Condemning corruption

March 29, 2011, 6:45 PM GMT+0

Exactly half of the British public (50%) believes that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are equally likely as Members of Parliament (MPs) to be corrupt, and many more think that any MEPs involved in bribery should be prosecuted, our latest Sunday Times survey results show.

  • When asked to say who was more likely to be corrupt from a list of MEPs and MPs, exactly half (50%) thought they were just as bad as each other
  • 28% said MEPs would be the more likely group
  • Compared to just 6% who thought MPs were likely to be the more corrupt.

Corruption charges

Members of the European Parliament (EP) have come under scrutiny recently after an investigation by The Sunday Times revealed foreign MEPs had agreed to accept bribes in exchange for proposing amendments in the European Parliament. Sunday Times’ journalists posed as lobbyists and contacted over 60 MEPs offering bribes of 100,000 Euros per year for their help in altering laws. Two MEPs, Austrian Ernst Strasser and Slovene Zoran Thaler, have resigned over the issue, while a third implicated MEP, Romanian Adrian Severin, has given up his party position but now stands as an independent. All three maintain their innocence.

  • 89% think this kind of corruption should result in prosecution
  • A tiny 4% dissented and said the accused shouldn’t face prosecution

This is not the first time MEPs have faced public criticism for questionable financial dealings; in 2008 revelations of dubious expenses claims led to a reform of the EP’s expenses system.

See the survey details and full results here (as part of our latest Sunday Times results)