Strasbourg, 21/10/2021 – The European Pirates supported today’s Pandora Papers resolution which calls on the European Commission to review the data exposed in the Pandora Papers and analyse whether further legislative action is appropriate at EU level. According to Pirate MEP Mikuláš Peksa the European Union failed in handling public funds, therefore it is necessary to create a standardized, interoperable monitoring system that would allow a better public oversight. The resolution also mentions Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who used offshore financing to purchase properties in France.
Mikuláš Peksa MEP, Member of the Budgetary Control Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
„The lack of transparency in handling public funds is a huge problem, and the EU has not fully succeeded in tackling it. The data on who receives European funding is spread over more than 300 regional, national, and interregional registers, only for the Regional Development Funds. It is difficult to find out who the real owners of companies are – they like to hide behind obscure tangles of small and even smaller companies, which cover their identities. Due to that, the Commission often doesn’t even know where their money ends up. That is why Europe needs a standardized, interoperable digital monitoring system that will allow for public oversight over how beneficiaries of public funding and politically exposed persons use their money. This system should include data on the final beneficiaries of companies and subsidiaries and be connected with up-to-date company databases.”
The new single EU database of projects would rely on public funding and a register of beneficial owners. MEP Peksa has been promoting the creation of such a system for the last two years. He suggests that it should also include data on transactions and owners to be entered as part of a standardized scheme.
Peksa, Chairperson of the European Pirate Paety, elaborates:
“The database is naturally supposed to be fully transparent and based on open-source principles. The data must be publicly accessible for at least ten years – fraud and corruption are not always uncovered right away. We need to make sure that such a system is accessible not only to Member State authorities but also to journalists and the public. A standardized system could also use other Commission tools or, for example, artificial intelligence, to recognize fraud.”
The resolution also calls on the authorities of the Member States involved to carry out appropriate investigations into any wrongdoing regarding also, but not ony, the Czech PM who was at the time of purchase participating in decision-making in the European Council on the multinational framework and anti-money laundering legislation.
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