Brussels embroiled in bogus accounting scandal as EU accused over overestimating figures

The European Court of Auditors has questioned the European Commission’s claims about its climate-change programmes. It was found the European Union’s powerful executive had substantially overestimated the amount its spent on preventing global warming though the use of clever-accounting. Farmers have been handed cash subsidies which have been counted as agriculture-based spending aimed at climate protection by the Commission.

Eurocrats pass off their subsistence payments to farmers as climate spending, as long as the farmers fulfil a certain level of climate standards.

The ECA said in its report the Commission had overstated the current 2014-2020 budget’s contribution to tackling climate change.

They warned the same was likely to be true for the next seven-year cycle.

The auditors said: “Our analysis of Member State rural development programmes in the same report showed that the Commission was overestimating their contribution to climate action by more than 40 percent, or almost €24billion.

“This is because the Commission did not adequately distinguish between climate contributions made by different activities.

“The Commission justified this approach by the need to strike a balance between minimising the administrative burden and costs and providing a reasonably reliable estimate for climate-related spending within the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.”

ECA auditor Joelle Elvinger called on the Commission to develop more robust methods for tracking its spending.

She said: “The anticipated contributions to climate-related spending, in particular from some agricultural schemes, are likely to be overstated.

“Without a robust methodology, the estimated climate spending may not be reliable.”

Agriculture spending is expected to make up nearly half of the climate spending from the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget, which has been muted at a total of €1.075trillion.

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Mr Juncker’s investment fund, launched in 2014, was used the EU budget to mobile €315billion in investments.

The former top eurocrat wanted to plug vast gaps in investment after the Eurozone crisis.

But the European auditors concluded that Mr Juncker’s fund did not make the investments and questioned whether the spending would have not been funded by other means.



China bombshell: US warns of China's 'exploiting' the Arctic with ‘bogus’ claims

Speaking in an Online seminar on Thursday, Admiral James Foggo revealed China was “increasingly seeking to exploit the arctic”.

Mr Foggo also feared that China would pose security concerns for the US and other members of the transatlantic security alliance.

Mr Foggo said: “China has even labelled itself as a ‘near Arctic country’.

He added: “They’re eyeing investment opportunities that range from natural resource exploration to the future commercial maritime traffic potential of the ‘Polar Silk Road’.”

Beijing has suggested their interests in their arctic center around commerce and environmental protection.

However, Foggo believes the arctic could be used to create ‘bogus claims’.

“With China having its own precedent for making bogus claims over international waterways in the South China Sea, it’s possible that China will also seek to bend the rules in their favour in the Arctic, Mr Foggo revealed.”

He added: “Nato no longer ignores China’s activities in Europe.”

This comes after China announced the start of a trillion-US dollar infrastructure drive with the idea to connect economies into a China-centred trading network.

More than 125 countries are involved in the initiative.

READ MORE China punished by India in major new row over trade over border clash

He also believes that Chinese leaders were “restricting information about the coronavirus and donating equipment and personnel, even in Europe as a way to show that it is a world leader”.

Mr Foggo’s comments follow increasing tensions in the South China Sea.

China and the US have bolstered forces in disputed waters.

For the first time since 2017, three 100,000 tonne US Navy aircraft carriers protected their territory.

Mr Foggo suggested that the talks could still help matters.

He said: ““I think there is always room for dialogue.”

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator suggested that Foggo’s comments could be a ploy from the American to support Nato in a battle against China.

Song said: “The US is seeking to expand Nato’s capabilities to the western Pacific and the Arctic, and pushed by the US, Nato has started to pay attention to China.

“But as a Europe-based military alliance, Nato would instead see Russia as a major opponent.

“Under international law, China is only an observer state to the Arctic, which means it can only cooperate with one of the eight Arctic nations, for example, Russia, in developing trade routes or energy.”



China bombshell: US warns of China's 'exploiting' the Arctic with ‘bogus’ claims

Speaking in an Online seminar on Thursday, Admiral James Foggo revealed China was “increasingly seeking to exploit the arctic”.

Mr Foggo also feared that China would pose security concerns for the US and other members of the transatlantic security alliance.

Mr Foggo said: “China has even labelled itself as a ‘near Arctic country’.

He added: “They’re eyeing investment opportunities that range from natural resource exploration to the future commercial maritime traffic potential of the ‘Polar Silk Road’.”

Beijing has suggested their interests in their arctic center around commerce and environmental protection.

However, Foggo believes the arctic could be used to create ‘bogus claims’.

“With China having its own precedent for making bogus claims over international waterways in the South China Sea, it’s possible that China will also seek to bend the rules in their favour in the Arctic, Mr Foggo revealed.”

He added: “Nato no longer ignores China’s activities in Europe.”

This comes after China announced the start of a trillion-US dollar infrastructure drive with the idea to connect economies into a China-centred trading network.

More than 125 countries are involved in the initiative.

READ MORE China punished by India in major new row over trade over border clash

He also believes that Chinese leaders were “restricting information about the coronavirus and donating equipment and personnel, even in Europe as a way to show that it is a world leader”.

Mr Foggo’s comments follow increasing tensions in the South China Sea.

China and the US have bolstered forces in disputed waters.

For the first time since 2017, three 100,000 tonne US Navy aircraft carriers protected their territory.

Mr Foggo suggested that the talks could still help matters.

He said: ““I think there is always room for dialogue.”

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator suggested that Foggo’s comments could be a ploy from the American to support Nato in a battle against China.

Song said: “The US is seeking to expand Nato’s capabilities to the western Pacific and the Arctic, and pushed by the US, Nato has started to pay attention to China.

“But as a Europe-based military alliance, Nato would instead see Russia as a major opponent.

“Under international law, China is only an observer state to the Arctic, which means it can only cooperate with one of the eight Arctic nations, for example, Russia, in developing trade routes or energy.”