Brussels, my love: EU Parliament corruption scandal and COVID-19

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By Méabh Mc Mahon
Brussels my love breaks down European politics.
Brussels my love breaks down European politics.   -  Copyright  Euronews

The Euronews Brussels bureau brings you its latest episode of a new talk show that aims to break down European news and politics to make it more accessible to viewers. 

This week's episode features two members of the European Parliament, Tomislav Sokol from Croatia (EPP) and Daniel Freund from Germany (Greens/EFA) as well as the analyst Rebecca Christie from Reuters Breakingviews and the economic think tank Bruegel.

The talk show was taped just as the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola presented her 14-point plan to crack down on corruption amidst the ongoing scandal over alleged Qatari and Morrocco influence peddling. The plan could see unofficial friendship groups banned and stricter rules on reporting meetings and trips.

“It's a good plan. It's a good way to get started, to resolve to do better, to be more transparent about who people are meeting with, why and when, and what kind of outside contracts they have," Rebecca Christie said.

Green MEP Daniel Freund told the panel that numerous MEPS have broken the rules over the last ten years.

“No one ever gets punished for not publishing that they have been invited on luxury trips when they don't publish their incomes. That is something that really needs to change”

The discussion also touched upon what the World Health organisation (WHO) has called a "perma-demic" with COVID-19, influenza and RSV sweeping across the continent just as many EU countries are dealing with medicine and doctor shortages.

Tomislav Sokol told the panel that there were not enough incentives to develop new medicines like antibiotics.

"We also need to provide a better framework also to stimulate research and innovation in Europe, because now we see that most of the research innovation goes to the US and China. We are losing our competitiveness and if we continue to act like that, then Europe will just lag behind more against other parts of the world," he said.

Watch Brussels My Love above.