The MEPs of the European PP, the extreme right and the liberals are the ones who receive the most money on the sidelines of their payroll. This is demonstrated by a report by Transparency International on the data declared by public representatives in Brussels. According to the study, more than a quarter of the 705 MEPs of the European Parliament (27%) have declared income beyond their salaries.
According to the study, that 27% of the 705 MEPs have collectively declared between 3.9 and 11.5 million euros of external income – the range is the result of the lack of specificity of the MEPs. The analysis is based on the updated Transparency International EU Integrity Watch database, which includes data extracted from the declarations of financial interests of the MEPs themselves.
At least 23 MEPs have increased their income since the beginning of their mandate; up to 39 MEPs can earn more than 100,000 euros per year for their side activities. The actual figures may be even higher, as MEPs self-declare their income and their returns are not subject to scrutiny.
The European PP group is first on the list when it comes to total income per year, followed by the Liberals of Renew Europe and the Social Democrats of the S&D.
Polish MEP Radoslaw Sikorski (Civic Platform / PPE) tops the list with at least € 588,048 per year. It is followed by the Italian liberal MEP of Renew Europe Sandro Gozi (Italia Viva), with at least 360,072 euros in additional income, according to Transparency International. Next: Asger Christensen (Renew, at least 240,000 euros), Guy Verhofstadt (Renew, at least 156,000) and Tomasz Frankowski (EPP, at least 132,000).
The first Spaniard, Luis Garicano (Ciudadanos / Renew Europe), appears in sixth place, with an extra 120,012 euros a year. The income, declared, in this case yes, exactly, comes from his classes at the University of Chicago.
If one considers how many MEPs in a single group earn external income, ID’s far right takes the lead (38%), while the left (10%) comes last.
Moonlighting as such is not illegal, but it can create a potential or actual conflict of interest, Transparency International recalls. Activities that generate large amounts of income, that are associated with registered lobbies or that have started after the start of the MEP’s term in office, present a particular risk, says Transparency International, noting that there have been no sanctions for non-compliance. of the Code of Conduct for MEPs since 2014.
MEPs who supplement their monthly salary in the European Parliament with parallel activities can be found in all political groups, but to very different degrees.
According to Transparency International, MEPs report gross monthly income in wide ranges, leading to a large disparity between the lower and upper range of the report’s calculations. “Thus, we estimate that up to 29 MEPs potentially earn more from their outside activities than their MEP remuneration [105.092,40 euros brutos al año] When looking at the maximum income that can be obtained per year, we find that the MEPs with the highest income have accumulated external income amounting to between 3 and 7.5 times their annual salary of MEPs, “says the entity.
The report argues that “it cannot be ruled out that the participation of some MEPs in external activities may have an impact on their votes. The media have reported on how several MEPs from the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development continued to receive payments in the framework. of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Another example is the Finnish socialist MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, who holds a paid position on the boards of two energy companies in her home country while serving as a member of the Industry Commission , Research and Energy “.
According to the research, “around 15% of MEPs with incomes have included vague or generic job descriptions in their statements, undermining their truthfulness and quality. Our analysis found a wide range of fuzzy professions, such as’ economic activity ‘,’ self-employed ‘,’ practicing retired lawyer ‘,’ owner of a consulting firm ‘,’ member of a supervisory body ‘and’ non-regular promotion ‘.
Some of these listed activities generate significant external income, although some MEPs report income “between € 48,048 and € 240,000”. Radosław Sikorski MEP, for his part, declared 40,000 euros a month in remuneration for “consultancies”. Several MEPs list the names of the companies with which they are related, without specifying their exact role, such as, for example, members of the board of directors.
“These descriptions demonstrate the limits of the current system, which is based solely on the decision of the President of the European Parliament to request further clarification,” the report says: “When that happens, there is simply a mandate to perform a ‘general plausibility check’ on behalf of the president rather than investigating the precise nature of the paid activities. In case of doubt, the president remains the only one to determine whether MEPs have respected their reporting obligations ”