A dried sausage, champagne, a scarf, a blue statuette representing a sheep, a book about “La Martinique d’antan” … The long list of gifts received by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, looks like one Inventory of Prévert.
They were received in the last 12 months and placed in a public file of Parliament on 12 January 2023. However, internal regulations state that elected officials must report the gifts no later than the end of the month following the month in which they received them.
Why not register these gifts in the public register sooner? The spokesman for the president referred to “a practice” whereby presidents are not bound by this rule.
Operational visibility to Qatargate
For his part, Jaume Duch, Speaker of the Parliament, stressed that all these gifts had been received “on behalf of the institution” and that none of them had been “kept by the President”.
For Nicholas Aiossa of the NGO Transparency International, this presidential initiative is welcome, but it is a demonstration that the “system doesn’t work”.
The problem in the European Parliament is that non-compliance with the rules “rarely leads to sanctions”, he explains and advocates written rules and more controls.
Shaken by this Qatar-Morocco corruption scandal, in which Greek Socialist MEP Eva Kaili has been jailed, the European Parliament is trying to restore its image.
Roberta Metsola presented the leaders of the political groups last week with a package of 14 measures aimed at reforming the institution and combating foreign interference.