The Qatargate corruption scandal has highlighted the lack of transparency in the European Parliament. In this context, Viktor Orbán recalled the Hungarian proposal for the reform of the institution.
“In the wake of the largest corruption scandal to hit the European Parliament in over a decade, its president Roberta Metsola blamed ‘malign actors linked to autocratic third countries’ after Belgian police found bags of cash at the home of vice-president Eva Kaili,” EUObserver writes in an article about the Qatargate corruption scandal, adding that “the parliament, and especially its Bureau, has for years seeded a culture of impunity where MEPs and assistants can get away with almost anything”.
The article reminds that “Belgium’s prime minister Alexander De Croo alluded to such after four people were arrested, including Kaili, for alleging taking some 1.5 million euros in bribes from Qatar”.
Belgian justice is doing what the European Parliament has failed to do,
De Croo said.
The news portal article cites several examples of a lack of transparency in MEPs’ spending, which the European Parliament leadership has absolutely no intention of changing.
The corruption scandal has attracted a lot of attention in the Hungarian media and politics too. It is considered ironic that the European Commission has called for Hungary to take more thorough action against corruption, and the European Parliament has also criticized the Hungarian government in a number of resolutions.
At his end-of-year press conference, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was also asked about Qatargate. According to Orbán,
the fact that EU institutions are losing their credibility is compromising the strength of the community that Hungary itself belongs to.
In his view, the case justifies the decision adopted by the Hungarian parliament in connection with the future of the EU. The resolution – initiated by the governing Fidesz/KDNP parties – was based on Orbán’s speech last year, in which he made contributions to the then-ongoing Congress of the Future of Europe. One of his suggestions was to fundamentally reform the European Parliament: “We must significantly increase the role of national parliaments: nations’ legislatures should send representatives to the European Parliament based on the model of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.”
Featured photo via the European Parliament