Many ordinary citizens have been suffering from increased food prices since the war in Ukraine. Yet, investors are cashing in on (impending) shortages of food products and fuels. Courtesy of the politicians who, due to skilful lobbying by these investors, were persuaded to relax the rules for the financial sector during the pandemic.
Steeds meer ingrijpende besluiten worden op Europees niveau genomen. Maar zolang burgers niet weten wat er gaande is in Brussel, kunnen politici er verborgen agenda’s op nahouden en hebben lobbyisten vrij spel. Om hier verandering in te brengen lanceert Follow the Money ‘Bureau Brussel’. Drie EU-specialisten controleren in samenwerking met collega’s uit heel Europa structureel de macht.
Members of the European Parliament receive a monthly allowance of 4778 euros for office expenditure, but there is no supervision on how they spend this money. Since 2019, MEPs can use the Parliament’s website to publicly declare that they have spent their taxpayers’ money legitimately. Less than 4 percent of the 705 MEPs made use of that opportunity.
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.
European car manufacturers are some of the biggest beneficiaries of the European Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF). These Brussels billions have been earmarked to accelerate the green transition. Problem is, part of these automotive investments could actually extend fossil fuel use, and with it, the stifling dependence on Russian gas and oil.
Finnish professor of European law Päivi Leino-Sandberg has written a book about the invisible players in the Brussels equation: the legal advisors of the EU institutions. They are indispensable in the legal underpinning of further steps in European integration. However, according to Leino-Sandberg, they do not serve the general interest but rather their employer’s: the EU institution.
The EU has set up a 723.8 billion euro recovery fund to help member states boost their post-pandemic economy. But there is a lack of democratic oversight on how those European billions will be spent. National parliaments have had limited involvement in the reform plans required to unlock the funds, a pan-European investigation reveals.