Friday

20th Oct 2017

Environment agency and Council fail MEPs' budget test

  • Environment agency manager Jacqueline McGlade is under fire for mismanaging EU funds (Photo: EEA)

MEPs dealing with budgetary checks on Wednesday (26 September) refused to give a clean bill of health to the European Environment Agency after its director gave "contradictory" explanations on how she managed EU funds.

The anti-fraud office is also investigating the Copenhagen-based office.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In March, MEPs voted to suspend the procedure on signing off the 2010 accounts for EU three agencies citing lack of transparency and alleged conflicts of interests.

The two other agencies - dealing with food safety and authorisation of medicines - were given the green light on Wednesday.

But the director of the environment agency, Jacqueline McGlade, has given apparently conflicting information to the parliament about her links with an environmental NGO hosted on the premises of her building in Denmark.

Research trips to the Caribbean and a "green facade" for the site - plants worth €300,000 - were also paid out of EU money without proper tenders.

"It is a serious signal for both the executive director and the management board that they have to assume responsibility for the way the director managed the EU funds," Romanian MEP Monica Macovei, who drafted the parliament's position, told this website.

"The contradictions in the executive director's correspondence with the parliament raise concern about the capacity to ensure the correct management of EU funds and to be accountable," she added.

A final vote by all 754 members of the parliament is expected in October.

Council keeps its books closed

MEPs also refused to sign off the 2010 accounts for the Council of the European Union, where ministers and EU leaders meet.

Council services and management is protected by a "gentleman's agreement" dating back to the 1970s that the two institutions would not look into each other's books.

In the meantime, the parliament has been granted full budgetary control powers and MEPs now say that the gentleman's agreement is obsolete.

They want answers to several questions on the Council's budget, including the financing of its new headquarters in the Rue de la Loi in Brussels' EU district and costs relating to setting up the EU's new diplomatic service.

It is the second year in a row that the Parliament is refusing to sign off the Council's accounts.

The final vote on the Council will also take place in October.

EU agency under scrutiny for Caribbean trips

MEPs have questioned why the EU environment agency held staff training in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and spent €300,000 on decorating its headquarters with plants.

EU countries praise Tusk's new summit plans

EU capitals voice support for more summits, tackling divisive issues and sometimes deciding by majority - not consensus - as outlined in the European Council president's plan.

Court battles intensifies on MEPs' 'private' expenses

The EU parliament said the public does not have a right to monitor the public role of MEPs, says Natasa Pirc Musar, a lawyer representing journalists, in a transparency battle against the assembly.

Eurogroup closes Schaeuble era

Eurozone finance ministers bade farewell to their longest-serving and most influential colleague, while preparing to also replace its chairman at the end of the year.

EU agencies defend research ahead of glyphosate vote

As the renewal of the weedkiller glyphosate is a hot potato on the EU agenda, with a vote in the Parliament on Thursday, the role of two closely-involved EU agencies has come under scrutiny.

Europeans more positive about EU, survey shows

On balance, 55 percent of British respondents said the UK had benefited from EU membership. Among all European respondents, 47 percent said their voice counted in the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  2. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict
  3. Dutch PM: Brexit is 'still a bad idea'
  4. Commission to issue proposal on civil protection
  5. Tusk: 'No space' for EU intervention in Catalonia
  6. Austrian PM calls Brexit talks speed 'big disappointment'
  7. PM Muscat: journalist murder 'left a mark' on Malta
  8. Belgian PM: No crisis with Spain over Catalan remarks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness

Latest News

  1. May on mission impossible in Brussels
  2. EU seeks to shut down sea route from Libya
  3. Digital debate will be first test of Tusk's new policy crowbar
  4. EU Parliament: EU migrant quotas do have a future
  5. EU countries praise Tusk's new summit plans
  6. Commission employs double standards in Spain
  7. Legal study sounds alarm on 'Baysanto' merger
  8. Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020