Svarīgāko EP balsojumu apkopojums

Avots. Lielbritānijas organizācija Open Europe pirms 2009.gada vēlēšanām publicētais pārskats:

1) Balsojums par to, lai EP deputātu izdevumi tiktu atklāti:

2. Vote to keep MEPs’ expenses and accounts secret
Background: One of the biggest criticisms of MEPs is that they don’t publish their expenses. In the past, MEPs have even sought to cover up misuse of allowances and expenses. In February 2008, MEPs on the Budget Control Committee voted by 21 to 14 not to publish a report – the so-called Galvin Report – which revealed widespread abuse of MEPs’ allowances. The cover-up was backed by the two main groups in Parliament, the European People’s Party, which includes the British Conservatives, and the Party of European Socialists, with whom Labour sit.
The vote: In March 2009, on the same day that MEPs voted in favour of the Cashman report for better access to documents, hypocritically, they also voted to exempt documents relating to how much they are claiming in expenses, and what they are claiming for, from public information requests.
Citing rights and privileges contained in the “Members’ Statute”, an amendment tabled by Hartmut Nassauer MEP on behalf of the (Conservative) EPP group read:
"The definition of an overriding public interest in disclosure shall take due account of the protection of the political activity and independence of Members of the European Parliament, in particular with regard to Article 6(2) of the Members' Statute."
"Justification: With a view to protect the political activity and the independence of members, the Members' Statute provides that personal files and accounts of a Member of the European Parliament are not accessible by other Members of the European Parliament. As the Members' Statute is directly applicable Community law, other legal acts must respect its provisions and cannot allow circumventions. Therefore it seems appropriate to include the specific nature of these documents in the definition of an overriding interest."
MEPs also voted to create a new “top secret” category for EU documents, marking a step backwards for transparency.8 In effect, all this means that, for instance, financial disciplinary measures and demands for MEPs to pay back money due to unjustified expenses will not count as documents and not be made public.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Lielāku atklātību atbalstīja - T.Ždanoka, G.Andrejevs. Neatbalstīja - Ģ.V.Kristovskis, G.Krasts, R.Zīle, I.Vaidere, R.Pīks. JL pārstāvis uz sēdi nebija ieradies vai balsojumā nepiedalījās.

2) Gatavība atklāt savus tēriņus nevalstiskai organizācijai

4. Open Europe’s Transparency Initiative
Background: As noted above, EU auditor Robert Galvin prepared a damning report on the misuse of Parliament staffing allowances using a sample of MEPs’ 2004 accounts. But the report, which did not name individual MEPs, was not published and could only be viewed by MEPs in a special secure room. However, in February 2009 a copy of the report was leaked, revealing that a number of MEPs were paying funds into their own companies, and in one case an MEP claimed to have paid the full £182,000 staff allowance to one person, suspected of being a relative13. Other examples include several cases of claiming daily allowances while not being present.
Despite, or perhaps because of, this, MEPs on the Budgetary Control Committee voted against publishing the report. Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP, commented that, “Far from cleaning up their act, a majority of MEPs seem intent on allowing greed and self-interest to triumph over the proper financial management of public money”.
The Transparency Initiative: In 2008 Open Europe sent a survey to all 785 MEPs, asking them to answer six simple and uncontroversial questions about their arrangements for handling their expenses.
The survey was initially sent only to British MEPs, but was rolled out to MEPs from every EU country later in the year and into 2009.
Shockingly, only 9% of all MEPs have responded to the survey. This is despite having each received two further reminders in addition to the initial email. In the course of six months Open Europe telephoned the offices of every single MEP to remind them of the importance of making a small effort to respond to the questionnaire.
One UK MEP, Christopher Beazley, told Open Europe: “I would have to question the legality of these questions. What right do you have to ask these?” He argued that MEPs' taxpayer funded expense claims were not “a public matter", that it was “private”. Ironically, he also insisted that, "everything I do is as transparent as possible”.
36 MEPs have given a full response, 35 gave a partial response, while 714 gave no response at all.
The questions were as follows:
1) Who is your paying agent/service provider?
2) What are his or her book-keeping or accountancy qualifications?
3) How much of the money claimed by your paying agent or service provider since your election has been paid out so far, and how much is still in his or her account?
4) Have you ever claimed less than the full entitlement, or repaid any excess?
5) Do you employ any family members?
6) Are you prepared to list the people currently in your employment (not their salary levels)?

