EP refers alleged French National Front financial irregularities to OLAF
Acting upon a notification by the European Parliament administration and in respect of the EP Rules of Procedures, President Martin Schulz on Monday informed the European fraud-fighting office OLAF of possible financial irregularities by the French party Front National. The possible irregularities concern salaries paid from the EU budget to assistants to Members of the European Parliament.
Acting upon a notification by the European Parliament administration and as required by the EP Rules of Procedure, President Martin Schulz on Monday informed the EU anti-fraud office OLAF of possible financial irregularities by the French Front National party. The possible irregularities concern salaries paid from the EU budget to assistants to Members of the European Parliament.
In late February, the European Parliament administration noted that the French National Front French party's organisation chart listed 20 assistants to EP members, although assistants paid by the European Parliament must perform work directly linked to the exercise of a Member’s parliamentary mandate.
Note to editors:
The possible irregularities noted by the European Parliament administration relate to the following:
1. The Statute of Members of the European Parliament and its Implementing Measures say specifically in Article 33, paragraph 2, that "Only expenses for assistance which is necessary and directly linked to the exercise of a Member’s parliamentary mandate may be defrayed. Expenses linked to a Member’s private life may on no account be defrayed." Article 43 of the Implementing Measures says that the money paid out for assistants' salaries "may not be used directly or indirectly (...) to finance contracts concluded with Parliament’s political groups or political parties".
2. The National Front party's organisation chart lists four "accredited" assistants and 16 "local" assistants. In their labour contracts, ten of the local assistants have given the address of the National Front headquarters in Nanterre. Also, their job descriptions in their labour contracts differ from those in the National Front organisation chart or on its website. Moreover, according to the National Front's own organisation chart, certain assistants do not work for the Members with whom they have concluded their labour contracts.
3. Nine further local assistants to National Front MEPs gave the Nanterre headquarters address as their working address.
Annex IX to the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure lays down in Article 2 that " The President, the Secretary-General, the Directors-General and the Heads of Service of the European Parliament shall transmit without delay to the Office any evidence of which they are aware."