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Iratxe García: S&Ds will lead by example by adopting 15 measures to prevent corruption and interference in the EU Parliament


19 Jan 2023


Global Europe

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have adopted a 15-point plan to prevent and combat corruption and corruptive political interference. This plan has been sent to President Roberta Metsola to contribute to the political groups’ discussions, but it will be already implemented unilaterally within the S&D Group. 

At the same meeting, it was decided that Silvina Bacigalupo, professor of Criminal Law and member of the board of Transparency International Spain since 2013, and former European Parliament rapporteur on rules of procedure and former MEP Richard Corbett will lead the S&D internal inquiry. The Group will decide the mandate, scope, and structure of this inquiry with them.

Iratxe García, S&D leader, said:

“Since the first day the Qatargate scandal broke in December, I have been determined to act with absolute transparency to regain citizens’ trust in our group and in the European Parliament as a whole.

“As the judicial investigation continues and sheds light on the crimes committed by some persons, our Group has engaged in a thorough reflection on how we can better protect our work and our independence from corruptive political interference.

“After a good consultation with all the delegations of our Group, we have adopted 15 measures that will be implemented by our Group to enhance our existing rules, so that we lead by example in our commitment with ethics, transparency, and accountability. We hope the Parliament will take also them up for the institution.

“Regarding our internal inquiry, I’m thankful to Silvina Bacigalupo and Richard Corbett for bringing their knowledge, expertise and time to improve our work. We believe it is a strong tandem to lead a revision of our internal procedures in order to prevent any potential wrongdoing and strengthen transparency and integrity.”

Together with these 15 measures, the S&D Group also supported the lifting of parliamentary immunity of Andrea Cozzolino and Marc Tarabella. Until the outcome of the judicial process, the S&D Group has accepted the voluntary exclusion of Andrea Cozzolino and decided to exclude Marc Tarabella. Both of them automatically join the non-attached group in the European Parliament.

The 15 measures include:

  • To strengthen and enhance whistleblower protection for staff and accredited parliamentary assistants, by urgently revising the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament in order to immediately align them with the necessary protection provided in the EU Whistleblower Directive.
  • To urgently set up an ethics body for the EU institutions and agencies, with the necessary financial means and staff to fully carry out its tasks, before the end of the legislature in 2024.
  • To set up a special committee on integrity, transparency and corruption within the European Parliament with regard to political interference by lobbyists and third countries, reporting to Plenary before summer 2023. An administrative taskforce, as recently proposed, is not enough. 
  • To implement the current provisions of the Transparency Register Inter-Institutional Agreement within the European Parliament in a much stricter way.

You can find the S&D 15-Point Plan to combat corruption and corruptive political interference here.


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