The European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee on September 26 voted to refuse discharge for the European Council, following a recommendation tabled by Ryszard Czarnecki, vice-president of the European Parliament.

Czarnecki, who is also the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group Coordinator in the budgetary committee, warned that the decision was caused by repeated difficulties in the discharge procedure and lack of cooperation of the Council.

A plenary vote is slated to take place at the end of next month.

According to an ECR press release, Czarnecki’s report points out a lack of cooperation from the European Council and Council which did not provide the Parliament with their annual activity report. Hence, the ECR Group Coordinator underlines that Parliament refused to grant discharge to the Secretary-General of the Council in relation to the financial years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and postponed its decision on granting the Secretary-General of the Council discharge in relation to the financial year 2014.

“Council’s failure to submit the requested documents to Parliament above all undermines the right of citizens of the Union to information and transparency and is becoming a cause for concern, reflecting as it does a certain democratic deficit within the Union institutions,” said Czarnecki.

He also stressed that the Council’s expenditure must be scrutinised in the same way as that of other institutions.

“A lack of cooperation by the European Council and the Council with the discharge authority is a negative signal to the citizens of the Union,” said Czarnecki.