The European Fee introduced Tuesday that it’s tightening guidelines that enable international governments or organizations to pay journey bills for its employees, a day after the establishment conceded that Qatar had supplied free flights and lodging to a high official with out unbiased oversight.

“Any longer, stricter guidelines will apply to journey paid for by the organizers or third events,” Dana Spinant, a spokeswoman for the European Union’s government department, informed reporters in Brussels. The announcement got here amid a serious corruption scandal on the European Parliament linked to Qatar.

The web information outlet Politico reported that the top of the fee’s transport division, Henrik Hololei, traveled totally free with Qatar Airways 9 instances between 2015 and 2021. Two flights have been paid by Qatar; the others by foyer teams and convention organizers, Politico stated.

The journeys have been made when the division, generally known as DG MOVE, was concerned in negotiating an EU-Qatar air transport settlement, which was signed on 18 October 2021. Hololei didn’t participate within the negotiations, however he did lead the division conducting them.

The fee confirmed on Monday that Hololei had additionally benefited from some paid lodging. It stated there had been no battle of curiosity. However underneath the foundations in place on the time Hololei himself was the one individual answerable for assessing whether or not his journey preparations posed any moral points.

Spinant stated that underneath the brand new guidelines, launched Tuesday with “instant impact,” division chiefs ought to seek the advice of with the establishment’s coverage commissioners or their senior employees about any paid journey gives, amongst different measures.

“We need to keep away from any battle of curiosity and any notion of battle of curiosity on the identical time,” she stated. Spinant had stated on Monday {that a} revamp of the foundations was launched late final yr however she gave no indication that the fee is likely to be able to announce modifications anytime quickly.

The European Ombudsman, the bloc’s official administrative watchdog, has additionally despatched a collection of inquiries to fee President Ursula von der Leyen, attempting to ascertain whether or not there was any battle of curiosity concerned.

The ombudsman’s inquiries come 4 months after 4 individuals have been charged with corruption, cash laundering and membership in a felony group for allegedly accepting bribes from Qatari and Moroccan officers to affect proceedings on the European Parliament.

Each international locations deny being concerned however the EU parliament has suspended work on all Qatar-related recordsdata, together with on an settlement to ease visa restrictions for some Qatari nationals, till an investigation is accomplished.