Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-05-10-Speech-2-020-000"

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"Madam President, in the past, the European Development Fund has been the target of the Court of Auditors’ criticism that greater efforts need to be invested in expenditure control. This control must, above all, come from the EU delegations in developing countries. They are the closest to the projects which we are discussing. In recent years, in particular, the European Commission has made important steps towards improving control, especially as regards budget aid and spending in fragile states. What is more, better cooperation and coordination on development policy between Member States could save us EUR 6 billion. However, to achieve this we need strong EU delegations, delegations which can assume those roles and tasks and ensure the quality of spending. Ironically enough, the parties that cry blue murder about fraud, but refuse to spend money on strengthening the management of EU delegations, are often one and the same. If we really want these delegations to prevent development money ending up in the wrong hands or to prevent money leaking away into failing projects, then EU delegations will need more staff. We therefore have to make that choice in our external policy budget for the coming years. I await with curiosity the Commission’s answer to a number of comments made by Mr Bart Staes in his excellent report. My group fully endorses his conclusions. Having said that, what needs to happen before ex-ante controls are improved? How can we ensure improvement of the management of implementing organisations? What will the Commission do in order to increase further the capacity of beneficiary countries and regional organisations and what is necessary for that to happen? In the future, the EU development policy should spend more on funds which offer access to financial services, that is microfinancing funds. There are people with enough dreams and skills in poor countries. They should be given the chance to build up their own lives with small loans. The EDF should also contribute to that. Finally, as part of the European budget, the European Development Fund is obviously subject to democratic control, but that must not lead to the total budget for development cooperation being cut."@en1

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