Appears EU invests more in furniture at times than people's lives - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada addressed the European Parliament this week in relation to the financing of two new EU trust funds for countries in conflict, in particular Syria and Africa and the need for member states to contribute.
Speaking during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Ms Ni Riada said,
"We have to stand firmly for solidarity, to enhance and have a common integrated approach to support humanitarian aid, to support peace processes and sustainable development within a framework of transparency and accountability.
"However, while we welcome flexibility and efficiency, the trust funds are still too little and too small for the current and urgent need for stability and humanitarian aid to Countries like Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt on the one hand and to the Sahel region in Africa on the other. It would appear that we invest more in furniture in this house at times more so than in people's lives - the trust fund for Africa has to be a core priority.
"The European parliament is the second arm of the budgetary authority and bearing in mind that the EU Budget is the main donor of the trust fund, it is essential that within its competencies, the Commission, in particular the Director General of the Directorate General for Enlargement presents and answers at least once a year any queries by the European Parliament on the overall strategy of the EU Trust funds in question.
"The Commission should also deliver an annual report on the humanitarian, development, social, economic and stabilisation impact of the projects financed by the Trust funds in these regions. There should also be full disclosure of the entities responsible for implementing the projects in question ensuring that these remain in full compliance with the EU's financial rules.
"While enhancing the need for better, more flexible and efficient financial instruments in the EU Budget, it is essential to ensure the democratic, political and financial transparency and accountability in all of the EU actions. We need to see these elements when it comes to projects that are to be financed and in particular the overall strategy of the EU Trust Funds in question." ENDS