Press release : Reaction to the Release the Galvin Report


Parlorama, specialised in political monitoring of legislative assemblies throughout Europe, welcomes the European Parliament’s decision to release information on MEPs’ expenditures. Disclosure and transparency are highly valued principles for open democracy initiatives wherein Parlorama is highly active.

The European Parliament has finally decided to publish the Galvin Report, named after the auditor investigating payments made to parliamentary assistants during the previous legislative term (2004-2009). The report is based on a sampling of 167 out of 2686 payments made in 2004.

On 7 June 2010, the Court of Justice of the European Union overruled the European Parliament’s decision whereby the Parliament refused to disclose information on spending to an Irish journalist, Mr Ciarán Toland. The report received a large degree of media coverage in 2008 after the publication of Chris Davies’ comments, a British MEP.

Thus, it is through external pressure that the European Parliament has decided to put the document online, despite its availability on WikiLeaks. Although Parlorama welcomes the decision, it is also disappointed that “personal data” will not be part of the publication due to the fact that, in certain cases, the management of public funds can be linked to embezzlement. The case of the Europarliamentarian who made a single payment of €200,000 to his supposed girlfriend is an example of the necessity to include “personal data” in order to hold MEPs accountable to such spending and to public scrutiny.

The new Statute for Members and Assistants, put in place this legislative term, does provide some level of a response mechanism through its introduction of controls. Nevertheless, there are still numerous holes in the system. Only the explicit publication of all expenditures will set a limit to be able to identify misappropriation and misuse.

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