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Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

2007 discharge: EU general budget - Council (debate)

  Herbert Bösch (PSE).(DE) Mr President, I should like to say two things on behalf of this committee. Congratulations to the rapporteur, who asked straightforward questions and received no answers. Congratulations to this committee, which adopted Mr Søndergaard’s report by an overwhelming majority – 27:2. The Member States are conspicuous by their absence today even though, as I would remind you, Mr President, we placed this item on this afternoon’s agenda especially to accommodate the Council’s scheduling problems. The Member States are doing things here that they would not dare do at home.

Now we shall be conducting an election campaign where things are being shifted to Brussels again. The problems lie in the capital cities, not Brussels. I should have liked to see the Commission offering us somewhat greater support on this from time to time. In my view, its behaviour is sometimes rather too cowardly. When, as the rapporteur says, we have comptes hors budget – in my country we call these ‘black accounts’ – this calls to mind Eurostat and similar stories. This will not work for long. It was this committee’s job to warn of such a development, and I am proud that it did so by such a large majority. I believe – and this is a positive message I shall take away with me if the House follows our lead by what I hope will be an equally large majority tomorrow – that we have ensured that control does indeed work. There is someone to take care of it. After that, we shall take a look at the consequences.

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