Another Europe is possible

Answer given by the Vice-Presidency of the European Commission to Dimitrios Papadimoulis

02/10/2015

Answer given by the Vice-Presidency of the European Commission to Dimitrios Papadimoulis:

  • Siemens, despite its conviction in USA and Germany in 2008, continued to receive projects financed by EU funds.
  • Up to 776 million Euros funded directly by the European Commission projects
  • D. Papadimoulis: "All the companies and their subsidiaries involved in corruption scandals and fraud should be excluded from the EU's competition and the member states."

The company responsible for the biggest scandal of corruption and bribery in the world, Siemens, continued to undertake projects financed by EU funds.  This comes out from relevant figures quoted by the Vice President of the European Commission and responsible for the EU budget, Kristalina Georgieva, in reply to the Vice President of the European Parliament and SYRIZA MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis's question.

Specifically, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, asked with his question for an update on the progress of possible investigations by OLAF, regarding the Siemens scandal, asking " in which EU-funded projects did Siemens participate", if " OLAF has thoroughly examined these projects and, if not, why not" and also "Will it finally, seven years after the massive fines imposed on Siemens, investigate the largest corporate scandal worldwide" as well.

At her answer, the Budget Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, is referring to the Database Fiscal Transparency System of the European Commission, in which appear "information on identified beneficiaries of funding from the EU budget paid directly by the Commission from 2007 onwards", as well as, the EU-funded, directly by European Commission, projects which have Siemens as their owner.  Regarding the database, it seems that Siemens has taken over almost 1400 EU-funded, directly by the European Commission, projects, worth 776.1 million EUR in the period 2009 to 2014.

Regarding  the execution of these projects managed by Member -States, Kristalina Georgieva refers to the competent national authorities, mentioning that "Concerning funds where management is shared amongst Member States, or regarding indirect management, it is the cooperating partners (especially Member States) which provide information on beneficiaries of EU funds".

Moreover in her answer, Ms Georgieva, and in order to reply about the OLAF, she underlines that "the national competent authorities have already imposed fines on Siemens and as such those cases have been under full investigation. OLAF does not conduct systemic audits, it investigates the suspicion of fraud based on allegations it receives. Thus, OLAF would only begin to investigate the same matter if new relevant information came to light. If this is the case, OLAF may open an investigation if it falls within OLAF's competence to act (i.e. it relates to OLAF's mandate to protect the EU's financial interests, if for example EU funds are involved etc.), there is sufficient suspicion of fraud, corruption or any illegal activity affecting the EU's financial interests for OLAF to open a case (Regulation 883/2013(5)), and consideration may also be given towards whether such information falls within the investigative policy priorities of OLAF".

On the occasion of European Commission's answer, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, made the following comment:
"Greats German companies like Siemens, Ferostall and VW, seem to have a particular weakness in illegal business practices. The European Union must build a new institutional environment that will protect the public interest and will exemplary punish the business promiscuity. A very important first step could be their exclusion from competitions of the EU and of Member - States, as well as of all their subsidiaries that are involved in corruption scandals and fraud".

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