MEPs say they are “appalled” by the allegations of corruption in the European Parliament.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the alleged corruption which, reportedly, involves an MEP and parliamentary aides. The international fallout from the investigation is starting to spiral and further allegations are emerging concerning the activities of those who have been apprehended. For example, the Azerbaijan journal “Caliber” has levelled accusations against the Greek MEP Eva Kaili in relation to lobbying activities on behalf of Armenia during their war with Azerbaijan.
No surprise then that MEPs are diving for cover. The S&D Group, in a statement on Monday, says it has zero tolerance for corruption.
It goes on, “We support a thorough investigation and full disclosure. We will fully cooperate with all investigating authorities.”
At the S&D Group meeting on Monday, on a proposal of the S&D Bureau, the following decisions were taken:
“We have taken the decision to expel Eva Kaili from the S&D Group with immediate effect, following the suspension of her mebership on 9/12/2022. Furthermore, the S&D Group has demanded that she be removed from the office of Vice-President of the European Parliament, during this week’s plenary, invoking Article 21 of its rules of procedure.”
“We have decided that:
- Group membership of S&D MEPs who are subject to the judicial investigation will be suspended.
- S&D MEPs who employ parliamentary assistants who are subject to the judicial investigation, should, awaiting the outcome of the proceedings, step down from any responsibility and refrain from any activity within the European Parliament and the S&D Group, which could interfere with the EU policies and relations concerned.
- In case wrongdoings are confirmed, the Group will end the membership of those concerned.
- The S&D Group, supporting the ongoing investigation, will become “parte lesa” and look into legal steps against those undermining the S&D Group and European Parliament as a whole.”
“We request, given the seriousness of the allegations, until the competent authorities provide relevant information and clarification, the suspension of work on any files and plenary votes relating to the Gulf States, particularly concerning visa liberalisation and planned visits. We propose the application of article 198 of the European Parliament’s rules of procedure in order to request a referral back to the LIBE Committee of the Marquardt report on Visa Liberalisation for Kuwait and Qatar.”
The S&D statement goes on, “We request adding a debate to this week’s plenary agenda entitled: “Commission statement – Suspicions of corruption from Gulf countries and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the EU institutions”.
“We propose setting up an EP Inquiry committee into foreign interference within the EU institutions aiming to influence decision-making. In this context, the S&D Group will start its own internal inquiry.”
“We propose that in case the investigation concludes that foreign interference and corruption has taken place, sanctions be imposed on any state and individuals involved,” it concludes