By means of a controversial tax scheme – and in defiance of European regulations – billions are flowing from the Hungarian treasury to sports associations. The corporate sector prospers, along with Orbán and his friends’ favorite clubs. The European Commission looks the other way. ‘Sports’ potential to unite citizens is enormous.’
'At the height of a crisis, it is up to EU leaders to come up with solutions.' These are the words of Jan Werts (82), seasoned Dutch journalist, publicist, and Europe expert. And, over the past fifteen years, one crisis has followed another in rapid succession. The financial crisis, the Euro crisis, the migration crisis, the Brexit crisis, the coronavirus crisis, and now Ukraine. Cause for Follow the Money to talk to Werts about leadership in Europe in times of trouble.
Ada Homolová & Jesse Pinster
Vladimir Putin is losing support among far-right parties in Europe. His carefully curated team of ‘useful idiots’ is falling apart. Analyses by Follow the Money of voting patterns among members of the European Parliament show that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led MEPs for German party Alternative für Deutschland to drop off, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France to make an opportunistic turn, and Dutch right-wingers JA21 to change their opinions.
Jesse Pinster & Lise Witteman
European citizens can rest assured: the hundreds of billions of the European Recovery and Resilience Fund will be well spent. Céline Gauer, who spearheads this groundbreaking project, brushes off criticism about its lack of transparency, fraud risks or the hurdles in the involvement of stakeholders and national parliaments. She is confident about the new step that the EU is taking towards European integration.