29 MAR 2011
Budgetary control committee votes in favour of approval but calls for budget reforms to be implemented.
By Simon Taylor | European Voice
Members of the European Parliament's budgetary control committee today (28 March) voted to approve the European Commission's spending for 2009.
There were 21 votes for and two votes against a report by Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a German Liberal MEP, which recommended approving the 2009 accounts.
Chatzimarkakis said he had decided to recommend approving the accounts after receiving assurances from the Commission that it would put pressure on member states to take more responsibility for their spending of EU funds.
“I still have a problem with the lack of transparency when it comes to spending by member states under what we call ‘shared management'. It is hard to explain to our citizens that we can't say exactly what 80% of the EU's budget is spent on and how. But this is a problem that cannot be addressed by the Commission alone, even though they are responsible in the end,” he said.
MEPs on the committee had asked for national governments to take greater responsibility for the quality of accounts by signing national declarations stating that spending was properly accounted for. Algirdas Šemeta, the European commissioner for taxation, anti-fraud and audit, has agreed to draw up a template for national declarations and to urge member states to support it.
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