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The president of the European Parliament said Thursday sweeping reforms will be necessary after a scandalous series of arrests on corruption charges shook the legislative body.

President Roberta Metsola made an emphatic apology for the blow to Europeans’ trust in the supernational governing body, which boasts 705 members from 27 member nations and is headquartered in Strasbourg, France.

“These criminal proceedings involving the parliament are damaging. They are damaging for democracy, for Europe and for everything that we stand for,” Metsola said. 

“Trust that has taken years to build but only moments to destroy and will need to be rebuilt. And this work starts now.”

POLICE RAID EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AS INVESTIGATORS PROBE QATAR BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS

Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, attends a press conference during a European Council meeting Dec. 15, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium.

Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, attends a press conference during a European Council meeting Dec. 15, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium.
(Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Belgian prosecutor Michel Claise has overseen multiple raids on Members of the European Union members (MEPs) on allegations of widespread corruption and bribery related to the Qatari government

Metsola has promised a series of tightened reforms to prevent future cases of this kind, including “a strengthening of the parliament’s whistleblower protection systems, a ban on all unofficial friendship groups, a review of the policing of our code of conduct rules and a complete and in-depth look at how we interact with third countries.”

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“We need to right the wrongs, and we need to send a powerful message to those external actors who try to undermine us that we will not yield — that we will stand by our values, the rule of law, justice and due process,” Metsola told the press.

European deputies vote during a plenary session at the European Parliament's Hemicycle May 24, 2007, in Strasbourg. 

European deputies vote during a plenary session at the European Parliament’s Hemicycle May 24, 2007, in Strasbourg. 
(Gerard Cerles/AFP via Getty Images)

“Let me once again assure everyone that there will be no impunity. There will be no sweeping under the carpet and no business as usual.”

The Qatari government has denied all allegations of illicit bribery and corruption.

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“The State of Qatar categorically rejects any attempts to associate it with accusations of misconduct. Any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and gravely misinformed,” an official with the Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C., told Fox News Digital.

Roberta Metsola, president of European Parliament, speaks to the media during a European Council meeting Dec. 15, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium.

Roberta Metsola, president of European Parliament, speaks to the media during a European Council meeting Dec. 15, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium.
(Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

“The State of Qatar works through institution-to-institution engagement and operates in full compliance with international laws and regulations.”

Thus far, six people have been arrested in the sting, and at least 19 homes and offices have been raided.


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