Eva Kaili: Inquiry into the EU40 network where you chaired: many young MEPs left, what does the data show?

By | May 10, 2023

Politico reveals that the EU40 network seems to have become a strong lobbying tool for technology companies.

Politico is proceeding with another revelation about Eva Kaili. The well-known Media, in his report, writes that the network of new EU40 MEPs is being investigated after it appears to have become a strong lobbying tool for technology companies.

What is EU40’s relationship with the former Vice President of the European Parliament accused of Qatargate? Eva Kaili was the president of the specific network from 2019 onwards.

Politico notes that as the Belgian authorities proceeded to arrest Kaili, their attention also turned to those who were cooperating with the Greek MEP.

Among them were members of the EU40 network.

According to Politico, the network suspended Eva Kaili as soon as she was charged in the Qatargate scandal last December.

In fact, subsequently, some MEPs and other network partners severed their links with the EU40, claiming that they were registered as members without their knowledge or consent.

However, the network is still active and has recently restarted a busy schedule of events, according to its website and social media posts.

Are you involved in Qatargate?

Politico notes that there are no indications that the EU40 has engaged in any illegal activity. But former members who spoke to well-known media revealed that big corporate donors could pay for access to lawmakers who were young, tech-savvy, influential and perhaps naive.

Many MEPs were happy to get a deal, dinners, but they also lobbied for over a decade.

However, when Qatargate “exploded” and the accusations against Eva Kaili, many ran for the exit, as Politico often writes.

“Their official message is: ‘You finance me, I organize an event for you.’ Their informal message is: ‘You finance me, I give you access to this or that MEP, I invite this or that person,'” said a source from a company that cooperated with the EU40 network and which has not been authorized by his employer. speak formally

How many MEPs participate?

An archive on the EU40 website from December lists 71 lawmakers in his “network” and six on his board.

The site now shows just 56 members, where previously there were details of a “heavyweight council” of MEPs chaired by Kaili, the site now shows just three “executives”.

Adam Mukhtar and two junior employees. Mukhtar said a “new board” would be introduced after a “reorganization phase”.

In 2007, Mukhtar, who has served at least a dozen MEPs in a ten-year career in the European Parliament and currently works as an assistant to four of them, co-founded the group that would become the EU40 network.

Politico then describes how the network changed its role, how it completely changed the game. New MEPs, who started as customers of the network, became its product.

Since then, MEPs have been “showing off at events”, the theme of which was decided by corporate sponsors, said a former EU40 official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about a former employer.

Big companies “could hold networking dinners, give speeches” under the EU40 banner and choose which MEPs would sit next to their executives, the official said.

Mukhtar denies it

Mukhtar denies this, saying that corporate members can only propose events, but final decisions “are in the hands of the MEPs who organize the events.”

The EU40 website shows that corporate members include US tech giants Google and Microsoft, pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, as well as Chinese tech companies Huawei and TikTok. The website says: “Our mission is to serve young Members of Parliament under the age of 40 and strengthen their role within the European Parliament.”

Mukhtar said the EU40 began to rely on corporate sponsors to better structure what he saw as a useful support network for MEPs.

“MEPs (including the board) were of the opinion that MEP contributions alone would be insufficient for the professional functioning of the network and would further reduce the number of MEPs willing to participate,” he said.

He added that he receives no financial compensation from the network, other than a company car, a phone and money for meals related to the network’s work.

However, he seems to be enjoying the side job: at the end of 2021, together with his EU40 colleague Alessandro Da Rold, he created the “European Smart Villages Forum” together with the Slovenian MEP Frank Bogovic, who shares the direction and corporate structure. . with the EU40.

Da Rold’s relationship with Eva Kaili

In April, Da Rold resigned as CEO. He had been a paid employee since 2019 and, as of September 2022, he had simultaneously served as a paid adviser to Eva Kaili, according to the transparency website ParlTrack.

Some MEPs say they were unaware that they were appearing on the EU40 website as part of their ‘network’. Niklas Ninas, a German from the Greens who hired Mukhtar as an assistant, told Politico that when he found his name on the EU40 website in December, he personally asked Mukhtar to remove him.

“I told her: Not because of Eva (sa Kaili), but simply because of the way they do all their events with private agencies,” Ninas said. She said that she asked Mukhtar for “written proof” that she had applied to join the EU40 and that Mukhtar was unable to provide it.

Timo Wolken, a German Social Democratic lawmaker, also said that he appeared on the website without ever joining the EU40, although he did participate in some events.

“I quickly realized that their main objective was not to connect new MEPs, but to organize sponsored events. It was more useful for the industry than for the MEPs. There was no added value for us,” he told Politico.

Mukhtar stated that the EU40 did not then have “official documents for the membership of MEPs”, in line with “our image and the appeal of being a young and relaxed network… MEPs were verbally asked if they were interested in joining to the organization, and if they agreed to join, they were added to the site.”

The network has “learned from its mistake” and will soon switch to a documented registration process, he added.

The return of the UE40, silence for Kaili

Politico closes its report, noting that the EU40 appears to have stabilized in recent months. He has remained mum about the role of Kylie, issuing nothing more than a brief statement in December 2022 that he had “temporarily” put her on hold.

At the end of April, he launched a rich calendar of events chaired by MEPs, after a hiatus of several months, his website shows: his cheerful Twitter and Instagram accounts are increasing his membership, Politico notes.

Some MEPs seem to have forgotten their doubts. In January, a spokeswoman for Portuguese lawmaker Sara Cerdas told Politico that she would be leaving the EU40 council “because the priorities of our office at the moment do not align with (spa).

On April 27, she hosted an EU40 event…

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