Monday

27th Feb 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Commission head Juncker say EU states which want deeper integration should press ahead in core groups, in reaction to the UK’s departure.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan, Reports CIVICUS Monitor
  2. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  3. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  5. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  6. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  7. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  8. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  9. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  10. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  11. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  12. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps