- In June, NGO Monitor presented a report in the European Parliament, “Lack of Due Diligence and Transparency in European Union Funding for Radical NGOs, EIDHR and PfP grants for Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP).”
- The report revealed that CWP, a large recipient of EU funding, undermines the EU’s stated objective of promoting a two-state solution by engaging in the Durban strategy of political warfare, including participation in BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns.
- In response to NGO Monitor’s report, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised concerns that EU funding is being allocated to organizations whose activities stand in sharp contrast to declared EU policy and principles.
- In a parliamentary question addressed to the European Commission, an MEP questioned to what extent the Commission is aware of the allegations made in NGO Monitor’s report and if “the Commission is considering cancelling or reducing the subsidies to this organization?”
- Commissioner Stefan Füle answered on behalf of the Commission and affirmed that “the Commission is aware of the accusations made by NGO Monitor against the Coalition of Women for Peace” but that, “according to monitoring and evaluation carried out to date, there are no grounds for cancelling either of the contracts referred to.”
- While the Commission maintains that there are no grounds for cancelling the funded projects, it does not provide MEPs and stakeholders with sufficient explanation to justify its conclusions.
Analysis of Commissioner Füle’s response to the parliamentary question
EU Funding of Projects vs. Organizations:
Commissioner Füle, in his response to the parliamentary question, asserts that “the Commission does not subsidize the organization in question but cofunds one of its projects implemented in the framework of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.”
In response to allegations of problematic EU funding, the EC often claims that funding is not allocated to organizations but rather to specific projects. However, this justification, that funding is limited to specific projects with no relationship to wider NGO activities, is clearly misleading and inconsistent with the evidence. While EU funds are formally allocated to NGO projects, this money is also used to pay for salaries, travel, public relations, publications, infrastructure, etc.
NGO Monitor’s report on CWP also demonstrates the fundamental contradiction between the formal objectives of EU funded projects, as stated by the EC, and the actual political activities of the NGOs selected for the project.
Transparency in EU funding:
Commissioner Füle claims, “according to monitoring and evaluation carried out to date, there are no grounds for cancelling either of the contracts referred to.” In addition, in response to concerns that full evaluation reports are not publicly available, Füle explains, “evaluations are carried out and published in accordance with the treaty of the European Union…”
NGO Monitor, in its effort to understand the decision making process of the EU for funding radical NGOs such as CWP, has contacted EU officials requesting documentation related to the funding of CWP. As NGO Monitor’s report portrays in detail, the EC has refused to release significant documentation that would allow for analysis of this funding. Multiple requests to the Commission were met with minimal responses, vaguely citing “public security” as justification for this consistent violation of transparency principles and due diligence norms regarding public funding.
The Commission fails to provide MEPs and stakeholders sufficient explanation for funding radical NGOs such as the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP). The Commission’s refusal to release documentation that could explain how EU funded projects are contributing to peace, democracy, and human rights is in clear violation of transparency principles. NGO Monitor urges the Commission to release monitoring and evaluation documentation to ensure stakeholders that taxpayer money is being allocated to actions in line with EU declared foreign policy. NGO Monitor also calls for a full and independent evaluation of all EU funding for political advocacy NGOs.