Russiagate: MEPs and European election candidates who accepted Russian money must be exposed

Author: Hugues Stéphane Beaudouin



Russiagate landscape EP

Following allegations made by European leaders and security services about payments made by Russian proxies to MEPs and candidates in the forthcoming European elections, Renew Europe moved to secure a debate on this issue in the European Parliament, which was held today.

During the debate, President of Renew Europe, Valérie Hayer (Renaissance, France), demanded a thorough investigation, the results of which should be made public before the European elections:

“I am outraged that Members of this House and candidates in the European elections have allegedly been paid by the Russian government and its agents. Paid to spread Kremlin propaganda. Paid to work against the interests of the people who elected them. We call on disclosure of names in order to secure those people cannot continue business as usual in this house, no function of responsibility can be exercised - until we have clarity. Yes, this is a new form of interference, but it is also, above all, a betrayal by members and candidates who have no desire, deep down, to act on behalf of Europeans.”

I regret President Metsola did not reply to my letter to her calling for prompt action, as transparency in this house is key. I call on our institution to cooperate fully with the investigation and draw all the necessary conclusions from this new case. I also hope that the authorities conducting the investigation will cooperate fully. The best weapon for kicking Putin's allies out of this Chamber for good is their ballot paper in June.”

Renew Europe also tabled amendments to the discharge of the EU budget, in order to better protect the European Parliament from interference attempts and calling for an urgent investigation into allegations of Russian influence. The Renew Europe amendments, set to be adopted by the Parliament tomorrow, call for an enhanced security culture within the European Parliament, mandatory and regular security and integrity training for MEPs and staffers, appropriate security clearance and reinforced screening of staffers.

Gilles Boyer (Horizons, France), shadow rapporteur of Renew Europe for the discharge of the European Parliament within the parliamentary committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), declared:

“The European Parliament is regularly targeted by foreign actors seeking by all possible means to infiltrate, influence, and destabilize the European Union. It is our responsibility to take all necessary measures to protect our democracy and our values. This is what we emphasize in this discharge report: combating foreign influence and information manipulation is a vital necessity in these troubled times, particularly in light of the upcoming elections.”


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