Interest groups, particularly among globalist left, using NGOs to advance their own political agenda is nothing new. These organizations vie for influence and power – mind you, without any democratic mandate – circling around our government institutions with broad “buzzword” topics, portraying themselves as the vanguard of democracy and human rights, transparency, tolerance, press freedom – of all that’s good and true.
If it is the latent political intent we are looking for, and not the façade of perception, we could say that these organizations share an awful lot of similarities with lobbying firms.
And under the pretense of “human rights,” “rule of law” or whatever term they claim to coin, they slip in through the cracks, infecting our institutions, hiding behind their public image, and exploiting our trust in humanity.
The most recent case of systemic corruption from these circle exemplifies what we have been warning the European community about for years.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a major donor of a group called Fight Impunity, is seeking to recover some of the €600,000 it gave to the group.
Simultaneously, a number of high-profile individuals, including former EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, have resigned from the Honorary Board of the Fight Impunity NGO.
The main reason for jumping ship is that Fight Impunity’s Pier Antonio Panzeri, alongside Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, leader of the NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), also funded by HRF, were arrested last week in connection with allegations of bribery and undue influence.
NPWJ is also currently being investigated regarding the fair use of the EUR 6 million of EU funds it has received since 2006.
Mogherini, for example, joined the board of Fight Impunity, as did former European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and former MEP Cecilia Wikström. Both are tied to the leftist factions of the European Parliament.
Panzeri and Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, secretary general of No Peace Without Justice, are among the lead suspects in the Belgian authorities’ probe into allegations of corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization.
Panzeri was even able to get his daughter a job at HRF. She, alongside her mother, is being investigated as well.
Arrests have also been made relating to European Parliament assistants who worked for the organization, and Mr. Panzeri, who is a former leftist MEP himself, has already pleaded guilty in the hopes of getting a reduced sentence.
Panzeri, who once chaired the European Parliament’s human rights subcommittee, used his contacts to build the impression of a powerful and exclusive club, operating for years under the pretense of human rights advocacy.
Reports allege that they took and paid bribes and undermined the European community for years, cheating and manipulating our institutions.
So when you hear calls for greater transparency and tighter regulations for NGOs, remember these examples.
There are good reasons to consider new rules for a sector where some are taking advantage and the rest of us are paying the price.