Transparency International: MEPs miss opportunity to improve ethics regime in Parliament

At today’s plenary vote, Members of the European Parliament have failed to make necessary changes to the ethics system and put an end to the culture of impunity among MEPs that has been exposed by one of the largest corruption scandals to hit Parliament. Although there will now be much needed and stronger measures on lobby transparency as well as a new obligation to submit asset declarations, the new rules fail to tackle known structural problems in the Parliament’s ethics regime. Important overhaul, such as the need for sanctions that serve as deterrents, and real independent oversight of Members’ conduct, were not addressed. Lucrative side jobs by MEPs with organisations on the EU’s lobby register will continue to be allowed, enhancing perceived and real risks of conflicts of interest. Most incredibly, some of the changes voted today water down existing disclosure rules on MEPs’ declarations of financial interests.


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