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Parliamentary questions
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20 January 2017
E-005629/2016(ASW)
Joint answer given by President Juncker on behalf of the Commission
Written questions: E-005629/16 , E-006651/16 , E-006165/16 , E-005690/16 , E-005920/16
Question references: E-005629/2016, E-005690/2016, E-005920/2016, E-006165/2016, E-006651/2016

The Treaty provisions and the Code of Conduct of Commissioners set ethical standards for the Commission which are in line with international requirements and higher than the rules applicable in the Member States and other EU institutions.

In accordance with Articles 245 and 247 TFEU, only the Court of Justice may deprive a former Commissioner of his right to a pension or other benefits.

The Code of Conduct for Commissioners foresees the obligation to notify envisaged activities and the prohibition of lobbying or advocacy on matters for which they have been responsible during their mandate during a period of 18 months. In the case of former President Barroso, this period had already expired and his recruitment by Goldman Sachs was not notified beforehand to the Commission. However, President Juncker asked Mr Barroso for explanations and consulted the Commission's Ad Hoc Ethical Committee. The opinion of the Ad Hoc Ethical Committee was delivered on 26 October 2016. President Juncker decided to make it public(1). In its meeting of 22 November 2016, the Commission supported President Juncker's intention to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners by extending the cooling-off period from currently 18 months to 2 years for Commissioners and to 3 years for the President of the Commission, considering recent controversies around the professional activities of former Members of the Commission. On 23 November 2016, President Juncker informed the President of the European Parliament and asked for his opinion on this Commission's intention.

(1)http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/ethics-for-commissioners/pdf/opinion-comite-adhoc-2016-10-26_en.pdf

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