Today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the European Parliament is not required to provide access to documents on how MEPs spend their various allowances, which was requested by a consortium of investigative journalists from the MEPs Project.
Transparency International EU believes that this ruling sets a dangerous precedent and that it is simply indefensible that the European Parliament continues to block transparency on how public money is being spent by elected MEPs.
Nick Aiossa, Policy Officer at Transparency International EU, comments: “The European Court of Justice has dealt a severe blow to transparency today by allowing the European Parliament to keep MEP allowance spending completely secret from the public. The journalists who brought the case correctly recognised that it is in the public interest to allow citizens to scrutinise how MEPs are using taxpayers’ money. At a time when trust in the EU institutions is so low, this is a ridiculous message to send ahead of next year’s European elections.”
Transparency International EU will continue to work on increasing the transparency and accountability of the MEP allowance regime, to ensure that proper safeguards are in place for preventing misuse and fraud for public funds.
The Court of Justice press release is available here.