The European Union wants to know why some of its development funds were used last year for an Elton John concert in Italy at a time when the financial crisis was forcing member nations into austerity.

EU spokesman Tom van Lierop said Friday (Nov. 11) the EU Commission wants "to know as quickly as possible" why local authorities used money typically earmarked to boost the economies of poorer EU countries for the British pop star's concert.

John performed before thousands of people in September 2009 in the heart of Naples at the Piedigrotta festival, which is backed by local authorities.

National authorities have a lot of leeway to approve spending from such funds under €50 million ($69 million), but the commission wants to know why any money was used for such a concert.