A dry sausage, champagne, a scarf, a blue statuette representing a sheep, a book on "La Martinique d'antan"... The long list of gifts received by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, resembles a Prévert-style inventory .

Received during the last 12 months, they were recorded in a public file of the Parliament on January 12, 2023. However, the internal regulations provide that elected officials must declare the gifts no later than the end of the month following the month during which they received them.

Why not register these gifts in the public registry sooner?

The president's spokesperson referred to "a practice" according to which presidents were not bound by this rule.

Operation transparency after Qatargate

For his part, Jaume Duch, spokesperson for the Parliament, insisted that all these gifts had been received "in the name of the institution" and that none of them were "kept by the president". .

For Nicholas Aiossa, of the NGO Transparency International, this initiative by the president is welcome, but it demonstrates that the “system does not work”. 

The problem in the European Parliament is that failure to comply with the rules “rarely leads to sanctions”, he explains, advocating written rules and more controls.

Shaken by this corruption scandal involving Qatar and Morocco in which Greek Socialist MEP Eva Kaili was locked up, the European Parliament is trying to restore its image.

Roberta Metsola presented last week to the presidents of the parliamentary groups a package of 14 measures aimed at reforming the institution and fighting against foreign interference.


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