Friday

21st Sep 2018

Ex-EU auditor in 'abuse of assets' scandal

  • Pinxten (l) is a Belgian former politician (Photo: wikipedia.org)

A former member of the European Court of Auditors is under investigation for having allegedly misspent some €500,000 of taxpayer money on travel expenses and other items.

Olaf, the EU's anti-fraud office, handed over its findings on Karel Pinxten, a Belgian national, to both the European Court of Auditors and the Grand Duchy judicial authorities on Tuesday (11 July), EUobserver has learned.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The Olaf investigation found abuse of the European Court of Auditors assets, as well as infringements of ethical obligations," said the Olaf press office in a statement.

It is not immediately clear what such "ethical obligations" entailed, but it may involve issues that could have compromised Pinxten's independence as court auditor.

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Auditors, which is not a court, is an independent body composed of one member from each of the 28 EU states. It is tasked to make sure the European Union's budget has been properly spent.

In an emailed statement, the court confirmed it had received the Olaf report.

"It is completely unacceptable for any public servant to abuse his or her position in order to obtain financial benefit," said the statement.

The court also added that any waste or misuse of European taxpayers' money was viewed "with grave concern", noting that it had first alerted Olaf of the allegations in October 2016.

"We are determined that the ultimate cost of this matter to the public purse will be zero and we will recover any money claimed illegally," it said.

Pinxten's efforts to secure a third term at the Court were scuppered last year, in a secret ballot, by the European Parliament's budgetary committee.

EU farm projects unreasonably costly, auditors say

An aid scheme to help farmers improve environmental sustainability of their farms funded programmes that could have been a much better value for money, says the Court of Auditors.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

Exclusive

Commission took no minutes at Juncker speech seminar

In August, Jean-Claude Juncker and his EU commissioners held a two-day seminar at a chateau outside Brussels to prepare this week's State of the Union speech. The commission implies there is no written record.

EUobserved

Juncker, the 'sad and wiser' man of Europe

Despite bold propositions for the EU's future, one could not help feeling the Commission chief's State of the Union address already sounded like a farewell speech.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us