Use of EU funds needs greater scrutiny - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for greater resources for the European Court of Auditors to ensure transparency, compliance and performance in spending of EU funds by Member States.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Budgets Committee and is Budgets Co-ordinator for the GUE/NGL group, dsaid the court had a track record in ensuring the proper spending of funds.
“The non-implementation of recommendations determined by the European Court of Auditors is leading to large amounts of EU funding not being spent by Member States in many funding programmes,” she said.
“The European Court of Auditors has an extremely high record of report publication and oversight on the spending and indeed non-spending of European funding.
“Cohesion funding particularly is not being spent on a level anywhere near what is available. In 2017 alone, almost €10 billion remained unspent.
“This is leading to the non-implementation of key EU policies which have a direct impact on Ireland in the areas of jobs, growth and investment.
“With the onset of Brexit and an already developing black hole in funds for future European budgets post 2020, it is incumbent on Member States, and I specifically aim this towards the Irish Government, to draw down all European Funding that is available and ready to finance badly needed projects throughout the island of Ireland.
“In order to ensure this happens, the EU itself needs to properly resource the European Court of Auditors from a staffing and budgetary point of view. This will in turn pressure Member States, including Ireland, to up their performance, deliver more projects and meet the needs of all sectors in society.”