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EU Parliament sends scientists snottogram over funding woes

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project is in hot water with the European Parliament for failing to manage EU funds properly.

The Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee MEPs this week advised against approving 2013 spending by ITER personnel due to delayed disbursements and growing budget costs.

Although the European Commission is ultimately responsible for the management of the European Union's budget, all spending must be approved by the Parliament in an annual “discharge procedure”, when MEPs check whether EU funds were spent according to the rules.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) also failed the first round of the “discharge” test, because MEPs were not satisfied with its verification of payments before and after it contracted projects. MEPs also questioned the EIT's use of by-invitation-only public procurement procedures.

Stockholm-based ARTEMIS (now renamed Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership), nano-electronics project ENIAC (European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) all had budget approval delayed for insufficient checks on money transfers.

The committee’s recommendations will be put to a vote by the whole Parliament between 28 and 30 April. Parliament will take its final decision on the postponed discharges in October. ®

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