Kallas talk on EU spending remains optimistic

EU commissioner Siim Kallas has said he is ‘optimistic’ that member states
will produce statements of assurance on their spending of EU money.

Only four member states have shown a willingness to produce the statements
that EU officials believe are key to producing a clean bill of health for the
EU’s budget.

Speaking to the European Parliament’s committee on budgetary control, Kallas
said: ‘I am quite sure member states will provide these annual summaries. I am
quite optimistic.’

Others were more sceptical about the moves. Though the UK has taken the
initiative in pledging to produce such a statement, other member states,
including Germany and France, have not been so keen.

EU officials have been urging governments to provide the statements on the
money they spend from the common agricultural policy and the structural fund;
accounting for 80% of EU spending. Officials believe the Union’s budgetary
problems stem from inadequate controls at the member state level.

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