Dossier

Bureau Brussel

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.

articles
6
2022

Politics rolled out the red carpet for speculation on energy and food prices

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Lise Witteman

Lise Witteman

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.

Most MEPs voting for transparency don’t publish office expenses

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Ada Homolová & Peter Teffer

Ada Homolová & Peter Teffer

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.

RRF boss Céline Gauer: ‘We shouldn’t approve recovery plans made in ivory towers’

Interview
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Jesse Pinster & Lise Witteman

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.

Automotive industry scores billions for their polluting hybrids from European recovery fund

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Lise Witteman

Lise Witteman

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.

2021

‘European Council’s legal service more powerful than most member states’

Interview
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Peter Teffer

Peter Teffer

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 Recovery Files: scrutinising the billions from Brussels

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Lise Witteman & Peter Teffer

Lise Witteman & Peter Teffer

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.