Two declarations required for EU spending, say MEPs

National governments should issue two declarations on their spending of EU
money, MEPs have said.

One should relate to the control processes in place before money has been
spent, and the other an audit of the expenditure.

The European Parliament’s committee on budgetary control has voted for the
setup, as two MEPs battled the European Commission on the origins of the
assurance statements project.

Brussels figures argue that continuing problems with EU accounts relate to
poor controls exercised by member states when they spend EU money, and they want
the declarations to give assurances on the spending.

The UK has vowed to provide the declarations, following the example of
Holland. Sweden and Denmark are also understood to be pursuing the initiatives,
but other member states have been more reluctant.

MEPs criticised the commission for saying it had ‘long argued’ for the
statements. MEPs Jan Mulder and Herbert Bösch said: ‘The commission has never
been the driving force behind these new instruments. Although some voices inside
the commission talked in favour of such declarations early after the
administrative reform process, it was the European Parliament which in its 2003,
2004 and 2005 discharge resolutions took up the idea.’

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