Greens/EFA Group demands overhaul of ethics & accountability rules to root out corruption in European Parliament
Today, the Greens/EFA Group are proposing a series of measures to investigate and stamp out corruption and the abuse of power in the European Parliament, following the ‘Qatargate’ scandal. The scandal broke on Friday following news that Belgian authorities are investigating allegations of bribery involving the now former S&D MEP, Eva Kaili.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA Group President, comments:
“The Qatargate scandal cannot be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the European Parliament. We have called for the immediate resignation of Vice-President Kaili. All files and missions that relate to Qatar must now be suspended. We fully support the work of the authorities investigating this case. It is now our duty to put in place the strongest possible measures to ensure that such corruption can never happen again.
“The Greens/EFA Group are calling for a dedicated committee of inquiry to investigate corruption and the influence of third countries in the European Parliament. We also need a special position on the European Parliament Bureau charged with looking into transparency, integrity, and fighting corruption in the Parliament. MEPs should have an ultimate aim of reviewing and improving the existing rules.
“The Parliament needs to dedicate appropriate staff and financial resources to ensure that all lobbying and ethics rules are enforced to the letter.”
Philippe Lamberts MEP, Greens/EFA Group President, comments:
“The European Parliament is the house of European democracy and we cannot let this scandal undermine our work. Corruption flourishes in the dark, which is why our group has long been calling for greater transparency and accountability as essential tools to prevent corruption. Nothing less than an in-depth overhaul of the Parliament's integrity rules will suffice.
“We urgently need an independent ethics body with the power to investigate all EU institutions. Any organisation lobbying the EU institutions must be on the EU Transparency Register. We call for a ban on donations to MEPs and political parties from third countries on the EU level, in order to close loopholes in Member States.
“This scandal has shown the need for a cooling off period for former MEPs to ensure that they cannot use their position to influence policy. The Parliament should revisit the rules of procedure and MEPs code of conduct to ensure that there are stronger deterrents against Members and former Members working for outside interests.”
Tomorrow, the Greens/EFA Presidents Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts will hold the Group’s plenary presidential press briefing at 11.40 in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room in Strasbourg.