Budgetary Control Committee asks for stronger measures to protect EU spending

_euros

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


On Wednesday, the Budgetary Control Committee signed off on the Commission’s 2018 budget, but rules to fight fraud and conflict of interest must be strengthened.

The Budgetary Control Committee recommends granting discharge of the Commission’s accounts for 2018 (corresponding to 97% of the whole EU budget) by 20 votes in favour and four against. In the accompanying resolution, adopted by 22 to 3 and 3 abstentions, MEPs ask for stronger protection of EU spending against fraud, corruption, conflict of interest, intentional misuse and organised crime, as well as for EU money to be distributed more fairly.

Subsidy ceilings to protect EU funds from oligarchs

To avoid fraud and an unfair distribution of EU subsidies, the Commission should propose a maximum amount of direct payment per natural person, making it impossible to receive subsidies of hundreds of millions of Euros in one MFF-period. The Commission should also come up with rules to disclose who benefits from agricultural funds.

Mechanism to help farmers fight organised crime

Quoting recent cases in Italy and Slovakia, the committee wants an EU complaint mechanism enabling farmers to inform the Commission when land-grabbing malpractices, misconduct of national authorities, pressure from organised crime and forced labour occur.

Conflict of interest

MEPs ask the Commission to table guidelines to fight conflicts of interest of high-profile politicians and ask the Council to adopt common ethical standards in this regard.

Enable the EU Prosecutor to do their job

The committee stresses that the newly created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) needs at least 76 additional posts and EUR 8 Million in order to deal with an estimated 3000 cases per year.

No EU money if rule of law is violated

The committee insists that adopting the regulation enabling EU funds for EU countries to be restricted when the rule of law is violated should be prioritised – this regulation is currently blocked in the Council.

Concerns for Czechia

MEPs are especially concerned about the situation in Czechia and ask the Commission to supervise payments to companies directly and indirectly owned by the Czech Prime Minister or other members of the Czech Government.

Quote

“One of the most worrying issues observed in some Member States is land grabbing or the misuse of EU funds by organised crime. The discharge report we voted on today includes a call to establish a mechanism whereby farmers can issue complaints directly. Furthermore, we ask for a fairer distribution of EU subsidies. It is unacceptable that individual beneficiaries can receive up to three-digit million sums. We also call for EU-wide rules to avoid conflicts of interests of high-level politicians and emphasise the need for common ethical standards”, said the rapporteur for the Commission discharge Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE).

Next steps

The Commission discharge, along with the other EU bodies, has to be backed by the full Parliament, with a vote scheduled during the March II session.

Background

The Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) prepares the EP discharge decision for each budgetary year and scrutinises how the Commission and other EU bodies are managing the EU budget. With the assistance of the Court of Auditors, CONT checks the regularity as well as the cost-effectiveness of how taxpayers’ money is used to achieve the EU’s objectives.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

Students in Milan are moving in with the elderly to fight loneliness and save money

Somalia has ‘once in a generation’ gender equality opportunity – UN Women chief

Youth Forum welcomes European Commission proposal to speed up financing for youth employment

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

6 ways countries can prepare for the next infectious disease pandemic

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

A Sting Exclusive: “Asia-Pacific response to COVID-19 and climate emergency must build a resilient and sustainable future”, by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

MEPs Anti-fraud votes for more votes?

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

Moves to create a Kosovo army have ‘deteriorated relations’ with Serbia: UN peacekeeping chief

WHO working to save lives following powerful earthquake in Albania

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

UN political chief calls for dialogue to ease tensions in Venezuela; Security Council divided over path to end crisis

Ecocraft: take gaming to another level by greening Minecraft

Future Africa-Caribbean-Pacific States/EU Partnership: “Post-Cotonou” negotiations resume at ministerial level

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

UN agency warns conditions around Yemen’s key port city of Hudaydah still ‘very bad’, as staff rush to deliver aid

How the world can gear up for the fight against cancer

This Indian school accepts plastic waste instead of fees

What can each individual do to lessen the burden of mental health in times of the pandemic?

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

Stop the waste: UN food agencies call for action to reduce global hunger

How to reimagine our food systems for a post-COVID world

How slowing down the cashless frenzy could ensure a more inclusive society in East Asia

This is why we should test everyone for COVID-19

Remittances could fall by $100 billion because of COVID-19 – here’s why that matters

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

The global appetite for meat is growing, and it’s harming the planet

MI6 chief calls for espionage 4.0 in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A Union that strives for more: the first 100 days

EU and UK soon to be in a post-Brexit rush over free trade agreement with Australia

The German banks first to profit from public subsidies of trillions

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

As people return to work, here’s how we can make commuting more inclusive and sustainable

Syria: UN food relief agency ‘doing everything we can’ to reach Idlib civilians

UN envoy ‘encouraged’ by latest talks on avoiding ‘worst-case scenario’ in Syria’s Idlib

4 questions CEOs must answer this year to achieve net zero

EU to take action against fake news and foreign electoral interference

Coronavirus: Commission expands talks to a fifth vaccine manufacturer

Eliminating waste at scale – eight opportunities for blockchain

UN mission in DR Congo appeals for calm as violent protests continue

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China’s Belt and Road race

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Claude Akpokavie, Senior ILO Adviser:“Engaging in policy debates and organizing workers, are two key challenges faced by unions in Export processing zones”

This plastic drinks bottle is made from plants

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

EU citizens want more competences for the EU to deal with crises like COVID-19

How global tech can drive local healthcare innovation in China

European Union: From financial consolidation to deeper political division

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s