Thursday

27th Apr 2017

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).

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.

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.

Eurozone bank needs more scrutiny, says NGO

Transparency International says eurozone's central bank is not subject to "appropriate democratic scrutiny" and should have no say on EU bailout projects.

Analysis

From Bratislava to Rome: Little more than a show of unity

The so-called Bratislava process of reflection for the EU came to an end on Saturday, but there were few tangible results that citizens could take away from the soul-searching. Despite that, unity among the EU-27 has been maintained.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Controlling the right of repeal

There was a distinct air of finality about Sir Tim Barrow's personal delivery of the Article 50 letter in Brussels – it certainly marks the end of an era.

Be fair in Brexit talks, EU tells UK

European Council chief Tusk sent draft guidelines to member states. He said the EU wants "fairness" and then warned against using security cooperation as bargaining chip.

News in Brief

  1. EU parliament moves to lift Le Pen's immunity
  2. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's university law
  3. Scots slowly losing appetite for independence - poll
  4. Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list
  5. EU to put parental leave on political agenda
  6. Israel cancels German meeting over human rights groups
  7. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  8. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. Brexit is about Europe's future as well
  2. Power struggle in Greenland: Three reasons why the EU should care
  3. Nordic and Baltic countries step up digitalisation efforts
  4. European states still top media freedom list
  5. Let’s not put European public health at risk
  6. Threatened Budapest university calls for EU support
  7. Orban set to face down EU threats
  8. Dont expect 'quick fix' in Syria, China tells EU