European Parliament refuses to attack wastefulness

4 October 2013

European Parliament refuses to attack wastefulness

The Budget Committee of the European Parliament today rejected the SP’s proposal to reduce wastefulness within the European Union institutions. Expressing disappointment at the outcome, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: ‘I didn’t of course expect that all of my proposals would survive, as the European Parliament isn’t famous for criticising its own spending. But it’s still disappointing that Euro-MPs aren’t prepared – and this happens time after time – to do anything about the high rate of “reimbursement” of expenses, which don’t, moreover, even have to be accounted for. On the prestige project “The House of Europe” and the unnecessary European Parliament TV channel, they still don’t have anything to say.’

Dennis de JongDe Jong will not, however, give up, as he explains. “’Together with other MEPs I will be bringing my amendments to a further vote, but this time not in the committee but in the plenary. Then via a roll-call vote it will become clear which Members are determined to hang on to their sky-high expense payments.’

There was one ray of light in the gloom. 'A group of us in the EP have been trying for years to get the Commission to open its advisory “expert groups” to trade unionists, consumers’ organisations, NGOs and representatives of small businesses. We recently got the budget for these expert groups frozen, and since then there has been a great deal of improvement. A number of Directorates-General, or DGs, as the different branches of the Commission are known, have been, however, rather difficult to persuade. The Parliament has now given provisional acceptance to the Commission budget, but these DGs will in the coming months have to show improvement if they don’t want to lose their funding.'

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