More muscles needed to ensure rigorous scrutiny and avoid fraud of RRF-money

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Renew Europe stresses the importance of rigorous scrutiny of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and calls for more cooperation and transparency between the EU institutions, during the third Recovery and Resilience Dialogue with Valdis Dombrovskis Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People, and Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, that took place yesterday late afternoon.

The RRF is the €672.5 billion programme through which most of the EU recovery money is being channelled. Up until today 18 Recovery and Resilience Plans have been assessed by the European Commission and 7 are still currently being examined.

Luis Garicano, Renew Europe’s Coordinator, says:

"We have a historical responsibility to ensure that European money does not end up in the pockets of crooks and corrupt politicians. The risk of fraud has never been bigger. The EU is spending more money than ever; and its audit and control systems are under-funded. It is a dangerous combination.

With its latest EU budget proposal, the Commission is asking each of its antifraud office´s staff members to monitor €900 million worth of EU expenditure. In 2010, an OLAF official would have been responsible for scrutinising €300 million. This will only make it easier for criminals and increase fraud and corruption. The same happens with the European Court of Auditors and the new European Public Prosecutors. Their resources are woefully inadequate for the task.

That is why Renew Europe now has presented amendments to the budget to ensure significant increases in the resources of all these institutions. Renew Europe will continue to do its best to ensure that European money is well spent."

Dragoş Pîslaru, one of the European Parliament’s negotiators of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and Member of Renew Europe, says:

"Precisely one year ago, myself together with my other two co-rapporteur colleagues were presenting in the ECON-BUDG committees our draft report on the Recovery and Resilience Facility. We came forward with a very ambitious and visionary report, with a new structure of six pillars, with a link between the RRF and respect of rule of law, with the necessity of frequent and quality reporting from the Commission. Many elements are present in today’s Facility, and I am glad that the Commission understood and supported Parliament’s ambition. I stress the importance of delivering a solid national recovery and resilience plan, with vision, ambition, suitable for the next generation."

The exchange of views with the Commissioners, where MEP Garicano and MEP Pîslaru are posing questions on behalf of Renew Europe, can be replayed here.

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