Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), Members of the EU parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee have adopted its annual anti-fraud report for 2022.
This crucially evaluates the efforts in the EU to counter fraud and how to better protect EU funds.
In the report, the Committee stresses the great risk to the EU’s financial interests posed by nepotism used when procuring EU funds.
MEPs on the committee said they are “concerned” about the latest data showing that journalists’ safety in the EU has deteriorated and call for better protection of investigative journalists who can significantly contribute to fighting corruption and impunity.
The adopted text says that the EU funds for aid to non-EU states and the money allocated for Europe’s response to what they call “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine are not adequately monitored and controlled.”
They called on the Commission to carry out more thorough checks to ensure that EU funds end up going to those most in need.
Particularly, MEPs said they are concerned about the peak in irregularities affecting the Instrument for Pre Accession assistance, or IPA, and call on the Commission to also fraud-proof any future actions, such as in the case of Ukraine, which will receive significant resources from IPA and Horizon Europe.
The committee also said it wanted to “raise the alarm” about the Commission’s reported plans to disburse the suspended €6.3 billion to Hungary in exchange for its endorsement of the aid for Ukraine.
The suspended funds must be released to Hungary only if the remedial measures adopted by the Hungarian Government have proven effective in practice, MEPs say.
In Poland, they reiterate their concerns over and ask the Commission to release funds from the RRF only once all the requests related to the respect of the rule of law have been fulfilled.
MEPs went on to insist that Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, and Sweden should join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office “without delay.” The EU Prosecutor should be granted an autonomous budget, they urge, to best protect the European Union’s interests.