Ryszard Czarnecki: The Council ought to be transparent and fully accountable to Union citizens for the funds entrusted to it
Today, the European Parliament (EP) has unanimously adopted Ryszard Czarnecki’s report on discharge for the European Council and Council for 2014, with 615 votes in favour, 0 against and 0 abstention. Such unanimity happens in the Chamber very rarely. Mr Czarnecki is the European Conservatives and Reformists group coordinator in the Budgetary Control committee.
“The difficulties repeatedly encountered in the discharge procedures to date, which were due to a lack of cooperation from the Council, have led to the refusal of granting discharge to the Secretary-General of the Council by the European Parliament in relation to the financial years from 2009-2013, and the postponement of our decision granting the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in relation to the financial year 2014”, Mr Czarnecki said.
According to the EP Vice-President the Council should focus more on transparency, with disclosure of relevant documents, introduction of a clear reporting system and a more transparent negotiations process. “The lack of transparency with regard to the legislative process, negotiations, Member States´ positions and meetings within Council, trilogues and conciliation meetings, above all undermines the right of citizens of the Union to information and transparency and is becoming a cause for concern, reflecting as it does a certain democratic deficit within the Union institutions”, Mr Czarnecki said.
Ryszard Czarnecki also appealed to the Council to develop detailed anti-corruption guidelines and to provide information on its process of administrative modernisation.
“Has the Council really introduced the process of modernization aimed at using modern management methods to be efficient? We call for information on the process and we would like to see the anticipated impact on the Council’s budget”, he said.
Mr Czarnecki stressed that the Council still does not participate in the dialogue with the Budgetary Control (CONT) Committee. Only three out of twenty-seven questions submitted to the Council by the Members of the Committee on Budgetary Control in relation to the financial year 2014 received a clear reply in the documents provided by the Council within the discharge exercise.
“We have to strongly say that the lack of cooperation from the European Council and the Council with the discharge authority constitutes a serious failure to comply with the obligations laid down by the Treaties and I believe that the relevant stakeholders need to take the necessary steps to address this issue without further delay”, Mr Czarnecki underlined.