EU funded NGOs must become more transparent

17.01.2024 13:32

EU funded NGOs must become more transparent


Any organisation that receives funding from the European Union must disclose how they use those funds. This requirement must be extended to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), whose funding has so far has only been subject to limited scrutiny. The Parliament decided today that in the future all EU-funded NGOs must publicly disclose the detailed allocation of their funds, including the identity of the final recipients and the source of their funding.

“This is a good first step in the right direction. Transparency is not a one-way street. It must apply to everyone,” says Markus Pieper MEP, who drafted Parliament’s Report.

The Report highlights the significant contributions of NGOs across various sectors. However, it also emphasises that monitoring is currently limited to EU funds directly awarded to NGOs. Consequently, it urges the European Commission to scrutinise the redistribution of funds and assess their utilization by individual beneficiaries.

The report also highlights the Qatargate corruption scandal, which came to light in December 2022 and implicated MEPs and officials from the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. "When NGOs try to influence legislation in the Parliament and at the same time receive money from the Commission, the minimum that must be done is to make it transparent. With this Report, we have sent a clear signal that more transparency is needed to prevent future bribery scandals,” says Pieper. He added that it is unacceptable for a few black sheep to tarnish the reputation of all NGOs.

Against the resistance of left-wing groups, the EPP Group ensured that the Parliament’s report includes also a call on NGOs to publish online all meetings with MEPs, MEPs’ assistants or representatives of other EU institutions. “The standards that apply to business lobbyists must also apply to NGOs. I am glad that, thanks to the EPP Group, the Parliament sent an even stronger signal today. I expect the Commission to act quickly," says Pieper.

The Report also proposes, among other things, the creation of a public exclusion list of NGOs to ensure that those who have engaged in hate speech or religious extremism are blocked from accessing EU funds.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States

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