Ethics and transparency 

Directly elected, the Parliament ensures a wide range of transparency measures both regarding the Members, the parliamentary work and the administration are in place to allow citizens to follow its debates and decisions.

The European Parliament sets great store on the integrity, transparency and accountability of the political activities of its Members. In order to ensure this, Parliament has put in place a considerable number of rules and measures, which are being further strengthened in 2023 as part of a comprehensive revision process.

An overview of the rules in place can be found here.  

A set of wide-ranging reforms aimed at strengthening integrity, independence and accountability of the Parliament, while protecting the free mandate of MEPs, has been adopted over the first months of 2023.

An overview of these measures can be found here.

EU Joint Transparency Register

The Transparency Register is open to all interest representatives that try to influence the law-making and policy implementation process of the EU institutions. It makes visible what interests are being pursued, by whom and on whose behalf, and the resources devoted to these activities. In this way, the register allows for public scrutiny, giving citizens and interest groups the possibility to track the activities of all types of lobbyists.

Aside from requesting access to the Parliament, only registered interest representatives can be speaker at public hearings of committees, support and participate in the activities of MEP intergroups, receive email alerts about committee business, co-host events and seek patronage from the President. They must respect the Code of Conduct for registrants.

The European Parliament, Commission and Council have agreed on introducing rules to bring yet more transparency to the activities of interest representatives at the EU level. The aim of the proposed new inter-institutional agreement is also to include the Council in the scope of the lobby register. Parliament, Council and Commission aim together to make registration de facto mandatory, as a precondition for certain lobby

activities .

More information about the agreed rules can be found here.

Transparency on contacts with interest representatives for MEPs

EP Rules of Procedure establish that rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs and committee chairs are required for each report to publish online information on their scheduled meetings with interest representatives falling under the scope of the interinstitutional agreement on the Transparency Register. All other Members are invited to do so on a voluntary basis. The information on meetings is published on Members’ profile pages.

MEPs drafting reports or opinions can choose to attach a legislative footprint to their reports. Such a list can demonstrate the range of outside expertise and opinions the rapporteur has received. It is then published with the report after its adoption in committee.

Code of Conduct for MEPs/ declaration on financial interests

Members of the European Parliament are subject to a Code of Conduct, which obliges them to submit a detailed declaration of their financial interests, i.e. any support (financial, staff, material) granted in connection with their political activities. MEPs also have to declare their attendance at events organized by third parties, where the reimbursement of their travel, accommodation, or subsistence expenses or the direct payment of such expenses, is covered by a third party.

Furthermore, both the Code of Conduct and Parliament’s Rules of Procedure say that MEPs must not engage in paid professional lobbying directly linked to the EU decision-making process. The information supplied by Members in their declarations is on their individual profile pages.

Public access to documents

Citizens and residents of the European Union have a right of access to the documents of Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). The right of access to documents is an essential component of the transparency policy being implemented by the European institutions.

The European Parliament's public register website contains references to documents produced or received by the institution since 03 December 2001. The vast majority of these documents can be directly consulted and downloaded from the website, free of charge.

Documents which cannot be consulted directly on the register may be requested.

Citizens’ enquiries

Citizen can contact the EP (Ask EP) to get information about the European Parliament, its positions and activities, organisation and rules, powers and procedures. The unit cannot provide legal advice or adopt political positions.