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S&Ds: President Metsola needs to be more ambitious on reforms to strengthen integrity

Date

16 Feb 2023

Sections

Global Europe

Today, the socialists and democrats are urging the President of the European Parliament to step up and act on the demands of the majority of MEPs asking for more ambitious reforms on integrity.

The European Parliament will today hold a vote repeating a call for measures to strengthen the integrity of European institutions. In January, the S&D Group presented a 15-point plan for preventing corruption and political interference, and a number of measures headline in today’s report, including the mandatory requirement to declare all meetings and a “cooling off period” for MEPs being employed as lobbyists.

Today, MEPs will also vote on a specific report repeating Parliament’s long-standing call for a new independent EU Ethics Body. The Socialists and Democrats welcome the announcement that the Commission will come forward with a proposal for an interinstitutional agreement on an ethics body in March. 

Gaby Bischoff, S&D vice-president, said:

“Allegations of corruption are highly damaging to the European Parliament’s credibility. Last December, in a bid to strengthen integrity and transparency, a huge majority of MEPs, including the EPP, voted on concrete steps to strengthen the accountability of the EU institutions. Our proposals include the establishment of an independent EU Ethics Body, a strengthened transparency register, and stronger whistle-blower protection. The European Parliament has taken its first step in the reform process, but some of the measures fall short of our ambition as S&Ds to ensure the highest standards of transparency that the public now expects from us. We are concerned about attempts by conservatives in the Parliament to roll back on ambition. President Metsola now needs to step up and deliver the urgent changes that this House is demanding on improving accountability, boosting transparency and tightening controls.” 

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, S&D rapporteur for Parliament’s 2021 report on setting up an EU Ethics Body, said:

“We have already waited for a year for an ethics body and we can wait a few more weeks. For the ethics body to really succeed it must be independent, it must have real powers of investigation and it must cover all individuals working in the European institutions. We have no intention of burying this scandal under a mountain of meaningless words. The days of self-policing, poor oversight and ineffective sanctioning are over. Our credibility is on the line and people are watching the European Parliament and the institutions. The responsibility to act rests on all of our shoulders.”

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