Evasive answers to critical questions: European Commission finds it difficult to explain its funding for homosexualist propaganda
Posted on | March 9, 2012 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D. |
It was of course never to be expected that the European Commission, as a reply to critical questions from the European Parliament with regard to the generous funding it is handing out to ILGA-Europe (a homosexual lobby group with links to pedohile networks), would openly acknowledge to have committed a misuse of budgetary funds. But if replies to parliamentary questions are evasive and not to the point, this can be viewed as a clear indication that the Commission finds it very difficult to explain to the public what it is doing.
The long awaited replies to the written questions of MEP Godfrey Bloom (see previous post) have now arrived, and it is worthwhile to take a closer look at them.
(E-000525/2012) According to information published by the organisation ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association) on its own website, its forecast budget for 2011 was EUR 1 824 000, EUR 1 252 600 (i.e. 67.7 %) of which consisted in grants received from the European Commission and a further EUR 50 000 of which was granted by the Dutch Government, bringing the share of public money in ILGA-Europe’s budget to more than 70 %.
Was the Commission aware of the figures mentioned above?
Given the proportion of its own contribution to financing ILGA-Europe, does the Commission believe that ILGA-Europe can be described as a ‘non-governmental organisation’ or as part of ‘civil society’?
Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission (5.3.2012)
Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that: “… the Council, acting unanimously … and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation”.
The Financial Regulation (Article108 (1) b) provides that the European Commission may award grants to cover the operating costs of non-profit organisations pursuing an objective of European interest.
ILGA Europe is an independent non-governmental organisation and alongside other networks active in the area of fight against discrimination, is eligible to be a beneficiary of grants according to the rules and procedures of the PROGRESS programme, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 19(2) TFEU.
The beneficiaries of such grants are selected on the basis of a call for proposals, followed by standard selection procedures. The Commission is aware of its budget composition and recalls that, according to the call for proposals published in 2010 , only European level organisations which are non-governmental, non-profit-making and independent of industry, commercial and business or other conflicting interests, whose members are mainly non profit organisations, were eligible for the award of a financial contribution.
The role of the Commission consists of providing such a financial contribution towards the functioning of the beneficiary organisation, whereas the implementation of the activities and the ownership of their results remain with the beneficiary.
Comment: Commissioner Reding affirms the Commission’s awareness of the fact that ILGA-Europe receives more than 70% of its budget from public authorities. At the same time she affirms that ILGA-Europe is “an independent non-governmental organisation”.
The apparent contradiction between both affirmations is not explained. Instead, Mrs. Reding seeks to disown her responsibility for ILGA’s activities, saying that the Commission’s role consists only in providing funding (as if ILGA had a legal intitlement to it…), but that it cannot be held responsible for what is done with it. Very interesting.
(E-000526/2012) Is the Commission aware that among the requirements for NGOs that seek accreditation to obtain consultative status at the UN, one is that ‘the major portion of the organisation’s funds should be derived from contributions from national affiliates, individual members, or other non-governmental components’?
Does the EU apply similar requirements to NGOs? If so, does the Commission agree that this requirement is not met by ILGA-Europe?
Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission The Commission has not established an accreditation system for civil society organisations comparable with the UN system and, therefore, has not defined any generally applicable requirements to be met by organisations wishing to participate in its consultation processes.
Indeed, any such restrictions to participation would run counter the Treaty obligation to give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action; to maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society; and to carry out broad consultations with the parties concerned.
At the same time, as set out in the ‘General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission’, interested parties must themselves offer transparency so that the public is aware of the parties involved in the consultation processes and how they conduct themselves. Therefore entities that wish to submit comments on a policy proposal must provide the Commission and the public at large with information about themselves. The Commission considers that this requirement is fulfilled through registration (including through subscribing to the code of conduct) in the Transparency Register set up together with the Parliament since June 2011. If this information is not provided, submissions are to be considered as individual contributions.
Comment: Barroso officialy confirms that the Commission hs no criteria similar to those used by the UN to define who is a “non-governmental” organization and who is not. In principle, therefore, nothing prevents the Commission from setting up a fake NGO with its own funds and then treat it as if it were a genuine representative of civil society.
This is probably not how most EU citizens would understand the terms ‘NGO’ and ‘civil society’. It is disturbing to see that Barroso apparently fails to understand why this situation is problematic. Instead, he seeks to make believe that it is the result of a legal and political necessity: applying transparency rules similar to those used by the UN “would run counter the Treaty obligation to give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action…”
The sheer silliness of this reply leaves us speechless and exposes the President of the Commission to ridicule.
