Press release

#Qatargate: New Ethics Body is toothless

Today, the European Commission presented its plans for an inter-institutional Ethics Body in response to the “Qatargate” corruption scandal in the European Parliament to increase transparency in nine major EU institutions. But the proposed measures, such as a creating an ethics supervisory body without investigative and enforcement powers, are toothless, criticise MEPs from the Pirate Party, who recently presented their own proposals to increase transparency and integrity.

Mikuláš Peksa, Czech Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament, comments:

“The Commission’s proposal to establish a new Ethics Body is a big disappointment. It practically fails to serve its purpose. How can we expect anyone to adhere to the rules of a toothless ethical body that lacks any sanctioning or investigative powers? And what’s even worse, the presented Ethics Body is focused solely on politically appointed individuals, not on ordinary employees of European institutions. Unfortunately, we are also only talking about a limited number of these institutions, which accounts for only about 4.7% of the total number of people working within EU structures. However, we need a truly ambitious body that will hold everyone accountable, without exception. I really don’t want another futile entity where we will discuss, without any results, whether someone might have done something wrong.”

Patrick Breyer, German Pirate Party Member of the European Parliament, comments:

“The EU is in an existential an existential crisis of confidence – not only because of the Qatargate corruption scandal. Our European Union is far too much controlled by industry and governments instead of acting in the interests of the citizens, whose will hardly counts. The ethics reform that the von der Leyen Commission wants to fob us off with today is toothless and ultimately means ‘business as usual’. The answer to corruption and lobbying is supposed to be a committee of blabbermouths, with no investigation or enforcement powers, leaving MEPs and key politicians in charge of controlling their peers. In this way, the powerful industry lobbies will continue to hold the EU in a headlock.

“The proposal even offers the European Parliament a pretext to postpone overdue reforms, for example concerning MEP side jobs, cooling-off periods for ex-MEPs, lobby meetings and the prevention of corruption. We Pirate Party MEPs have since presented a comprehensive transparency and integrity plan: We not only demand full disclosure of all MEPs’ expenses, we Pirates have been doing this voluntarily since the beginning of our mandate. One year before the European elections, we must not allow the Europeans’ trust in politics to be further damaged by inactivity and turning a blind eye. The end of von der von der Leyen’s political term is overdue.”


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