Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs

Annual Report of the European Court of Auditors 2013 and Related Matters: Discussion

3:00 pm

Mr. Kevin Cardiff:

The Commission gives them money and they lobby the Commission. The Commission says that these groups represent people and topics that would not otherwise get represented and, if it did not, industry would have too much of a say in things.

With regard to internal conflicts, we do what we call special reports or performance reports where we pick a topic and we look through how European policy works in that area. We did one recently on the interaction of water policy in the environmental part of the Commission and the Common Agricultural Policy, and whether the two are well aligned or not. The answer is that the situation could clearly be better. A full list of these special reports is available. More than occasionally, we look at how different types of EU policy are interacting with each other to find whether there are these overlaps and so forth. It is probably inevitable in a very complex world that these issues will sometimes arise. I do not know about the specific issue of the fencing except that, if people are in a special area of conservation, they are probably not allowed a fence, even if they can get a grant for it.

That deals with most of the questions. I might ask Mr. Fennessy to deal with the issue of public procurement.