The Malta Independent 6 June 2023, Tuesday
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A scandal in plain sight: the European Parliament's General Expenditure Allowance - report

Thursday, 30 March 2023, 11:13 Last update: about 3 months ago

An expert on EU malfeasance has condemned the complete lack of transparency surrounding MEPs' "General Expenditure Allowance" (GEA), the Brussels Times reports.

Transparency International EU Deputy Director Nicholas Aiossa told The Brussels Times that the €4,778 in monthly funds received by each MEP under the GEA feeds into a "broader culture of impunity" at the European Parliament.


Officially, the GEA "is intended to cover expenditure in the EU country where [MEPs] were elected for items such as members' office management costs, telephone and postal charges, and the purchase, operation and maintenance of IT equipment." It is provided to MEPs on top of their official salary which, at €9,808.67, is already more than three-and-a-half times the wages of the average European citizen (€2,791.67).

Both in principle and in practice, however, there is no oversight whatsoever regarding how this money – which is wired directly into an account controlled by each MEP alone and amounts to €40,421,880 in taxpayer funds each year – is spent. This is in spite of the fact that, according to publicly available information, the vast majority of MEPs use up the full amount of their GEA each year.

"We don't know what MEPs are spending their GEA on," Aiossa told The Brussels Times. "But what we do know is that they are spending it. The 705 Members of Parliament know how they're spending their allowances and that's it."

Full report here

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