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Daily News Analysis

The EU corruption scandal beyond the headlines

Crescent International

A new corruption scandal has hit the European Parliament.

It involves Eva Kaili, the EU body’s vice president.

It is a natural consequence of EU member regimes providing support and political cover to corrupt and authoritarian pro-western regimes in West Asia and Africa.

Although the latest scandal is sensationalized by the media, it should be remembered that such scandals are not a novelty on the European political scene.

From the Caviar Diplomacy scandal involving the Aliyev regime buying influence in Europe to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy using Libyan cash for his 2007 election campaign, EU’s political caste is riddled with corruption.

Western media coverage of the latest corruption scandal is pushing the narrative that the EU is an institution that takes corruption issues seriously.

What is missing from this narrative is the fact that European regimes are often the principal backers of authoritarian and corrupt regimes in other parts of the world.

The current scandal is being used to bash Qatar.

What is conveniently ignored in this discussion, however, is the question as to why the unelected and corrupt regimes in the GCC region are strategic political and economic allies of many of the same European regimes that are piling up on Qatar?

As long as the corrupt Arabian regimes obey the European powers, their crimes are whitewashed.

Western regimes not only confer political legitimacy on them but also provide economic backing.

Nothing illustrates this more blatantly than the recent international climate conference in Egypt.

Such a conference would never be held in Syria, for instance.

This is not because of human rights slogans the western regimes habitually raise, but simply because the Syrian government does not obey the west’s geopolitical agenda.

The Egyptian autocratic regime is an obedient stooge.

As the old proverb goes, if you lie next to dogs, you will get flees.

In the contemporary world interlinked via economic transactions, communication technology and societies, it is no longer possible to aid the establishment of corrupt regimes in one part of the world and hope that their corrupt practices will not affect your own political system.

The corruption case which rocked the European Parliament would have acquired a very different tone in the media if the institution involved were some religious intra-Muslim government body.

The entire paradigm of the Islamic governing system would have been put on public trial, not simply the individuals involved.

Although western secular political institutions regularly get embroiled in corruption scandals, the dominant narrative never proclaims that western governing model is a failure.

When Islamic governing institutions malfunction, the entire Islamic governing paradigm is branded as a failure.

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