DIE GRÜNEN | EFA im Europäischen Parlament Sven Giegold Am 25. Mai:Grün für ein besseres Europa

The European Parliament‘s Bureau voted down more transparency for MEP‘s expenses


Yesterday evening, the Bureau of the European Parliament voted down a reform for more transparency around MEPs expenses. The vote behind closed doors and with narrow majority rejected proposals to see Members keep receipts, employ a professional paying agent to checks for their General Expenditure Allowance (GEA) and return unused funds. A dedicated Working Group had proposed this reform by majority. The reform was supported by Vice-Presidents of Greens, Liberals, Left and Italian Five Stars with two Social-Democrats on their side. Three other Social-Democrats joined the Christian-Democrats and the ECR group in voting down the reform. Only the obligation to receive and spend the GEA funds via a separate bank account was adopted yet without any control.

 

Vice Presidents who voted IN FAVOUR of the reform:

(1) David-Maria SASSOLI (S&D, Italian)

(2) Sylvie GUILLAUME (S&D, French)

(3) Pavel TELIČKA (ALDE, Czech)

(4) Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS (GUE, Greek)

(5) Heidi HAUTALA    (Green, Finnish)

(6) Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (EFDD, Italian)

 

Vice Presidents who voted AGAINST the reform:

(1) Mairead McGUINNESS (EPP, Irish)

(2) Bogusław LIBERADZKI (S&D, Polish)

(3) Rainer WIELAND (EPP, German)

(4) Zdzisław KRASNODĘBSKI (ECR, Polish)

(5) Ramón Luis VALCÁRCEL SISO (EPP, Spanish)

(6) Evelyne GEBHARDT (S&D, German)

(7) Lívia JÁRÓKA (EPP, Hungarian)

(8) Ioan Mircea PAŞCU (S&D, Romanian)

 

The GEA of 4.416 EUR per month and MEP is designed for office expenses, such as rent and stationary. It amounts to nearly €40 million euros a year and currently goes directly to MEPs‘ personal bank accounts with no transparency around how the money is spent and no obligation to return unused funds. Journalists had found cases of party financing as well as the use as an additional tax free income by some MEPs.

 

On this disappointing vote, the European Parliament‘s rapporteur for transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, Sven Giegold, comments:

 

„Voting down transparency of MEP’s expenses is a shoot in the foot of the European Democracy. The argument of Christian-Democrats and some Social-Democrats on administrative cost is tragically short sighted when anti-European populists search for our every wrongdoing The apparent lack of transparency of the GEA threatens to weaken the European Parliament‘s fight against misspending of EU funds and corruption.“