EU aid to tackle the migration crisis is so poorly managed that Brussels officials have no idea how much taxpayer’s cash has been spent, a scathing new report has warned.
And a lack of co-ordination and inadequate management meant total spending aid spending in the border crisis “could not be established”.
Published by the EU’s own financial watchdog, the withering report is expected to inject fresh momentum into the campaign for Britain to quit the EU.
The analysis of the EU’s aid spending on the migration crisis in the Southern Mediterranean and on Europe’s Eastern borders was released by the Luxembourg-based Court of Auditors on the 16th March.
Serious questions are raised over more than £1billion aid spent in Algeria, Georgia, Moldova, Morocco, Ukraine and other countries between 2007 and 2013.
“It was often difficult to measure the results achieved by EU spending,” the report said.
Projects were often inadequately designed, poorly managed and supervised and often ineffective, according to the Court of Auditors.
“Thus it is unclear what they intended to achieve,” said the report’s executive summary.
Aid spending “could not be monitored or correctly reported in a comprehensive and co-ordinated manner”, it added.
“Owing to weaknesses in the Commission’s information systems, it could not be established to what degree EU funds were assigned to the main priorities.”
Tory backbencher Nigel Mills said: “This is a further sign that the billions of pounds a year we give to Brussels is not being used wisely or usefully.
“If we leave the EU, we can take back control of our money. We could then spend it better on delivering help where it is really needed and on our own priorities.”
“The fact that this aid package is so large and the agreement on the swap of Syrian refugees from Turkey with economic migrants who have illegally arrived in the EU is so complicated means that there are plenty of opportunities for more waste and corruption.
“As the UK is paying over 10% of the total, David Cameron should demand that British civil servants administer the aid programme as it is obvious that the EU is incapable of properly tracking how aid money is used.
“If the rest of the EU doesn’t agree to this Britain should refuse to contribute to the Turkey deal which is seriously flawed in any case.
“We simply cannot keep ignoring reports like this and committing UK taxpayers money to EU projects that are doomed to fail from the start.”
“The handling of the migrant crisis has been a disaster so the incompetence detailed in this report is, unfortunately, unsurprising.
“Politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels must remember that the cost of their failure to manage the situation is borne by hard-pressed families back in their respective countries.”
The Court of Auditors report examined a string of migrant projects funded by the EU aid budget.
Two thirds of the 23 projects examined only “partly” achieved their goals.