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Parliamentary questions
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10 August 2020
Question for written answer E-004537/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Markus Buchheit (ID), Jörg Meuthen (ID), Bernhard Zimniok (ID), Joachim Kuhs (ID), Maximilian Krah (ID), Nicolaus Fest (ID)
 Subject: Next Generation EU recovery plan and the election of Commission President von der Leyen

The Commission President’s attempts to directly influence Croatia’s elections, as demonstrated by the video message she recorded in support of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the governing party of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, raises the question whether the Commission used any other means to facilitate Plenković’s re-election.

The EUR 750 billion recovery plan, Next Generation EU, which Ms von der Leyen unveiled on 27 May, assigns Croatia a remarkably high share of the funds. In fact, under the Commission’s proposal, Croatia stands to receive around 22.4 % of GDP net, which equates to over EUR 12 billion (SWD(2020) 98 final). This is a significant mark-up compared with what other Member States that were similarly affected by the COVID-19 crisis are set to receive and is hard to reconcile with fundamentals. Since 28 May 2020, Mr Plenković has been advertising this sum to the press to enhance his own public image (1) .

Can the Commission address concerns that the main reason why Croatia stands to gain so much from the Commission’s plans is that the sum was intended to deliver a poll boost to Mr Plenković’s HDZ party (which is a member of the European Christian Democrat family, just like Ms von der Leyen’s CDU) in the parliamentary elections on 5 July 2020?

(1)https://www.croatiaweek.com/pm-in-next-7-years-croatia-will-receive-from-eu-twice-as-much-funds-as-until-now/, accessed on 17 July 2020
Original language of question: DE
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