European Parliament Expel Vice President Charged with Corruption

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to expel Vice President Eva Kaili over her corruption charges in the unravelling EU-Qatari scandal. 625 votes in favour, 1 against and 2 abstentions. This is just the tip of the iceberg…

mdi-timer 13 December 2022 @ 11:28 13 Dec 2022 @ 11:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Police Raid European Parliament Offices as Corruption Scandal Swells

The EU-Qatari corruption scandal is quickly escalating into a major headache for Brussels. Yesterday, Guido reported on the alleged bribes top EU lawmakers had pocketed from the Qatari government, including to European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili. Then, it was claimed Belgian investigators had found cash worth €600,000 in one legislator’s apartment. Now they’ve found another bag of cash under the mattress, and the current figure is over €1 million

The police have now begun searching offices in the European Parliament, the 20th raid related to the probe since Friday. They’ve also frozen the IT resources of 10 parliamentary employees. Several Socialist and Democrat (S&D) MEPs who are not directly implicated but maintain close political ties to those charged have stood down from certain roles… including MEP Marie Arena as chair of the Parliament’s human rights subcommittee.

Unsurpringly, Brussels is in meltdown over this. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has even warned that “democracy is under attack”. It’s turning into the biggest corruption scandal in the bloc’s history…
mdi-timer 13 December 2022 @ 10:34 13 Dec 2022 @ 10:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Slaps Down Swiss-Style EU Deal

Speaking at the CBI this morning, Rishi Sunak was unambiguous in his opposition to the “Swiss-style” EU deal mooted over the weekend:

“Let me be unequivocal about this: under my leadership the UK will not pursue any relationship with Europe that relies on alignment with EU laws […] Brexit can deliver and is already delivering enormous benefits and opportunities.”

Number 10 is clearly keen to put out this fire fast…

mdi-timer 21 November 2022 @ 11:28 21 Nov 2022 @ 11:28 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
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