SP: First step towards answerability for EU moneys

29 January 2010

SP: First step towards answerability for EU moneys

National parliaments will be working to bring about improved answerability in the spending of EU moneys. This was the outcome of the interparliamentary conference on the issue which closed today. SP Member of Parliament Farshad Bashir, co-organiser of the conference, is on balance positive in his assessment of the event. “Fifteen times has the European Court of Auditors refused to give its approval to the EU's spending. This is undermining trust in the Union."

Farshad BashirMore than 80% of EU money is spent by the member states. That's why representatives of the various national parliaments in the EU today agreed to work towards national declarations which would give details of how EU funds are spent in their countries. "The Netherlands is the only country that already makes such a declaration," says Bashir. "How difficult can it be? In two years we'll look at whether any of today's promises have been kept. If not, it will be time for measures to be taken."

Bashir draws attention to the SP resolution, supported and adopted by the Dutch Parliament, which calls on the government to put pressure on the EU to develop a better system of answerability. If this receives no satisfactory response, then the Netherlands should use its veto in the negotiations over the multi-annual budget due to be adopted in 2013. "Let's hope that it doesn't come to that, that the Netherlands isn't forced to use such a kill-or-cure remedy," says Bashir. "After today I would estimate that the chance of avoiding this is somewhat greater."

The Netherlands included, twenty delegations from European national parliaments participated in the conference, as well as delegations from the European Parliament, the European Court of Auditors, and its Dutch equivalent.

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