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Progressive majority endorses new EU ethics body

Date

23 Apr 2024

Sections

InfoSociety

The socialists and democrats in the European Parliament led a progressive majority endorsing a new EU ethics body in a vote in the constitutional affairs committee this evening. The new inter-institutional body, agreed at a political level last month, will set standards for ethics in the EU institutions and will be composed of representatives of the institutions and five independent experts. Following tonight’s endorsement, the plenary debate and vote on the EU ethics body on Thursday will be among MEPs’ final acts in this legislative mandate.

Throughout the negotiations, the conservative EPP group has teamed up with the extreme right to water down the mandate of the ethics body. Last month, in a public statement explaining their opposition to the ethics body, the EPP Group made false claims that the proposals, endorsed by president von der Leyen, are inconsistent with the rule of law. 

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, S&D MEP and shadow rapporteur for the EU ethics body, said:

We believe in developing ambitious ethical standards across the EU institutions and today’s vote is a first step in the right direction. We have been consistently pushing for improved monitoring and enforcement of higher standards, but we have faced relentless headwinds from the right wing groups in the European Parliament trying to stop a new EU ethics body.

“The EPP has been remarkably consistent in teaming up with the extreme right, ECR and ID, voting against a new tool designed to improve transparency, credibility and trust in the EU. We sincerely hope the EPP sees sense ahead of the plenary vote on Thursday and we urge them to vote with our progressive majority.”

Katarina Barley, Parliament's lead negotiator for the EU ethics body, said:

“This week is a watershed moment for public scrutiny and integrity in the EU. We finally have an EU ethics body with independent experts and the power to examine individual cases. We stood our ground throughout difficult negotiations, but we achieved good results for our institutions and the public’s trust in our work. With Parliament’s final vote, we are taking a crucial step to better enforce rules on integrity, transparency and accountability. 

“The creation of an ethics body is a success made possible by the European Parliament and the S&D Group. Our constant pressure has shaped an ethics body with a watchdog function. It is the Socialists and Democrats’ continuous push for more scrutiny and higher ethics standards across the EU’s institutions that made this victory possible. 

“We have worked very hard to ensure the new EU ethics body can be in place for the start of the next legislative mandate.”

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