European parliament: Three European agencies brought into line
11 May 2012
European Voice, România libera
On May 10 the European Parliament, voted to “postpone approval of the budgetary expenditure of three EU agencies", reports European Voice. This means that MEPs have refused to approve the management of these institutions for the year 2010. The agencies singled out are the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). All three, according to the weekly, face "allegations of conflicts of interest, and other irregularities" such as poorly justified overspending.
The main reason for this vote, European Voice says, is the announcement on May 9, of the departure of the president of the EFSA, Diana Bánáti, who stepped down to-
rejoin the board of the International Life Sciences Institute Europe (ILSI), a research and advocacy group. MEPs had asked the European Court of Auditors to investigate alleged conflicts of interest at EFSA, including Bánáti's links to the food industry.
Parliament's decision was welcomed by Monica Macovei (European People’s Party), a Parliamentary rapporteur for financial practice in 2010, who is often praised for her role in the fight against corruption. "Transparency and proper management of conflicts of interest have become vital for governance and for citizens. They must become an important criterion in budgetary expenditure procedure for all EU institutions,” she told the Bucharest-based daily România liberă.
European Voice adds, "The three agencies have until September to provide fuller explanations of their spending in 2010, with the Parliament voting later in the autumn on whether to approve or reject their accounts.”