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 Vollständiger Text 
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Hercule III programme and protection of the European Union's financial interests (debate)

  Marta Andreasen (ECR). - Mr President, there is no doubt that smuggling and the counterfeiting of cigarettes are matters of serious concern for us all. The large sums of money lost, which should be going to exchequers across the EU, are significant, and this means that front-line services are not being as well supported as they should be.

But let us be honest: the amounts of taxpayers’ money wasted by the EU institutions are also significant. Some 4.8 % of the EU budget in 2012 was spent on regional projects which should never have received the money – a total of EUR 5.5 billion.

Only in December did we learn that billions in aid to Gaza and Egypt cannot be properly accounted for, having been spent on out-of-work politicians. And almost every month we receive a new Court of Auditors’ report spelling out more errors and more wasted money. If MEPs are serious about looking after EU financial interests, they should look closer to home as well as to the Hercule III programme.

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