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Rules of procedure

New rules will enhance transparency and integrity

The European Parliament has today amended the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

The Greens/EFA group has secured a series of measures to improve transparency, including those adopted from a report from Pascal Durand, which will see an enhanced check of potential conflicts of interests for Commissioners, both at the beginning of the legislature and in case of a major portfolio change.

Other positive measures include a more precise declaration of side incomes by MEPs and a ban on lobby side jobs. MEPs will only be able to meet with registered lobbyists. Further, the President will no longer be able to block the ethical advisory committee from investigating cases where MEPs are suspected of having broken the Code of Conduct.

Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur Max Andersson said:

"Following the recent scandals involving Neelie Kroes and Günther Öttinger, we are pleased to have secured measures which will help improve transparency and integrity in the European institutions. European Commissioners will now face a more stringent review, and the European Parliament will be able to suspend the process where there is a suspected conflict of interest.

"We are also pleased to have improved the rules governing our own house. Thanks to Greens/EFA amendments, MEPs will only be able to meet with registered lobbyists. Alongside a ban on lobby side jobs and improved transparency on side incomes, these steps will help reduce conflicts of interest within the parliament.

"However, we need a much stronger system for policing and sanctioning against wrong-doing, and this must go for both the Parliament and the Commission. Conflicts of interest must be independently examined and we are going to continue to fight for stronger regulation and more transparency when it comes to lobbying and conflicts of interest. We also deeply regret the fact that our proposals to prevent MEPs from passing through the revolving door to become lobbyists after their term in office were declared as inadmissible the day before the vote."

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David Weir

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