Several EU commissioners, including Olivér Várhelyi, have accepted free accommodation from non-EU governments.

The seven European Union leaders have accepted free accommodation for their flights from the governments of some non-EU countries, according to a new report. In his article in Politico. The portal initially began researching the corruption scandal known as Qatargate, after it was revealed that Qatar had used unfair means to obtain the right to host the FIFA World Cup.

In the current case, a total of seven senior EU officials have been named, who have accepted residence from nine countries over a three-year period. These include Frans Timmermans, current Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, former President of the European Parliament, and Olivier Varhelyi, Commissioner responsible for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement.

When preparing the research, Politico contacted stakeholders and EU institutions, but everywhere they received an answer that they acted according to the rules of the Code of Conduct, which was last updated in 2018, when they decided on offers from Qatar, Morocco, Israel and Jordan, among other countries. .

At the same time, says Nick Ayusa, Transparency International’s European Union head of policy and advocacy, he doesn’t think commissioners or officials should accept any travel or reward. He also indicated that if the matter does not contradict any rules, then the bylaw should be amended.

According to the results of the research, the practice of accepting free accommodation was the most prevalent during the commissioners’ business trips to the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Asia. When asked about free hotel accommodations, the offices of seven commission members confirmed that they accept paid accommodations from foreign governments, but argued in remarks to Politico that it was part of standard diplomatic practice and consistent with third-country guidelines for covering officials. flight costs.

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