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 Full text 
Tuesday, 17 December 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Conflict of interest and corruption affecting the protection of EU's financial interests in Member States (debate)

  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Madam President, we are discussing here basically two funds which have served the purpose of enhancing European competitiveness in the agricultural sector and elsewhere – the CAP and the Cohesion Fund. In contrast to the grand ideals, both have become hotbeds of corruption within the European Union and instruments in the hands of oligarchs and illiberal regimes, with the tacit agreement of EU decision—makers. Now if we are looking at the Common Agricultural Policy, which makes up over 40% of the total budget, we can see that in contrast to the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of the European agricultural sector, this area has become a hotbed of corruption, and here my colleague has referred already to The New York Times article which has demonstrated that the CAP is intentionally untransparent, contains loopholes and is prone to corruption, and undermines even the EU’s environmental objectives, and every reform which is proposed is basically sabotaged by the decision—makers.

When it comes to the Cohesion Fund, when we are looking at why the EU doesn’t want to put forward reforms, then we should refer to the cynical opinion of the previous Commissioner for the Budget, Günther Oettinger, who says that EU funds should not be used to sanction, because every single euro which goes from the donor states to the recipients basically goes back to the donor states because the recipients use these monies to buy goods and services from the donor states. So we should finish with this cynical type of programme and look at how corruption must be tackled at the heart.

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