Amid the bloc’s ongoing bribery scandal, a small group of leftist MEPs in the EU have launched an anti-corruption hotline backed by a group linked to progressive billionaire George Soros.
Four MEPs from a variety of leftist political groups have launched the LobbyLeaks anti-corruption website, with the page being funded by a group linked to progressive billionaire George Soros.
The site launch comes amid an ongoing bribery scandal that is plaguing the left within the EU parliament, with numerous current and former socialist representatives finding themselves under police investigation over the alleged taking of bribes.
According to a report by broadcaster Euronews, the MEPs launched the anti-corruption webpage on Thursday, with the site promising complete anonymity to those coming forward with evidence of “shady lobbying” in Brussels and Strasbourg.
“We do not tolerate shady lobbying in the European institutions,” the website’s homepage reads. “Contact us anonymously and share any info in an untraceable way.”
The website also has the backing of the Dutch-based Corporate Europe Observatory, an organisation that regularly published press releases attacking fossil fuels and GMOs.
This group regularly receives large amounts of funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, their single largest financial backer, which has reportedly been providing financial backing to the NGO since 2014.
According to an investigation by the European Conservative, the Corporate Europe Observatory has received just under €800,000 (~$865000) in funding from the Open Society Foundation, with the infamous organisation being listed as Corporate Europe Observatory’s single largest income source in 2020.
The organisation is also said to receive funding from Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, as well as the Isvara Foundation, another left-leaning group known for pushing green agenda talking points in Brussels.
The launch of the Soros-backed website on Thursday marks the latest attempt by the European left to regain credibility in Brussels amid the bloc’s ongoing Qatargate bribery scandal, which has seen numerous socialist politicians come under investigation amid allegations they took bribes from the likes of Morocco and Qatar. Salacious details of the investigation so far include police turning up actual suitcases full of cash.
Things remain an uphill battle for progressives however, with the European Parliament voting on Thursday to strip two more socialist MEPs, Marc Tarabella and Andrea Cozzoli, of their legal immunity, putting them at the mercy of the Belgian justice system.
According to official EU documents, Tarabella is suspected of accepting between €120,000 and €140,000 (~$130,000-$150,000) in bribes, with Cozzolino also suspected of being involved in “acts of corruption” involving him accepting money to block certain EU resolutions.
Both men insist that they are innocent, with Tarabella even voting during Thursday’s session to see his own legal immunity stripped.
“I repeat that I’m innocent in this affair and now it’s up to the judiciary to question me,” POLITICO reports him as saying after the vote, saying that he was “happy” that he was now at the mercy of Belgian prosecutors.
Meanwhile, former parliament vice-president Eva Kaili remains in prison awaiting trial for her alleged involvement in the scandal, while fellow socialist and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri has already accepted a plea deal with authorities with which he accepts that he was “acknowledges being the leader or one of the leaders of the criminal organization” involved in the alleged bribery.