EU Funds Abused Legally?
At a press conference was given today by analyst Ivan Kuhn from the Mr. R. Stefanik Conservative Institute, in which he points to dubious practices in the use of EU funds in project management tenders, in an organised system that takes advantage of certain legal loopholes to cash in on EU funding.
Kuhn mentioned the case of the company Star EU, for instance, which had been successful all 50 times in 50 tenders involving EU funding, awarded directly to the company as the EUR 20,000 threshold was not exceeded, meaning a full public tender was not required. He explained that there were three specific companies involved in the system, with the lowest bid always winning, as set out in the law for these kinds of contract awards.
Kuhn said there is a good suspicion that the “offers were submitted in a co-ordinated way” in various project management tenders across the country, based on his research for the 2008-2011 period in some 36 municipalities. Although not claiming the three companies had any political ties, Kuhn recalled an article from daily SME from 2009 that claimed the three companies had links to the ruling Smer-SD party, which denied any connection.