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12° Nicosia,
27 May, 2024
 
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The EU faces a difficult case

'This is not a national issue. Greeks and Italians, for example, are no more 'delinquent' than anyone else (nor, of course, are they better).

Nikos Konstandaras

Nikos Konstandaras

The Kaili case is the latest in a string of setbacks. The clumsy (at best) handling of the wiretaps, the Ark revelations, the new episode of excessive police violence, and now the alleged bribery scandal in the European Parliament (EP) are all causing consternation and sadness. How can inappropriate people be in key positions without being scrutinized? As much as every scandal involves individual responsibility and human frailty - greed, frivolity, arrogance, and so on - the evil would have been reduced if people were better chosen and adequately controlled, and everyone understood that their actions had consequences.

This is not a national issue. Greeks and Italians, for example, are no more "delinquent" than anyone else (nor, of course, are they better). It is enough to recall, for example, the successes of the EU anti-fraud office (OLAF), which has uncovered, in recent years alone, Volkswagen's fraud with its fake emissions figures and the underpricing of imports from China through which Britons cheated the EU out of billions of euros in taxes. The bad news is that some countries have a bad reputation, and every time one of their citizens is involved in a corruption scandal, it reinforces prejudice against all their fellow citizens. As a result, today's case is likely to have a negative impact on Greeks' employment in European and international institutions.

The bad news is that some countries have a bad reputation, and every time one of their citizens is involved in a corruption scandal, it reinforces prejudice against all their fellow citizens.

As a result, Greek parties must exercise extreme caution when selecting candidates for the European Parliament and staffing national and European services and institutions. They should propose and support candidates who will work, who will strengthen the EU and their country at the same time, who will not pursue only individual and party interests, and who will not transfer internal political disputes to Brussels and Strasbourg. People should not be sent to 'Europe' for 'parking' or as a reward for some service to the party leadership. This necessitates not only a careful selection of individuals but also specific goals for their term of office, as well as strict oversight by European institutions.

The 'synchronisation' of different peoples and traditions in a common vision is at the heart of Europe's unification. Inevitably, not all countries, let alone all parties, will be on the same page when it comes to the score. This is most visible in the European Commission, where parties from all political stripes are represented. It can also be seen in how clumsy the synthesis of different mindsets can be when they are diffused into a whole that now consists of different behavioral frameworks, aspirations, and confusion between national and European priorities.

When all of the members of the group are on the move, the European'suit' is created. The circumstances encourage venom. The issue is not only personal but also structural.

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Cyprus  |  Greece  |  corruption

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