Sunday 22 February 2009

European Parliament: Are the Quaestors doing their job?

After looking at the rules on the Quaestors of the European Parliament and failing to find more exact guidelines on their duties, we have to turn to sources outside the EP to assess the accountability and probity of this important institution and the effectiveness of its officers.

Times Online features the findings of an audit report, sadly leaked instead of being published by the EP, which is less than flattering for members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

‘Secret report reveals how MEPs make millions’ was published 22 February 2009, and it recalls the earlier instance of non-publication we have discussed on this blog:

My two words of advice to the European Parliament are: Come clean!

Ralf Grahn


  1. Oh Ralf, how I wish this would happen, but what MEPs have any incentive to make this happen? No-one wins their places on the election lists by being open about sleaze and criticizing their colleagues. It's much easier to just shrug shoulders and carry on regardless...

    The whole situation makes me sick, but I don't know what to do about it. And I can't stand for election personally because I'm a pain and no party is going to go anywhere near me.

  2. Jon,

    Yes, and many of this year's lists are going to feature many of the less upright in high, electable positions, a result of the EP's decision(s) to turn a blind eye and to actively suppress information.

    Only after June 2009 do some reforms take effect.

    Normally I try to present the treaties and changes plus some secondary legislation as objectively as I can (which in itself seems to turn most anti-EU folks off).

    When I comment, I try to evaluate from an EU citizen's perspective both negative and positive traits.

    I think I understand your feeling, because for me too, the European Parliament is (potentially) important, but it is saddening to follow its course on members' expenses.

    Yesteraday I read a comment by someone who mentioned Westminster standards (but is there not a new scandal arising?) in relation to the EP, but at least the latter reminds me of Westminster standards in the 16-hundreds, as described in Pepys's diaries.

    I am sorry that you are not a candidate, because all the constructive groups would need candidates and especially MEPs like you.

    The following post, by the way, sums up my findings on the shortcomings of legal and administrative information from the European Parliament this far.

  3. Here's the list of MEPs that the Galvin Report named in 2008:

  4. Anonymous,

    Thank you for the instructive link.

    I have to admit that when I first read the Times Online article referred to in my following post, I believed that it was a new report.

    It took me a little while to understand that it was the report which had been discussed here earlier, and explicitly suppressed by the European Parliament, and that it had now resurfaced.

    I think that the publication of leaked documents is in the public interest, when our institutions fail in their duties.

    Still, the sample was quite small, but telling enough to have merited complete inquiries as well as action against culprits.

    The EP's reactions have been a sad chapter.


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