Friday

24th Feb 2017

EU parliament reconsiders code of conduct loophole

  • European Parliament reviews code of conduct loophole on hotel and transport for MEPs paid by lobbyists (Photo: wikipedia)

The European Parliament on Wednesday (27 June) reverted a controversial decision on the code of conduct for MEPs.

The loophole enabled lobbyists to fund MEPs' non-business-class flights and to pay for hotel accommodation of up to €300 a day without disclosure.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But EU parliament president Martin Schulz told his administrative chiefs (quaestors) on Wednesday evening to come up with a different plan.

The administrators, which deal with the internal affairs of MEPs, had originally advised the European Parliament in April to insert the €300 threshold into the code.

The parliament's bureau (vice-presidents and the president) agreed and adopted the threshold, but the decision caused uproar among a number of MEPs from the centre-left and left as well as pro-transparency groups and NGOs.

Several MEPs, including Luxembourgish Green MEP Claude Turmes and Dutch left-wing MEP Dennis de Jong, told this website on 19 June they would attempt to place the code into next week's parliament session in Strasbourg.

But parliamentary rules of procedure prevented them from even getting the issue onto the Strasbourg agenda.

An assistant for De Jong told EUobserver that Wednesday's decision was a welcome surprise. Left wing German MEP Gabrielle Zimmer also praised Schulz's move.

The administrators will now have to review their original proposal and present a new version to the bureau.

Several MEPs have already announced they would attempt to call for a debate about the changes being proposed to the code of conduct in a future plenary agenda should the administrators refuse to budge.

The code of conduct was adopted in December 2011 following a series of MEP scandals involving Austria's Ernst Strasser, Romania's Adrian Severin and Zoran Thaler of Slovenia.

All three had accepted offers of up to €100,000 per year in exchange for tabling amendments on legislation in the EU assembly.

MEPs challenge code of conduct loophole

A new code of conduct for MEPs lets them hide hospitality if it involves non-business-class flights and hotel rooms costing less than €300 a day.

Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Commission head Juncker say EU states which want deeper integration should press ahead in core groups, in reaction to the UK’s departure.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

Le Pen used 'fake' EU parliament jobs

A leaked EU anti-fraud office report says French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, had her bodyguard and personal assistant paid by the EU parliament for jobs they did not do.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EURORDISJoin the Rare Disease Day and Help to Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  4. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  5. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  6. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  7. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  9. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  10. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations