Since we joined the European Parliament, we have been pushing to change the EU and the European Parliament. The recent corruption scandal should now give impetus for others to push for change too.
Yet, apart from papers and statements, nothing fundamental has changed! Maybe, just maybe it is due to the obscure decision-making bodies that have stifled reform.
It is not like the EP has not tried to reform its internal rules and structures. But, the same people and bodies have impeded any reform by delaying decisions, discussions and implementation.
IT’S TIME TO ACT & WIN BACK TRUST!
If we want to really win back trust, it is not about the papers and working groups. More importantly, it is about the effective application and implementation of their suggestions.
We are running the risk that the same is happening again. If we just accept the working methods of the past. Business as usual can no longer be the answer to respond to this scandal. We are still pretending that all is well. Europeans should no longer tolerate the tractor speed of progress!
If we want to prove to Europeans that the EU is able to change, we have to act now! We have to act convincingly!
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
We need real protection for whistle-blowers!
We need a proper cooling-off period!
Checks on conflict of interest and financial declarations should be stringent and easily comparable.
Sanctions must start with any relevant violation, not only when it was repeated and is severe. This limitation must be deleted.
If we do not act now, the politics of the last 30 years will have succeeded in grinding any reform to a halt. It cannot be, that Europe’s sole directly elected body is not going with the time, but instead is stuck in the past. We need a European Parliament that is fit for the 21st century. And that includes: transparency, accountability, ethical behaviour and responsibility.