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Parliament agrees on immediate action to improve transparency and accountability

Date

19 Dec 2022

Sections

Global Europe

Today the Socialists and Democrats voted in favour of a series of measures aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the EU in light of allegations of corruption that emerged last Friday. This week the S&D Group expressed its shock and dismay at the allegations and underlined the group’s zero tolerance approach to corruption. 

Following cross-party efforts, MEPs have agreed on immediate steps to deal with the specific allegations, as well as on steps to improve anti-corruption policies and end foreign interference on the EU’s decision-making more broadly.

The measures voted on today include a committee of inquiry to look into the specific allegations, a special committee to look into flaws in transparency, integrity and corruption, and a vice-president responsible for fighting corruption and foreign interference in Parliament. In 2021, the European Parliament asked the Commission for a proposal to set up an ethics body and MEPs repeat that demand today. MEPs also want to strengthen the EU Transparency Register and make sure it includes representatives of non-EU countries.

With this vote, all work on legislative files relating to Qatar is suspended until the allegations have either been confirmed or dismissed, but MEPs want to go further and suspend the access badges of representatives of Qatari interests until there is clearer information.

Representing the S&D Group in the drawing up of the measures, Birgit Sippel MEP said:

“Today MEPs have agreed on a series of concrete measures to tackle corruption from being able to take root in the European Parliament. It is individuals that are facing allegations of criminal activity, but we recognise that individual actions severely tarnish the reputation of the European Parliament as a whole. It is imperative that we restore public trust and the process to improve transparency and accountability starts now. This is just the beginning, not the end. These measures are not just about making sure we have proper anti-corruption measures in the Parliament, but across the EU institutions as a whole through an EU ethics body and a mandatory EU Transparency Register. The speed with which we agreed on what immediate action to take is a testament to our unified commitment and resolve to restore the integrity of the Parliament and the EU institutions.“

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