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Buzek welcomes adoption of Code of Conduct for MEPs

Brussels -
Thursday 01/12/2011

The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek has welcomed the adoption of the Code of Conduct for MEPs by the European Parliament in the Brussels plenary session today:

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said:

"The new Code of Conduct for MEPs will be a strong shield against unethical behaviour. The code's guiding principle is transparency. The Code of Conduct is a major improvement on the status quo and is the first-ever Code of Conduct for MEPs.

I appreciate highly the wide consensus in favour of the Code of Conduct for MEPs. The Code was drawn up in record time of only ten intensive weeks.

Increased power of the European Parliament must be accompanied by increased responsibility and transparency on behalf of its members. Today is the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty - it is an excellent day to adopt the Code - more power means more responsibility.

I would like to thank the members of the Working Group and the Constitutional Affairs Committee for their excellent work on the Code of Conduct. I am particularly pleased with today's vote as I had proposed the new transparency solutions in the Spring and have been personally committed to their adoption including when I chaired the Working Group."

Note to Editors:

What are the main points of the Code of Conduct?

MEPs will have to provide clear declarations of their paid activities outside Parliament and their remuneration, as well as of other sources of income (even shareholdings) which might lead them in a position of conflict of interest.

The code also contains an explicit ban on receiving payments or other rewards in exchange for influencing parliamentary decisions.

There are clear rules on the acceptance of gifts and on the position of former MEPs working as lobbyists. Members shall refrain from accepting any gifts or similar benefits other than those with an approximate value of less than 150 euros.

An Advisory Committee will provide guidance to MEPs and advise the President on what steps to take in the event of alleged breaches of the Code. Possible sanctions range from a reprimand to withholding daily allowances or removal from posts held within the Parliament. Any such sanctions will be published on Parliament's website.

• The Code of Conduct will enter into force on 1 January 2011.

• Members will have 90 days to submit the new declaration of financial interest according to the new text.

Background information on the Code of Conduct

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20110523BKG20013/html/Parliament's-working-group-on-codes-of-conduct-for-MEPs-and-lobbyists

Draft report on the Code of conduct

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2011-0386&language=EN&mode=XML

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