Brussels corruption scandal: EU support to NGOs will be examined by parliamentary committee
The European Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee is asking the European Commission to make public the types of EU funding the body had granted to non-governmental organisations implicated in Brussels' latest corruption scandal.
“Could the Commission provide information on whether the two NGOs named in the scandal – ‘Fight Against Impunity’ and ‘No Peace Without Justice’ – received financial support from the EU budget, and if so, how much and in which years? What protocol does the Commission use to check whether NGOs are reliable partners and do not serve illicit purposes?”
asked Monika Hohlmeier, president of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, in a letter to Johannes Hahn, head of the EU budget. While the two main financiers of Fight against Impunity were the South African investment fund Sekunjalo and the US-based Human Rights Foundation, No Peace without Justice also received EU funding – although it was suspended in December. As previously reported by V4NA, the latter organization was granted around 2.7 million euros for two current projects in Libya.
In her letter, Ms Hohlmeier puts a lot of emphasis on the so-called pilot projects, which are a unique feature of the EU budget and which give MEPs the opportunity to propose projects for spending the 140 million euros a year. The MEP asked the Commission to explain what happened, for example, to the project to create a European observatory body to monitor against impunity, which was first proposed by Socialist and Democratic lawmakers during the period when Pier Antonio Panzeri was one of the group’s leading human rights representatives.
The Commission insists it never funded the pilot project. However, with strange timing, Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, announced the creation of a global observatory on impunity worth 20 million euros on December 14 last year, just five days after the corruption scandal broke out in Brussels. Applications for the tender are being accepted until the end of March.
We are setting up a Global Observatory on the Fight Against Impunity
With a €20M budget, it will collect information to build a knowledge base about genocide, crimes against humanity &serious human rights violations
Civil society organisations will have a key role#eungoforum pic.twitter.com/SJEYjEzrDF
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) December 14, 2022