In a vote today the EPP Group rejected attempts to keep NGO financing a secret. Hiding behind calls for transparency in this House, the Greens and the Left in the European Parliament wanted to prevent shedding light on the use of EU taxpayers' money in funding NGOs, in a report by Sven Giegold on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU.
The Greens and the Left in the European Parliament are hypocritical when they call for all-encompassing transparency from MEPs and interest groups but deny transparency in the financing of non-governmental organisations. EPP Group amendments on banning funding to organisations that spread untruths or work against European values were rejected by the Left-Green camp in the plenary vote today.
A key aspect of democratic behaviour is transparency. Transparency is wholeheartedly supported by the EPP Group. "However, the Giegold report is only superficially about transparency. In reality it seeks to transfer power from an elected parliament to unelected NGOs," said MEP György Schöpflin, EPP Group Spokesperson on Constitutional Affairs.
"We should not fund organisations that fight Europe and its values, nor people who circulate fake news. The EPP Group wants transparency. That is exactly what our amendments are about," said MEP Markus Pieper, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs.
We want to make sure that NGOs are held to the same standard as any other interest group. By rejecting the EPP Group's proposals, the Greens and the Left pre-empt a performance audit by the Court of Auditors on the transparency of NGO financing.
The Coordinators of the Budgetary Control Committee decided on 4 May to ask the European Court of Auditors for a special assessment of EU funding of NGOs.
"We want to support the vast majority of NGOs in their important work and demand even more financial support to do so. The black sheep in the NGO lobbying family, however, must be held liable," concluded MEP Markus Pieper.