The European Parliament has introduced some new and essentially sensible rules, asking MEPs to declare their financial interests and business dealings prior to their time as MEPs. This is important, as the what a MEP did prior to being elected can impact on their job after election. Work for a lobby firm before, work for the same lobby purposes when in the Parliament.
Only one MEP – Danish Liberal Jens Rohde – doesn’t seem to like the idea. I don’t know what he has to hide, but he declared on the EP form that he was ‘Master of the univers’ prior to becoming a MEP [PDF here].
I posted this PDF to Rohde’s Facebook page (you can post comments too – here), and the response is shown below:
Apart from showing astounding arrogance, Rohde seems to fail to grasp the basic way the European Parliament functions – that the laws it passes are applicable to all citizens. I might not be able to vote for Rohde, but whether he is an open and transparent MEP can have a direct impact on me. Hence, even as a non-Dane, his behaviour is contemptible.
I’m glad that BT has covered the story (in Danish here, Google translate here). Rohde also has form behaving like an arrogant prat, once telling Helle Thorning-Schmidt that she had never seen his missile (in Danish here, Google translate here) – and hence the mockup above.
To add to Hildegard: there is also still a provision for the so called “general expenditure allowance” (see: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/0081ddfaa4/MEPs.html) that gives every member of the EP 4299 EUR per month (data for 2011). That makes a nice 51600 EUR per year on the top of the salary. And the best is that there are no questions asked, no proof of expenditure required. Exactly what you expect from a Parliament that already lacks credibility.
Aren’t the Danes supoprting the Commission-level attempts to roll back transparency in the EU?
This heedtheball’s expenses are chickenfeed compared with what they want to hide & they tell us little enough as it is.
I covered the issue for the German edition of http://www.thenewfederalist.eu
You’ll find the article here: http://www.treffpunkteuropa.de/MEP-rebelliert-gegen-die-Transparenz,05107
Thanks for digging this up.
Brilliant that you took the issue up. I read about it this morning in the European Voice and, sadly, was not surprised.
The EP has failed miserably on many fronts to take matters of transparency seriously. It is no surprise that it lost credibility even in the eyes of those, like me, who believe that the EP is one of the most responsive institutions. What kind of administration (=there are people employed in the EP to check the Declarations) would just simply sit back and look at members like Jens to arrogantly ignore principles of transparency? What is the point of having those rules and employ people to check them?
As for Jens. I worked closed enough to him to understand one thing. He is an arrogant jerk.