Shock wave after anti-corruption police operation at European Parliament – News

“This is not an isolated incident,” Transparency International said. “For decades, Parliament allowed the creation of a culture of impunity (…) and a culture of independent ethical regulation”.

Alberto Alemanno, a law professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, wrote on Twitter that the regulation at the institution was “flawed”.

Five people were arrested in Brussels on Friday following at least 16 raids in an investigation into suspected “substantial” payments from Gulf countries to influence MEPs’ decisions.

The federal public prosecutor did not name the country, but a judicial source close to the case confirmed to the AFP agency that it was Qatar, as revealed by the media Le Soir and Knack.

In the midst of the 2002 World Cup, the host country had to make efforts to protect its reputation for respecting human rights, particularly workers’ rights.

The case took on an additional dimension when the identity of the fifth person arrested on Friday night was confirmed, namely Greek MEP Eva Kaili, a 44-year-old former TV presenter who has become a figure of social democracy in your country. He is also the Vice-President of the European Parliament along with 13 other MEPs.

Today, the trials of the five suspects continued in Brussels, a spokesman for the federal public prosecutor said.

The move led Green and Social Democratic Party MEPs to announce on Monday that they would oppose talks on liberalizing visas for Qatari nationals in the European Union because of corruption suspicions involving the country.

On Monday, in Strasbourg, MEPs must approve the start of negotiations between the European Parliament and EU member states to finalize a text easing the visa regime for travelers from Qatar and Kuwait.

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The text, which already received the green light from member states at the end of June, would exempt Qatari and Kuwaiti nationals traveling to the EU bloc from the visa requirement for a maximum of 90 days, subject to a mutual agreement with the two countries. Countries.

“No tolerance for corruption. The Green Party will oppose the mandate to open visa liberalization talks with Qatar on Monday,” Green MEP Terry Reintke said on Twitter.

For its part, the Social-Democratic Group (S&D) calls for “the suspension of work on all documents and votes related to the Gulf countries, especially visa liberalisation”.

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