Answer given by Mr Várhelyi on behalf of the European Commission
An internal review of the safeguards that protect EU funds against misuse or deviation for unintended purposes, including terrorism or incitement, in Palestine, is being finalised. Taking into account the latest developments, the review is scheduled to be concluded in September 2021.
The Commission remains firmly committed to ensuring full respect of applicable EU legislation, as well as to preventing any possible misuse of EU funds. All contracts involving EU funding contain clauses that ensure full respect of applicable EU legislation, including on accountability, transparency and sound financial management, and aim at protecting the financial interests of the EU. The EU has in place stringent rules to screen and vet the beneficiaries of EU funds.
To this end, all recipients of EU funding are required to ensure that EU funds are not made available, either directly or indirectly, to, or for the benefit of, any entities, individuals or groups which have been designated by the EU as subject to EU restrictive measures.
If there is evidence that any such entity or individual has made inappropriate use of EU funding, recovery and reimbursement of the funds is required and the grantee may lose eligibility for EU funding.
The Commission has been looking into individual cases of alleged misuse or deviation of EU funds and economic resources in Palestine, and to date found no substantiated evidence for such misuse or deviation.
The Commission remains vigilant and will continue to follow up on all substantiated allegations of the possible misuse or deviation of EU funds.
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