The European Parliament has extended the powers of the special committee responsible for investigating external interference in democratic processes in the European Union. This is one of the steps to improve the image of the European Parliament after the corruption scandal called “Qatargate”.
The corruption scandal in the European Parliament broke out at the end of last year, with the arrest of the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Greek Socialist MEP Eva Kaili. According to investigators, she was one of the people who accepted bribes from Qatar and possibly other countries in exchange for illegal lobbying. In her apartment, the police seized bags of cash.
Following revelations of alleged foreign interference and the ongoing investigations into corruption in the Parliament, @EP_Democracy will get new tasks and its name will be adjusted accordingly.
— INGE Committee Press (@EP_Democracy) February 14, 2023
The case quickly spread to wider circles. After further arrests, the European Parliament received requests to lift the immunity of two other MEPs.
Since then, almost every week has brought new information about the unethical or illegal activities of some MEPs and employees of the European Parliament. This includes having very close relations with the Qatari authorities.
In response to media reports, the European Parliament extended the powers of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in All Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation. The commission will be tasked with finding loopholes in the rules of conduct of the European Parliament through which countries such as Qatar could influence the work of MEPs.