Brussels wants clear ethical rules to prevent ‘Qatargate’ in the future

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The European Parliament in Brussels
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The European Commission wants an ethical body to set standards of behavior for the European institutions. The intention is that the ethics committee will be ready for next spring’s European elections.

The new rules, drawn up by representatives of various institutions and five independent experts, will apply to around 1,000 EU positions. Among them board members of the European Central Bank, judges at the European Court of Justice and members of the European Parliament.

The new committee will draw up guidelines for, for example, accepting gifts or trips and meeting lobbyists.

Qatar gate

The reason is Qatargate, the scandal in which the Gulf state and possibly Morocco also bribed MEPs to influence decision-making in Brussels.

Hundreds of thousands of euros in cash were found during house searches of parliamentarians. Some parliamentarians have been arrested. For example, Greek vice-president Eva Kaili was arrested on suspicion of corruption, money laundering and membership of a criminal organization.

Kaili has exchanged her cell for house arrest, but is still a suspect. She sits at home with an electronic ankle bracelet. The Italian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, key figure in the corruption case, indicated at the beginning of this year that he was cooperating with the judiciary.

‘Toothless Tiger’

CDA MEP Jeroen Lenaers first wants to study the Commission’s proposal carefully, but emphasizes that given Qatargate it is important that strong measures are taken. “An instrument like this is an important step for that, as long as there are resources to really make a difference.”

But according to anti-corruption organization Transparency International, the Commission’s proposal is a “toothless tiger” and will never be effective in tackling corruption. The organization points out that the institutions must check themselves, like a butcher inspecting his own meat.

“If the EU really wants to tackle internal corruption, it needs an independent body that can investigate everything and have the ability to punish,” said Nicholas Aiossa of Transparency International.

The European Parliament, the Commission and the EU countries will negotiate this proposal in the near future. Until then, it remains to be seen what the ethical body will look like and what powers it will be given.

  • Who is ‘the Dutchwoman’ in the corruption scandal in the EU parliament?
  • Qatargate: former leader of the European Parliament Eva Kaili exchanges cell for house arrest
  • Raid on European People’s Party over German corruption affair
  • Abroad

  • Politics

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