Increasing democratic accountability and transparency are objectives at the heart of the ECR Group’s agenda for guaranteeing reform of the European Union. Without increased transparency and accountability of the EU’s institutions, agencies, budget and policies, then public faith and trust in the EU will continue to be eroded.
In order for transparency and accountability to be increased, the ECR Group believes in asking the difficult questions, and ensuring that the European Commission, and the European budget is held to account. If the EU is to have deep and meaningful reform, in order to function better for its citizens, then first Brussels and its politicians need to identify what isn’t working, and acknowledge what has previously gone wrong. Only then can we build a better stronger future for the EU.
The ECR Group is fully aware that every penny the EU spends, is money from the pockets of European tax payers. The ability for people to report the misuse of European money is absolutely vital. The ECR Group guided through the European Parliament recommendations which would ensure that there is a safe space for whistle-blowers to report misuse, misconduct and illegal activity related to public administration and private companies, organised crime, tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The ability for individuals to report wrongdoing is a fundamental aspect of our democracy. Ensuring that companies, politicians and public institutions are acting in the best interests of the public is pivotal to the proper functioning of society. If the EU does not take financial abuse seriously, the trust of the voters, tax payers and the people of Europe will be seriously eroded.
The ECR Group has worked hard to counter the negative perceptions surrounding whistle-blowers, and has created recommendations to help increase reporting irregularities, increase the levels of ethical standards, and encourage employee training in order to help create a “speak up culture”.
The ECR Group has continued to be the leading voice for putting an end to the European Parliament’s monthly shuttle between Brussels and Strasbourg which sees 705 MEPs, 3000 staff, and a number of lobbyists and other official relocate to another parliament in the French city of Strasbourg for four days. Estimates of the relocation costs are between 102 million and 180 million Euros per year. The move causes the unnecessary release of 20, 000 tons of C02.
As the arrangement is enshrined in the EU’s treaties, it requires unanimous agreement of the EU’s leaders to change this arrangement. However, the ECR Group has built unprecedented levels of support across all political groups and nationalities to change this arrangement, and we will continue to highlight the extreme budgetary and environmental costs involved, in the hope that one day this will change!