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EU auditors: No corruption in PA spending of EU aid

The EU Court of Auditors has said “there is no evidence of corruption, mismanagement or diversion of funds” received by the Palestinian Authority (PA) from the EU, a statement said.

During their meeting in Luxembourg, EU ministers welcomed the report on EU Direct Financial Support to the Palestinian Authority through the PEGASE mechanism.

According to the ministers, the financial support has fulfilled the aim of making a tangible contribution to the preparation of a two-state solution, in line with the EU’s objectives in the Middle East Peace Process.

The Council also welcomed the Court’s Conclusion that the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) have succeeded in implementing direct financial support in spite of difficult circumstances.

The EU Council said that the court concluded that “the financial procedures put in place are robust and that there is no evidence of corruption, mismanagement or diversion of funds.” However, the court concluded that some aspects of the PEGASE mechanism need to be reviewed to ensure its sustainability.

Regarding the court’s observations on the PA, the Council stressed the importance of recognising the complex and difficult political circumstances of the EU’s co-operation with it, including the context of Israeli occupation.

It explained that the PA does not yet have the powers of a state government and that part of the occupied Palestinian territory, the Gaza Strip, is run by de facto authorities with which the EU has no political relations.

With regards the issue of employees who are paid without going to work in Gaza, the council said it is politically important to continue supporting the PA’s decision to pay its workers as a key element of maintaining its presence and the unity of a future State of Palestine.

The Council called on the PA to accelerate reforms in its civil service, to proceed with reforms in public finance management and to pursue further dialogue with the EU and other.

It noted that, in line with one of the recommendation of the court, the commission has already started providing comprehensive support to the PA for its civil service reform.

Source: Council Of The European Union

 

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