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Budget Discharge: Parliament discharges Commission budget for 2010 but not unconditionally. Christofer Fjellner MEP

Date

10 May 2012

Sections

Euro & Finance

"In times of economic crisis, when austerity is being called for in the Member States, it is particularly important that the EU uses its resources carefully and minimises waste and fraud", said Christofer Fjellner MEP responsible for the Report on the discharge of the Commission budget for 2010.

"The European Parliament has granted discharge to the Commission, but not unconditionally. We have demanded better management and control of the financial engineering instruments and tougher use of sanctions for Member States mismanaging EU funds."

"80 percent of the budget is implemented by Member States. For the first time, the Commission has disclosed which countries have the highest error rates. Spain, Italy and the UK stand for nearly 60 percent of the errors in cohesion policy. Considering those countries have received EU funds since the 70s, this situation must change. The Commission must use its sanctioning tools, focusing on the worst countries and regions to achieve improvement."

"I am very concerned about cohesion funds. The error rate has gone up from 5.5 in 2009 to 7.7 percent in 2010. The Commission really has to step up the use of sanctioning mechanisms, and this Report gives firm support from Parliament for doing so", said Christofer Fjellner.

"The Financial Engineering Instruments have been an important focus of the Report. These are complicated instruments used instead of direct funds to finance projects. The problem is the lack of control, and the fact that even though the Commission itself considers those to be 'high risk', it proposes a substantial increase in the use of them. The discharge Report demands better information on the risks, costs and results of these instruments", underlined Christofer Fjellner.

In Focus: Keeping tabs on the EU taxpayer's money

For further information:

Christofer FJELLNER MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175536

Per Heister, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-496-645530

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

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