Green light from European parliamentary group leaders for strict lobbying rules

To restore confidence in the European Parliament, the President has proposed several measures to increase transparency and prevent further attempts to influence MEPs. These were approved by the Presidential Conference.

This desire for reform responds to revelations in the media coverage of a large investigation into alleged corruption of MEPs by third countries (Qatar and Morocco are cited). Four people are in preventive detention in the case, including former European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kairi. Belgian Socialist MP Marc Talavera also lost parliamentary immunity as part of the investigation.

“We are committed to taking swift and decisive action to address the loss of confidence. ‘, President Mezzola said in the evening.

“These reforms are a first step towards rebuilding trust in European decision-making and hopefully demonstrate that politics is a force for good,” the statement continued.

There is talk of tougher rules for former MEPs who want to lobby the European Parliament, especially with a ‘cooling-off’ period after they lose their powers.

Former MEPs and their staff can also lose their permanent access cards to the building and benefit only from daily badges. Elected former officials are required to submit a more detailed declaration of financial interests, including work and parallel activities.

“Friendship associations” with third countries are prohibited if an official parliamentary interlocutor has already been appointed.

Also, all events held within the European Parliament with stakeholder representatives should appear on the transparency register.

In the declaration, the President further assured that work to implement these reforms must begin immediately so that they can be applied as soon as possible.

Other long-term measures to better combat corruption are also being considered by the European Parliament in the process, which was launched at a presidential meeting in January.

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