Friday 22 February 2008

European Parliament: Fraud or worse?

It is bad enough if there has been widespread misuse of funds by members of the European Parliament. It would be far worse if the European Parliament does not act swiftly to put things right.

First, the EP’s leadership should announce when the complete findings of the report on alleged misappropriations is to be put in the public domain. Yes, complete and unsanitized.

Second, the EP should presently tell the public how it is going to proceed to bring the culprits to justice and to eradicate further abuse of public funds.

Third, the EP should report openly and extensively on the results of its actions.


Fraud is bad enough, and it should rightly miscredit guilty parties and lead to court action, if such is warranted. Cover up by the EP would miscredit the whole institution.

Only swift and decisive action can restore faith in the European Parliament as the representative body of 490 million EU citizens.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Please, inform us if action has been taken.

P.S. II, Later addition: Having tried, in vain, to find 'crisis communication' of the web site of the European Parliament, I sent the following request to the EP's Press Office:

A little while ago I tried to find information on the EP's web site on allegations of misappropriation of public funds by members of the European Parliament.

A situation like this would require swift and decisive information from any institution.

Not finding any, I beg you to inform me when action is taken in order to present the situation as fairly as possible to the readers of my blog.

Best regards,
Ralf Grahn


  1. "Only swift and decisive action can restore faith in the European Parliament as the representative body of 490 million EU citizens"

    The last time swift and decisive action was taken was probably in the case of Marta Andreasen (look her up on wikipedia), appointed as Chief Accountant in 2002 but who made the mistake of telling the truth. She was not only sacked but treated like a convict. You are not allowed to criticise the EU.

    But back to your main point, a European Parliament statement was released that said "As the internal auditor's report has not revealed any individual cases of fraud, he has not recommended referring his findings to the EU anti-fraud agency OLAF." No individual cases = no fraud, right? Wrong!

    As Bruno Waterfield says in his Telegraph blog This text is a classic example of EU institutional stupidity. Bad news does not exist.

    It will be interesting to see if this >> gets any more attention than your commendable attempt to get "bad news" out of the Brussels Government.

    In my view the findings of the Parliament's internal auditors most definitely fall within OLAF's terms of reference. They are so serious that it should be assumed that criminal proceedings may follow. I believe that the parliamentary authorities have a duty immediately to open the entire matter to independent scutiny by those experienced in judging what is and what is not fraudulent activity.

    In view of the seriousness of this matter I request that receipt of this letter be acknowledged.

    Yours sincerely

    Chris Davies MEP

  2. OLAF seems to have requested the controller's report, which is a promising step.

    But the main question is how the European Parliament decides to proceed to publish, communicate, investigate, start legal proceedings if warranted and prevent abuse.

    I agree that the first reactions have been far from promising.


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