Failure of EU's financial reform Aug02
(August 10, 2002)
of EU's financial reform
1999, my maiden speech as a Conservative MEP and member of the European
Parliamentís Budgetary Control Committee reflected the concerns of all
European MPs at our inability to assess a new team of commissioners after
the fall of the disgraced Santer Commission. It seems to me that little
has been achieved in the way of financial reform since then.
born in Tanzania, where the Government and the civil service were
incompetent and corrupt. I thought that I would find it different here in
the EU. There are 360 million European citizens in 15 member states and
yet we cannot find just 20 men and women with the relevant professional
competence and work experience to be commissioners. To make matters worse,
the democratically elected European Parliament of 626 MEPs, which may vote
on whether or not to dismiss an individual commissioner, is overruled by a
recycled politician who, as President of the Commission, reserves the
right to sack, or not sack, his own commissioners. Is this a parliament
with teeth or just a talking shop?
Kinnockís sacking of Marta Andreasen (report, and leading article,
August 3; letters August 8), highlights the Commissionís arrogance and
simply confirms the weakness of its accounting systems. Kinnock was
appointed vice-president of the Commission to reform and clean up the
Brussels bureaucracy, not to silence competent professionals with
integrity who exercise their judgement in the best interest of European
citizens at considerable cost and embarrassment to themselves.
perception, especially in the UK, is that the European commissioners are
overpaid, incompetent and arrogant in their use of political power, for
which they have no mandate. European citizens will remain disillusioned by
the EU until the Parliament is able to choose the commissioners and secure
the right to sack them at any time for mismanagement.