Tom Vandendriessche is being investigated by OLAF. EPA-EFE/Olivier Matthys

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European anti-fraud agency investigating Vlaams Belang MEP

The allegations likely surround claims that some of his EP assistants had worked for the party on issues unrelated to the EU.


The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has reportedly opened an investigation into Flemish MEP Tom Vandendriessche.

According to Belgian media, the inquiry into the Vlaams Belang representative was initiated last year, although that information has only just become public – days before the European Parliament elections of June 6-9.

While OLAF has refrained from publicly commenting on the issue, which is standard practice for the watchdog while any investigation is ongoing, anonymous sources told Brussels Signal that the probe concerned the alleged misuse of European Parliament funds.

They added that the investigation was likely prompted by a tip-off from an ex-aide of Vandendriessche. The allegations likely surround claims that some of his EP assistants had worked for the Vlaams Belang party on issues unrelated to the EU.

Such accusations have a similar ring to those levelled against France’s National Rally bigwig Marine Le Pen who, like Vandendriessche, is part of the Identity and Democracy group in the EP.

She is accused by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office of misusing European public funds between 2004 and 2016.

That probe is ongoing.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, Vandendriessche confirmed that an OLAF investigation into him was instigated last year.

“I received a letter about a year ago that a report to OLAF of a dismissed employee was being investigated,” he said.

“Since then, I have received no further information about this investigation. I have not received a letter from OLAF since then. I have no clue about the content of this investigation.

“I look forward to the investigation, which is guaranteed to exonerate me,” he concluded.

Vlaams Belang is leading in the polls in Belgium as the EP elections near but there appears to be increasing scrutiny of the party and Vandendriessche in particular.

Recently, several left-wing media outlets claimed the MEP was “the brain” of the party and alleged he was “far-right”.

Since the current leader of Vlaams Belang, Tom Van Grieken, became its President, the party has succeeded in changing its public perception from that of an entity existing on the political fringes to a mainstream electoral threat.

It is expected to win more votes than any other party in Belgium.

Political opponents claim its apparent change in attitude is just window-dressing and that the party at its core remains the same.