Socialist MEPs vote against more transparency on Dalligate

European Parliament approves amendments to OLAF budget discharge in which MEPs express concern on investigation methods.

John Dalli
John Dalli

Socialist MEPs have voted against amendments to a budgetary discharged for the EU's anti-fraud agency OLAF, in a remarkable decision that attracted the ire of German MEP Inge Graessle.

Graessle and Green MEP Bart Staes presented amendments to the EC budget for OLAF in a plenary session of the European Parliament discussing the report of Socialists MEP Jens Geier.

The two amendments demanded full clarification of the John Dalli case, specifically due to claims by the OLAF Supervisory Committee of breaches of fundamental rights during OLAF investigations, and due to "the numerous attempts made to obscure clarification of the allegations made about OLAF's investigation methods".

Both amendments were adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament. 

Nonetheless, the Socialist S&D Group voted against both amendments, rejecting the call for clarification of the charges coming from the OLAF supervisory committee.

"Europe's Socialist MEPs voted against the demand for full transparency of the Dalli case, against a broad majority of members who demanded the clarification of the circumstances of the resignation of the former EU Commissioner as well as any misconduct by the EU's anti-fraud office OLAF which led the investigation against Dalli," Graessle said in a statement.

In approving the amendments, the European Parliament noted that OLAF was in breach of fundamental rights during its investigation and that MEPs were "very concerned" about the way the investigation was conducted by OLAF.

Graessle, as the EPP group's coordinator in the Budgetary Control Committee, reiterated her demand for the resignation of OLAF director-general Kessler: "Kessler must draw the consequences and resign. If he clings on to his post, he will be damaging the credibility of all EU Institutions."

Graessle also called on European Parliament president Martin Schulz, a socialist MEP, to help bring out the truth on the Dali resignation.

"The European Parliament President Martin Schulz must give all relevant documents relating to the Dalli case to the Budgetary Control Committee. Every page must be made available.

"I regret that Europe's Socialists and Social Democrats obviously do not want to clarify the fundamental rights breaches by OLAF. Covering up the fundamental rights breaches criticised by OLAF's own supervisory committee however means disregarding EU law and deriding European values," Graessle said.

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