In reaction to the suspected cash-for-influence Qatargate incident in the European Parliament, the European Union unveiled new regulations on Wednesday.
Following a scandal involving large amounts of money and allegedly corrupt legislators that rocked the EU assembly, an initiative involving all 27 member states and the European Parliament seeks to tighten regulations.
According to sources, there are no particular provisions in this proposal designed to address corruption within EU institutions.
When the Commission's anti-corruption strategy was applied to member nations, the European Parliament enthusiastically backed several of its provisions, but when it came to the Parliament, it rejected them.
According to sources, the Commission asked member nations to enact unified anti-corruption laws, strengthen cross-border collaboration, and more readily apprehend criminals by establishing specialized anti-corruption authorities in every EU member state.
Additionally, the European External Action Service put forth its own ideas for improving the EU's capacity to penalize corrupt third parties.
The recent occurrences, according to the Commission's proposal, "served as a reminder that the EU institutions are not immune to corruption."
At a press conference, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson stated: "Today, only bribery is criminalised at the EU level. But with this proposal … we will also cover misappropriation, trading in influence, abuse of function, obstruction of justice and illicit enrichment related to corruption."
The Vice President for Values and Transparency of the Commission, Vra Jourová, reportedly disclosed that while public officials across the EU will be subject to stronger anti-corruption regulations, these standards will automatically apply to EU institutions and staff members.
If a high-ranking politician is discovered to have committed corruption, Ms. Johansson added, "that would be an aggravating circumstance because that hurts even more into the society."
A proposal for a comprehensive EU ethics authority would be presented later this month, the Commission said on Wednesday. This is occurring while Brussels is under increasing pressure to prove its dedication to integrity in the face of numerous allegations of corruption.
According to Ms. Jourová, a proposal would be discussed by the top administrators of the nine leading institutions of the EU.
"This is not a trivial thing. We are going to establish a new body which will deal with highly sensitive matters, not individual cases," she said.
By fLEXI tEAM