In a move that is likely to alienate those people who are already sceptical of the European Union and its expense, the EU President Herman Van Rompuy told the European Court of Auditors to tone down their reports in order to stop giving the public the ‘wrong idea’ about the European project.
The EU president has expressed alarm at the negative public reaction to its regular reports that frequently find problems in accounting for over £110 billion in annual spending.
In July EU polling showed that trust in European institutions had plummeted to an all time low of just 31% as the public grew increasingly fed up with the collapse in the standard of living and the seemingly never ending Euro crisis.
Van Rompuy and other European officials are concerned that the auditors negative reports are doing harm to the EU’s image and said that they are not giving a nuanced enough picture of European spending to the public. There have been several disputes amongst European political leaders over the size of the EU’s budget.
“As European institutions, we share the responsibility to make these results known, and to work hard to overcome shortcomings. In doing so, we share another responsibility: that of being as didactic as we possibly can. In the end we are all responsible for Europe and its image.
‘We all have to account for the Union. In times of crisis, it is more vital than ever to foster confidence by impartial control and meticulous evaluation of public policy. We should also be teaching to convince Europeans and demonstrate clearly that Europe is not the source of problems but the solution” Said Rompuy in his speech.
In essence Rompuy requested that the auditors work harder to ensure that their findings have a positive spin as well as highlight the benefits of spending in Europe.
Nigel Farage MEP, the leader of Ukip, described the speech as an “incredible” attempt to muzzle the EU’s auditors.
“The Court of Auditors which has not signed off the EU accounts for 18 years, is asked to go easy and provide good PR only for the EU, In which other banana republic in the world would the president publicly call for less exposure of waste of taxpayers’ money?” he said.
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