Dear European Court of Auditors,
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
1) the total amount of funds made available to the UK under the PEACE Funding Programme each year since 1998.
2) the total amount of PEACE funding made available to Northern Ireland each year, since 1998
3) the percentage each year of 2) that was allocated from 1), if any. If 1) and 2) are totally separate figures then 0% applies to all.
4) Who is responsible for carrying out due diligence of the expenditure, adherence to applications and the measurement of impact of the PEACE funding in Northern Ireland?
5) What is the general criteria of meeting the PEACE fund objectives?
6) What, in general, has been the impact on Northern Ireland since 1998 from EU PEACE funding and where is this available publicly?
7) How is PEACE funding justified as a mechanism for promoting peace when it has created a dependency on the existence of division within Northern Ireland? In this regard, does this satisfy ECHR Art 8?
Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in answering and/or signposting my queries.
Dear Ms Gibson,
Thank you for contacting the European Court of Auditors (ECA).
Our institution is responsible for auditing the EU’s finances. Pursuant to
Article 287 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, we
examine the legality and regularity of the EU’s revenue and expenditure
and the soundness of its financial management, and thereby act as the
guardians of the EU’s finances. In fact, the ECA auditors test samples of
transactions from the different budgetary lines (groups of policy areas)
always on an ex-post basis, that is after the amounts have been spent.
Having said that, we would like to further stress that ECA cannot act and
initiate any investigation upon solicitation alone by private individuals.
Regarding your query, we have carefully looked into our files and can
confirm that the only occasion, on which our auditors dealt with the PEACE
Funding Programme, was almost 20 years ago, resulting in the publication
of the Special Report No 7/2000 on the International Fund for Ireland
and the Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern
Ireland. In this perspective, any information we could provide you about
this programme is set out in said report. Other than that, the flagship
product of our institution, that is the Annual Report on the
implementation of the EU budget, which is published each year in the
Official Journal of the Union as well as on ECA Publications webpage
and, in particular, Chapter 4, presents ECA’s findings for the revenue of
the Union for any given year, without, however, necessarily focusing on
the UK or Ireland. We realise that this does not fully address your
request; however, we are afraid we cannot be of any further assistance,
since ECA is not in possession of all such requested information, nor is
it within the ECA's remit to seek such information upon request by third
parties. You will appreciate that this should not be perceived as a
refusal on the ECA's part to grant you access to documents or as
unwillingness to help you; instead , our reply is dictated by the mere
fact of absence of the requested information, for which ECA cannot be held
On the contrary, we would like to inform you that it is the responsibility
of the European Commission to draw up the annual budget of the EU, which
is further submitted to the approval of the European Parliament and of the
Council of the European Union, while, furthermore, it is the European
Commission which has the oversight of the implementation of the EU budget,
including the various funding programmes. In this perspective, given that
the majority of your questions are linked to the EU PEACE Programme in
Northern Ireland, which is a distinctive EU structural funds programme
financed in great part (for the period 2014-20120) from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF), you may wish considering contacting the
Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy of the European
Commission, who might be in a better position to provide replies to your
various questions. Furthermore, for further information, you may consult
the dedicated page of this programme which is managed by Special EU
Programming Body, which is responsible for the implementation of the EU’s
PEACE IV https://www.seupb.eu/pastprogrammes/past....
May we thank you once more for your interest in our institution and wish
you success in the pursuit of your goal.
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