Tags : Morocco_qatargate, European Parliament, corruption, bribery, Antonio Panzeri, Eva Kaili,
Three months ago, the scandal broke. Since then, the assembly has been working on a series of very concrete measures promised by its president. And the deputies begin this Thursday a reflection on a second set of reforms.
The rules cannot completely replace the individual responsibility of MEPs, staff of political groups, representatives of the assembly and other institutions”. This being said, the special committee on foreign interference of the European Parliament has nevertheless set itself the objective of formulating proposals for structural reforms of the assembly, in order to strengthen its transparency, integrity, accountability, the fight against Corruption. In accordance with the mission entrusted in February, with prayer to succeed for the summer.
Two months to conclude
This Thursday, its members will read the draft report, written in a week by Nathalie Loiseau (Renew) and Vladimir Bilcik (PPE). They will then have two months to discuss areas for improvement. “It is not a question of throwing opprobrium on Parliament, nor of carrying out the investigation in place of the judges, frames the French liberal MEP. What happened must lead us to a real dynamic to fight against foreign interference because beyond Qatargate, there is. Parliament sees itself as an open and transparent institution, it does not necessarily have security at the heart of its culture, and transparency is only partial. To remedy this, « without infringing the freedom of mandate », insists Nathalie Loiseau, the report evokes a series of measures, sweeping wide, from access to buildings to the activities carried out there, from missions abroad to financial support for parties…
In the proposals for recommendations, submitted for discussion, then vote, this pearl: « the European Parliament reiterates its request to see parliamentarians, their collaborators and the staff of political groups systematically refuse to use the proposals for amendments pre-written by embassies, lobbyists and NGOs. “An obvious fact that it obviously seems good to remember… their collaborators and the staff of the political groups systematically refuse to use the proposals for amendments pre-written by embassies, lobbyists and NGOs. “An obvious fact that it obviously seems good to remember… their collaborators and the staff of the political groups systematically refuse to use the proposals for amendments pre-written by embassies, lobbyists and NGOs. “An obvious fact that it obviously seems good to remember…
Among the ideas on the table is (again) the “rapid creation” of an independent, inter-institutional ethics body. The initiative here falls to the Commission, which announced in mid-February in Le Soir, that the project would be finalized for March. Contacted, the cabinet of Vera Jourova, the commissioner in charge of values, explains « to be still working on it ». No deadlock, we are assured, but the need for a little more time to finalize the deal. « It’s more of a political job to ensure the widest possible buy-in when we release » the proposal. The body would be common to the main institutions: Parliament, Commission, Council, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, Central Bank, Committee of the Regions, Economic and Social Committee. The preventive objective would be to “raise the common denominator and harmonize the rules” of integrity already in force, Jourova indicated in February.
Badges removed, entrances controlled
Alongside these reflections, Parliament is working on very concrete measures. A work that Roberta Metsola had undertaken to « carry out personally ». On December 12, the day after the revelations in these columns, she hammered home, before the deputies gathered in Strasbourg, her desire “that the institution be reformed”. Three days later, in Brussels, first in front of the European summit and then the press, she promised “major and rapid reforms”. On January 12, she presents a first set of 14 measures, which can be applied quickly, « to shake up Parliament », and « regain the confidence built up in twenty years, destroyed in a few days ». At the beginning of February, she obtained the mandate from the Conference of Presidents to launch the various projects.
Among the first decisions, the revision of the rules relating to badges. There is no longer any question, for former parliamentarians, of having permanent access to the parliamentary precincts as soon as they leave office. From now on, they will have to claim a daily badge each time they visit – but they will have a special counter, so as not to queue in the middle of visitors. Prohibition, also, to swap without delay his cap of parliamentarian for that of lobbyist: it will take a six-month airlock. And there’s no question of using your old badge for lobbying either: you’ll have to choose the register to which you subscribe before entering. This provision, eminently symbolic, should be definitively adopted on April 17 and come into force “quickly”. A number of other measures will, « soon », the subject of proposals submitted to the office: the definition of authorized events within the Parliament, the rules for inviting outsiders, the extended obligation to declare one’s appointments, training for whistleblowers, or the strengthening of financial reporting requirements. Measures requiring an adaptation of the code of conduct for deputies, which, we are assured in Parliament, should be completed before the summer.
Le Soir (Belgium),30/03/2023
#Morocco_Qatargate #European_parliament #Corruption #Bribery #Antonio_Panzeri #Eva_Kaili