Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, considered that “European democracy is under attack,” amid news of the corruption scandal that rocked the European Parliament and is being investigated with the participation of several European countries, and allegations of the involvement of a Gulf state in providing bribes to European officials in pursuit of to gain leverage.
At the start of the parliament’s inaugural session in December, Metsola said that “malign actors, linked to authoritarian third states, have weaponised NGOs, trade unions, individuals, aides and MEPs in an attempt to subjugate our activities, and their malicious plans have failed.”
“It is important that these people understand that they will be arrested, that our services will work, and that they will face full law enforcement,” she added.
On Monday, Mitsola announced reforms to the transparency rules, as well as the opening of “an internal investigation to look into all the facts relating to Parliament and to look at how our systems can become tighter”.
She also announced that the position of the European Parliament on the issue of exempting the citizens of Qatar and Kuwait from “Schengen” visas would be reviewed, saying: “I was scheduled to announce today the opening of negotiations on the Schengen visa exemption report with Qatar and Kuwait, but in light of the investigations, I must Return this report to the relevant committee.
Mitsola revealed that she
In a statement last Friday, the Belgian federal prosecutor said that for two years, Belgian Federal Police inspectors had suspected a Gulf country of influencing the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament, public service broadcaster RTBF reported. It was widely mentioned, in the Belgian and other European media, that Qatar was the Gulf country involved in the investigation.
CNN has reached out to the Qatari government for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Qatar’s mission to the European Union said, in a statement, that “Qatar categorically rejects any attempts to link it to accusations of misconduct, and that any association of the Qatari government with these allegations is unfounded and is considered a dangerous fallacy.” “Qatar works through partnership between one institution and another, in full compliance with international laws and regulations,” the statement added.
The President of the European Union described the past days as the longest in her career, and expressed her “extreme anger and regret,” vowing that “there will be no impunity, and her determination to make the European institution stronger.”
“To the malicious actors who think they can buy their interest, who think Europe is for sale, who think they can control our NGOs, I tell you that you will find this Parliament standing firmly in your way,” Metsola added.
Earlier Friday, Greek Vice President Eva Kaili was expelled by her political party in Greece, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), amid a corruption investigation in the European Parliament.
“As a precaution, again with full respect for the presumption of innocence, I have stripped said Vice President of any duties and responsibilities relating to her role as Vice President, and convened an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of Presidents to launch a procedure to terminate her term as Vice President in an effort to protect the integrity of this House,” Mitsola said.