The Constitutional affairs committee was supposed to vote today, Monday 12 September, on my report including more lobby transparency and stricter rules for the integrity of Members of the European Parliament. The draft compromises included a ‘legislative footprint’ and empowering the ethics committee of the European Parliament which so far had no effects.
The conservatives are against all relevant changes but had to expect to be defeated in the vote. They now secured a postponement of the vote. The liberals but also the leadership of the social democrats joined the conservative blockade on short notice. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens have written to members of the Constitutional affairs committee demanding to vote for more transparency and integrity.
As rapporteur for the report “Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU institutions” I would like to invite you to a press conference via telephone to inform you about the decisions of the Constitutional affairs committee on its special meeting on Monday evening and the negotiations:
When: Tuesday 13 September 11:30h
Where: in our telephone conference room
REGISTRATION: Please, register including the name of your medium by contacting my office: firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 228 45369
With Green European greetings
Invitation to the Constitutional affairs committee: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+COMPARL+AFCO-OJ-20160912-1+01+DOC+XML+V0//EN
Campaign by Transparency International, mehr Demokratie und Democracy International: https://www.democracy-international.org/take-action-stop-secret-lobbying
10 core demands of our report on ‚Transparency, Accountabilty and Integrity in the EU institutions‘:
1. Legislative Footprint: Believes that the level of transparency should be raised through the publication of a ‘legislative footprint’ for legislative parliamentary reports and legislative initiative reports, which sets out which organisations rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs have consulted;
2. Advisory Committee: empower the Advisory Committee … to initiate the procedure for investigating a possible breach of the code of conduct for Members and to ensure that in case the President does not follow the advice given by the Advisory Committee for a sanction the advice of the Advisory Committee and the reasoning of the President are made public; Beside two external members should be added to the existing five MEPs, all chosen by the president.
3. Ban on lobby side jobs: Believes that Article 3 of the Code of Conduct for Members should be rephrased to include a clear ban on Members holding side jobs as or having remunerated arrangements with a representative of special interests within the scope of the Transparency Register
4. cooling-off for MEPs: Believes that the Code of Conduct should be amended to provide for a an eighteen months ‘cooling-off period’ during which former Members have to notify the European Parliament of any post-term-of-office occupation they intend to take up; Believes the Advisory Committee should be empowered to look into these notifications on post-term-of-office occupations of former Members to determine if they entail a conflict with the legitimate interests of Parliament, in case such conflicts are found, the names of former Members should be published;
5. MEPs to meet only registered lobbyists: Urges Members and their staff to only meet, where possible, with interest representatives that are registered in the Transparency Register; asks Members and their staff to check if interest representatives they intend to meet are registered and request them to do so as soon as possible prior to the meeting;
6. Trilogue transparency: Recalls Parliament’s calls on Commission and Council as of 28 April 2016 in its decision on Public access to documents for the years 2014-2015: … treating documents created in trilogues such as agendas, summaries of outcomes, minutes and general approaches in the Council, not different from other legislative documents and therefore making them directly accessible on Parliament’s website,
7. Financial transparency of registrants: Believes a further amendment should oblige all registered entities to publish in the Transparency Register a list of all donors and their corresponding donations exceeding EUR 3 000, indicating both the nature and the value of the individual donations annually; single donations the value of which exceeds EUR 12 000 shall be immediately reported;
8. Believes that Members should declare any remunerations earn as employees or self-employed persons, from outside activity in parallel to their office as Members of the European Parliament and therefore should be obliged to report in their declaration of financial interests their incomes with precise amounts without any upper ceiling;
9. Believes Parliament should withdraw privileges from those who are unwilling to cooperate with inquiries or hearings and committee meetings which have a fact finding mission as indicated in paragraph 102 of the European Parliament resolution of 25 November 2015 on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect (2015/2066(INI); calls on Commission to propose an amended Code of Conduct for registered entities to apply in such cases the loss of all incentives linked to registration as foreseen in point 20 in the Procedures for Alerts and for the Investigation and Treatment of Complains; calls on Commission to further amend the Code of conduct for registered entities to incentivise not to provide insufficient or misleading information during such hearings or committees;
10. Urges the Commission to make all minutes of expert group meetings available to the public on its website, including the diversity of opinions represented;