The European Parliament has decided that EU countries should no longer have their costs for a temporary EU presidency sponsored by large multinationals. According to a large majority in parliament, the costs for the presidency, that ieder is fulfilled by another EU country for half a year, should be paid from the general resources.
That means that the costs must be paid from the joint European pot, says MEP Lara Wolters (PvdA). & #8220; It is absurd that a public institution receives money from a private sponsor. As a private sponsor, BMW donates 100 cars & #8217; s to Finland. And that while in European politics the discussion about what cars & #8217; s are allowed to emit is raging & #8221 ;, so Wolters told the AD. The discussion about sponsorship started early this year, after the then EU president Romania had been discredited by the sponsorship of Coca Cola.
Wolters, who took the initiative for the ruling of the parliament, does not want a conflict of interests. & #8220; We must get rid of the idea that a few people or companies can determine the policy of EU. & #8221; The issue has been on European governments' boards for some time to see if they want to find financial room in the budget.
Since the beginning of this century, the costs that countries incur as EU president have risen sharply. During the presidency in 2016, the Netherlands also had a number of sponsors to help them get rid of the costs. At the time, Ziggo, AkzoNobel, Philips and Heineken NL were the companies that spent amounts of at least 5,000 euros. The money was spent, among other things, on conferences and hotel stays for delegations from abroad.
According to Lara Wolters (PvdA), quite a few costs are associated with such a rotating presidency. She said to the AD: 'You organize dozens of meetings and conferences. But there is no separate jar for it. So the countries have to pay for it themselves. The member states consider such a presidency to be very important, you can get the most out of it for six months, but apparently it should not cost the EU anything. So those countries are looking for external financing '.
Wolters also knows that many people complain about the EU and what it all costs. For example, the Finnish Presidency has been budgeted at € 70 million. 'But then I say: democracy is important, it can cost quite a bit. Countries find it useful to save money in this way, but conflicts of interest are really lurking. ,, Such a presidency is just part of the democratic process. Why do you have to sponsor that? The Lower House isn't called Holland Heineken House, is it? "