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EU to undertake exceptional measures against Bulgaria

The members of the Budget control committee in the European parliament adopted their final report for the EU spendings in 2007, in which they paid special attention to Bulgaria and Romania as high-risk countries for the money of the European tax payers. The conclusions of the report were supported by cut-throat numbers, presented by the European commission and the European Anti-fraud office (OLAF).

“In proportion to its population Bulgaria has made the most financial violations in EU, followed by Romania”, says OLAF. The two countries are accused of tenaciously hiding their misuses. “The most unreliable information about violations is being supplied by Bulgaria and Romania”, writes a EP draft resolution. In 2007 Bulgaria, Romania, Luxembourg and Malta have not admitted a single violation but have waited for Brussels to accuse them.

76% of the revealed irregularities with the pre-accession funds in 2007 are in Bulgaria and Romania, 20% – in the 10 countries which acceded earlier and 4% in the candidates – Turkey and Croatia, claimed the European commission. In Bulgaria, as well as in Slovakia and Hungary, cases were revealed where the amount of the violation is equal to the sum of the whole project, i.e. all the money given for one purpose was used for something else.

The EC has made only one report so far about the management of the European money in Bulgaria, which was announced on 23 July 2008 together with the regular report for justice and internal order. Rendering account on the unlucky experience with the pre-accession funds, the report of the Budget control committee points out that in the period 2007-2013 Bulgaria will receive 6.5 bln euro and Romania – 20.3 bln euro from the structural funds” and appeals for “quarterly reports for the management of these funds”.

With regard to this the Budget control committee supports the suspension of the flow of money to these two countries and appeals to the EC to find out new measures by “pressuring Bulgaria and Romania”. A suggestion was made the EC general secretariat, which writes the 6-month reports for the judicial systems and the crime situation in the two countries, and the EC directorates, which stop the money if violations are found, to synchronize their actions in order to achieve greater efficiency. The members of the European parliament are indignant of the lack of reliable national control systems in Bulgaria and Romania. The authorities in the two countries are blamed for “not putting all necessary efforts to cope with the weaknesses”.

Although OLAF gives proves of its work in the protection of the money of the European tax payers, the EP demanded a separate report for all noticed irregularities in Bulgaria. The members of the parliament insist on the application of the “zero tolerance principle” towards the misuse of EU money.

http://international.ibox.bg/news/id_1799697821

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