This is a corruption scandal, not an NGO scandal! – My plenary speech

The investigations in the #Qatargate corruption scandal focus, among other things, on two organisations that claimed to be NGOs. Now, some people in the European Parliament are attacking NGOs in general and want to limit their operational radius.

I disagree: #Qatargate is a corruption scandal, not an NGO scandal. The organisational shell of an NGO was used here by a criminal network. Moreover, the underlying issue with such scandals is that some in the Parliament as well as in other EU institutions allow themselves to be corrupted in the first place.

So instead of criminalising NGOs – some of which are among our most important allies in the fight against corruption – we need to tackle the corruption problem. My demands include:

  • Establishment of an independent ethics authority – something Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised three years ago.
  • Creating a culture in which whistleblowers feel safe enough to come forward with their suspicions
  • More resources for OLAF (the European Anti-Fraud Office)

Instead of playing the Blame Game or exploiting the scandal for party politics, we need to clean up our own mess!

You may find my plenary speech here:

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