January 12, 2022
Renew Europe is today demanding the European Parliament establishes a Committee of Inquiry on the abuse of Pegasus Spyware by EU Governments against national opposition politicians, lawyers & journalists.
MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, Renew Europe LIBE Coordinator and co-initiator of the inquiry, said:
“We need a full inquiry into the Pegasus spyware scandal. European democracy is being undermined; and the EU should act accordingly. There are clear signs of abuse; of governments using it against the democratic opposition in their countries. The European Commission must follow the United States’ example; and quickly blacklist Pegasus’ parent company NSO. We cannot let this pass; our democracy is at stake.”
Against the background of the Hungarian Government’s deep involvement in the use of the spyware and the recent revelations that the Polish PiS Government also used the spyware to infiltrate the activity of opposition politicians, the need for an independent investigation is prescient.
MEP Róża Thun, Member of Polska 2050 in Poland and MEP Anna Donáth, party leader of Momentum Movement in Hungary, as co-initiators of the inquiry, said:
“Hacking citizens with Pegasus spyware took place in several EU countries. In Poland and Hungary it was used against lawyers, journalists, independent media owners and head of campaign of the biggest contender in the parliamentary elections.”
Our group is inviting the leaders of the other political groups of the European Parliament to support our initiative, which would constitute the first action from an EU institution on this matter, and set up the mandate of the inquiry. The EU needs to investigate, protect the victims, and deliver an appropriate response.
“We see clearly that the governments’ purpose was to act against democracy! This is not acceptable in the EU. Renew Group is calling for a fully fledged committee of inquiry on this scandal. We need to uncover the extent of those practices and find the people responsible for Pegasus illegal use in the EU. Protecting citizens’ rights and privacy is our common duty. Renew Group will stand by European citizens”, MEPs Thun and Donath concluded.