Metsola: Publication of gift list is unprecedented, positive example

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European Parliament President Roberta Metsola’ spokesperson Jaume Duch described her decision to publish all information regarding the gifts received as President of the institution as an exercise in transparency, and an unprecedented move to lead by example.

In comments to the press, EP spokesperson Jaume Duch, explained that “the publication of the list, even if not required, is intended for her to lead by positive example. She will continue to do so.”

Mr Duch was reacting to reports highlighting a number of gifts which the President declared out of her own will, including a stay at a French hotel. Parliament has clarified that on the occasion of the visit to Beaune, in Burgundy, Metsola was invited to address the event to speak about the importance of protection of European gastronomy that the region is famous for. Political portal Politico had reported that the costs for the overnight stay were covered by a French wine fraternity. The parliament’s press service further noted that in the published list of travel, specific considerations were required due to security and protocol implications.

Besides Metsola, only a few other members of the parliament disclosed gifts in the relevant list since the beginning of 2020. Her predecessor David Sassoli did not make any travel or gifts public on the European Parliament website during his term.

The EP President has been very vociferous in calling for increased transparency particulary in the wake of alleged corruption of MEPs by Qatar. “The enemies of democracy for whom the very existence of this Parliament is a threat, will stop at nothing,” she had told the Strasbourg plenary.

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