EU parliament’s weak inner rule-making physique results in ‘tradition of impunity’


The European Parliament’s inner decision-making physique must be appeared into because the meeting lacks a severe sanctions regime for rule-breaking MEPs, a key transparency official mentioned.

“I urge you to try how the selections, with regards to transparency, integrity, ethics, and anti-corruption are taken on this home, and they’re taken primarily by way of the Bureau,” Nick Aiossa, deputy director of Transparency Worldwide EU instructed MEPs on Thursday (26 January).

He was talking at a listening to of the particular committee on overseas interference which checked out how Qatar and Morocco influenced and allegedly financed EU lawmakers.

By now, 4 folks have been arrested on preliminary prices amid claims that the governments of Qatar and Morocco gave out money to get EU politicians to do their bidding.

Aiossa mentioned there’s a “tradition of impunity” within the parliament amongst MEPs, which contributed to the Qatargate scandal that rocked the establishment on the finish of final yr.

He mentioned the parliament has “a number of the weakest sanctions in place”, “demonstrated by the shortage of seriousness some MEPs have demonstrated by breaching or ignoring the principles”.

Aiossa mentioned that within the parliament’s final mandate, 24 moral violations of the code of conduct occurred, however no sanctions have been imposed.

“The flexibility and proper to impose sanctions on an MEP falls immediately with the president of the parliament, and for quite a lot of causes, together with political issues, [which] I believe [are] one of many causes, why they haven’t been put ahead,” he mentioned.

In consequence, “MEPs won’t really feel obliged to respect the principles,” Aiossa added.

Aiossa pointed to an inner decision-making physique, the Bureau, which might undertake swift guidelines to strengthen transparency, however has failed to take action within the final decade.

The Bureau contains the parliament’s president and the 14 vice-presidents (considered one of whom was MEP Eva Kailli, now imprisoned after being charged with corruption and cash laundering).

The Bureau has been on the centre of frustrations earlier than for the shortage of willingness to make the parliament’s work extra clear.

“The bureau is the place good concepts for reform go to die,” Aiossa mentioned.

Aiossa urged MEPs to take a look at the final expenditure allowance, an annual €40m meant for workplace bills and illustration price, for which not one receipt is required by MEPs.

He quipped that he can’t think about that the parliament could be comfy with any member state spending €40m in a yr in cohesion funds with out monetary administration.

Reform of this allowance has additionally failed within the Bureau, he mentioned.

Aiossa recalled that the parliament itself known as for higher safety of whistleblowers throughout the European Parliament, however they’ve been ignored by the Bureau.

He argued that it’s within the curiosity of all MEPs forward of the 2024 European elections to take motion.

Aiossa additionally argued for the creation of obligatory transparency registry for all and for MEPs to revisit the difficulty of third-party paid travels, including that lawmakers have journey allowances at their disposal.

He counseled the 14-point plan put ahead by European Parliament president Roberta Metsola to take care of transparency within the parliament, saying they’re a step in the best path however they do not go far sufficient.


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