It was recently decided that EUR 700 million should be allocated over the next three years to addressing the humanitarian crisis and guarantee the welfare of the refugees and migrants who arrive in Europe. That funding will be given to non-governmental organisations rather than to the Greek Government or any other government or government agency.
Considering that NGOs are called on to play a central role directly linked to the lives and health of refugees, and given the considerable amount — EUR 700 million — which will be allocated to NGOs, could the Commissioner please state:
1. What procedure will be followed to select the NGOs and what are the terms and conditions for their funding?
2. Given that complaints have been lodged on many occasions about NGOs not functioning properly and NGOs involved in litigation for past funding have been funded again, what is the procedure for monitoring and supervising NGOs to ensure that they meet the conditions and carry out their mission as planned by the EU? What is the procedure for ensuring that the funds that they will receive are properly managed?
Answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the Commission
Emergency support actions under Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369(1) are to be carried out by the Commission or by organisations selected by the Commission(2). To this end the Commission relies on Framework Partnership Agreements (FPA) concluded pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96(3) or enters into new FPAs. Applications for partnership under Regulation (EU) 2016/369 will be assessed mutatis mutandis on the basis of the criteria being currently used under Regulation (EC) No 1257/96.
The Commission has informed partners about the operational priorities(4) it considers relevant at this point in time to address the consequences of the refugee crisis currently affecting Greece. Proposals for action submitted by partners are assessed and selected for funding in line with the operational priorities. The first eight grant agreements were signed on 19 April 2016(5).
The FPA promotes the principles of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. Partners have the obligation to maintain compliance with partnership conditions throughout the duration of the FPA. The Commission carries out at least once a year an assessment of partners' financial accounts and activity reports. Furthermore, the Commission carries out systematic visits, evaluations, inspections, and audits at both headquarters and field levels which cover financial, administrative and operational aspects of the actions.
The Commission may suspend or terminate the implementation of a specific action if the partner has failed to comply with its obligations under a Specific Grant Agreement. The Commission may suspend or terminate the FPA if the partner no longer complies with the conditions and criteria laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96.
(1) Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369 of 15 March 2016 on the provision of emergency support within the Union (OJ L 70, 16.3.2016, p. 1).
(2) These are UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs. A list of ECHO's partners:
(3) Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid (OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1).