Behaviour report sheds light on office antics of EU bureaucrats

Helen Cahill
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One EU official was pulled up for sexual harassment (Source: Getty)

The bad behaviour of EU officials has been shoved into the spot-light today after detail of a EU disciplinary report emerged.

The report from the EU Commission sheds light on the misdeeds of various workers in Brussels, with cases ranging from a worker who tried to smuggle a boat and an official who tried to cash a cheque made out to the EU.

In total, the EU's disciplinary office investigated 75 cases in 2016, according to the report obtained by think tank The Red Cell.

Of these cases, 22 were related to behavioural issues, 11 involved inappropriate freelancing while working for the EU, and four were due to absence.

A quarter of the cases led to punishments, with the worst sanctions saved for those who damaged an EU institution's reputation.

Workers are punished for bringing the EU into disrepute if they speak out publicly against an institution. One case in the document concerns an individual who spoke to journalists about their disillusionment with the bloc.

Other notable cases gave details on EU officials who handed in fake sick note, a worker who hacked a colleague's computer to delete an inappropriate email, and someone who was running an insurance brokering service on the side.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is yet another example of the hugely opaque Brussels bureaucracy which seems to operate in a parallel universe.

"It is astonishing that taxpayers across Europe pay for these utterly ludicrous bodies which are unaccountable and almost impossible to scrutinise. Complaints brought against Commission staff must be resolved in a transparent way with the decisions being made easily accessible to the public."

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