Friday

18th Aug 2017

EU anti-fraud body to probe Danish party

  • A total of 15 European political parties received grants from the European Union in 2016. The money is meant for political parties to be able to co-operate closer across the borders. (Photo: EUobserver)

The Danish People’s Party may incorrectly have spent EU money on meetings that were not clearly divided from national party gatherings, according to DR, Denmark’s public broadcaster, and daily Ekstrabladet.

In total €25.000 from EU coffers were spent on party summer-gatherings in 2014 and 2015.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

  • It is the second time Danish People’s Party has come on fire for alleged mismanagement of EU funds. MEP Morten Messerschmidt denies any wrongdoing. (Photo: Europa-Parlamentet i Danmark)

The meetings were attended by party members and staff only and had no representatives of sister parties in other EU countries present, as should have been the case to qualify for EU funds.

“I can confirm, that the European anti-fraud office is investigating the alleged abuse of EU funds paid by the European Parliament to Meld and Feld”, a spokesman of Olaf, the EU's anti-fraud body, Alina Burea, told DR.

The money was awarded to an alliance of eurosceptic groups known as the Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (Meld), which had MEP Morten Messerschmidt on the board. Meld was closed in 2015.

Funds were also given to its political affiliation, the Foundation for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (Feld).

It is the second time Danish People’s Party has come on fire for alleged mismanagement of EU funds.

Last spring the party agreed to refund over €200.000 after the European Parliament found it had wrongly spent parliament grants to produce EU related video and a follow-up campaign asking the Danes to vote No in a December 2015 referendum on whether to join EU justice and home affairs policies.

Money was also used to finance a campaign tour by boat and a €130,000 consultancy fee.

Messerschmidt denied any wrongdoing and said the demand for a refund was politically motivated.

MEP Anders Vistisen, now chairing the Danish People's party in the European Parliament, said he would contact the European Parliament administration on Monday (17 October) to seek clarity on whether the summer party gathering programs could be qualified as an EU arrangement, or whether the funds should be returned.

Liberal MEP Morten Loekkegaard expressed surprise that once again a case of possible misuse of EU funds was popping up around the euro critic and anti-immigrant Danish People's Party.

“We are dealing with a party that has been unusually creative in handling EU funds, and I think that must be stopped. It does not suit anyone. We should all tighten our act now to restore confidence in the system and that it is all right to receive support from the EU for political work. It is all right. But you just shouldn’t be too smart, Loekkegaard told DR.

A total of 15 European political parties received grants from the European Union in 2016. The money is meant for political parties to be able to co-operate closer across the borders.

The biggest payment (€8.7 million) went to the center-right European People's Party, while the second largest payment (€7.2 million) went to Party of European Socialists.

MEPs crack down on funding for far right

Four eurosceptic and far-right parties will receive less money up front and will have to present bank guarantees, in a crackdown on misuse of funds after several scandals.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides