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Lynn Boylan MEP lambasts EU Commission plan to scrap anti-corruption report

3 February, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking this morning, Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has news that the EU commission's Vice-president Franz Timmerman stated that a planned anti-corruption report on the Member States is to be dropped.

MEP Boylan said;

“It is beyond comprehension that this report, which was due to be released last month, has now been scrapped altogether. The actions of the EU commission in this regard not only discredits how people view the EU, but it undermines accountability and democracy, and undermines faith in the EU to do what is right and in the benefit of the people.

“While such actions by the EU commission are hardly surprising, that they have the audacity to row back on such an important issue shows the contempt with which they treat the people of the EU.

The report was a promised follow-up to a similar anti-corruption report from 2014. It intended to take stock of how far things had moved forward in relation to combatting corruption, however, this follow up report has now been shelved.

The 2014 report said member states needed to strengthen controls, put in place more "dissuasive sanctions", and improve transparency in order to combat corruption. While that report gave a good outline of issues and recommendations to overcome problems, this report was to be a concrete follow up assessment of progress and continuing problems.

Furthermore, the Commission was also supposed to look at the EU institutions but that report has also been dropped until a "further date".

But Mr Timmermans letter states that there is no need to publish any more reports. It states that the first report in 2014 was good enough because it provided an overview and created a basis for further work.

Such a statement is beggars be belief, especially when one looks at the situation surrounding NAMA and accusations of corruption in Ireland, both north and south. 

My shock at this move increased with the widespread protests in Romania after the government de-criminalised low-level corruption, and the unfolding scandal in France where presidential contender Francois Fillon is facing allegations of fraud after paying his wife almost €1 million for fictive work from the public funds.

But the most sickening aspect in all of this is the EU commissioners speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Earlier this week Mr Timmermans and EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker issued a joint-statement on Romania stating that the "fight against corruption needs to be advanced, not undone."

“As always, the gap between the rhetoric from the unelected bureaucrats in the EU commission and the reality on the ground in different states is striking.

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