Challenge to NGOs being financed from the EU Budget: VOICE at Workshop in the European Parliament

Challenge to NGOs being financed from the EU Budget: VOICE at Workshop in the European Parliament 

The European Parliament's Budget Control Committee (CONT) commissioned a study on "Democratic Accountability and Budgetary Control of Non-Governmental Organisations Funded by the EU Budget" as a follow-up to its 2010 study "Financing of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) from the EU budget". At the strong request of NGOs, the CONT committee organised a workshop with the authors of the report, representatives from the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, and NGOs.


VOICE Director speaking at the European Parliament
VOICE Director Kathrin Schick speaking at the workshop in the European Parliament


In preparation of the workshop, VOICE worked together with Civil Society Europe (CSE), CONCORD and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) to present the views of NGOs. In their messaging, NGOs highlighted the importance of NGO work, particularly as main actors implementing in the field, NGOs roles as advocacy actors, as well as NGOs' support for more transparency. The Commission and Court of Auditors underlined that NGOs are needed, are made fully accountable and present a low-risk and tiny proportion of implementing actors in the EU budget.

A recording of the session can be seen here.

Several recommendations were made by VOICE and other NGOs; among them:

  • NGOs and their public funding are an essential part of a pluralist society
  • NGO funding helps to correct imbalance in stakeholder engagement
  • Each NGO grantee must comply with procedures, controls, reporting and audits applied in the framework of the Financial Regulation
  • Simplification of procedures in new Financial Regulation would ensure more transparency for all stakeholders
  • Exchange and alliances among NGOs are an added value for the EU 
Next steps:
  • MEP Pieper will draft its report based on this study and we hope on the inputs NGOs have given during this workshop.
  • VOICE together with other NGOs network will share our positions with relevant MEPS and if necessary propose amendments to the report once it's released.