We need tighter rules and a full investigation of the Qatari corruption scandal!

To the European Parliament


We urgently need a full enquiry into the Qatari corruption scandal and stricter rules to fight corruption and bribery in Europe.

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Why is this important?

‘Bags of cash’ have been found at the homes of four European politicians. [1] They’ve allegedly been paid hundreds of thousands of euros to do the bidding of the Qatari government. If true, this is one of the biggest lobbying scandals in European history.

This corruption scandal is only possible because the European rules on lobbying are lax and outdated. [2]

The Qatari bribery scandal must be a wake-up call. The credibility of the whole European Union is at stake.

Unless we change the rules of the game, this could happen again and again. We urgently need a full inquiry into the scandal and stricter rules to fight corruption and bribery.

There’s a massive power imbalance at the heart of Europe that favours lobbyists over citizens groups like ours. We know for example that 75% of all Commission meetings are with corporate lobbyists - and this is not even counting representatives of repressive regimes like Qatar. [3]

But right now we have a unique opportunity to re-write the rules of the system. The scandal is driving massive media attention and all eyes are on Brussels. This is our chance to call for more transparency and better rules. [4] We need to get money out of politics and give more power back to ordinary people like you and me. But we won’t get there unless we make a lot of noise now.

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  1. https://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-under-attack-roberta-metsola-police-launch-fresh-raids-qatar-corruption-scandal-eva-kaili-socialist-democrats-ursula-von-der-leyen-visentini-giorgi-panzeri-margaritis-schinas/
  2. https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/12/12/calls-for-eu-lobbying-rules-to-be-reformed-grow-as-corruption-scandal-rocks-brussels
  3. https://transparency.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Lobby-Meetings-European-Commission.pdf
  4. https://www.alter-eu.org/sites/default/files/documents/open%20letter%20kaili%20corruption%20scandal_151222_0.pdf
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