A network of Russian influence within the European Parliament? A year after the end of “Qatargate”, a new issue could shake the company

As part of this network, “Russia approached MEPs, but paid to promote Russian propaganda, these are the parliamentarians who receive money,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Groove clarified before the Belgian Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

French Macronist MEP Valérie Hayer, head of Renew Europe (centrists and liberals), wrote to Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, demanding an “immediate and transparent” internal investigation be opened in cooperation with national authorities.

War in Ukraine: Czech Republic uncovers network of Russian influence whose operation “reaches all the way to the European Parliament”

Ten weeks before the European elections, “Voters need to know whether MEPs or candidates are acting with the support of Russia or its representatives, democracy in Europe must be protected at all costs against these threats”, Ms Hayer underlined.

The Greens are demanding “a swift and thorough investigation at European level”.

“Putin is trying to get away with his war in Ukraine (…) This is a direct attack on the fabric of our democracy, and paid politicians must be severely punished politically and judicially,” German elected. Official Terry Reintke is one of the two leaders of the Green lists for the election.

“Parliament is currently examining, in coordination with its institutional partners, the decisions of the Czech authorities, especially in relation to the media +Voice of Europe+,” the agency's spokesperson told AFP.

Access to a media outlet that “appears on the EU sanctions list” is already banned, particularly because of disinformation about the war in Ukraine, and MEPs are bound by clear rules on “independence and ethics” under penalty of 'sanctions', she added.

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The so-called “Qatargate” affair has rocked the European Parliament since December 2022, surrounding suspicions of corruption by elected officials involving Qatar and Morocco.

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