A professional lobbyist.
No, we're not joking. Austrian MEP Ernst Strasser who was secretly filmed boasting to journalists, “Of course I’m a lobbyist, yes” will be succeeded by a two-times former MEP who runs his own lobbying firm.
Who better to replace an MEP disgraced for agreeing to amend EU laws on the promise of €100,000?
Strasser, who resigned after the Sunday Times released videos of him agreeing to propose amendments to EU laws for a €100,000 consultancy salary, is being replaced by Hubert Pirker, who himself worked as a professional lobbyist since leaving the European Parliament in 2009. He was an MEP from 1996-2004 and from 2006-2009.
The website of Pirker’s former consultancy firm “EU-Triconsult” has been removed from the internet, but under the firm’s services he offered prospective clients “my networks and my negotiation and lobbying experience with European and international institutions at your disposal.”
Meanwhile, the Romanian MEP implicated in the Sunday Times ‘cash-for-laws’ sting, former Foreign Minister Adrian Severin, has been expelled from the Socialist group in the European Parliament but has refused to resign from his post as an MEP. The third MEP involved in the scandal, former Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler has resigned.
We asked yesterday whether the EP is reformable. This is not a good start.