Euro-MPs reject monitoring of office expenses

27 April 2017

Euro-MPs reject monitoring of office expenses

Today the European Parliament voted to support SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong's report on the EP's expenditure accounts for 2015. ´On a number of points we were able to reach agreement on improving efficiency, working in a more results-targeted way, and more transparency. When it came to tax free reimbursements that MEPs receive in relation to just about anything, however, they continue to refuse to agree to accountability. Evidently that's too close to home.'

Euro-MPs receive more than €50,000 for general expenditure. ´We did make it clear once again that this is not a personal salary bonus,' says De Jong. 'In addition, the rules as to what you may spend this money have been tightened up. That's progress. But I find it incomprehensible that the Parliament didn't agree to my proposal to make it obligatory for MEPs to submit their expenditure to monitoring by an accountant and post the results on the EP website. I can certainly understand it if the public concludes from this that many of my fellow MEPs are lining their own pockets. We expect transparency regarding expenditure from all of the EU institutions, so we have to be transparent in this regard ourselves.'

De Jong is pleased, however, about the many proposals in his report which were adopted: it will now be possible for MEPs to post their diaries on the Epuropean Parliament website, so that it can be made clear, for example, which lobbyists they have had contact with; stricter rules will be introduced governing the subsidies to European political parties and foundations, while surveillance of their spending is to be strengthened. The information policy will be reformed to make it more results-oriented. And the proposed House of European History will for the time being be shelved.'

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