19th December 2011: The European Union might like to meddle in the affairs of member states and potential member states, but on some issues it seems to be quite happy to turn a blind eye to unsavoury practices and claim that it has no juristriction on such matters.
That certainly appears to be the case with regards to the ill-treatment of dogs in Ukraine and the misappropriation of funding intended for improving animal welfare within that country.
Andrew Brons submitted a Question to the Commission Requiring a Written Answer (E-009490/2011) on the ill-treatment of dogs and stray animals in Ukraine.
"During the course of its interactions with the Ukrainian Government and authorities, is the Commission aware of the ill-treatment of dogs and stray animals, and the embezzlement and misappropriation of funds that are intended for the welfare of these animals?
"Is it possible that European Neighbourhood funding has been allocated for the welfare or control of animals in Ukraine?"
The answer given by Mr John Dalli on behalf of the Commission, pointed out:
"As the welfare of stray dogs is not a matter covered by the EU legislation, the Commission has no means to address this issue even in the context of negotiations on a trade agreement."