Monday

3rd Oct 2022

Schulz calls for stricter rules for EU commissioners

  • Schulz wants clearer conduct rules for former EU commissioners who now work in the private sector (Photo: European Parliament)

EU parliament chief Martin Schulz wants tougher conduct rules for EU commissioners, but similar efforts in his own assembly are being undermined.

"We should adapt the code of conduct to make it clearer what former EU Commission presidents and EU commissioners are permitted to do," he is quoted as saying by German newspaper Die Welt on Wednesday (14 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has been heavily criticised for taking a job at US bank Goldman Sachs.

But the parliament chief has also been accused of muffling allegations, for instance, that he used parliament resources during his campaign to become the president of the European Commission.

His office has rejected the claims, noting that he had provided a detailed list of his travels and activities in "full transparency".

"In addition the president has voluntarily forfeited his daily parliament allowance during the election campaign," Schulz's office told this website in an email in April.

Before taking up his duties as EU parliament president, Schulz presided over the Socialist S&D group.

Last April, the socialists and centre-right EPP removed demands, in a parliament report, on whether Schulz had chartered private flights in the first six months of the election year.

"It was approved by president Schulz personally," said Green Hungarian MEP Benedek Javor at the time.

In exchange, the socialists agreed to EPP demands to allow MEPs to hold second or even third jobs.

MEPs holding additional jobs in the private sector presents a whole host of thorny conflict of interest issues, especially if they legislate in the same industry in which they work.

The issue arose again earlier this week when MEPs led by the EPP in the constitutional affairs committee, gained backing by their socialist cohorts, to postpone a vote on another report that again demanded an end to second jobs.

Last year, a joint report by three transparency NGOs found that nine MEP held paid positions in companies that lobbied lawmakers.

Among them was French centre-right Rachida Dati, who according to her latest declaration of interest earns more than €10,000 a month as a lawyer.

In May, she received a personal invitiation from Qatar’s foreign ministry to attend the Doha Forum, which included broad issues on security, development, and energy. She attended the forum.

UK conservative Nirj Deva and Danish centre-right MEP Bendt Bendtsen were also highlighted in the report, drafted by the pro-transparency NGOs Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl.

Ethics drive at EU parliament hits a wall

Plans to increase transparency at the European Parliament have been postponed, in a move likely to result in weaker proposals when it goes to a vote.

Feature

Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy

EUobserver spoke with several business figures and all confirmed they voted for Georgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy because it promised stability, less bureaucracy and tax cuts. Matteo Salvini's anti-EU rhetoric scared them, while they trust Meloni has "more common sense".

Europe's far-right celebrates Meloni victory

In Warsaw and Budapest, the prime ministers were quick to congratulate the new Italian leader, who — they hope — will back them in their battles with the EU over civil rights, rule of law and democratic backsliding.

EU seeks crisis powers to take control over supply chains

The Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) introduces a staged, step-by-step, approach — providing emergency powers to the EU Commission to tackle any potential threat which could trigger disruptions or shortages of key products within the EU.

Podcast

How Europe helped normalise Georgia Meloni

Should Georgia Meloni be considered neofascist? She insists she's a patriotic conservative. And indeed, if she's prime minister, she's expected to respect Italy's democracy — if only to keep money flowing from the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Russia halts gas supplies to Italy
  2. Bulgaria risks hung parliament after inconclusive vote
  3. Latvian ruling party wins elections
  4. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  5. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  6. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  7. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  8. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. What Modi and Putin’s ‘unbreakable friendship’ means for the EU
  2. EU leaders have until Friday for refugee resettlement pledges
  3. Cities and regions stand with citizens and SMEs ahead of difficult winter
  4. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks
  5. Putin declares holy war on Western 'satanism'
  6. Two elections and 'Macron's club' in focus Next WEEK
  7. EU agrees windfall energy firm tax — but split on gas-price cap
  8. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'We are not going to resign ... anywhere'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us