Culture and Corruption in the EU

Mary Steele

Monday, 1st October 2018, 6:50 am
Updated Monday, 1st October 2018, 6:57 am

Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield, S5 

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A report entitled 'Culture and Corruption in the EU: Reflections on Fraud, Nepotism and Cronyism' edited by Dieter Hallon and Cris Shore (ACADEMIA website), tells a different story to that given by Veronica Hardstaff (ex MEP and member of the Party of the European Socialists 1994-1999) regarding the resignation of the entire EU Commission 'Reduced Budget 20.9.18'. Whilst offering an in-depth report on corruption etc in the EU as a whole, pages 142-144 focus on the EU Commission. It states that, prior to the report, years of fraud had been known to have been tolerated by what was described as 'a weak and lax European Parliament' and that, despite warnings of 'grave irregularities' from the European Court of Auditors, the European Parliament granted 'discharge'. The crisis was sparked by the findings of a 'whistle blower', Paul san Buitenan, a member of the Commission's anti-fraud squad, who was subsequently suspended, on half pay, for his 'treachery'. Veronica boldly claims that MEP's held the Commission to account and dismissed them but it's claimed that when the document was leaked to the Press, the initial response of the Socialist Group was to 'try to protect friends in the Commission by preventing scandal breaking'. Only when finally compelled to take action did they dismiss them! Furthermore, the report claims that even before the scandal had subsided, the story had been changed so that it 'painted the European Parliament in a more favourable light' and became a tale of 'heroic MEP's holding to account an over-mighty Executive and forcing it to resign'. Well, Veronica, that corruption might have been dealt with all those years ago but the above report tells us it continues and that hundreds of billions of pounds have been lost in the process. Maybe it's time the EU started an austerity drive within its own cloistered walls so that we might all share some of the prosperity enjoyed by many of those working within them!