O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quarta-feira, novembro 19, 2003

Something is still rotten in the state of Europe

Concerns about rampant corruption involving EU money, notably CAP funds diverted to raising non-existent Portuguese suckler cows and fictitious Greek olive groves, have been around Brussels and Strasbourg for years. Yet nothing is done about it and no one is required to take political responsibility.

If a British minister oversaw a department in which millions of pounds were illegally diverted into secret bank accounts, he or she would be required to resign. Yet Mr Prodi still seems determined to shield the official ultimately responsible for the fiasco at Eurostat, the EU's data-gathering office in Luxembourg, where an interim report has found a catalogue of cronyism, double accounting and the setting up of secret cash reserves. Pedro Solbes, Monetary Affairs Commissioner, stays in office, the beneficiary of a cosy multi-national consensus that protects Brussels officials who oversee failure.


The European Union needs much more than new safeguards to eradicate the most glaring examples of corruption and cronyism. It needs accountability and a dose of democracy. Rather than the proposed constitution, which is really an attempt to codify a federal structure, a sensible reform would be for European Commissioners to face confirmation hearings in the member states that appoint them. But successive administrations in Brussels have failed to improve the situation, and the commission appears - to adapt a fashionable phrase - institutionally undemocratic and unaccountable. It is not just British Euro-sceptics who know that the EU's institutions aren't working, but a group of dry accountants in Brussels, who have now reached the same damning conclusion for the ninth year in a row.

posted by Miguel Noronha 4:27 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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