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S&Ds: European conservatives undermining efforts to improve EU ethics standards


12 Jul 2023



The European Parliament is today reiterating its position on the long overdue proposals from the Commission for the new EU ethics body.

The S&D Group was disappointed with the lack of real powers in the new body and the lack of ambition from the Commission when it published its proposals in June. Nonetheless, S&D MEPs committed to playing a constructive role to improve the weak starting point.

Over several rounds of negotiations between political groups, the S&D Group made an effort to compromise in search of the broadest possible support. On Monday evening at the last minute, the centre-right Group of the European People’s Party (EPP), once again siding with the far right, decided to withdraw their support for the compromise position and remove their signature from the resolution.

Gaby Bischoff, S&D negotiator on the EU Ethics Body resolution, said:

“During negotiations, the EPP Group has persistently tried to water down ambition in the Parliament’s position on the EU ethics body only to end up not signing the resolution. This is classic EPP; all bark and no bite. They claim to want high ethical standards in the EU but then fail to do anything to deliver it. Despite our best efforts at achieving compromise that includes all main political groups, it is left to a progressive majority to deliver Parliament’s position to strengthen ethical standards.

“It’s time for the EPP to get serious and commit to an EU ethics body. We have tough negotiations ahead to improve what is on the table but it looks like the EPP’s primary aim was to negotiate in bad faith and to undermine Parliament’s position. This sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to future negotiations with the EPP on other files. To give Parliament as strong a hand as possible in the negotiations on the ethics body, I hope the EPP will come to its senses in today’s vote and vote for the compromise text.”