The scandal of the bribery of Qatar and Morocco to MEPs and key figures related to the European Parliament continues to kick in the Eurochamber.
While the leadership of the European Parliament tries to advance measures to increase transparency and accountability in the institution, as a reaction to the case that has tarnished its image, the plenary session of the Eurochamber has begun on Monday the procedures to strip immunity two legislators: the Belgian Marc Tarabella and the Italian Andrea Cozzolino.
Parliament responds to the request of the Belgian court, which is investigating the case of corruption, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization and has already prosecuted four people, including the Greek MEP from the social democrat group Eva Kaili and the former MEP Antonio Panzieri, both in prison and awaiting trial.
Legislators Tarabella and Cozzolino, also from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, maintain their innocence and assure that they are not opposed to the withdrawal of immunity, a process that will be done by fast track in about four weeks.
“We are not an imaginary ivory tower.
Any use or abuse has to be dealt with in a strong, systematic way, to address the weaknesses.
The events of the past month have shown the need to rebuild the bonds of trust with the European citizens that we represent", the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, acknowledged on Monday.
"We will take measures to strengthen the fight against corruption and the means to combat foreign interference," she said in the chamber at the opening of the first plenary session of the year.
Metsola and his team prepare a plan with 14 measures to try to shed light on the meetings of MEPs with
and organizations from third countries and to put an end to revolving doors, for example.
Some groups see Metsola's proposals as insufficient, and he has given them until Wednesday to present other initiatives before appointing a working group to come up with a proposal.
The case of Tarabella and Cozzolino now goes to the Legal Affairs Committee.
Both MEPs have already been separated from the S&D group, on Friday, after resisting for days.
Tarabella also resigned from his position as vice president of the delegation for Arab countries and as a member of the Pegasus commission, which is handling the case of government espionage with the controversial software, which also involves Morocco, on which suspicion of spying has fallen. to members of the Spanish Government, among others.
With Tarabella and Cozzolino, the process is different from that of Eva Kaili, one of the 14 vice-presidents of the European Parliament, who was caught in flagrante delicto by the Belgian authorities —among other things, she had bags of money in her house—, for which reason He has required a process to lift his immunity.
On Wednesday, the plenary session of the European Parliament votes on a new name to replace Vice President Kaili, who is in jail awaiting trial.
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