Tuesday

16th Aug 2022

EU countries ignore MEPs on court appointment

  • Top EU officials celebrated Croatia's recent EU entry in Zagreb (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The European Parliament is annoyed that EU countries endorsed a Croatian candidate for the Court of Auditors despite the fact MEPs rejected him one month ago.

The EU Council on Wednesday (10 July) appointed Neven Mates as Croatia's man in the Luxembourg-based body.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Mates, who used to work for the International Monetary Fund and who is currently an advisor to the head of Croatia's central bank, will do the job of overseeing EU spending for the next six years.

His basic salary will be €19,113 a month.

The move comes despite the fact MEPs on the budgetary control committee in May and in plenary in June said he is unfit to do the work.

He lost the committee vote by 16 to 11 before being rejected in the plenary vote by 396 to 231.

Under the EU treaty, the Council appoints nominees after "consulting" parliament, but it is not obliged to respect the MEPs' opinion.

In practice, EU countries follow the parliament's lead to avoid political clashes, however.

To add insult to injury, Mates himself had indicated he would not take the post if MEPs did not endorse him.

He told the budgetary control committee in his hearing: "In case of a negative opinion, it is quite likely that I would withdraw my candidacy, after careful consideration of all [the] objections."

The parliament on Wednesday criticised the Council's decision.

The head of budgetary control committee, German Liberal Michael Theurer, said in a statement: "The decision of the Council is difficult to understand … [and] shows disrespect to the European Parliament."

The rapporteur on the Court of Auditors process, Spanish Socialist Ines Ayala Sender, added: "I am shocked that Mr Mates did not keep his word … This is certainly not a good start for future relations with parliament."

Correction: The original story said the parliament's statement was circulated only in Croatian. In fact, it was published in English as well

Croatia becomes 28th EU member state

Croatia became the 28th member of the EU at midnight on Sunday, less than 20 years after gaining independence from Yugoslavia.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Germany rejects visa ban for Russian tourists
  2. Iran responds to EU's 'final text' on nuclear deal
  3. Model minority myths
  4. EU must make public who really owns its fishing fleets
  5. Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis
  6. Europe's wildfire destruction set to hit new record
  7. How Putin and Erdoğan are making the West irrelevant
  8. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us