A year ago, the Qatargate scandal broke in the European Parliament, affecting European politics‘ foundations with its revelations. The investigation of this scandal has now proved to be flawed and marked significant setbacks, prompting a call for action from Europe. It also highlights the urgency for the European Parliament to respond. MEP Massimiliano Smeriglio expressed the views.
From its very start, the investigation was a flop as it was given to Belgian secret services. Parliamentary prerogatives were violated despite Europe being known for its rule of law. The diplomatic immunity of parliament has been breached, and the question has been raised on the status of Brussels as a hosting nation of European institutions.
The Belgian secret services and police allegedly labeled this case as a corruption investigation. The suspects in the investigation faced a pre-trial detention. Further, the media portrayed the European Parliament negatively, which caused damage to the institution.
The involvement of Belgian secret services raises severe concerns about their illegal activities and cast a shadow on the investigation. Belgian authorities have done significant damage to the credibility of Parliament. The spying and surveillance of the MEPs and commission was a wrongful tact by the Belgian authorities. It violated the parliamentary prerogative and immunity of MEPs. The European laws safeguard the freedom of MEps to express political opinions, and the European intelligence community is now allied to spy or observe them. But here, all these principles have been consistently violated.
Further, the intervening of Belgian police in parliament proceedings depicts a sad image of European politics. Moreover, the Belgian police entered parliament in plain clothes and noted the activities of MEPs, and they were interested in recording their political opinions. During this illegal activity, a foreign delegate was also in a meeting. Here, the Belgian authorities violated the immunity of the parliament. The European laws provide complete diplomatic immunity to European buildings. It also shows that the European Parliament needs to be stronger.
This development will damage the EU’s image as the elections are just months away. It also stresses the need to protect the institution’s dignity. This scenario also creates a climate of suspicion among Europeans.
As more information is revealed, It’s time for the European Parliament to defend its prerogatives and ensure a fair and just resolution. The impact on Parliament’s credibility due to these developments demands a vigorous response. If timely action is not taken, suspicion will grow, and people will lose faith in European institutions.