9th Aug 2022

New group to investigate Strasbourg rent scandal

The European Parliament announced on Friday that it has set up a working group to investigate allegations that the city of Strasbourg charged too much rent for the parliament buildings.

The informal group of ten MEPs will report its findings to the parliament's budgetary control committee.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Work is to begin immediately and is expected to be concluded by July, so there is enough time for a decision on whether or not to present a new budget discharge proposal to the plenary in October.

MEPs last week voted not to sign off the EU assembly's 2004 accounts to give them time to look into the allegations.

Speaking about the setting up of the working group, its rapporteur German centre right MEP Markus Ferber said "It is now time that all the facts are laid on the table."

"We hope that the different actors involved in the issue will duly cooperate and provide us with the hard facts," said Maltese conservative MEP Simon Busutill, another member of the new committee.

British MEP Jeffrey Titford from the Independence/Democracy group said "this could potentially be one of the worst examples of euro corruption yet seen,"

The working group is expected to meet the mayor of Strasbourg, Fabienne Keller.

Ms Keller has already denied the rent allegation remarking that the city of Strasbourg had charged the parliament according to "market prices".

The allegations of inflated rent sums came to a head two weeks ago when it emerged that Strasbourg city may have overcharged for rent to the tune of €2.7 million a year for the last 25 years.

The working group will be composed of ten MEPs, eight from the different political groups, a chairman and the rapporteur.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Italy back in chaos, as Draghi quits over 5-Star snub

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil on Thursday as prime minister Mario Draghi announced his resignation after a key ally within his grand coalition government boycotted a parliamentary vote.

MEP accused of 'disrespecting' female moderator

Some 100 representatives of civil society organisations, including Transparency International EU and Oxfam, accuse German Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer of disrespecting a moderator because she was a woman of colour and want him reprimanded.


Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.


Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

News in Brief

  1. Rhine river on the brink of closure for shipping
  2. Moldova sees 'prelude to war' with Russia-backed forces
  3. Taliban preventing Afghan evacuations to Germany
  4. Amnesty regrets 'distress' caused by Ukraine report
  5. Energy companies warn UK gas exports to EU are contaminated
  6. EU set for clash over rules on political adverts
  7. Three grain ships due to leave Ukraine on Friday
  8. EU on track to reach gas-storage November target

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Italy poised to elect far-right rulers
  2. UN chief demands access to nuclear plant after new attack
  3. Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal
  4. How Ukraine made the case anew for an EU army
  5. 'We must take back institutions', Orban tells US conservatives
  6. Putin must lose Ukraine war, Nato chief says
  7. Let Taiwan's democracy shine brighter
  8. Droughts prompt calls to cut water use amid harvest fears

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us