|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.2, 11.1.01, p8|
MEPS have launched a scathing attack on the European Commission for failing to provide them with the information they need to scrutinise a multi-million-euro aid programme for business.
They say a Union executive report on an initiative designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) arrived late and lacked sufficient detail for them to judge if taxpayers' money is being properly spent.
"When the EU funds projects, of whatever nature, Parliament has the responsibility to comment on how those funds are being spent. It can congratulate, criticise and comment as appropriate," says British Tory MEP Philip Bushill-Matthews, the Parliament's rapporteur on the programme. "It can only fulfil this responsibility if it is supplied with good information in good time."
At a full meeting of the Parliament next week MEPs are expected to argue that the weakness of the progress report on the initiative is typical of the clumsy way in which papers are drawn up within the Commission. They are also set to call for the institution's entire report-drafting process to be 'streamlined and sharpened' in order to make sure documents are produced on time in future.
"If the timing is, as suspected, an inevitable consequence of a generally flawed process - that too many units are involved in the preparation of such reports over too long a period - then it is suggested that the whole process be reviewed," says Bushill-Matthews.
The Commission's Growth and Employment Initiative was set up in 1998 to promote SMEs, seen as key to improving job creation in the Union.
Bushill-Matthews says that some of the failings of the Commission's report are forgivable because its analysis covers only the first year of the scheme and many details, for example feedback from the companies, are simply not yet available.
MEPs have launched a scathing attack on the European Commission for failing to provide them with the information they need to scrutinise a multi-million-euro aid programme for business.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|