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PEGA Committee to investigate spyware surveillance in Greece, Cyprus

A group of the PEGA Committee of inquiry of the European Parliament will travel to Cyprus and Greece November 1-4, 2022 to investigate the situation regarding the development and use of spyware on the ground.

In March 2022, the European Parliament decided to set up the PEGA Committee to investigate alleged infringement or maladministration in application of EU law in relation to the use of spyware Pegasus and equivalent spyware surveillance software.

In particular, the PEGA Committee is asked to gather information on the extent to which Member States or third countries are using intrusive surveillance to the extent that it violates the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
During its 12-month mandate, the PEGA Commitee with its 38 Members and 38 substitute Members, “will make use of various methods to investigate the alleged violations: it will hold hearings with experts, victims and other persons, request studies and briefings and undertake fact-finding missions when needed. The investigations shall be concluded with the submission of a final report.” the PEGA website notes.
In Greece, the wiretapping scandal reveled that not only investigative reporter Thanassis Koukakis was under surveillance but also Nikos Androulkis, now leader of socialist PASOK. Prime Minister Kryiakos Mitsotakis immediately removed his close aide and nephew from the PM’s office.

According to a PEGA Committee press release:

From 1 to 4 November, a group of MEPs will visit Cyprus and Greece to investigate the development and use of spyware in these member states.

On Cyprus (1–2 November), the delegation from the Inquiry Committee on Pegasus and other spyware will meet with Ms Natasa Pilides, the Minister for Energy, Commerce and Industry, government officials, members of the House of Representatives, legal experts, NGO representatives, and journalists.

MEPs will then continue to Greece (2–4 November) to talk to members of the Hellenic Parliament, including those who were part of the Parliament’s wiretapping inquiry committee, Minister of State Mr Giorgos Gerapetritis, government officials, NGO representatives, journalists, data protection authorities, and other stakeholders.

The visit will conclude with a press conference on Friday 4 November at 12.00 EET at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Athens. The press conference will be live-streamed; you can find the link for streaming and video-on-demand here.


Members participating in the mission:
Jeroen LENAERS (Committee Chair, Head of the Delegation – EPP, Netherlands)

Sophia IN ‘T VELD (Rapporteur – Renew, Netherlands)

Sylvie GUILLAUME (S&D, France)

Juan Ignacio ZOIDO ÁLVAREZ (EPP, Spain)

Elissavet VOZEMBERG-VRIONIDI (EPP, Greece)

Thijs REUTEN (S&D, Netherlands)

Róża THUN UND HOHENSTEIN (Renew, Poland)

Saskia BRICMONT (Greens/EFA, Belgium)

Stelios KOULOGLOU (the Left, Greece)

Laura FERRARA (NI, Italy)

Lídia PEREIRA (EPP, Portugal)

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