Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

EU clamps down on corruption in wake of Qatargate cash-for-influence scandal

EU clamps down on corruption in wake of Qatargate cash-for-influence scandal

The Commission called on member countries to strengthen transparency rules.
The European Union on Wednesday promoted new rules to clamp down on corruption across the bloc in the wake of the alleged cash-for-influence Qatargate scandal in the European Parliament.

The initiative, which will need to be signed off on by all 27 member countries plus the European Parliament, is an attempt to tighten rules in the wake of the scandal involving bags of cash and allegedly corrupt lawmakers, which has rocked the EU’s assembly.

But this proposal is not designed to specifically address corruption in EU institutions.

If approved, it would harmonize rules across EU nations, thus covering these institutions in a broad sense. Yet the specific effort to combat corruption in institutions would be done via an ethics body — a separate undertaking already under criticism that it may go too easy on potential wrongdoers.

Some of the provisions in the Commission’s anti-corruption plan, such as protections for whistleblowers, have been eagerly backed by the European Parliament when it comes to applying them to member countries — but have so far been rejected for the Parliament itself.

The Commission on Wednesday called on member countries to adopt common rules against corruption, improve cooperation for cross-border investigations and make it easier to capture criminals by setting up dedicated anti-corruption bodies in all EU countries.

The EU’s diplomatic arm, the European External Action Service, also proposed its own measures that aim to bolster the EU’s ability to sanction third countries over corruption problems.

In a nod to the Qatargate scandal, the Commission’s proposal states that “recent events have served as a reminder that the EU institutions are not immune to corruption.”

In order to clamp down on sleaze, the EU’s executive called on member states to add new criminal offenses to their rule books.

“Today, only bribery is criminalized at the EU level. But with this proposal … we will also cover misappropriation, trading in influence, abuse of function, obstruction of justice and illicit enrichment related to corruption,” said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson at a press conference.

The proposed rules automatically apply to EU institutions and staffers, according to the Commission’s Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová, while public officials across the bloc will be subject to stricter anti-corruption laws.

“If a high [ranking] politician is found to be corrupted, that would be an aggravating circumstance because that hurts even more into the society,” said Johansson.

But the regulation does not envision special provisions for EU lawmakers, who are under heavy scrutiny since Qatargate broke.

The Commission said Wednesday that its long-stalled proposal for an overarching EU ethics body will be announced later this month amid mounting pressure on Brussels to show it’s taking integrity seriously as corruption allegations continue to swirl.

A proposal is in the works and will soon be debated by the highest-ranking officials of the EU’s top nine institutions, said Jourová.

She added: “This is not a trivial thing. We are going to establish a new body which will deal with highly sensitive matters, not individual cases.’’

The EU’s package is likely to stir controversy among member countries, which have wildly different attitudes toward corruption.

According to a 2022 Eurobarometer survey, 63 percent of citizens in EU countries consider corruption unacceptable.

But that number varies widely from country to country, from 78 percent who considered it unacceptable in Ireland versus just 34 percent in Latvia and 30 percent in the Czech Republic.

Related Articles

Unelected PM of the UK holds an emergency meeting because a candidate got voted in… which he says is a threat to democracy…
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.