European Union lawmaker Eva Kaili, who has taken an active role in efforts to regulate crypto in the 27-nation bloc, could be stripped of her job as a vice president of the European Parliament after RTBF reported she was among four people charged in Belgium as part of a corruption probe linked to lobbying by Qatar.
The parliament's president, Roberta Metsola, confirmed that a meeting will be convened Tuesday to begin the process. Kaili, a member of the parliament from Greece, was suspended from her Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats party on Friday following the allegations.
“I have stripped the Vice-President mentioned of any tasks and responsibilities related to their role as Vice-President,” Metsola told lawmakers Monday, without mentioning Kaili by name. A meeting of political group leaders will be convened early Tuesday morning “to bring their term as vice-president to an end in an effort to protect the integrity of this house.”
Parliamentary rules allow a term of office to be terminated early for “serious misconduct,” if approved by a supermajority of two-thirds of lawmakers. A vote is due to take place on Tuesday afternoon, European time.
“The European Parliament is under attack” by “enemies of democracy,” Metsola said of allegations that Qatar sought to buy influence, which culminated in a series of raids by Belgian police on Friday. A proposal for Qataris and Kuwaitis to gain visa-free access to the bloc was subsequently booted back to committee.
Metsola stressed that the presumption of innocence applies during the investigation. She confirmed that Kaili was no longer sitting with the Socialists and Democrats political party.
Kaili has long been a champion for crypto and blockchain technology, and was due to pen the Parliament’s views on non-fungible tokens (NFT) in the coming weeks. In March she pleaded for softer anti-money laundering rules to apply to transfers of crypto assets from self-hosted wallets, saying in a tweet that her approach would enable the bloc “to fight crime and corruption while remaining tech neutral and innovation friendly.”
Kaili's office did not respond to a request for comment.
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