SP proposal for better accounting of EU funds adopted by national parliament

4 July 2008

SP proposal for better accounting of EU funds adopted by national parliament

The government must do all in its power to ensure that in the future EU member states are not obliged to transfer money to the European Union until a reliable accounting system is in place. That is the core of the motion from SP Member of Parliament Fons Luijben, adopted by Parliament on Thursday.

This year, for the thirteenth time in succession, the European Court of Auditors has refused approval to the EU's accounts. The Netherlands, on the other hand, is the only member state of the 27 which did approve the accounts, issuing a so-called Member State Declaration to that effect. “It is absolutely incredible that the EU spends money but can give no respectable account of this money," says Luijben. "It would be best if the Netherlands stopped payments to the EU with immediate effect, but agreements entered into under the EU treaty make this impossible before 2013. In view of this I've called on the government to ensure that from 2013 onwards member states will not be obliged to pay any money to the EU if the accounts are not in order. Talks on financing after 2013 are currently taking place and the Netherlands, happily, retains a veto on this point. The government must not be afraid to use it."

Finance Minister Wouter Bos has already committed himself to implementing the motion, but adds that as well as a proper accounting system a number of other considerations must be weighed during the talks on future financing. "These must indeed be important," says Luijben, "because the motion is completely clear on this point. They must not distract from the main issue, which for the Netherlands is to force the adoption of a reliable accounting system for the expenditure of EU resources. This situation has already gone on far too long."

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