Qatar and the corruption swamp: EU factions want to freeze visa negotiations

Actually, the EU wanted to start negotiations on visa facilitation for Qatar shortly.

Qatar and the corruption swamp: EU factions want to freeze visa negotiations

Actually, the EU wanted to start negotiations on visa facilitation for Qatar shortly. But after massive allegations of corruption, several factions in the EU Parliament are moving away from the plan. First there must be clarity as to "the extent to which Qatari money has flowed".

After the arrest of the EU Vice President of Parliament Eva Kaili on allegations of corruption in connection with the World Cup host country Qatar, several factions in the EU Parliament want to suspend planned negotiations on visa facilitation for citizens of the Gulf Emirates. "We in the Greens are against Qatar getting visa facilitation in the current situation," said Green MEP Erik Marquardt.

On Friday, the police in Brussels arrested a total of five people in connection with the corruption investigation. Among them is Kaili and her partner who works in the European Parliament.

The start of negotiations between Parliament and the member states on visa facilitation for Qatar and Kuwait was to be formally announced in the EU Parliament on Monday. The responsible committee in Parliament and the member states had already spoken out in principle in favor of citizens from Qatar and Kuwait being able to stay in the EU for up to 90 days without a visa.

Marquardt, who is responsible for the bill in Parliament, said he wanted to suspend the start of negotiations and thus possible visa facilitation until more information about the corruption allegation is known. "You have to make sure that there was no influence by members of parliament or employees on the EU Parliament's draft text on visa facilitation for Qatar," said Marquardt.

The Left Group and the Social Democrats also called for later negotiations. "As long as there is no clarity as to the extent to which Qatari money has flowed, there must be no visa facilitation for Qatar," said the group leader of the left-wing group in the EU Parliament, Martin Schirdewan.

In a press release on Friday, the Social Democrats group called for a "suspension of work on all dossiers and plenary votes relating to the Gulf States, particularly visa facilitation and planned visits".

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