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Wednesday, 21 April 2010 - Strasbourg OJ edition

2008 Discharge (debate)

  Ivo Belet (PPE), in writing.(NL) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, this House has to be a paragon in terms of financial transparency and internal budgetary control. We cannot be hard enough on ourselves in this regard. In such a large parliament, with so many Members and members of staff, things cannot work perfectly all the time. Wherever there are people working together, things will go wrong. Even the strictest internal controls cannot prevent that. Yet we must also recognise that great efforts have been made in recent years to put things right.

I should like to give two examples. Firstly, the new Statute for Assistants, which is in place at long last following years of discussion. The abuses that existed have now been virtually eliminated. The second example is the reimbursement of expenses. Action has been taken and clear and precise rules introduced in this field, too. Has this solved all the problems? Absolutely not. It is to be welcomed that internal controls have been further tightened, but giving the vague impression that things are being covered up is unacceptable in my eyes, as it is not true. I should like to conclude by saying with regard to future budget increases that we must have the courage to explain to the public that the Treaty of Lisbon means a great deal of extra work, and that a higher budget for communication and contact with visitors is indeed justified.

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