08 June 2023,   02:31
more
The European People’s Party calls on MEPs to create a European equivalent to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act

The European People’s Party [EPP] calls on MEPs to create a European equivalent to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act. This was mentioned in the joint letter of the members of the EPP group in the European Parliament - Manfred Weber, Monika Hohlmeier, Petri Sarvamaa.

“Millions of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are doing outstanding work every day, both locally and globally. They are helping to change the world in their niche, and their hard-working employees deserve admiration and respect.

Yet, like in any other public activity, there are disingenuous people using NGOs as a cover to bribe and carry out non-transparent lobbying and influence peddling, as the so-called Qatargate case has shown.

We EPP Group Members have been advocating for clear standards and transparent and enforceable rules. Unfortunately, not everyone in the European Parliament is willing to cooperate with us in a thorough reflection and investigation of the Qatargate scandal.

The millions of Euros stuffed by front organisations, disguised as NGOs, into the suitcases of the accused is a massive blow to all of us trying to do politics reasonably and respecting the rules. The vast majority of parliament and the other Institutions should not be mixed up with the criminals that took bribes, and we do not want to blame all NGOs because of the misconduct of a few. We must fight together if we want to regain citizens" trust. We need to expose the black sheep undermining our work and that of all legitimate NGOs worldwide.

To make the EU legislation’s process as transparent as possible, we support the immediate measures for greater transparency introduced by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. However, we need to get to the core of the scandal too. We urgently need comprehensive financial pre-screening of NGOs before they are listed in the transparency register, formalise the publication of contractual agreements between the European Commission and NGOs, and a stand-alone NGO Regulation which establishes a clear definition and makes it possible to treat prominent, large-scale NGOs like companies with the same reporting obligations.

Moreover, we call for the creation of a European equivalent to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act. We need politicians and lobbyists from third countries to register and reveal how they approach EU lawmakers, including formal contracts”, - reads the letter.

MORE HEADLINES