EU president muzzles auditors who have refused to sign off the bureaucrats’ accounts for last 18 years
2013-09-16 0:00

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As usual, transparency and accountability are fearsome concepts to the bureaucrats and unelected leaders of the European Union.

EU president muzzles auditors who have refused to sign off the bureaucrats’ accounts for last 18 years
By Matt Blake | MailOnline

Telling them to tone down criticism as it ’erodes trust’

The EU president has sent a shot across the bow of Europe’s official spending watchdog warning it to rein in its criticism of Brussels and focus on promoting the union.

Herman Van Rompuy told Europe’s Court of Auditors that he wants their findings to generate positive headlines with particular regard to Europe’s £110 billion yearly spend.

The watchdog has been a thorn in the side of Brussels, publishing a series of critical reports on wasteful spending and refusing to sign off the EU’s budget for 18 consecutive years because of concerns about fraud.

’Your reports are not released into a void but into the rough and tumble of political life and media reporting,’ he said on Thursday night. ’Every year, they generate headlines that ‘yet again the EU’s accounts have not been signed off’, with deceptive allegations of fraud and mismanagement. You and I know that such headlines can be misleading.

’Given this media handling of information, and its impact on public opinion in some countries, the court might want to give some further thought as to how it can encourage more nuanced reporting.

’It’s important that citizens can have the whole picture, with all its nuances.’

In June this year the watchdog was told it would have its funding slashed by 4.2 per cent.

’In the end we are all responsible for Europe and its image,’ Van Rompuy went on. ’In times of crisis, it is more vital than ever to foster confidence. We should also be teaching, to convince Europeans and demonstrate clearly that Europe is not the source of problems, but the solution.’


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