The Ireland South MEP made the call after it was revealed that key projects being funded through the EU Public Private Partnerships (PPP) initiative were subject to huge delays, inefficiencies and overspends.
Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the EU Budgets Committee said the findings in the damning report released by the European Court of Auditors were typical of the government’s attitude to EU funds.
“This report found that billions has been wasted in delays, inefficiencies and overspends on projects being part funded from Europe through the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) scheme and that Ireland was one of the main offenders,” she said.
“In fact the report revealed that the scheme was being so badly managed that its future was now in doubt.
“PPPs have brought hundreds of billions of euros into Member States through crucial infrastructure and information and communication technology (ICT) projects and that entire legacy is now in jeopardy because Governments such as our own cannot competently manage them.
“This is outrageous and unacceptable but hardly surprising. The Governments use of EU funds has long been shambolic.
“Available funds aren’t applied for or when they are they’re hardly used. Just today the Irish Farmers Union revealed that there has been a €100m underspend from the Rural Development Programme.
“Indeed you only need to look at the ongoing fiasco around LEADER funding to see the depth of the government’s incompetence when it comes to EU funding.
“There is huge potential in the money available from Europe and on the occasions it does make its way to projects on the ground it can have a profound effect on communities.
“The Government must immediately look into its persistent mishandling of EU funding or more and more avenues to it will be closed to us.
“We cannot allow government incompetence to rob the country of infrastructure or communities of facilities that they badly need.”