Brussels, 23th of October 2020 – Each Member of the European Parliament (MEP) is given money – called ‘General expenditure allowance’ (GEA) – to finance their expenses when exercising their mandate. The amount of money in the GEA per MEP is approximately 4 600 EUR per month. However, even though we are talking about roughly 39 million EUR per year for all MEPs altogether, this money is not being spent in a transparent manner. Therefore, Vice-President of the European Parliament Marcel Kolaja calls for a roadmap to change the rules and create more clarity about how taxpayers’ money is spent.
“Unfortunately, there is no effective tool to guarantee that the GEA is only spent for its legitimate purpose,” said Kolaja. “That is why the plenary of the European Parliament asked for more transparency in so-called discharge reports. Particularly, MEPs asked for making it mandatory to keep all receipts and to return unspent money to the Parliament. The delegation of the European Pirates in the European Parliament leads by example and is completely transparent about their GEA spendings,” stated Kolaja.
“People deserve to know how their elected representatives spend taxpayers’ money and the plenary of the European Parliament rightfully calls for that in the discharge reports. Therefore, I would like to open a discussion about this very important topic in the Bureau,” concluded Kolaja.