Corruption scandal damages EU credibility

AA / London / Burak Bir

The President of the European Council said that corruption scandals damage the credibility of the EU and make it more difficult for the Union to manage other crises.

In an interview with Politico.eu, published on Wednesday, Charles Michel said he was very concerned about accusations of criminal enterprise, money laundering and corruption which led to the arrest of an MEP from high rank.

Eva Kaili, 44, of the center-left Greek party PASOK-KINAL, and one of the 14 vice-presidents of the European Parliament, was arrested on December 9 by Belgian police after a search of her home, on charges of corruption linked to Qatar. She was removed from the vice-presidency of the European Parliament last week due to the allegations.

Following the announcement of the scandal, European parliamentarians voted by a large majority last Thursday in favor of suspending access privileges to the European Parliament for Qatari lobbyists while the investigation is ongoing. The final decision in this matter rests with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

“We must first learn from this case and come up with a set of measures to prevent such things from happening – to prevent corruption in the future,” Michel said.

He also said the scandal made it harder for the EU to focus on other challenges, such as the current economic and energy crises.

Michel also said the recent US Inflation Reduction Act is among the issues that risk causing “single market fragmentation” if they don’t quickly find adequate answers.

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“Overreliance on China” and Beijing’s pressure on Europe are other important issues facing the European Union, he added.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj


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