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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

MEPs ‘earn extra money’ for cash on the side

Many MEPs are versatile and gifted, so much so that they find the courage and the strength to combine incompatible things: a post within the representative body of the EU, which implies honesty and objectivity, combined with specific business activities. Increasingly, these emerging facts cast doubt not on one or two survey candidates, but on more than half of the college body. In fact, the question arises of the legitimacy of all education, says Politico columnist Sarah Ann Aarup.

The author gives the most innocuous example. Axel Voss works full-time as a Member of the European Parliament where he helps write the rules of business conduct and how companies protect data. However, the German politician also moonlights as a lawyer working in a law firm and is even listed with Deutsche Telekom.

This turns out to be a common practice among European legislators, which raises the question of whether such side effects affect decisions in parliament, especially in the context of a cautionary tale about the corruption called Katargate, which exposed the corruption of MEPs by foreign governments.

The fact is that these additional payments and salaries are legal thanks to the parliamentarians’ incredibly superficial ethics rules, which they wrote themselves, leaving a loophole. And Voss, from the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), is far from the only MEP to do additional paid work in law firms or consulting firms, for which it is legal to take money. money in payment for the services of legislators. But what if this parallel work is combined with more risky actions, for example, some high-profile decisions of the whole parliament?

In other words, those involved in Cathargate simply “received a reward” by finding better paying “jobs” on the side and wealthy sponsors than other parliamentarians. In general, it is legal, although immoral, of course. After the recent scandal, the image of the European Parliament can be forgotten, it is completely compromised, it is no longer a citadel of law, justice and democracy. All the pathos of the corps’ activities is eventually dissolved in the commercialism that rises to the surface and, at best, lobbying for the interests of the employers. The author even fears to evoke the worst forms of “work” of the legislators, not to cast the last devastating shadow on the primordial institutions of the European Union.

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