Latvijas deputātu attieksme (no Open Europe apkopojuma) - lūgumam neatsaucās NEVIENS.

3) Balsojums par sankcijām tiem EP deputātiem, kas būtiski pārkāpuši finanšu ierobežojumus

5. Vote against imposing sanctions for MEPs guilty of gross financial irregularities
Background: At the moment, there are no sanctions in place to punish MEPs who are caught misusing their expenses. Although the Galvin report revealed several instances of outright fraud involving MEPs’ expenses, no penalties or sanctions have ever been imposed. For example, former Conservative MEP Den Dover has been asked by the Parliament to pay back over £500,000 in “unjustified” allowances, but no deductions have been made from Mr Dover's wages in an effort to regain the funds. It is no wonder that citizens’ interest in the European elections is so low when no concrete action is taken to recover money following high-profile scandals involving allowances in the EP.
The vote: On 12 April 2005, a report by Liberal MEP Ona Juknevičienė proposed a slew of changes to boost accountability and transparency of MEPs’ pay and allowances, including a proposal to introduce sanctions, including suspension, for any member guilty of gross financial irregularities.
The amendment called for:
“various sanctions that might be applied against any Member found not to be adhering to the rules relating to use of parliamentary allowances, and that in appropriate circumstances these should include the naming of any such Member and their temporary suspension from Parliament;”
However, the proposal was voted down by 340 votes to 266, with 28 abstentions.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Sankcijas atbalstīja - T.Ždanoka, G.Andrejevs, Ģ.V.Kristovskis, R.Zīle. Atturējās: G.Krasts. Neatbalstīja - R.Pīks, A.Kušķis. TB/LNNK pārstāve I.Vaidere uz sēdi nebija ieradusies vai nebalsoja.

4) Balsojums, kas ļautu samazināt EP izdevumus par deputātu ceļošanas izdevumiem

6. Vote against providing mandatory receipts for travel expenses at lowest available cost
Background: One of the most visible perks for MEPs has been the system of ‘automatic’ travel expenses. Under the arrangement, MEPs are handed a lump sum of money meant to cover travel expenses regardless of the actual cost of the trips. This system has been widely criticised for being both out-of-date – pre-dating the rise of low-cost airlines – and for being wide open to abuse.
Swedish MEP Jens Holm calculated that between 2006 and 2008 alone, he received €158,708 in travel expenses from the European Parliament. Voluntarily keeping all the receipts from his travels, Holm noted that the generous system had left him with a tax-free surplus of approximately €70,000 – money which he gave away to charity.
The vote: A proposal tabled alongside the 2005 Juknevičienė report called for the EP to “limit the payment of travel allowances to the actual expenses incurred or the lowest published fares.” However, the proposal was voted down, 345 against 259 with 32 abstentions.
After the vote, MEP Chris Davies said,
“This gives the all-clear to embezzlement. The European Parliament grows in influence and authority yet is continually dragged through the mire by its failure to make reforms that would be expected without question in any business. After the votes today people across Europe can hardly be blamed if they think that some MEPs are engaged in corrupt practices, and that they don't belong in a parliament but in jail.”
We are using public money and the public has a right to know that it is being spent properly. We should be setting high standards for the whole of Europe, not waiting for scandals to engulf us and force long-overdue changes to be made.”
Under new rules to come into force after the European elections in June 2009, MEPs have to provide receipts for travel expenses. However, unlike the arrangements proposed in 2005, which aimed to reduce the refundable cost to the lowest available fare, MEPs will be able to claim expenses up to the cost of a business class fare, even for travel within the EU.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Lielāku taupību atbalstīja - T.Ždanoka, G.Andrejevs. Atturējās - G.Krasts, R.Zīle. Neatbalstīja - Ģ.V.Kristovskis, A.Kušķis, R.Pīks. TB/LNNK pārstāve I.Vaidere uz sēdi nebija ieradusies vai nebalsoja.

