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Parliamentary questions
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25 March 2020
 E-004157/2019
Answer given by Mr Várhelyi
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004157/2019

In 2019, the EU committed EUR 329.81 million to the Palestinians through the European Neighborhood Instrument. This includes the amount allocated to the PEGASE (Mécanisme Palestino — Européen de Gestion et d'Aide Socio-Economique) programme, a Direct Financial Support (DFS) mechanism that helps the Palestinian Authority in the delivery of essential public services.

In 2019, the contribution to PEGASE reached EUR 154.45 million, of which EUR 85 million for salaries and pensions, EUR 50 million in support to the most vulnerable Palestinian families and EUR 13 million for East Jerusalem hospitals. The EU DFS is entirely separate from and does not contribute to the Palestinian Authority payments to Palestinian detainees and their families, nor to the institutions that manage such payments.

All EU contributions under PEGASE DFS go through high standards of control applied through ex-ante audit and ex-post verification, which the European Court of Auditors has described as robust(1). External evaluations also confirmed this finding. The Palestinian Authority provides a list of eligible beneficiaries which is checked by EU-contracted independent auditors against a list of eligibility criteria as well as a second check of individuals considered to be associated with any terrorist organisations or activities. No payments are made to any beneficiaries falling within these categories.

Countering the financing of terrorism is a core component of the EU’s strategy in the fight against terrorism and consistently addressed in the context of political dialogues with partner countries. The EU has a global facility programme(2) that helps anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in third countries, notably in the Middle East.

In 2019, the EU launched a EUR 18 million programme to counter terrorism and enhance border management in Lebanon(3).

(1)https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/SR13_14/SR13_14_EN.pdf
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/c-2016-4773-annex-1_en.pdf
https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/c_2019_5631_f1_annex_i_ct_p1_1024651.pdf
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/3/2018/EN/C-2018-8188-F1-EN-ANNEX-3-PART-1.PDF
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