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EU wants well-functioning transparency and accountability controls in the PALOP countries and Timor-Leste

The European Union today in Praia praised the “very important advances” of the Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) and Timor-Leste in transparency, but wants good functioning of public and private account control systems.

“It is important for all countries in the world, not only for PALOP and Timor-Leste,” said Pedro Campo Llopis, head of Cooperation of the European Union delegation in Cape Verde, at the opening of a meeting of the working group of the Ministries of Finance and Planning of PALOP and Timor-Leste, held in the city of Praia.

“Transparency is a fundamental element of democracy, societies have to know what the public accounts are, but also the private ones, they have to be able to position themselves regarding these accounts and hold Governments accountable on public spending,” he added.

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The meeting takes place under the second phase of the Program for the Consolidation of Economic Governance and Public Finance Management Systems in PALOP-TL, funded by the European Union in 7.8 million euros, which is in its final phase, being implemented by the UNDP Office in Cape Verde.

During three days, senior officials from the Ministries of Finance and/or Planning from PALOP-TL/EU will talk about programmatic budgeting, patrimonial accounting and the mainstreaming of gender in planning and budgeting cycles, as well as identify the challenges and opportunities in designing and/or implementing reforms of public finance management systems for the progressive adoption of these methodologies and tools.

The head of Cooperation of the European Union delegation in Cape Verde pointed out that all governments make promises and commitments, but stressed that citizens must have the ability to verify that they are carried out.

And regarding the PALOP (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe) and Timor-Leste, he said they have made “very important advances” in transparency, but understood that there is still a way to go.

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“Transparency is not a goal that is achieved and stopped, it is a continuous process and the PALOP and Timor-Leste must continue in this direction,” challenged Pedro Campo Llopis, ensuring that the European Union will continue to support this project, with a next phase already in prospect for the next four years.

But he stressed that the courts of auditors in these countries cannot exist thanks to donors, but must be financed by the State Budget itself. “What we want is for the Court of Auditors to be an independent institution and to have autonomous financial capacity.

And for the next phase of the program, the representative of the European Union said that there may also be an increase in funding, taking into account the enlargement to new areas, but also due to the crises that ravage the world and with impact also in these countries.

The meeting was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Olavo Correia, who pointed out the bet on infrastructure as a major challenge for Africa, PALOP and East Timor, but for this you need resources, which are mobilized with partners.

In this sense, he pointed out that to have access to resources you need well-governed and transparent states, adding, for this, the quality of institutions and investment in human capital.

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“Looking at these three components, we can see that this project makes a clear shot, because it bets in the qualification of human resources and in the reinforcement of the institutional capacity, in an area that is critical, fundamental and decisive for the future of our countries”, said the Cape Verdean Minister of Finance and Business Development and Minister of Digital Economy.

In his speech, the head of the joint United Nations office in Cape Verde, Steven Ursino, also drew attention to the difficult times, which lead citizens to put “enormous pressure” on Governments, and therefore stressed the importance of public spending being done efficiently and transparently.

The project develops activities to consolidate South-South and triangular cooperation and public finance management systems in the PALOP and Timor-Leste, by strengthening budget transparency, external control of public accounts, legislative oversight and social monitoring of public expenditure.

This post is also available in: Português

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