Pirates: Anti-corruption measures in the European Parliament are inadequate

Brussels, 05/05/2023 – Pirate Party MEPs have presented their own vision of anti-corruption rules for the European Parliament and the European Commission, which would apply for politicians and high-ranking officials. The Pirate plan is a response to measures put forward by European Parliament’s President Roberta Metsola following the Qatargate corruption scandal. Even though they are a move in the right direction, they are still insufficient, according to Pirate Party MEPs. 

Marcel Kolaja, Member and Quaestor of the European Parliament, says:

“The rules proposed by President Metsola form a good basis for further political debates. I appreciate that the proposal includes measures similar to those that the European Pirates have been advocating for for a number of years. I still consider the proposed rules insufficient, however. That is why the Pirates have presented our own vision of anti-corruption measures. Central to this vision is a sophisticated system of user-friendly disclosure of information relating to the exercise of the mandate and officials‘ functions. This includes, for example, a user friendly register of meetings with lobbyists or the declaration of assets by officials at the beginning and at the end of their mandate. All data and information should be easily accessible, so that citizens, journalists, and watchdog organisations can analyse it regularly.”

Markéta Gregorová, Member of European Parliament, comments:

The plan also includes mandatory disclosure of information on the activities of public representatives and other staff of the European Parliament. It can help to detect suspicious transactions and behaviour. Regular audits of MEPs’ budget expenditure should be a matter of course. As the Qatargate case has shown, luxury trips and events can be a tool to secure the loyalty of public figures. Therefore, any gifts or trips paid for by third parties should be disclosed. The current rules are set too lightly, giving room for non-transparent lobbying by various interest groups and, in the worst case, outright vote-buying.

Mikuláš Peksa, Chairperson of the PPEU and MEP, says:

Meetings register is commonplace for Pirates – but not for many other Members of Parliament or the Commission. Also, not all roll-call votes are still available because they are done by a show of hands. This leads to a weakening of the accountability of MPs, especially on controversial issues such as the recent vote on the hosting of the football championship in Qatar. Here, too, the current, outdated rules need to be revised. The proposal also calls for greater protection for whistleblowers”

More: Transparency and Integrity in the European Parliament by the European Pirates

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