“This is not an isolated incident,” said Transparency International. “For several decades, parliament has allowed the development of a culture of impunity (…) and the complete absence of independent moral oversight.”
Alberto Alemanno, a law professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, wrote on Twitter that this control at the institution was “flawed”.
Five people were arrested in Brussels on Friday after at least 16 raids in an investigation into suspected “large” payments from a Gulf state to influence the decisions of members of the European Parliament.
The Federal Prosecutor did not mention the name of the country, but a judicial source close to the case confirmed to AFP that it is the State of Qatar, as revealed by the media, Le Soir and Kanak.
The issue arose in the middle of the World Cup in 2002, when the host nation had to make efforts to defend its reputation for respecting human rights, especially workers’ rights.
The case took on an additional dimension when the identity of the fifth person arrested Friday night was confirmed, Greek MP Eva Kaili, a 44-year-old former TV presenter who has become an icon of social democracy in your country. He is also the Vice-President of the European Parliament, along with 13 other MEPs.
Today the hearings of five suspects continue in Brussels, according to a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor.
This measure prompted members of the European Parliament from the Green Party and the Social Democrats to announce their objection on Monday to the start of negotiations on visa liberalization for Qatari citizens in the European Union, because suspicions of corruption include this country.
MEPs must approve on Monday in Strasbourg the start of talks between the European Parliament and EU member states to finalize a text facilitating a visa regime for travelers from Qatar and Kuwait.
The text, which has already received the green light from member states at the end of June, will exempt Qatari and Kuwaiti nationals traveling to the EU bloc from visa requirements for a maximum period of 90 days, subject to mutual agreement with both countries. Countries.
“Zero tolerance of corruption. The Greens will oppose the mandate to start visa liberalization talks with Qatar on Monday.”
For its part, the Social Democratic Group (S&D) called for “suspension of work on all files and votes related to the Gulf countries, particularly with regard to visa liberalization.”
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