Civil society actors have raised concern about an initiative report adopted in January by the European Parliament (EP) on the transparency and accountability of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) funded from the EU budget (A9-0446/2023) is extremely concerning.
Civil Society Europe (CSE) has called the report ‘extremely concerning” and has stressed that they “cannot endorse a report that is largely based on assumptions or opinions and is not justified by any substantiated analysis by EU institutions and bodies or verified risks or malpractice. This report lacks evidence and facts that justify such generalisations on misuse of lack of monitoring, but it aims at shifting the responsibility of bribery scandals within the EP to the NGO sector. While this report had the potential to serve an important purpose in proposing positive measures to improve the allocation and transparency of the funding provided by the EU, instead it contributes to a dangerous narrative about NGOs. In a context where the space for civil society is shrinking, the report has the dangerous potential to weaken NGOs’ work in holding EU institutions accountable, defending EU values, human and social rights, fighting climate change, and corruption. It also raises doubts as to the European Parliament’s credibility in its role as budget controller.
Read full press release here. You can follow CSE on social media for more updates. La Strada International joins their campaign around the EP elections that raises concern about the shrinking civic space in Europe.