank. In the absence of a positive decision the contributions of member states to the budget of the Partial Agreement would have to be increased by the figure indicated in para 24 above (at 2009 prices).
Note 1 This document has been classified “restricted” until the date of its adoption by the Committee of Ministers.