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New EU ethics body will deliver on our commitment to strengthen democracy

Date

16 Sep 2021

Sections

Public Affairs

Despite efforts by a right-wing coalition in the European Parliament to derail the process, MEPs are voting on the creation of a new independent ethics body.

The S&D Group wants the new body to propose and give advice on ethics rules around conflicts of interests and lobbying for Commissioners and MEPs before and throughout their term of office.

During last week’s meeting of Parliament’s leaders, groups on the right attempted to delay today’s vote that sets out Parliament’s position on the competences and powers of any future EU ethics body. The EPP and ECR also voted down the constitutional committee’s proposals in July.

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz MEP, shadow rapporteur on an independent EU Ethics Body, said:

“During the 2019 European elections, the main political groups each committed to setting up an independent Ethics Body in the EU and as the Socialists and Democrats, we intend to deliver on our promises. We are surprised to see right-wing groups running scared of an opportunity to improve integrity and credibility in the EU. If we want to strengthen trust in the EU, we need a joint independent body to apply ethical rules across the institutions and put an end to the era of self-policing. This is another step forward in closing the revolving door and this new body will significantly strengthen the democratic legitimacy of the EU.”

Domènec Ruiz Devesa MEP, S&D spokesperson on constitutional affairs, said:

“The S&D Group believes in ever more transparency. In our view, the future independent EU Ethics Body must have real investigative powers to uncover any possible conflicts of interest or lobbying scandals that would undermine the EU’s credibility. In the first instance this body will have controls over ethics rules in the Parliament and the Commission, but we want to see other institutions and agencies brought into the fold as soon as possible.”

 

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