Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Instrument for Stability

Delivered in Plenary - 20th October 2010

Mr President

The EU is the world’s largest multilateral donor of development aid and humanitarian assistance. It also plays an important political role supporting the promotion of human rights and democracy in third countries.

My group, the ECR Group, strongly believes that properly structured new EU financial instruments are therefore essential. They ensure a more efficient and effective way of disbursing EU taxpayers’ money and enable Parliament, particularly post-Lisbon, to scrutinise spending and strategic policy in a more open and transparent manner.

This democratic accountability is vital, especially at a time when Member States are themselves making severe cuts to their national expenditures. Investment and development, democracy and human rights are potentially an important way to support, through soft power in particular, the EU’s wider foreign policy goals and could also contribute to reducing inward migratory pressures on the EU’s external borders. Strong mechanisms to prevent corruption and misuse of EU money are, however, fundamental and we should also be careful not to force our own western liberal values, in particular so-called reproductory rights, onto others ill-equipped or reluctant to absorb them under the guise of human rights.