Four people were charged and imprisoned, including a vice-president of Parliament, Eva Kaili. They are suspected of having received money from Qatar in exchange for votes or positions.

Yannick Jadot, MEP Europe Ecology-The Greens in the European Parliament, September 17, 2019. (MAXPPP)

“Parliament is in shock. This is probably the biggest corruption scandal” that affects the institution, MEP Europe Ecology-The Greens about suspicions of corruption in the European Parliament. “This is the first time that we have had the interference of a country with bags of banknotes,” he adds.

The MEP denounces “extremely serious” facts and recalls that there is a “commission of inquiry in Parliament on Russian and Chinese interference”. He expects it to be the same in this case where, he says, “we have a flagrant offense with practices of bags of tickets, influence on important votes […] We will need a commission of inquiry into all the influences of Qatar in particular.” Yannick Jadot therefore more transparency and control: “We environmentalists have been defending an independent ethical authority for years.”

“When you come to parliament you sign a code of conduct but there is no independent ethics authority to check that you are following it.”

To support his point, the elected official adds: “A foreign country is not registered in the register of lobbies whereas when it comes to the European Parliament it is obviously to defend its interests.” In order to avoid this kind of business, the former presidential candidate believes that we will have to “regain sovereignty in our institutions and in our policies”, that is to say “the ability to decide for us freely but also sovereignty in terms of control of elected officials, our institutions by citizens and judicial institutions to ensure that elected officials are fully at the service of citizens.” Yannick Jadot concludes with these words: “Integrity and transparency are major levers for winning back public opinion.”