Von Der Leyen Calls For New Ethics Watchdog After Massive EU Corruption Claims

Ursula von der Leyen has insisted the arrests at the top of the European Parliament are of the “utmost concern“.

This afternoon von der Leyen called on Brussels to immediately establish a new ethics watchdog after investigations uncovered jaw-dropping evidence of bribery and corruption from its lawmakers.

According to reports, four EU officials – including European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili – have been charged with “participation in a criminal organisation” after accepting life-changing bribes from the Qatari government. Belgian police have seized cash worth €600,000 from the politicians’ apartments…

Reacting to the news that four of her EU colleagues had been coining it with the Qataris, von der Leyen said:

“The allegations are of utmost concern, very serious […] It is a question of confidence of people into our institutions and this confidence of trust into institutions needs the highest standards of independence and integrity…”

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock added that “the credibility of Europe” is at stake. That’s putting it mildly… 

mdi-timer 12 December 2022 @ 16:08 12 Dec 2022 @ 16:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Commission Shows Solidarity by Softening Sanctions on Russian Coal

The European Commission on Wednesday allowed for the transfer of Russian coal to ease “energy insecurity around the world”. A positive development for the Kremlin’s coffers, this softened the prior sanctions package, which had prohibited EU actors from transferring or providing services for Russian supplies. This comes at a time when the EU is supposed to be phasing out coal use in pursuit of net zero targets. The decision was pushed through despite reported opposition from member states, including Poland and the Baltics. It also comes as Russia gears up for an escalation. They certainly picked their moment…

What makes this policy shift the more bemusing is the gulf between supranational word and deed. The move follows von der Leyen’s State of the Union address, where she promised an “unshakeable” solidarity with Ukraine, whilst committing to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Barely a week has passed and already two of her priorities have been dealt a self-inflicted hammer blow.

mdi-timer 23 September 2022 @ 08:45 23 Sep 2022 @ 08:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
European Commission Releases 110-Page Von der Leyen Quiz

Any families with a bit of spare time this weekend, or looking for that perfect Christmas bonding activity, are in luck. The European Commission has launched its own 110-page quiz and accompanying board game focused entirely on itself and its benevolent dear leader Ursula von der Leyen. Yes, 110 pages.

The quiz booklet, available now, features 101 sections and is the perfect brain teaser for any budding europhiles. It’s also open to players of all ages, with questions such as “What is the aim of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation?” and “Can you name one of the six political priorities of the von der Leyen Commission?” Sure to provide hours of fun for all those children out there with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the European Green Deal Investment plan…

Just imagine your child waking up on Christmas day, wide-eyed with excitement for what Sinterklaas has in store for them under the tree, only to find themselves answering questions like:

  • By 2030, by what percentage should the use of fertilizers be reduced?
  • What is the total amount of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 (in current prices)?
  • Trafficking in human beings remains a serious threat in the EU despite progress achieved in the past years. Victims are mainly women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation. Roughly what percentage of victims do women and girls account for?

The winner is the first to reach the finish line, or give up and go outside…

mdi-timer 15 September 2022 @ 17:00 15 Sep 2022 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
EU Commission Confirms Candidate Status on Ukraine

Ursula von der Leyen has formally confirmed that the EU Commission has approved Ukraine for candidate EU status. Confirmation has been given on the “understanding that the country will carry out a number of important reforms” including on the rule of law, oligarchs, anti-corruption and “fundamental rights”, however the country has implemented around 70% of EU rules, norms and standards. She says “Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.”

The Commission has also recommended candidate status for Moldova, which von der Leyen says is “on a real pro-reform, anti-corruption and European path”, though has a long way to go. Georgia missed out on being awarded the same status…

mdi-timer 17 June 2022 @ 11:45 17 Jun 2022 @ 11:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Von der Leyen’s Mandatory Vaccine Threat

Aren’t you glad we’re out? At a press conference this afternoon EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen issued a threat that mandatory, EU-wide vaccines may well be coming down the road, telling reporters:

“Potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion, this needs a common approach, but it is a discussion I think that needs to be led…”

Funny thing for the head of a trade bloc to say…

mdi-timer 1 December 2021 @ 14:07 1 Dec 2021 @ 14:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
EU & UEFA’s COP26 Own Goal

This morning, Ursula von der Leyen launched a new campaign with UEFA ahead of COP26 to tackle climate change, arguing that “Team 🇪🇺 is delivering with #EUGreenDeal”*. UEFA’s press office boasts:

“Football greats Luís Figo of Portugal, Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon and French duo Delphine and Estelle Cascarino turn on the skills for campaign ad that shows everyone has a role to play in defeating the environment’s toughest opponent.”

Just one problem…

As the FT’s EU correspondent points out, UEFA’s own tournament and team sponsors include Gazprom, Volkswagen and Qatar Airways. Perhaps if the EU want us to believe they’re serious about tackling climate change, they should put their money where their mouth is and tell UEFA to ditch these polluting sponsors. Guido won’t hold his breath…

*The annual Climate Transparency Report would beg to disagree.

mdi-timer 18 October 2021 @ 16:59 18 Oct 2021 @ 16:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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