The daily "Liberation" evokes a "State within the State" within the European Union

Flags of the European Union in front of the Commission on August 21, 2020 in Brussels (illustrative image).

REUTERS / Yves Herman

Text by: Juliette Gheerbrant Follow

4 min

The daily "Liberation" published, Thursday, December 2, a second part of its investigation into the dysfunctions of the bodies of the European Union.

After the European Court of Auditors, it is almost all the institutions that are singled out.

Flagrant conflicts of interest, political pressures or even fictitious apartments, the observation is cruel.

The French daily and its correspondent in Brussels, Jean Quatremer, reveal a network of influence peddling dominated by the EPP, the European People's Party.

The hold of the conservative group, the first political force of the EU, goes very far according to Jean Quatremer who evokes a “ 

State within the State

 ” within the European Union.


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For 20 years the European Union has been dominated head and shoulders by the conservatives of the Popular Party (EPP), itself dominated by the German conservatives of the CDU-CSU 

", and this is what explains the dysfunctions serious that the investigation denounces at all levels of the EU, explains its author, the journalist Jean Quatremer: " 

Since Angela Merkel was elected to the Chancellery in 2005, she has placed her men at all levels of power - many Germans but also people from countries close to Germany: Finns, Dutch, Flemings, Austrians etc.

These people function among themselves, live in a bubble and the ease of the means which are granted to them and the use of these means makes them lose all ethics when using this power.

This is what I am dismantling, it is a PPE "State", which is poisoning the European Union. 





brings to light a network of conflicts of interest and influence peddling. One example among all those reported by the daily: the case of the Austrian Budget Commissioner. “ 

Johannes Hahn, who has the upper hand over the EU budget and the appointment of officials, has accepted invitations to participate in hunts organized by a lobby of landowners. This type of activity must be declared in the transparency register, but the commissioner did not do so. It is extremely serious

, continues Jean Quatremer,

because this lobby organizes these meetings, not for the pleasure of going hunting, but to put in contact the commissioners, politicians and business leaders, and thisthis is where influence peddling takes place.


The investigation also denounces abuse of social property such as the fictitious rental of housing by members of the Court of Auditors supposed to live in Luxembourg, the seat of the institution.


An allowance of nearly 3,500 euros per month is paid to them, however, I discovered that around a third of the members of the Court of Auditors did not live in Luxembourg, that they had a fictitious domicile there and had therefore unjustified premiums.

In the case of the President of the Court of Auditors, the German Klaus-Heiner Lehne, I quantified the sums embezzled at 300,000 euros, do you realize?

And he finds that normal and did not even hide it from the European Parliament! 

», The journalist gets carried away.



If the safeguards " 

do not work 

", explains Jean Quatremer, it is not only because the Parliament lacks the means of control but because it is itself dominated by the EPP: " 

Who controls the European Court of Auditors? , supposed to be the financial conscience of the European Union? It should be the European Parliament, but it does not have this investigative power. In addition, Parliament is dominated by the conservative EPP and the Court of Auditors is headed by a member of the EPP ..

. " 




is aware and worried about the political repercussions that his investigation may have in the short term: “The Augean stables should be cleaned, but everyone is hanging out in Brussels;

in order to be able to obtain decisions, we must go through agreements with the EPP, present in positions of power in all the institutions, and with the German Christian Democrats who remain an inescapable power.

So we negotiate and we close our eyes.

It gives a deplorable image of the European Union and it can only reinforce Euroscepticism.


On the charges against the President of the Court of Auditors, a new parliamentary meeting is scheduled for December 7, and the deputies will be able to ask new questions by then.

See also: EU: “Liberation” reveals conflicts of interest and influence peddling at the top


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