Friends of the Earth criticise use of EU aid to candidates

Friends of the Earth Europe says that secretive management of EU enlargement aid could be wasted on environmentally-unfriendly projects.

Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE), an environmental non-governmental organisation, warned on 8 November that EU pre-accession aid gives very limited access to candidate countries citizens to participate in the process shaping their future.

The organisation warned that “without transparency and meaningful participation of the public, the pre-accession funds could easily end up supporting environmentally and socially damaging projects instead of contributing to sustainable development”.

The report underlines that there is “a serious lack of meaningful public participation in the process of preparation for use of pre-accession funds in EU applicant countries”. Public involvement would make sure that the projects chosen for financing from pre-accession funds will be for public good.

FoEE demand that National Development Plans of the accession countries should be re-evaluated with sustainable development in mind and with an annual review. FoEE’s report says that those plans, which are the guidelines for the projects to follow, were prepared in big rush and with almost no public participation.

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