If we have not misread the question asked by MEP Bloom, then the point it was making was that organizations like ILGA-Europe can hardly be described as ‘representative’ if 70% of their funding stems from the Commission itself, and the rest from three wealthy individuals. The purpose of the restrictions applied by the UN is precisely to make sure that organizations claiming to speak for ‘civil society’ are truly representative.
So why does Barroso believe that ILGA Europe is ‘representative’? What are his criteria? How does he distinguish representative from non-representative groups. According to his answer it would be sufficient for ILGA to be ‘transparent’ about its funding (i.e. to acknowledge that that funding stems from the Commission and George Soros) – but no explanation at all is given as to how such transparency would provide the organization with a claim to be ‘representative’.
As an obiter dictum, Barroso implicitly accuses the UN to have too restrictive rules for NGOs.
Benevolent observers might have believed that the establishment of fake NGOs like ILGA was possible only because nobody in the Commission has paid any attention. But Barroso’s reply suggests that this is a deliberate policy.
(E-000527/2012) Is the Commission aware that, according to the organisation’s budget forecast for 2012, a further grant request by ILGA (for EUR 1 million spread over three years) is pending with EuropeAid? How does the Commission intend to reply to this request?
No response has been provided yet.
(E-000528/2012) Are there many other lobby groups that receive a similar proportion of their budget from the Commission? Or is ILGA a unique case?
Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission (5.3.2012)
Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states… (the answer is identical to that given to question E-000525/2012)
Comment: It is astonishing to see that Commissioner Reding, rather than providing a precise reply to a precise question, thinks that she can wriggle out by repeating her reply to another, very different, question. It is hardly possible that the Commission, with a little bit of research work, could not find out which other organizations receive, like ILGA, over 70% of their budgets as bulk grants from the Commission.
If there is one thing one must conclude from this answer, it is that the Commission is afraid of transparency. Mrs. Reding will have her reasons.
(E-000529/2012) Is the Commission aware that of the remaining EUR 521 400 in ILGA’s budget, EUR 402 400 were donated by three wealthy individuals (George Soros/OSI, Sigrid Rausing and an anonymous donor)?
Does the Commission know of any significant contribution to ILGA’s budget being made by those whom the organisation claims to represent, i.e. gay and lesbian persons?
Also, how does the Commission view the influence that wealthy individuals may exert over the NGOs they are subsidising? Is there a risk that persons such as George Soros could ‘buy’ themselves one or more NGOs that are economically dependent on their donations? How does the Commission view the impact of this particular type of ‘philanthropy’ on democracy?
Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission (5.3.2012)The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to written questions E-00524/2012, E-00525/2012 and E-00528/2012 .
In addition, the Commission would like to emphasise that the Financial Regulation (Article 113) provides that the grant may not finance the entire operating expenditure of the beneficiary body. Subsequently, the PROGRESS Decision limits the maximum amount of Community co-funding to 80% of the total expenditure incurred by the recipient, unless exceptional circumstances duly justified.
The beneficiary is obliged to supply evidence of the co-financing provided either by way of own resources or in the form of financial transfers from third parties. The Commission is not authorized to prohibit any forms of donations.
Comment: Again the Commission fails to give a precise answer to precise questions. In addition, it is not quite clear what the answer to question E-00524/2012 was. That does not appear to be one of the questions asked by Mr. Bloom.
It appears that the Commission is not aware of any significant contribution to ILGA’s budget being made by those whom the organisation claims to represent, i.e. gay and lesbian persons.
Instead, Mrs. Reding explains that the Financial Regulations provide that the grant may not finance the entire operating expenditure of the beneficiary body. In her view, this means that the Commission could finance 99,9% of ILGA’s operating expenditure if it wanted to. So the Commission has done nothing wrong, has it?
The problem of the influence exerted over certain NGOs by wealthy individuals like George Soros is not at all addressed by Mrs. Reding.
To summarize it, the questions asked by Mr. Bloom with regard to ILGA suggest that there is something seriously wrong in the way the Commission manages its relationship with civil society. The answers provided by Mr. Barroso and Mrs. Reding show a disturbing insouciance in this regard. The funding practices of the Commission somehow remind of the way in which Putin manages ‘democracy’ in Russia…