Commissioners Must Take Political Responsibility over Fraud

European Commissioners will be asked tomorrow to take political responsibility for the recent Eurostat scandal. MEPs will vote on whether three individual Commissioners - Mr Kinnock, Mr Solbes and Mrs Schreyer - have brought all European Institutions into disrepute.

The follow-up report to the signing-off of the 2001 EU accounts states that 'individual Commissioners are politically responsible for wrongdoings by their departments' and are accountable to the Parliament. It notes that so far, no Commissioner has taken political responsibility for the abuses at the statistics office Eurostat.

Sir-Robert Atkins North West MEP said:

"The 2001 accounts were only signed off because Parliament had been denied access to important information relating to the Eurostat affair. Despite assertions to the contrary, there are still strong grounds that Members of the Commission may have had access to the alarming information contained in the audit reports on Eurostat.

There is a complete lack of political responsibility within the Commission which brings the name of all European Institutions into disrepute. Commissioners Kinnock, Solbes, and Schreyer all have a case to answer about their failure to protect taxpayers' money."
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