At a Glance – The Impact of Organised Crime on the EU’s Financial Interests – 07-07-2021

The research, which focused on a sample of 14 EU Member States (BG, CZ, ES, FR, FI, DE, GR, HU, IT, LU, LV, MT, SE and SK), involved a combination of desk-research, interviews and quantitative modelling. The study considered the impact of organised crime on EU expenditure (e.g. Cohesion Funds) as well EU revenues (e.g. VAT own resources).

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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Study – The Impact of Organised Crime on the EU’s Financial Interests – 31-07-2021

This analytical study, requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, examines the impact of organised crime on EU’s finances. Taking together the expenditure and revenue sides, the research suggests that between 1% and 2% of the EU budget is defrauded each year. The study also assesses measures at the EU and Member State levels to combat the problem, and recommends actions to help reinforce these measures.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – The financial management of visitor groups to the national parliaments – 08-07-2021

In most Member States, visitor’ groups are not sponsored to visit the national parliament. A visit to the national parliament is free of charge, and all the costs related to the visit, for example travel costs, accommodation and local minor expenses, need to be paid by the visitors themselves.
Germany is the only country which has various kinds of programmes where visitors can be reimbursed. Members of Parliament can invite up to 200 people a year of which the travel costs are partially covered by the German Bundestag. There is also a programme which consists of more days for which all the costs related to travel and accommodation are covered by the German government. The German Bundesrat has a programme in which the 16 federal states can invite people for a visit of multiple days to Berlin. In this case the travel costs and accommodation are paid for by the Bundesrat. For all reimbursements, the rules apply that the receipts and underlying documents need to be provided to the Bundestag and Bundesrat after the visit. All documents and receipts are checked through an ex-post control.
The United Kingdom has a programme in which costs are reimbursed, and this programme is funded by the commercial tours of the parliament. In this case, it can be MPs, Peers or the House of Commons or Lords who can invite visitors who are eligible for reimbursement.
In Hungary, only schools can get reimbursement for their travel costs and the entry fee for the national parliament. All the receipts need to be provided to the visitor service of the parliament.
Some countries do have other schemes in which they provide coverage for schools or costs are covered by the MPs’ own funds.
The Council of the EU does not sponsor visitor groups. All visits are requested by visitors themselves and they need to cover all the costs related to the visit themselves. The questions were also sent to the European Commission but no answer was received.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

Briefing – EU rural development policy: Impact, challenges and outlook – 08-07-2021

On 30 June 2021, the European Commission adopted a communication on its long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. The communication identifies areas of action with a view to creating new momentum for the EU’s rural areas, while recognising their diversity. In recent decades, in many Member States rural areas have experienced depopulation. Such regions face a range of environmental and socio-economic challenges. These include, for example, lower income per capita, a higher percentage of the population at risk of poverty and social exclusion, a lack of access to basic infrastructure and services, and lower levels of access to fast broadband internet. The EU’s rural development policy has sought to help address these challenges. Evaluation evidence is emerging on the impact of the common agricultural policy (CAP) on the territorial development of the EU’s rural areas. Measures relating to village renewal and LEADER (Liaison entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie rurale) measures are considered to be well-targeted and relevant to local needs, although they represent a small proportion of CAP financing. Administrative burdens have been raised as an issue that can impact on the developmental process. Recommendations from this evaluation evidence point to the need for better integration of funding streams, the need to maintain a dialogue across the European structural funds, and all the implications this may have for the new CAP strategic plans. The Commission’s recommendations to Member States on their CAP strategic plans highlight a number of recurring themes relating to the employment, education and training needs of rural areas, including the need to address rural depopulation, promote generational renewal, improve connectivity, and address the role played by action taken at local level. The Commission’s communication on a long-term vision for rural areas includes provision for a ‘rural pact’ to engage actors at EU, national, rural and local levels and an EU rural action plan, setting out a range of initiatives and actionable projects. The vision and its supporting analyses will provide a framework for addressing the future of the EU’s rural areas.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

At a Glance – Amending budget No 3/2021: 2020 surplus – 01-07-2021

Draft Amending Budget No 3/2021 (DAB 3/2021) to the European Union’s 2021 general budget aims to enter as revenue in the 2021 budget the surplus resulting from the implementation of the 2020 budget. The 2020 surplus totals almost €1.77 billion (as compared to €3.2 billion in 2019, €1.8 billion in 2018 and €0.56 billion in 2017). It consists mostly of higher than expected revenues, plus under-spending on the expenditure side. Inclusion of the surplus will reduce the gross national income (GNI) contributions of the EU Member States to the 2021 budget accordingly. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the Council position on DAB 3/2021 during its July plenary session.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

At a Glance – 2019 report on protection of the EU’s financial interests – Fight against fraud – 01-07-2021

On 3 September 2020, the European Commission published its 31st annual report on the fight against fraud affecting EU financial interests, covering the year 2019. In total, 11 726 irregularities were reported to the Commission, 2 % fewer than in 2018. They involved approximately €1.6 billion, 34 % less than in the previous year. Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control has adopted a report on the Commission’s annual report, which is due to be discussed and voted during the July plenary session.

Source : © European Union, 2021 – EP

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