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Legal advice, speeches and Covid cures – POLITICO

Legal advice, speeches and Covid cures – POLITICO

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Not all MEPs have participated equally in the potential bonanza. Transparency International found that MEPs on the political right and center were more likely to take cash, and earn more, than those on the left. (Top outside earner Uspaskich isn’t aligned with any political group — since being kicked out of Renew in 2021 for making comments the liberal group deemed homophobic.)

MEPs raking in the cash include Geoffroy Didier, a French MEP with the conservative European People’s Party. He makes €115,200 a year working for a law firm, CARLARA, which boasts offices in Paris and Brussels. The firm’s specialties, according to its website, include the life sciences and chemicals sectors, litigation related to EU regulation and assistance to “EU public authorities before and after regulations.”

Didier did not respond to questions about how he avoids conflicts related to his legislative duties, which includes membership on the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs and substitute membership of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Socialist and Democrat MEP Marek Belka, a former prime minister and finance minister of Poland, rakes in more than €21,000 annually giving speeches. Board memberships round out the rest of his €105,418 in extra income. They include the Polish branch of the Vienna Insurance Group, which is registered to lobby the institutions.

In an email, Belka acknowledged there could be some overlap with the insurance sector and his work on the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Yet Belka advises VIG only on finances and management, not lobbying, he said, noting a “very strict internal code of conduct” to avoid conflicts, such as eschewing rapporteur roles and voting only the S&D party line on insurance files.

“When it comes to potential conflicts between my side jobs and my work in Parliament, I make sure that this does not happen,” he said.

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