Just before the deadline to submit comments to the MEP Sven Giegold (A8-0133/2017) draft report on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, which will be voted upon this Thursday, the EPP group has tabled a number of amendments, which have raised concern by civil society actors who call on MEPs to vote against the suggested amendments. The suggested amendments could indeed give the impression that NGOs receiving EU funding and engaging in political activities are suspicious creatures that deserve extra tight monitoring, to some extent they even appear to question the legitimacy of those NGOs receiving EU funding to engage in advocacy activities.

Among other things, the EEPs proposal calls for the introduction of an EU-wide code of conduct also for NGOs and lobbyists applying for EU funding; (Amendment 30) and calls for the EU public procurement directives to be amended for political active organisations in such a way that organisations are eligible for funding only if they argue by means of verifiable facts; calls for recipients, before they receive funding, to give a corresponding undertaking and for the Commission and Court of Auditors to conduct appropriate random checks; rejects any funding of organisations which demonstrably disseminate untruths and/or whose objectives are contrary to the fundamental values and/or policy objectives of the European Union (Amendment 27); calls on the Commission to present an opinion by 1 February 2018 on whether and to which extent and – where applicable – by which criteria outcome agreements with the aim of influencing politicians and governments are developed  with NGOs receiving EU funding (Amendment 31).

Concerned parties may want to approach their respective MEPs to vote against the suggested amendments.