Our 10 key demands
This is first and foremost a bribery and corruption scandal of epic proportions. The European institutions and national law enforcement authorities must take immediate and effective action to catch and punish the perpetrators. At the same time, the EU institutions must take urgent steps to undertake root and branch reform of the EU institutions ethics and integrity systems. In particular there is an urgent need for independent ethics oversight to put an end to a system of self-regulation that clearly isn’t working.
These are our 10 demands:
Those involved must be hunted down and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Investigations by the Belgian authorities and by EU agencies and bodies should look at all those who have taken an unusually favourable position or displayed favourable behaviour in relation to Qatar, including in other EU institutions.
Parliament needs to immediately reform its internal whistleblower rules and bring them in line with the EU Whistleblower directive.
Parliament’s secretive ruling Bureau, of which Ms Kaili is a member, should be stripped of all decision-making powers when it comes to issues of ethics, transparency and integrity. In addition, its recent decision on the appointment of the new Secretary General should be scrutinised.
Parliament’s rules of procedure and MEP code of conduct must be revised to ensure it has a real deterrent effect on the kind of behaviour exposed in the current scandal and it must introduce effective sanctions. The President should no longer have the sole power to decide on sanctions.
Parliament’s Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members, which has proved toothless, should be disbanded, and replaced by a new body that includes an independent, external element.
Parliament should immediately introduce strict financial control rules in relation to all MEP allowances, including a requirement for MEPs to be accountable for all their expenditure.
Third country governments who lobby the EU institutions should be included in the transparency register.
All MEPs, assistants and EP staff who meet third country representatives must publish their meetings.
Parliament must ensure compliance with existing lobbying and ethics rules, including by dedicating sufficient resources to monitoring and enforcement and by making sure all information is published in good time and in an accessible format.
The European Commission must come forward immediately with its long-delayed proposal for an independent EU ethics body, with extensive powers of oversight, investigation and enforcement.