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Neighbourhood Policy: The European Parliament wants to keep democratic and budgetary control on Macro-Financial Assistance

Date

24 May 2012

Sections

Global Europe

In adopting by large majority the report by Metin Kazak (Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Bulgaria) during the Brussels plenary session, the European Parliament warned the European Commission and the Council of its intention not to relinquish its prerogatives regarding the awarding of the Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to neighboring countries. Without disputing the goals of clarity and transparency of the regulation, which aims to routinely condition MFA assistance on the existence of democratic values in the recipient country, the Parliament considers that the total abolition of parliamentary control and the introduction of implementing acts concerning MFA are unacceptable.

Metin Kazak, coordinator of the ALDE Parliamentary Committee for International Trade, said: "In all the EU's foreign policies, we must be consistent with our core values of promoting democracy and human rights. This applies to the Macro-Financial Assistance where it has been clear over the past 20 years that this principle has not been applied. Therefore, my report strengthens the political conditionality of the financing instrument - only those countries with a strong commitment to the strengthening of democratic institutions, human rights, transparency and the fight against corruption should receive emergency loans and grants from the EU. This analysis should be made by the European External Action Service and it should be published publically. We must truly adopt the 'more for more' strategy, which aims to encourage democratic changes in those countries.''

"Moreover, the record of the past 20 years demonstrates that Parliamentary scrutiny and control is vital to ensuring that the EU lives up to its principles. The European Commission had proposed that the Parliament be stripped of all powers to scrutinise decision making and this is clearly unacceptable. My report restores the Parliament to its proper role in ensuring that EU money is spent in an efficient, responsible and principled manner

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