Reforms in the European Parliament
First consequences have been drawn up after the corruption investigations
IF – 04/2023
The European Parliament is
still struggling with the most dramatic scandal in its history. Several Members of Parliaments (MEP),
former MEPs and MEPs’ staff are suspected of bribery. They all allegedly
received money from Morocco and Qatar. The investigations are ongoing.
Swift signal as an external effect
In order to dampen the
already existing uncertainties of citizens, the president of the European
Parliament, Roberta Metsola (EPP/ML), and the leaders of the parliamentary
groups were able to agree on twelve immediate
measures. These are now being
discussed and implemented within the parliamentary groups in the parliament.
These groups are expected to agree to the package of measures, otherwise this
would reflect negatively on them.
12 points reform package
The European Parliament wants
to move on through its 12-point reform package. Former MEPs should not be able to carry out lobbying activities
in the European Parliament environment immediately after leaving their
political function. More information should be made available online for
currently elected MEPs and this information should also be made available to
Sundry information about the activities of MEPs as well as meetings
with stakeholders should always be transparent. Particular attention should be
paid to the entries in the European Transparency Register for meetings and events held within the European Parliament. Our
European Mission is also registered in the EU Transparency Register.
Contact with countries outside the EU
Particular emphasis is placed
on strict compliance with transparent communications when it comes to personal
meetings with lobbyists or political representatives from third countries or
meetings with countries who do not have contractual agreements with the EU. If
MEPs and/or their staff meet with representatives from third countries or
lobbyists who do not fall within the scope of the Transparency Register, then
this must be made public.
Friendship groups with third countries that
existed in the European Parliament, such as the group handling relations with
Qatar, will all be banned. The former Vice-President, Eva Kaili (S&D/ML),
actually commented on the particularly good working conditions found at Qatari
construction sites. She described this Arab country as being a pioneer in
labour rights. But reality is exactly the opposite. Many people are exploited
Preparing for the 2024 European Elections
The EU parliament has
announced further reforms to ensure that the 2024 European election campaign will
not be overshadowed by a negative issue such as bribing MEPs. However, the
parliamentary groups are still preoccupied with themselves at the moment.
Issues for the European election campaign still have to be defined.