Qatargate: Don’t abuse NGOs for foreign interference

13.02.2023 10:56

Qatargate: Don’t abuse NGOs for foreign interference


The EPP Group welcomes that there will be a European Parliament plenary debate this afternoon on EU funding allocated to the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) incriminated in the so-called Qatargate corruption scandal. The corruption cases involving Members and staff of the S&D Group have shown how an NGO was used to cover a criminal organisation and to channel bribes from third countries to influence the European decision-making process. The scandal has also shown that transparency of NGOs has significant limits.

"Our message is clear. The EPP Group is not against organisations that play by the rules and do extremely useful, valuable work for our society. We are fighting against those that are not transparent, with shady financing and participating in illegal activities. They do not share our values. They are enemies of our democracy", said Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Chair of Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee.

The EPP Group calls for comprehensive financial pre-screening of NGOs before they are listed on the EU transparency register. Contractual agreements between the European Commission and NGOs must be published. And EU law should clearly define what is an NGO and what is not.

"The confidence in European law-making has taken a big hit. It is our duty to seek remedy, to strengthen transparency, in the interest of all European citizens. We know how to achieve this and will not give up until it’s done", said Petri Sarvamaa MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Budgetary Control.

The EPP Group will continue working on concrete steps to reveal non-transparent NGOs. It supports the anti-corruption measures introduced by the leadership of the European Parliament. It will also work intensively in this area in Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, also in close cooperation with the European Court of Auditors.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

Other related content