MEP Silvana Koch Mehrin has hit out at NGOs for falling short of meeting the financial transparency standards she deems necessary to receive EU subsidies.
In a draft written declaration submitted to Euro MPs, MEP Silvana Koch Mehrin (ALDE, Germany) calls on the EU to impose greater financial transparency on NGOs and trade unions as a prerequisite to receiving EU funds.
Pointing out that that Commission pays out over €1 billion to NGOs every year, Koch Mehrin says she is concerned that many of them “do not practise the necessary financial transparency”.
“It is my aim that a maximum of transparency with regard to the allocation of EU funds be achieved. European taxpayers have the right to know how their money is being spent – including funds being disbursed to NGOs,” she said in a letter to MEPs.
According to Koch Mehrin, the definition of an NGO as well as the criteria applied by the Commission to disburse funds to civil society organisations is still unclear.
She cites EU Budget Commissionner Dalia Gybauskaite, who recently replied to a parliamentary question by saying the Commission neither has a complete list of NGOs receiving EU funding, nor any relevant statistics on the subject.
Koch Mehrin is equally critical of the way the Commission has funded trade unions, including the CGT and FO, which campaigned against the referendum on the Constitutional Treaty in France. She also singles out funding received by WEED, a sub-organisation of ATTAC – an NGO campaigning for better democratic control of world financial markets -, saying both organisations are hostile towards globalisation.