Wednesday 27 February 2008

EU: Who watches the watchmen?

A shocking temporary conclusion to Probity European Parliament style.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Juvenal’s question is as pertinent as ever when EUobserver reports that ’MEPs vote not to publish controversial audit report’:

The EUobserver article, penned by Elitsa Vucheva, leads us to believe that MEPs Chris Davies and Jens-Peter Bonde were among the 14 members of the committee voting for the publication of a soft version of the internal audit report (without names). I expect other members of the minority to step forward to distance themselves from the majority for a cover-up.

It would be most enlightening if the 21 committee members who voted against publishing even a censored version would be kind enough to fully explain their motives and reasons.

For the citizens of the European Union it is a start to get to know the watchmen, the members of the European Parliament sitting on the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT in EP parlance):

As long as the voting record of yesterday’s meeting is unavailable, and as long as they have not stepped forward on their own, every member is of potential interest to the citizens of the European Union, bearing in mind the June 2009 elections.

Striking the report from the agenda of the Committee on Budgetary Control simply is not good enough.

I repeat my suggestion that everyone with an interest in the history of EU politics and integration history compare the current double scandal – misuse of public funds and cover-up – with the fall of the Santer Commission, prime material for the nascent European public space.

Ralf Grahn

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