European Parliament president guilty of culture of cover-ups and nepotism

3 April 2014

European Parliament president guilty of culture of cover-ups and nepotism

The European Parliament today voted on the Parliament’s spending in 2012. The Budgetary Control Committee presented strong criticisms of the Parliament, yet EP president Martin Schulz attempted to stop a vote on their report from being taken. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on Schulz’s efforts, said, ‘We in the Budgetary Control Committee have major concerns regarding the fact that EP money was used by Schulz in his personal campaign to win the presidency. We also have criticisms of the manner in which he has reorganised the Parliament’s services, clearly to get his friends jobs. This is the umpteenth time that Schulz has tried this kind of cover-up. I have myself also had extremely bad experiences of the way in which Schulz’s services are frustrating transparency within the EP. In my view Schulz is absolutely unsuitable to be in the leadership of any European institution whatsoever. With Schulz we’re bringing corruption into our own house.’

In addition to the incident relating to today’s vote, the SP was also thwarted in its efforts to get concrete information on the misuse of allowances by MEPs. ‘The Budgetary Control Commission adopted my proposal to at last take a close look, behind closed doors, into the ongoing enquiries conducted by the anti-fraud service into the misuse of statements of expenses by Euro-MPs’ De Jong explained. ‘This has not, however, taken place and will likely never take place, as a result of obstruction by Schulz’s services, who have had us going from pillar to post. Schulz also ensured in the “cash for laws” scandal – where MEPs were shown to have accepted payments from undercover journalists - that burdensome disclosures about corrupt Members are kept under wraps.’

The list of such incidents is endless. ‘Schulz personally stood in the way of our voting on the reduction of the number of days we spend in Strasbourg, which we wanted to limit in order to reduce the costs involved,’ said De Jong. ‘And I was given permission to speak, on behalf of the Budgetary Control Committee, in an informal meeting with Schulz’s services, on the actual costs of this travelling circus. The official estimates are invariably too low. To date nothing has come of this meeting. That too has simply been deliberately frustrated, because Schulz is afraid that the real facts will come to light. He calls himself a democrat, yet his behaviour is more like that of a Sun King.’

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