The European Commission confirmed on Tuesday, October 6, that it had finished studying the issue of the Slovak Construction Ministry’s controversial bulletin-board tender with Slovakia and that as a result Brussels will not reimburse the costs of the tender.
Nicholas Martyn, from the commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy (DG Regio), announced the decision following a meeting with Slovak Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov in Brussels on Tuesday. The EC concluded that there was a problem in the way the tender was executed and said that Slovakia had violated EU regulations pertaining to tenders.
Martyn said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that the EC appreciates that the Slovak authorities had decided to take a pragmatic approach to the issue and would not demand reimbursement at the European Court of Justice. The tender winner was paid approximately €11 million from EU funds before the tender was cancelled, but Brussels now won't reimburse this money to Slovakia.
Martyn also said that Slovakia will lose €38.3 million from the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) as, during audits between 2005 and 2008, the Commission found flaws in tender proceedings within the 2004-2006 programme period. Martyn added that other EU member countries also have problems with tender proceedings. It is a complicated issue and the countries had to adjust to new legislation in this sphere after they entered the EU, Martyn added.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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