Next year’s European parliamentary elections will give an opportunity for “comprehensive changes” in handling corruption in Brussels, an MEP of ruling Fidesz said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of an EP plenary session, Balázs Hidvéghi told Hungarian reporters that Hungary supported all EU measures to fight corruption. “It seems absurd, however, that the European Commission should propose new anti-graft measures, partly against third countries, and dangle the possibility of sanctions even as it has failed so far to disclose the most severe internal corruption scandal of its history,” he said.
Besides the corruption scandal in the European Parliament, which was made public in December, “unacceptable practices were also detected” in the European Commission, Hidvéghi said. At the same time, the discoveries have brought no internal investigation or accountability, he added.
“We can’t expect the politicians who participated in and operated this network to own up to their deeds,” he said. But institutional efforts in the EU are also directed at downplaying smoothing over corruption in the EU, and to represent them as individual mistakes, he said.
While anti-corruption measures are important, the EP should first clear up, adhere to and enforce its own internal regulations, he said. Further anti-graft legislation and the sanctioning of third countries should only come after, he said.
Fidesz MEP: ‘EU institutions rife with corruption’
The institutions of the European Union and the “everyday operations of Brussels bureaucracy are … entangled in a web of corruption”, Tamás Deutsch, the leader of ruling Fidesz‘s European parliamentary delegation, said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of an EP plenary session, Deutsch said that while the session’s agenda contained “more than 50 proposals” on budgetary issues from 2021, none of them addressed corruption in EU institutions. MEPs of Fidesz and Hungary’s Christian Democrats (KDNP) will vote against those reports, he said.
“Brussels bureaucrats seem to take the people for fools, and think that if they don’t speak of corruption, it doesn’t exist,” he said.
While the EP’s Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) failed to mention EU corruption in its reports, they mention several member states, including Hungary and Poland, in the context of “accusations of corruption tantamount to political libel”.
The committee is sending a delegation to Hungary next week, he said. The report of the visit “is expected to perpetuate the farfetched accusations and repulsive, politically motivated insinuations repeated countless times in the past years,” Deutsch said.
Hungary is a “poster child in fighting corruption”, with the most detailed anti-graft legislation in place in the EU, Deutsch said. He said he hoped that the committee will acknowledge that Hungary has the strictest anti-corruption legislation in the EU, and will recommend it for other member states to follow in the report, he said.
We do have legislation in place: In October of 2022 and under pressure from the EU, Parliament passed the law on establishing the autonomous Integrity Authority to investigate fraud, conflict of interest, corruption and other crimes in connection with the use of European Union funds in Hungary. It also has the power to independently launch probes.
The anti-corruption working group of the newly established Integrity Authority apparently adopted its first report on 2022 which it submitted to the government in March of this year.
So – question to anyone, including our Politicians – have you heard anything regarding this 2022 report? Seen a copy? Press release? @DNH – you are journalists – any intel?
Mr. Deutsch is no doubt anxious to wave the report in the faces of those Brussels Elites!
Where’s the lie? The E.U. has failed every single financial audit in the past 21 years. Then there’s that chick who got caught with suitcases stuffed with cash. And that’s just what we know about. The venality, self-indulgence, profligacy, nepotism, kickbacks, and plain old wastefulness are rampant in Brussels.