5) Balsojums pret nepamatotām EP deputātu pensiju privilēģijām

1. Opting into the Parliament’s controversial second pension scheme
Background: Not content with the standard pension fund which MEPs from most EU countries receive from their own member state governments, many MEPs also opt into a second, voluntary pension scheme that was established in 1989.
The fund is highly controversial. For every £1 MEPs contribute to the fund, the taxpayer contributes £2. MEPs’ own contributions come not from their salary, but are taken automatically from their generous office expenses. MEPs are supposed to reimburse this account but there are no checks and it is suspected that many do not repay the money.30
The European Court of Auditors has repeatedly questioned the legality of the fund and has called for clear rules to be established to cover the eventuality of a deficit.31 The system has also been criticised elsewhere. In 1997 the Dutch Parliament said the fund was "morally objectionable" and said it allowed MEPs to "get rich by milking the taxpayer.”
In April 2009, Open Europe tracked down a closely guarded list of those MEPs who are profiting from the European Parliament’s second pension fund.
The list, dating from December 2007, and provided by German investigative journalist Hans-Martin Tillack, names 394 MEPs who had signed up to the scheme. It should be noted that several Members have left the scheme and that the list is not exhaustive due to the secrecy of the fund, with the consequence that more MEPs are subscribed to it than the ones indicated.
Score: For not appearing on the list of pension fund members MEPs receive 3 points, for signing up but then leaving 1 point, and for continuing membership of the pension fund 0 points.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Lielāku taupību atbalstīja - T.Ždanoka, Ģ.V.Kristovskis, A.Kušķis. Neatbalstīja: G.Andrejevs, G.Krasts, R.Zīle, R.Pīks, I.Vaidere.

6) Otrs balsojums pret nepamatotām EP deputātu pensiju privilēģijām

2. Vote against cleaning up the second pension fund
Background: Even in 2005, the MEPs’ supplementary voluntary pension scheme (see above) was running at a deficit of €41m a year but recent reports suggest that, as a result of the current recession, the deficit now stands at £105m35. Under current rules, the scheme is guaranteed by European taxpayers, via the EU budget, meaning that taxpayers could be required to make up the shortfall caused by the recession.
The vote: In April 2005, MEPs voted on a proposal that would have ensured that contributions to MEPs' pension schemes could no longer be paid out of MEPs’ allowances, but would instead be paid directly out of MEPs’ own pockets. The amendment also stated that a possible future deficit in the scheme should in “no way be covered by the budget of the Parliament” (i.e. additional taxpayers’ money). In addition, the proposal would also have allowed auditors to oversee the second pension scheme.
However, the proposal was rejected by 351votes to 240, with 39 abstentions.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Lielāku taupību atbalstīja - T.Ždanoka, G.Andrejevs, Ģ.V.Kristovskis, G.Krasts, R.Zīle. Neatbalstīja: A.Kušķis, R.Pīks. TB/LNNK pārstāve I.Vaidere uz sēdi nebija ieradusies vai nebalsoja.

7) Balsojums par EP pārskata apstiprināšanu, neskatoties uz to, ka liela daļa izdevumi nebija pamatojami.

6. Vote approving the European Parliament’s 2006 accounts in spite of 75% unaccounted expenditure on MEPs’ assistance allowances
Background: The European Parliament’s 2006 budget amounted to €1.32bn, of which 21% was for MEPs’ and their staff expenses52.
In 2008 the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said of the Parliament’s accounts:
“Since 1998 the Court has, on several occasions (2), pointed out weaknesses in the regulatory framework established by the Bureau (a body consisting of the Parliament’s President and 14 Vice-Presidents) for the payment of allowances for assistance to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)”
The ECA noted in particular that:
“The supporting documents presented by the MEPs and regarded as adequate justifications by the responsible administrative department only cover 27,2% (11,9 million euro) for 2004 (July-December) and 22,5% (27,1 million euro) for 2005 (full year) of the relevant expenditure.”
It added that because of this:
“The Court considers that there is not sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the MEPs have actually employed or engaged the services of one or more assistants and that the duties or services mentioned in the contracts signed by the MEPs have been really carried out.”
The Court also criticised the Parliament’s procurement procedures, “in particular concerning planning, compliance with applicable regulations and rules, reliability of management information and sound financial management.” 53
The vote: Despite this damning report from the ECA about the inadequacies of the Parliament’s accounting, 563 MEPs deemed that the Parliament’s accounts were fit to be signed off. Only 63 voted against signing them off, and 51 abstained.

Latvijas deputātu balsojums (no Open Europe apkopojuma). Visi deputāti (Ždanoka, Andrejevs, Kristovskis, krasts, Zīle, Vaidere, Kušķis, Pīks) "pievēra acis" uz pārkāpumiem.

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