On the rise, up on the agenda of the EU Parliament, lies a controversial proposal by Markus Pieper, a German lawmaker from the EPP-affiliated Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The MEP recently presented an own-initiative report in the European Parliament urging stricter rules on EU-funded NGOs. According to the German MEP, the European Commission should stop funding NGOs which oppose the EU’s “strategic commercial and security objectives”, a phrase that angered civil society groups.
This opinion has raised a huge buzz, together with harsh reactions from the much varied world of non-governmental organisations. EURACTIV contacted lawmakers and several Brussels-based NGOs and asked their opinion on the controversial report. They contended that the report’s allegations are biased, misleading and often lacking in evidence.
Among valuable contributions, Brikena Xhomaqi, director of the Lifelong Learning Platform, hinted a specific yet growing issue for NGOs to face in the EU arena. It is a fact nowadays that in large-scale programmes like Horizon2020 and Erasmus+ consultancies and large institutions are invited to respond before calls are made public.
Brikena added that more and more consultancies are replacing the work of NGOs in promoting EU programmes through tendering. This clearly hinders the multi-actor approach sought by the European institutions, and raises questions on the reasons for such a praxis. For the campaigners, all types of beneficiaries of operational grants from EU funding should be subject to the same rules and requirements. “Designing specific rules and additional requirements for NGOs would lead to unfair treatment compared to other types of beneficiaries […] some proposals introduce unnecessary red tape without improving budgetary control,” she noted.
Read here the complete article with all the contributions from civil society organisations.