The European Parliament today adopted what is known as the discharge procedure, signing-off on the spending of European institutions and agencies for 2017. The Greens/EFA group took this final opportunity ahead of the European elections, to table amendments aimed at strengthening transparency, tackling conflicts of interest, promoting gender equality and combating harassment within the institutions, which were all adopted.
Bart Staes, Greens/EFA Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control, comments:
"Our group can be proud of having made progress in advancing attitudes in this Parliament, so that its Members can finally be held accountable for the use of their expenses. Our proposals to open a specific bank account for their General Expenditure Allowance, as well as the retention of invoices and the reimbursement of sums not spent in Parliament, were once again supported by the majority of our colleagues. It is completely unacceptable for Parliament's Bureau to continue refusing to make these minimum transparency rules mandatory.
"Parliament's must lead the way when it comes to promoting gender equality and combating harassment and we are glad that a majority of the House recognises this.
"If we are to build trust in our EU institutions then we must ensure that they are free from conflicts of interests, such as those swirling around Czech PM Andrej Babis, and that standards of ethics and impartiality are adhered to, unlike in the case around the appointment of Martin Selmayr as Secretary General of the European Commission. The Greens/EFA group will continue to fight for EU institutions that are fair, transparent and cost effective."