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The real roots of Qatargate


The recent scandal in Brussels, the so-called Qatargate, has raised different questions about how foreign countries operate within the European Institutions, namely in the European Parliament. Those who are following the episodes of the drama will notice that there are some attempts to pass the responsibility of the accused current and former elected officials in different directions. Nevertheless, the scandal should not have come without surprise for those operating in the Brussels Bubble.

Furthermore, those who are attentive had noticed in the past, at least in the past year, that some activities were trying to accuse some countries of producing shady operations within the Brussels bubble.

Last April, an organisation called ‘Droit au Droit’ published a report about the influence of the Emirates in Brussels and how the operation is buying policymakers to support an Emirati policy. The then chair of the subcommittee on Human Rights, Belgian Maria Arena, even launched a debate in that committee to discuss the report. If one looks closer at the website of the organization, Droit au Droit (https://www.dadinternational.org/), led by Italian Nicola Giovannini, it looks the organization has as its sole end to produce this report and since then the activities have slowed down or ended. If someone goes deeper will find other non-profit organisations with similar goals and endings.

The bottom line here, and the argument to be used, is that the network that was unveiled by Belgian authorities had as a primary goal, more than support Qatar, to promote activities against the Emirates and the policy the Principality is pushing that led to the agreements with Israel. In the discussion in the subcommittee of Human Rights in the European Parliament, the tentative to link the Emirates with the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the murder of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi was pretty obvious. One could say how peculiar the chair of the subcommittee was in choosing the subjects and the organisations to initiate debates in the European Parliament.

Hence, here lies the real problem, the network of civil servants in the European Parliament who were attached to this agenda, moreover an agenda that is clearly supported by the Muslim Brotherhood which was trying to implement any discussions that could support their agenda, and in the different direction, attacking the Emirati, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The discussion around the interest groups in the European Parliament takes the Qatargate in a different direction, authorities should follow the line of the Human Rights network debates in the European Parliament and in the other Institutions were having Tarik Ramadan training EEAS officials on Islam and certain NGOs getting EU funding are a reality that makes the Qatargate just the top of the iceberg.

Source: EU Reporter