EU watchdog seeks clarity about Qatar travel freebies

EU watchdog seeks clarity about Qatar travel freebies
EU watchdog seeks clarity about Qatar travel freebies

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s administrative watchdog is looking for out how a prime transport official was permitted to fly to Qatar with tickets paid for by the federal government there, as a significant corruption scandal linked to the Gulf state roils the bloc’s parliament.

In a letter made public on Monday, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly famous that the pinnacle of the European Fee’s transport division, Henrik Hololei, had “traveled quite a few instances between 2015 and 2021 on the expense of the Qatari authorities or organizations which might be near it.”

The journeys have been made when the division, often called DG MOVE, was concerned in negotiating an EU-Qatar air transportation settlement, which was signed on Oct. 18, 2021. Hololei did not participate within the negotiations, however did lead the division conducting them.

O’Reilly requested European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen how the paid flights have been approved by the EU’s govt department and what number of different commissioners or senior officers have had their travel bills reimbursed by non-EU nations or organizations since January 2021.

“The Qatari authorities and organizations near it paying for travel bills for DG MOVE’s most senior official provides rise to official questions round attainable undue affect of the EU’s decision-making on this space,” O’Reilly wrote.

“While such missions might additional the curiosity of the EU, it’s of the utmost significance that these preparations are scrutinized in an effort to handle the dangers of conflicts of curiosity, whether or not actual, potential or perceived,” she added.

A fee official mentioned final Thursday that Hololei’s travel bills revered the principles governing conflicts of curiosity which have been in place on the time. However the official mentioned {that a} assessment of the code was launched late final yr to handle any shortfalls.

The ombudsman’s inquiry comes 4 months after 4 individuals have been charged with corruption, cash laundering and membership in a prison group for allegedly accepting bribes from Qatari and Moroccan officers to affect proceedings on the European Parliament.

Each nations deny being concerned however the EU parliament has suspended work on all Qatar-related information, together with on an settlement to ease visa restrictions for some Qatari nationals, till an investigation is accomplished.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *