Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Can you show me the way to the grandstand

Last night two Parliamentary Committees met simultaneously. The MEP attendance at these committees was revealing in the way in which our so called representatives prioritise their work.
The first Committee Meeting was the Budgetary Control (COCOBU). This meeting was discussing the EU Budget discharge for 2004. Attending this meeting were Mr Barroso the Commission President, the Court of Auditors who famously refuse to sign off the accounts and 18 MEPs, out of 70 who have membership of the Committee, less than a quarter turned up to what is essentially the job of the Parliament, to act as the budgetary control function in the EU. This was the first time that Barroso had appeared in front of a Parliamentary Committee ever, and he was there to attempt to explain how the EU budget was so riddled with fraud.

The Second Committee meeting was Legal Affairs/Foreign Affairs joint meeting discussing the alleged CIA jails in Eastern Europe. At this meeting there was standing room only, one person present guessed that over 100 MEPs had turned up. Of course this story has the added frisson of being a direct attack on the USA but is based upon press stories from one NGO which have not been substantiated and about which the EP can do exactly nothing (confirmed by the preliminary advice from the EP Legal Service).

These people are a shower.

One good thing did come out of the COCOBU meeting however, and something that will please the good people behind Farmsubsidy.org (support this organisation as much as you can they deserve your help). Mr Barroso made a commitment to move towards disclosure on recipients of Agricultural subsidies throughout the EU after questioning


Aunty Marianne said...

Yes! All Barroso has to ensure now is that the member states give the EU decent information about what they do with the money the taxpayer gives the EU to give back to the member states to give to the farmers.

p.s. I agree with you about the shower bit.

Jack said...

Interesting post. Is there any record of this discussion - official minutes? - we'd like to find out more and put it on the farmsubsidy.org website.