EU spending 2014: more focus on results
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The European Parliament Rapporteurs for the 2014 budget discharge, EPP Group MEPs Marian-Jean Marinescu, Claudia Schmidt and Markus Pieper, have asked for more focus on the results of EU spending and call on the EU accountants to provide better and more detailed information on how taxpayers’ money is spent. The Parliament voted today on Reports that evaluated how the money was spent in the EU Institutions, funds, agencies and public-private partnerships for the year 2014.

Marian-Jean Marinescu, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for Budget and Structural Policies and Rapporteur on Joint Undertakings, said: “The European Court of Auditors should provide the Parliament with more detailed information in its future reports, including concrete provisions regarding the private partners’ contribution to the evaluation procedure.”

The discharges of ARTEMIS, ENIAC and Fusion for Energy – F4E (ITER – an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject) were postponed to clarify open questions on their administration. “F4E, as part of ITER, is a very important European project and has been making progress over the last period. We are now waiting for the decision of the ITER Council regarding the future schedule, including activities and financing needs.”

Claudia Schmidt, responsible for the Parliament’s discharge of the implementation of the budget of the European Development Funds for the financial year 2014, recalled: “The European Development Fund is not part of the EU budget and until 2020, €30 billion will be spent to provide people in Africa with worthwhile living conditions. We should not mistake development aid for charity, it really is an investment. Therefore, if we want to prevent an increase in migration flows, we need more accountability and more focus on results.”

Markus Pieper, the Rapporteur for Parliament’s 2014 budget, says the Institutions’ spending is well-balanced. “It is more cost efficient than in previous years concerning the building and catering policy. But we will have to expect overspending in the sectors of security and the chauffeur service – ‘safety first’ costs. Also, the research service will cost us more money, but this corresponds to the increased responsibility of the European Parliament in legislative decision-making.”

“We are disappointed by the behaviour of our Parliament’s President during the months running up to the European Elections. Martin Schulz didn’t clearly separate himself and the campaign as the European Socialists’ ‘Spitzenkandidat’ from his mandate as President of the European Parliament. Significant criticism of this is mentioned in the Report”, concluded Pieper.