Conservative MEPs lead call for greater budgetary discipline

29-Apr-2015 @ 16:45

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Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Conservative MEPs have today refused to discharge the 2013 accounts of EU institutions, as the Commission continues to show no sign of applying proper budgetary discipline.

Each year the parliament reviews the management of the EU's budget and decides whether to grant or postpone the signing-off of the accounts of the EU's institutions and agencies.

Conservatives have consistently refused to support a discharge, following criticism of the EU's accounts from the Court of Auditors.

The Court has failed to grant a so-called positive statement of assurance for the past 19 years.

For the 2013 accounts the auditors' report expressed concerns over how the European Commission managed EU funding for agricultural, regional and employment policies, citing a lack of proper checks.

Conservative MEPs back the report's statement that the Commission should focus less on ensuring that EU funds get spent and more on what they actually achieve.

Budgetary Control Spokesman Richard Ashworth said: "The priority has to be to make sure that the money we do have works harder. That means the European institutions with responsibility for expenditure need a change in attitude and culture.

"In the future, the yardsticks by which we measure performance have to be added value and value for money. Much of that is apparent in this audit report, and I welcome it in particular because it evidences a need for greater transparency and accountability."

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