Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is considered the capital of Europe and is regarded as one of the safest places for diplomats and members of the European Parliament. It hosts essential institutions of the European Union, including the EU itself, the largest assembly in the world and a cornerstone of democracy in Europe. Moreover, EU laws provide privileges to MEPs, including diplomatic immunities, as they represent their people. However, if their diplomatic immunities are violated, and they are being spied on by host nation secret services, it would be very shocking and depict an alarming picture for European politics. A similar incident occurred in the European Parliament, indicating that Brussels has become unsafe for diplomats and MEPs.
It has been revealed from a police report submitted to a judge that MEPs and a crucial investigative commission members of the European Union were spied on and surveilled by secret services. The Report was compiled by both Police and secret services and was submitted to Judge Michel Claise in Qatargate investigation. Later, the judge also resigned because there were suspicions of his conduct. Documents from the information indicate violations of the law, disregarding Protocol Number 7 on the privileges and immunities of the EU. This development shows that Brussels is not safe for members of the European Parliament, as Belgian secret services are spying on them.
Eva Kaili raised Similar concerns last June, who also faced surveillance by secret services. She filed a lawsuit against the Secret Service for violating her parliamentary immunity. Kaili stated that secret services monitored her during her participation in a commission. This commission was tasked with investigating the wiretapping of European politicians and the use of illegal software. Essentially, it was probing espionage by a foreign country. However, the concern here is why the secret services were spying on the commission, which is crucial as it investigates espionage. This conduct of secret services raises severe concerns about their actions.
The commission was subjected to spying and monitoring by the secret services, impacting their political perspectives. This intrusion raises concerns about the ability of members to express themselves while carrying out their parliamentary duties freely.
Here, the Belgian secret services violated Article 8 of Protocol (No 7) on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union. Article 8 establishes absolute immunity for opinions expressed during parliamentary duties, aiming to safeguard the freedom of expression for MEPs. How can a member exercise their freedom of expression while being spied on by foreign agents?
Moreover, the report compiled by Belgian secret services cooperating with other European counterparts details several suspects, including Moretti and Brando Benifei. Here, the involvement of other agencies with Belgian secret services portrays a broader image. Accompanied by photos, it covers the activities of Cozzolino, Panzeri, Giorgi, Kaili, Arena, Moretti, Benifei, and Niccolò Figà-Talamanca. Secret services also tapped their phones. The question arises: why did Belgian secret services monitor the members’ activities, especially Eva Kaili?
Further, the secret services also violated Article 9 of parliamentary immunity. This article states that its purpose is to safeguard the independence of MEPs by preventing pressure, such as threats of arrest or legal proceedings, from being imposed on them during parliamentary sessions. However, in this case, the independence of commission members and MEPs was compromised, clearly demonstrating the intrusion by the secret services.
Furthermore, investigators noted Kaili’s membership in the commission, emphasizing the need to determine whether she is part of the alleged criminal organization. However, the question remains: who authorized the Secret Services to allegedly investigate Eva Kaili or her affiliations with other organizations?
This entire development in European politics paints a disheartening picture and projects a negative image to the world, as the capital of Europe is not secure for the privacy of MEPs. The President and Vice President of the European Parliament must take decisive action against Belgian authorities. Members of the European Parliament should initiate a resolution condemning the conduct of Belgian authorities. What is evident in the entire scenario is that Brussels is not a safe place for diplomats and the European Parliament.