The latest revelations published on Politico in the corruption case in the European Parliament, which has been in the media for two months, implicate a Polish MEP who would have largely benefited from the favors this time of the United Arab Emirates in addition to his treatment of Union official. This proves that after Qatar, Morocco, Mauritania, the United Arab Emirates have also helped to attract the favor of European representatives.
Allegations of Corruption Against Radoslav Sikorski and Implications for Lobbying in Europe
Radoslav Sikorski, claims to have declared his trips to the Gulf, but a Dutch newspaper implicates him in a much larger story of alleged corruption. The NRC daily accuses him of having taken advantage of luxury hotels in the Emirates regularly and of receiving no less than 93,000 dollars annually since 2017 as an adviser to the Sir Bani Yas forum, a famous conference which is held every year in the Confederation.
It must therefore be recognized once again that the affair prematurely called “Qatargate” which fell in the middle of the World Cup in Doha was simplistic and raises the question of what is or is not possible in terms of lobbying with Europe. Without calling into question the independence of Belgian justice, the team of judge Michel Claysse caught in the act a series of individuals suspected of corruption and for some of them thrown into prison while the investigation continued. We were only talking about Qatar.
Without being conspiratorial or paranoid, it is not absurd to wonder about the way in which the team in charge of this investigation was able to catch on the spot the suspects with bags of banknotes at their home or in the process of move. It was certainly necessary to be well informed or to be informed. We do not come across these facts at random.
Secondly, it is not totally absurd either to ask who could benefit from the crime of the outcome of such a case at that time: who could benefit from the occurrence of such a scandal when number of pre-World Cup controversies had ended up dying out? Qatar, which had been the subject of an unprecedented bashing for such an event, had done rather well in terms of image since the start of the competition which will be flawless until the end and presented as one of the best Of the history.
Recently, relayed by an Italian newspaper, the hypotheses of an American site are going well, wondering if this Qatargate, which has become EUGate, by wetting not only more and more countries but also suspecting more and more European personnel, was not orchestrated by a third party to harm Qatar directly, without diminishing the suspicions of corruption aimed at it at this stage? To date, four of the protagonists of the current case have been in prison since December 8. Admittedly, there were suspicions from the Belgian police around the character of Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former MEP suspected of being at the head of this internal mafia group at the heart of the European institutions.
While other countries have been funding intense lobbying of institutions for years, be it China or Russia, one country has remained relatively discreet since the start of the affair: the United Arab Emirates. The case could well rebound and begin to expand and turn against Abu Dhabi. Moreover, last month, the Italian news site Ilgiornale directly accused the hand of Abu Dhabi in the outbreak of the “Qatargate” scandal. Having taken information from the Dagospai.com and Nyweekly.com sites, all of these sources directly target Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of the President of the Emirates, Mohamed Ben Zayed, and head of the local secret services, accused of operate intense lobbying in favor of his country and especially against his historic rival in Brussels.
In Brussels circles, a report was also released last June on Abu Dhabi’s influence and lobbying strategy with European institutions. It was presented by Nicola Giovannini, from the NGO Droit au Droit. The 150-page dossier analyzes in detail the web that Abu Dhabi has woven, via fake research centers, contacts with the European Parliament, or political communication agencies. All with an enemy to defeat: Qatar, eternal regional and global political shore.
The questioning of MEP Radoslav Sikorski could be the spark of a new, even larger scandal. Although he defended himself by talking about his role within this forum, one of the most respectable that he considers to be in the Middle East, it will quickly be necessary to clarify the obvious conflict of interest, the definition of which has not yet been clearly not always been well understood by many representatives of the European Union. And here, we are only talking about official activities.
This article was originally published on lecourrierdelatlas.com