Sunday

20th Aug 2017

EU anti-fraud office ditches Martin Schulz probe

  • Schulz in 2014 aimed to become the president of the EU commission. (Photo: Parti Socialiste)

The EU's anti-fraud office has dropped a probe into former European Parliament chief Martin Schulz.

Schulz, who is challenging Angela Merkel to become the next German chancellor, had faced allegations of irregularities during his stint in office as EU parliament president.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A spokesperson at the anti-fraud office Olaf told various media outlets on Wednesday (26 April) that it had ended its inquiries after finding no irregularities or fraud.

Schulz had reigned over the EU parliament from 2012 until earlier this year when he launched a bid to become Germany's chancellor after being crowned leader of the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) in March.

He was accused while president of the EU parliament of using his assistants to perform certain tasks in violation of parliament rules.

Such allegations first surfaced in 2014 when was accused of blurring his role as EU parliament chief in his effort to become the next European Commission president during the so-called "Spitzenkandidat" process - where each European party has a lead candidate.

A 2016 report from the EU parliament found it "difficult to differentiate fully" Schulz's political activities from his preparation as "Spitzenkandidat" to head the Socialists political group in the 2014 European elections.

It also noted "at least indirect use of Parliament staff" in Schulz's personal campaign efforts.

His spokesman at the time Armin Machmir said Schulz had provided a detailed list of his "travels and activities in full transparency, clearly differentiating Parliament activities from campaign activities".

But Der Spiegel reported earlier this year that Schulz's campaign manager for his bid to become German chancellery, Markus Engels, had been receiving an EU parliament salary while mostly working out of an office in Berlin since 2012.

Engels at the time also reportedly received a special tax-exemption status and had his travel expenses covered given that his contractual place of employment was Brussels.

Europeans more optimistic about EU since Brexit vote

Perceptions of the EU have increased significantly in France, and Europeans generally feel more optimistic about the future of the bloc since last autumn - despite Brexit and a surge in populism.

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

The informal group of national officials that is in charge of checking EU countries' tax laws is now working on the first EU blacklist of tax havens, amid critiques over its lack of transparency and accountability.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

Europeans more optimistic about EU since Brexit vote

Perceptions of the EU have increased significantly in France, and Europeans generally feel more optimistic about the future of the bloc since last autumn - despite Brexit and a surge in populism.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides