Auteur: | By Helena Spongenberg
The European Parliament has called for a blacklist of corrupt governments to be set up so that EU development aid money is not directed to crooked pockets.
MEPs on Thursday (6 April) voted in favour of a report by Dutch socialist MEP Max van den Berg which also called for more transparent and effective EU aid and for rules that would keep banks from lending to nations that make it onto the blacklist.
The EU says it is the world's biggest aid donor with its 25 member states providing a total of €35.5 billion a year. This is more the twice than the next biggest donor - the US with €16 billion.
However, corruption costs African economies alone some €121 billion a year, or about 25 percent of the continent's combined annual GDP - holding back Africa's chances of taking off economically, said the report which is purely consultative and not legislative.
The proportion of EU development aid that goes directly into the national coffers of recipient countries in the form of budget support has grown from 14 percent in 2001 to around 30 percent in 2004.
MEPs said this practice must be changed by introducing new rules and controls.
The parliament said it would ask the commission and member states to establish an "international system of blacklisting to prevent banks from lending large sums of money to corrupt regimes or individuals representing a government".