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The European Parliament is arguing for stronger controls in the wake of Qatar’s intervention, but avoids referring to Morocco.

“Catargate represents serious foreign interference in EU democratic processes”. Thus, the resolution approved this Thursday covers the crisis the institution is facing. With 541 votes to two, with three abstentions, the Strasbourg plan approved the opening of an internal investigation and the suspension of “all legislative files” related to Qatar.

Of course, the plenary session rejected an amendment presented by IU MEPs Sira Rego and Manu Pineda, in which they expressed “deep concern over allegations that Morocco has also tried to influence MEPs, former MEPs and members of the European Parliament.” staff with corrupt practices; Requests the use of measures in line with those used in the investigation of representatives of Qatari interests.”

In the last few hours, Italian, Belgian, German and American media have reported, based on investigation documents, that Morocco may be behind the bribery in the European Parliament. The amendment was defeated with 253 votes against – popular, most of the socialists and liberals, including the Spanish – 238 against – the Greens, La Izquierda, part of the socialists and liberals – and 67 abstentions – fundamentally ultraconservatives – .

The text of the consensus resolution addresses the fact that “confidence in the integrity of Parliament and the rule of law is essential for the functioning of European democracy”; Because “it is necessary to guarantee that democratic processes will not be hijacked by private and external interests and that the rights of citizens will be fully protected”.

Thus, the text indicates that the non-governmental organization “Fighting Impunity”, which belongs to the former MEP Antonio Panzer, in the center of the plot “”is not registered in the transparency register. […] A central part of the ethical framework and transparency of the European institutions”.

From this point of view, the document protects that “being influenced by the arguments of interest representatives [lobistas] decision-making in the Parliament is a vital part of European democracy’, but that ‘on the contrary, improper means of influence, bribery and other criminal offenses are unacceptable’.

The MEPs admit that they are “appalled” and express their “serious concerns about alleged corruption, money laundering and the involvement of members, former members and employees of the Parliament in a criminal organization in exchange for influencing the decisions of the Parliament” and support “full cooperation. with the ongoing criminal investigation of the European Parliament”.

Thus, they condemn “Qatar’s alleged attempts to influence members, former members and staff of the European Parliament through acts of corruption, which constitute serious foreign interference in the democratic processes of the European Union”; They stress the “seriousness and scope of the ongoing investigation” which requires the European Parliament and EU institutions to “react with unequivocal unity and unwavering determination”.

Through the resolution, the MEPs undertake to “create an investigative committee, following the results of the criminal investigation and possible legal procedures, to investigate cases of corruption and improper actions by third countries trying to gain influence in the Parliament”.

The resolution “urgently calls for the suspension of access to representatives of Qatari interests”, considers that “the EU Transparency Register should be strengthened, both in terms of budget and staff, so that it can more thoroughly verify the information provided by registrants”. Special attention to representatives of “third countries”.

In addition, the MEPs “underline that the regulation and control of friendship groups is a prerequisite for their presence in the Parliament”; They recommend “Revision of the Statute of Public Servants to bring it in line with the norms of the Whistleblower Directive”; They call for “further strengthening of the capacity and cooperation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and OLAF, and common anti-corruption rules applicable to members and staff of EU bodies”.

Thus, the European Parliament “suspends all work on legislative files related to Qatar, especially regarding visa liberalization and planned visits, until the suspicions are confirmed or cleared.”

Source: El Diario





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