News from the 141 list of gifts of the President of the European Parliament Metsola. News headlines and events from Last Minute France
After the Cathargate scandal broke out in the European Parliament, ending with the arrest of deputies, the water does not calm down. Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola has issued her own “declaratory report” in an attempt to push through reforms to transparency procedures in the aftermath of the Cathargate corruption scandal that rocked Parliament.
The President of the European Parliament and the deputies were asked to announce “holidays and gifts paid for by third parties”, which they did not declare on that day.
President Roberta Metsola’s announcement of a list of 141 gifts and trips she received during the year, despite being required to report back within a month, sparked new debate in Europe’s legislature.
MEP President Metsola has announced a list of 141 items, including gifts such as champagne, a silk scarf and a sculpture he has received over the past year, as well as invitations to private companies that he and his wife have participated in.
Saying that he “published this list to promote transparency” for the European media, President Metsola announced that he had made such an attempt to “set an example” in the wake of allegations of corruption in recent months.
However, according to the Charter of the European Parliament, the deadline for declaring gifts accepted by the President and deputies is 1 month. While claiming that Metsola was not adhering to this calendar, the European media wrote that it was “significant” that a “forgotten” list had now been announced. The French magazine Le Point stated that “Metsola claimed forgotten gifts”.
On a luxury wine lobby tour
The Politico Europe office wrote that Metsola and her husband were “sheltered” in October last year, before the scandal broke out with the Greek parliamentarian Eva Kaili, at the invitation of French winemakers from Burgundy, where they stayed for free in a luxurious castle for 350 euros per night. and arranged a sumptuous dinner with expensive wines. The politician pointed out that it was against the charter not to attend this dinner, but “not to declare within the mandatory one month period”.
The wine lobby, which has very high export profits, is an industry with significant influence in France and Brussels. However, Metsola and his team completely denied that the president had broken any rules, arguing that “he has made an effort to be more transparent and therefore cannot be punished.”
Parliamentary regulations require MEPs to publicly disclose travel, accommodation or fees paid by third parties such as governments, companies or NGOs by the end of next month. This is contrary to statute when Metsola announced his visit to the castle on October 22, January 11, well after the legal deadline. Metsola explained that he “did not pay attention to this rule, but will henceforth strictly observe it.”
Approximately 200 trips
Since 2019, when the current legislative session began, MEPs have declared more than 200 individual trips, covering accommodation, travel or both, according to European Parliament records. These places include Europe as well as many countries such as Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, China, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Syria.
According to Metsola’s own statement, he spent one night at a hotel in Copenhagen to deliver the keynote speech at a Democracy Conference organized by the Union of Democracies Foundation and two nights at a hotel in Jerusalem during a state visit sponsored by the Union of Democracies Foundation. government of Israel, paid for by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. It was revealed that he also attended a breakfast attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, paid for by the charity.
“Report about incomes and material losses”
Metsola, who was elected Speaker of Parliament in January 2022, also updated his “financial income statement” on January 15. He noted that he is an unpaid trustee on the board of the EU-funded European think tank Friends of Europe. According to a spokesman for Friends of Europe, Metsola resigned from this post, which he took up in June 2020, the next day, January 16, 2022.
Metsola announced on the parliament’s website that he was a non-executive member of the board of directors of the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies, the official think tank of the centre-right European People’s Party, and that he was fired on 12 January.
Speaker of Parliament Jaume Duch stressed that all these gifts were received “on behalf of the institution” and none of them “belonged to the President of the European Parliament.”
German Green Party MP Daniel Freund said there should be an “amnesty” for the late notification of sponsored trips and said, “I’m glad Metsola has announced this. “All violations must be punished,” he said.
“Now the lawmakers who announced this list shouldn’t be in the spotlight any more than those who didn’t,” Metsola told Politico.
According to Transparency International spokesman Nicholas Ayoss, this initiative by the President of the European Parliament is “a positive initiative that should be welcomed”, but it is also an important indicator that “the audit system in parliament is not working.” Ayossa said: “The problem in Parliament is that even the written rules are not enforced and compliance is rarely sanctioned. There should be more checks and sanctions.”
14-Point Anti-Corruption Plan
The Parliament, which consists of 705 deputies from 27 EU member states, is considered the main defender of the Union’s ethical norms among European institutions. For this reason, the scandal that erupted with the discovery of suitcases with money in the houses of deputies shocked the entire EU in the run-up to the elections to be held in 2024.
The European Parliament, shaken by a corruption scandal involving Qatar and Morocco, which resulted in the jailing of Greek socialist MP Eva Kaili, is trying to restore its image. Last week, Roberta Metsola presented party leaders in parliament with a 14-point reform package that “strengthens control and aims to combat foreign interference.
broadcast by Voice of America List of 141 Gifts from AP President Metsola in the news houra-ber.com editors have no editorial intervention. Updates from MEP Metsola’s 141 gift lists are automatically posted on our website as they arrive from the VOA website. in this district List of 141 Gifts from AP President Metsola The legal addressee of the news is the websites and agencies that published the news.
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