Will the Fallout from “Qatargate” (and now also “Moroccogate”) Splatter the European Commission? By Nick Corbishley

Who would think that a group of unaccountable bureaucrats with enormous powers and budgets would be susceptible to corruption? It’s shocking! Shocking! From Nick Corbishley at nakedcapitalism.com:

As the Qatargate scandal widens, questions are being asked as to whether its reverberations will reach the Commission, the EU’s executive branch. Recent revelations suggest the EU’s Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell could be implicated.

Since erupting last weekend with police raids on MEPs’ homes and offices in the European parliament, the Qatargate scandal has done nothing but mushroom. What began as a criminal probe into current and former MEPs and parliamentary assistants implicated in a bribery ring aimed at burnishing the public image of the current World Cup host has widened significantly — not only in terms of the number of people involved but also the number of organizations and third countries, which now also include Morocco.

As the scandal grows, both the Parliament and the European Commission are locked in a frantic damage control mission. European Parliament president Roberta Metsola on Thursday (15 December) pledged to unveil a “wide-ranging reform package” in January, which will include  measures to bolster whistleblower protections, a ban on all unofficial parliamentary friendship groups (groups of MEPs discussing relations with non-EU countries) and a review of enforcement of code of conduct rules for MEPs.

Fallout Spreads

For the moment almost all of the focus is understandably on the European Parliament, but questions are beginning to be asked as to whether the fallout will spread to the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission. Asked whether he is worried about such an outcome, Didier Reynders, the EU Commissioner for justice, told Politico that it is “all the time a possibility”.

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