MEP plans to raise Taltech issues with European Commission

MEP Jaak Madison (EKRE) says he plans to put a written question to the European Commission on the issue of alleged misappropriation of EU funds by Tallinn University of Technology, known internationally as Taltech.

Madison stated on his social media account Friday that he intended to take the matter to the European Commission – whence the funding in question derives and which is also reportedly to hold its own investigation into the affair, adding that he thought Taltech tried to bury the news amid media stories over controversy involving rural affairs minister Mart Järvik (EKRE) and conflict of interest claims.

"Let's leave aside the focus of today's headlines for a moment, namely the Minister of Rural Affairs and his advisor [Urmas Arumäe], because TTÜ, or Taltech, has gotten away with piggybacking the message to the press that they are ending all investigations into corruption, opting instead to crush [Taltech whistleblower] Keegan [McBride], an honest young scientist who dared to expose the theft and deceit," Madison wrote.

"Personally, I do not have much clout in this case, but I can at least do one thing: As an MEP, I can submit a written question to the commissioner responsible for this area, and ask for an opinion on this type of fraudulent activity," he continued.

"Let's wait and see what the answer will be," he added.

Taltech cleared itself of wrongdoing following an internal report, the university announced Friday.

Allegations that funds had been misused at Taltech's Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance first surfaced in daily Postimees in late August, following the actions of the whistleblower, who went to the paper having drawn a blank after approaching Taltech rector Jaak Aaviksoo with his concerns earlier on in the year.

The issues principally surround alleged payments made to staff in connection with the OpenGovIntelligence (OGI)  project, where there was no evidence that such staff members did not in fact work on the project, partly because timesheets were incomplete, it is reported.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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