April 1, 2023

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The “Miss Europe” that causes… nightmares

The MEP who cornered Maximo for the wiretap is a fanatical supporter of the rule of law and transparency.

In her country, she is often called “Miss Europe” because she believes that the European Union is the answer to every question. This is one of the few faults which her enemies in the Netherlands ascribe to her, who nevertheless recognize her integrity as an advantage and…

MEP Sophie Id’velt is now well known in Greece for the fierce criticism she publicly lashes out at the Greek government at every opportunity. He doesn’t do it by accident. The European Parliament bureaucracy brought them in so that she would be chair of the Working Group on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights of the Committee on Civil Liberties, but also rapporteur of PEGA, the committee that investigates the use of malicious surveillance software. Two areas where Athena is not doing… well.

Last Wednesday, in the interview given by a delegation of MEPs in Athens, was a catapult. After denouncing the government’s refusal to meet with them, he described the bleak picture they found in Greece. “State insurance systems, essential to a strong democracy, are under severe pressure. Democratic oversight by specialized agencies and a free media has become an empty letter, while the judiciary is extremely slow and ineffective, creating a climate of impunity. Corruption erodes public services and public goods “Civil society organizations are under tremendous pressure,” he said among many others.

But who is the Dutch politician Kyriakos Mitsotakis now sees…in his nightmares?

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Ind’Welt is the longest-serving Dutch politician in Brussels. She started in 1994 as assistant D66 MEP Johanna Boogerd-Quaak and eventually became a Member of the European Parliament herself since 2004 and Chair of its Eurogroup.

It is the most pro-European party in the Netherlands and one of four in the country’s government – the other three being Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals and two Christian Democrats. Although Rutte belongs to the same political group in the European Parliament, the two parties often have diametrically opposed positions. Key Controversy Concerns… The Role of the European Union.

“Ind’Welt is… fanatic of the European idea, in favor of a deepening EU, to the point of becoming almost dogmatic. This has made many in the Netherlands hate it. But no one questions its credibility,” says a diplomat from Brussels.

“We all remember his response to the Greek MP of the European People’s Party (meaning Elisa Vosberg) about the role of MEPs. Ind’Welt leaves her citizenship outside the European Parliament, her European status prevails. She is a staunch supporter of the rule of law and transparency. She was the first to turn on a president Authority because of the letters it sent to Pfizer during the pandemic,” another source comments.

This insistence on the rules of democracy and basic rights brought it into conflict with many governments in Europe. Before dealing with the Greek prime minister, he targeted the governments of Slovenia, Poland and Hungary.

Some of her fights are… epic. Last spring, the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janiz Jansa, was invited by the Committee on the Rule of Law. Jansa wanted to show a 20-minute video initially about how bad the Slovenian media is and how corrupt the country’s judicial system is to justify its interventions.

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Id’Welt refused his request – he wanted the European Parliament to talk to Jansa, he said, and not listen to his propaganda. Jansa reacted forcefully, but Id’Welt persisted. Then the Slovenian Prime Minister sent a letter to Parliament demanding that she be excused. but to no avail.

“Whoever follows her political career sees that she is often ahead of developments. And he turned out to be right. He was one of the first to advocate for the private lives of European citizens. Partly because of her efforts, agreements between the United States and the European Union on the exchange of data were sent to the trash can This was reported by the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

It was she who, seven years ago, called for the annual test of the rule of law for all member states. He called for European defense cooperation, dealing with “golden passports” and the common European immigration policy. All this has been implemented. “I feel like Cassandra sometimes,” she says.

Her leadership – even after nearly two decades in the European Parliament – is admired by her colleagues. Her compatriot, political rival and PEGA president Jeroen Lenners of the European People’s Party says it best, though in the last mission he refrains from following the “line” of his political group.

“Sophie’s mission is broader than implementing the pre-election D66 programme. He is one of the few MEPs examining the role of parliament in the EU. He believed that parliament was not using its power sufficiently,” he said when Edewelt was appointed rapporteur. However, she has also been the target of scandalous publications. Ahead of the 2019 European elections, Dutch newspaper De Teijd accused her of falsely claiming compensation expenses. She contested the allegations and was eventually proven correct. The investigation showed that he did not break any rules. The post temporarily damaged Id’Welt’s image, but not enough to prevent her re-election.

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Why we chose it

But, of course, for her resounding drive through Athens this week and for her insistence on shedding so much light on the surveillance scandal.