The PSOE has been left alone in the vote of the Budgetary Control Commission of the European Parliament and has not been able to stop its critical report on the management of funds in Spain.
This is the resolution of this instance that accompanies the so-called discharge report by which it gives approval to the European Commission in the 2021 financial year, but urges it to correct deficiencies in the management of funds with clear indication to Spain, since it was the only country that received a first disbursement that year from the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
According to the official vote sheet, the resolution was approved by 19 votes in favour, including all MEPs from the European People's Party, Renew (liberals) and Greens. Also most of the European socialists. However, the Spanish Socialist MEP Isabel García Muñoz voted against, as did two Identity and Democracy MEPs whom the PSOE itself considers to be from the European extreme right.
PSOE sources explain to EL MUNDO that García Muñoz voted negatively for this resolution because he did not agree with several of the amendments introduced and seeing his own rejected.
The report is the outcome of the European Parliament's mission to Madrid last month and consecrates the criticism of the management of funds in Spain allowed by the European Commission, expressed to this newspaper in an interview by the president of the Control Commission, Monika Hohlmeier.
According to the amendments introduced, to which this newspaper has had access, the approved report questions not only the reduction of embezzlement in Spain, as this newspaper already published this Thursday, but also a barrage of criticism about the lack of co-governance, the operation of the control system of funds or the laxity of the European Commission to monitor compliance with commitments.
The PSOE amendments to the contrary of good management were rejected by the majority of the Control Commission.
The report is not final, because it will be submitted to a vote in the plenary session of the Eurochamber next May. If the parliamentary groups reproduce the vote of the Budgetary Control Commission, it will mean a serious setback for the coalition government on the eve of the regional elections.
The report urges Brussels not to tolerate exceptions in the criminal punishment of any fraud in the use of European funds against the new Spanish regulations that do except when the diversion of money is not for personal gain.
It also includes that the European Parliament "expresses its concern about the insufficient participation of local and regional authorities in the preparation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (PNRR) and their little influence on the final version."
It also "underlines that there should be a better co-governance approach in all Member States to ensure that local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, social partners, academia or other relevant stakeholders are adequately involved in the development and application of the PNRR”.
Therefore, it "requests their participation, based on clear, equitable, transparent and non-politicized principles, in the application of the PNRR to the greatest extent possible within the national legislative framework." It involves pressure for the European Commission to force the first vice president, Nadia Calviño, to negotiate with the autonomous communities and the opposition the future phases of the Plan.
It also reproaches Brussels for having fulfilled the Spanish commitment to set up an audit and control system for funds, the so-called Coffee, when it does not work as it should. He therefore urges European commissioners "to assess not only the creation, but also the actual functioning of audit and control mechanisms (...) while identifying areas that could be improved or made more efficient." In addition, he calls for a clear methodology from the European Commission to see when to consider commitments fulfilled.
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