EU Parliament Firefighting Corruption Claims

The EU Parliament is facing intense scrutiny over corruption as the Qatar scandal continues to accelerate. A Greek MEP has been stripped of her Vice President role following her implication in a bribery and corruption scandal. Commenting on these latest developments, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola stated that an attack was taking place.

Police have raided high profile political figures following alleged corruption in relation to Qatari interests. The scandal does have the potential to tarnish the image of European Union democracy. The Greek MEP Eva Kaili endured time in a jail cell. She has had to contend with the fact that her colleagues expelled her from the Socialist and Democratic group.

Other members within the socialist and democratic groups have been moved away from key assignments due to the scrutiny being faced and their advocacy on behalf of Qatar. The police in Belgium made a number of arrests and searched several private homes. One home held six hundred thousand Euro in cash. In one hotel, the police seized a suitcase containing several hundred thousand Euro. In Eva Kaili’s apartment, the police raided a hundred and fifty thousand Euro. The MEP’s family assets have also been frozen. The police have been investigating IT data of both Kaili and her assistants.

An investigation is underway, as Roberta Metsola underscored her commitment for an internal probe. Across the bloc, many are putting pressure to have this investigation progress. Both MEPs in Strasbourg and also the German Foreign Minister emphasised the importance of this investigation, with Europe’s credibility being potentially impacted.

There are those arguing that rather than an attack on Europe, this is self-inflicted. The reason for this is because the EU Parliament and majority of its members have always opposed stricter integrity rules and an up for purpose enforcement system. Just one example is that the EU’s transparency register lacks controls which are needed in this day and age. The loopholes and voluntary elements allow leeway for corruption and bribery.

Following this case of alleged corruption, the EU may accelerate its efforts in creating a body which acts as a watchdog for all institutions, ensuring that the same rules apply across the board.

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