QatarDecember 22 2023, 3:26 am

Documents Show Numerous Qatari Attempts to Manipulate European Democracy

On 5 Decem­ber 2023, POLITICO report­ed on the Qatar­gate scan­dal, reveal­ing over 300 alleged attempts to manip­u­late EU democ­ra­cy, exposed through leaked doc­u­ments from a police inves­ti­ga­tion. The files detail the involve­ment of for­mer MEP Pier Anto­nio Panz­eri and his aide Francesco Gior­gi record­ing attempts to influ­ence the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and broad­er pol­i­cy debates. Sus­pect­ed pay­mas­ters in Qatar, Moroc­co, and Mau­ri­ta­nia alleged­ly spent around €4 mil­lion on these activ­i­ties. The report out­lines spe­cif­ic oper­a­tions, includ­ing influ­enc­ing par­lia­men­tary hear­ings, polit­i­cal attacks on Qatar’s rivals, and efforts relat­ed to Moroc­co and Mau­ri­ta­nia. The doc­u­ments high­light actions impact­ing EU oper­a­tions, such as efforts to quash res­o­lu­tions con­demn­ing Qatar’s human rights record and to secure a visa-free deal with the EU. The rev­e­la­tions may reignite debates on par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dures and the ade­qua­cy of reforms in response to the scan­dal. Mul­ti­ple MEPs face charges, with Panz­eri admit­ting guilt and Gior­gi acknowl­edg­ing his involve­ment. The Qatar­gate Files under­score con­cerns about the poten­tial influ­ence of exter­nal actors on EU deci­sion-mak­ing processes.


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