Helping Themselves: Six ways to reform EU funding of NGO’s

The European Union spends €7.5 billion a year on nongovernmental organisations, even if some of them act against the public interest, according to this report.

Helping Themselves says that spending on NGO’s encourages a culture of professional lobbying and fundraising by politicised charities who no longer reflect the public’s priorities. It proposes radical measures to reform the way the EU spends money on its policy objectives.

The report makes six recommendations for reforming EU spending on NGO’s, which are paid by the European Commission to fulfil its agenda in areas such as the environment, economic development and global poverty. Authors Zilvinas Silenas and Adolfas Mackonis say that the measures are needed to stop NGO’s lobbying for policies from which they benefit, and to encourage them to seek more of their income from voluntary donations. At the same time the EU should broaden the range of organisations it works with and be more open about how its money is spent.

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