Uber Files committee finds no illegal practices by Brussels government members
A special parliamentary committee set up in the wake of the Uber Files revelations has found no "illegal or unauthorised practices" by members of the Brussels government. The committee also concluded that Uber and the traditional taxi sector did not engage in illegal lobbying.
In July 2022, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the Uber Files, a data leak investigation that exposed how Uber broke the law, deceived police and regulators, and secretly lobbied governments around the world.
Knack, De Tijd and Le Soir reported on Uber's dubious practices in Brussels, including sending an international intelligence firm against its two main competitors and planning to infiltrate a Brussels government agency tasked with monitoring whether Uber was playing by the rules.
The Uber Files also revealed communications between Uber and the Brussels government in the run-up to a major reform of the taxi industry. The contacts between an Uber lobbyist and Pascal Smet (One.Brussels-Vooruit), current secretary of state of the Brussels-Capital Region and former minister for Mobility in Brussels, stood out.
A special committee of the Brussels Parliament was set up to investigate the revelations at the end of 2022. Its proposed findings and recommendations, to be discussed by the committee on Monday, do not identify any illegal or unauthorised practices by members of the Brussels government.
The hearings did, however, reveal repeated attempts at influence and pressure, resulting in explicit threats, physical attacks on drivers and calls to vote for certain political parties and figures. They also exposed the lack of a proper framework for lobbying activities in the Brussels region.
© PHOTO DENIS CHARLET / AFP