Raising Concerns: European Parliament’s Response to Qatargate

The blunders or wrongdoings of Belgian authorities in the Qatargate case are still coming out and shocking the people. Now it has become a fact that the Belgian authorities made the QatarGate to defame some members, and yet there are speculations that it was backed by UAE. Besides this, now the Members of the European Parliament are also raising concerns about the conduct of Belgian authorities and the quick invocation of parliamentary immunity of Eva Kaili.

Sandro Gozi, a Member of the European Parliament, recently addressed the Qatar Gate issue and stated, “The European Parliament has renounced its role regarding Qatargate.” He believes that in this entire affair, the European Parliament has sacrificed its prestige and prerogatives too quickly, in a hasty and grossly superficial manner.

He expressed concern about the hasty and superficial determination of the flagrant crime and its invocation to revoke immunity. He emphasized that it was the father of former Vice President Eva Kaili, and not Kaili directly, who was found with a suitcase full of money. He stressed that parliamentary immunity is not a guarantee for the elected representative, but rather a safeguard for the voters and democracy. In this manner, he pointed out that a dangerous precedent has been set: a very broad notion of flagrant crime, which could also apply to other countries.

His statements add more weight to the notion that Eva Kaili was indeed targeted by Belgian authorities. Her parliamentary immunity was revoked prematurely, even though no evidence was presented against her. Meanwhile, the immunity of Marie Arena remained untouched despite evidence against her. These actions by Belgian authorities highlight significant blunders and suggest the staging of the Qatargate affair.

Furthermore, he expressed his concern about the activities of the secret services, which violated parliamentary prerogatives in this case. He emphasized that from the perspective of protecting parliamentary prerogatives, he was perplexed. Another aspect he raised is the lack of a shared approach or even a basic consensus among the 27 Member States regarding the immunity of MEPs. He pointed out that there seems to be variable geometry in this regard, which is a fundamental issue for European democracy, especially in light of the upcoming enlargement, which will bring even more diversity.

He suggested that this is why it seemed appropriate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee to raise strong doubts about the treatment of a constitutional prerogative such as parliamentary immunity in a founding country like Belgium and the failure to defend it from an institution to which he belongs, which is the European Parliament.

He also highlighted the fact that there are two Belgian newspapers competing to publish confidential papers, which should remain classified. This situation is both surprising and worrying, especially considering that it occurs just a few hundred meters from the European Parliament, in the European capital, and in a founding member state. He expressed his confusion at the silence from the European Parliament, especially since it is the judiciary’s responsibility to determine how events unfolded.

Additionally, he pointed out the sensational implications, such as the candidacy of the investigating judge Michel Claise. In summary, he emphasized that everything that has transpired is not reassuring.

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