The European Parliament today voted on the discharge of its 2012 budget. The Greens strongly criticised a last-minute unilateral decision by EP president Schulz to strike out a section of the report adopted by the EP's committee on budgetary control (1), which was critical of the president for failing to release crucial documents during the 'Dalligate' investigation. Commenting after the vote, Green budget control and transparency spokesperson Bart Staes stated:
"The last-minute and unprecedented stunt by EP president Schulz to rule an important section of the report adopted by the EP's budgetary control committee inadmissible amounts to little short of censorship. This worrying move to delete a section of the official report, which was critical of his own actions (1), seriously undermines the democratic principles of this house. MEPs decided to postpone the final vote on this important report to give Martin Schulz a chance to rectify his decision by reinstating the relevant section of the report. It is crucial this is done, so the full report can be adopted at the next European Parliament plenary session in two weeks.
"The amendments adopted today also included welcome criticism of the politicisation of the European Parliament's administration, notably the recent move by Martin Schulz to this end (2). The immediate consequence must be a freeze of these appointments, ensuring no new director or director general positions are filled until the next legislative term. The Bureau of the European Parliament must acknowledge the signal given by MEPs today and respect this."
(1) The full text of the section ruled inadmissible reads:
47. Criticises the fact that an OLAF Supervisory Committee report to Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control was not forwarded to it by the President but, rather, was held back for more than two months; criticises the fact that there was a three-month delay before Parliament's Administration forwarded witness summonses from a Belgian court to the three Members concerned; criticises the fact that the Committee on Budgetary Control was hampered in its work because a hearing on the work of the Task Force for Greece was cancelled and a hearing on 'Governance – the European Commission as administrative authority' was held up for more than a year;
(2) See Greens/EFA press release on this issue: http://www.greens-efa.eu/european-parliament-administration-12150.html