Sonntag, 03.03.2024 20:15 Uhr

EP President Metsola and waivers of immunity

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Brussels, 03.01.2023, 15:02 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 7373x gelesen

Rome/Brussels [ENA] The Belgian judiciary has asked the European Parliament to waive the immunity of MEP Andrea Cozzolino and his Italian-Belgian colleague Marc Tarabella, who ended up in the proceedings of the investigation into the interference of Qatar and Morocco in the work of the Assembly . Tarabella and Cozzolino are thus added to the list of suspects, with Antonio Panzeri, former MEP; Eva Kaili, vice president of Parliament

now dismissed, and her partner Francesco Giorgi; and the secretary of the NGO No peace without justice Niccolò Figà Talamanca. All have been arrested. President Metsola has launched an urgent procedure for the waiver of immunity of the above MEPs, following the request from the Belgian judicial authorities. The first procedural steps have been taken and the President will announce the request in plenary at the first possible opportunity on 16 January. The request will be then referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) for a proposal for a decision. “From the very first moment the European Parliament has done everything in its power to assist in investigations and we will continue to make sure that there will

be no impunity. Those responsible will find this Parliament on the side of the law. Corruption cannot pay and we will do everything to fight it”, said President Metsola. President Metsola will also set out her intentions for reforms in the coming weeks, including an overhaul of the current rules and improving internal systems, including on enforcement. As foreseen in the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure (Rule 6 and Rule 9), the requests for waiver of immunity are announced by the President in Plenary and then referred to the competent Committee (Committee on Legal Affairs - JURI). The Rule 6, in particular, states that any request for waiver of immunity shall be evaluated in accordance with Articles 7, 8 and 9 of the

of the Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and with the principles referred to in Rule 5(2). Where Members are required to appear as witnesses or expert witnesses, there is no need to request a waiver of immunity, provided: that they will not be obliged to appear on a date or at a time which prevents them from performing their parliamentary duties, or makes it difficult for them to perform those duties, or that they will be able to provide a statement in writing or in any other form which does not make it difficult for them to perform their parliamentary duties; and that they are not obliged to testify concerning information obtained confidentially in the performance of their parliamentary duties which

they do not see fit to disclose. Any request addressed to the President by a competent authority of a Member State for the immunity of a Member to be waived, or by a Member or a former Member for privileges and immunities to be defended, shall be announced in Parliament and referred to the committee responsible. The Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) appoints a rapporteur, the cases are presented in a committee meeting and a hearing may take place. The draft report will be discussed and voted in JURI. The committee adopts a recommendation for the whole Parliament to approve or reject the request. All immunity cases are considered in camera.

The recommendation is then submitted to Plenary. If adopted by Plenary (simple majority), the President will immediately communicate Parliament's decision to the Member(s) concerned and to the competent national authority. The President has asked all services and committees to give this procedure priority with a view to its conclusion by 13 February 2023.

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