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 the public.

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 at work.

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.