Group leaders endorse first steps of parliamentary reform
European Parliament group leaders endorsed the reform plan, proposed by President Metsola, at the Conference of Presidents in Brussels today.
The reforms aim at strengthening the Parliament’s integrity, independence and accountability, while protecting the free mandate of Members. Other medium and long-term measures will be part a wider reform process with a dedicated Committee responsible.
"I promised quick and decisive action in response to trust lost. These reforms agreed today are a new start to strengthen the integrity, independence and accountability in the European Parliament. The reforms are the first steps in rebuilding trust in European decision-making, and I hope will go someway in showing that politics is a force for good", said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola after the endorsement.
These first steps include:
- A cooling off period for MEPs who wish to lobby Parliament when they are no longer in office
- Make clearer online all information related to the integrity of the parliamentary work
- Mandatory registration in the Transparency Register for any event with participation of interest representatives in the EP
- Requirement extended to all Members, assistants and other staff, who have an active role on a report or resolution to declare scheduled meetings with diplomatic representatives of third countries, and with third parties covered by the scope of the transparency register. Specific exemptions will be allowed
- Ban on friendship groups with third countries where official Parliamentary interlocutors already exist and that could cause confusion
- All persons above 18 years old visiting the EP will fill in a new entry log. (does not apply to journalists and other EU institutions)
- Former Members and former staff will be given daily access badges
- Rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs to submit a declaration of conflict of interests to the relevant committee secretariat when appointed
- Revised declaration form on financial interests, that would include clearer information on Members’ side jobs and outside activities, where appropriate
- Introduction of a compliance and whistleblowing training
- Fighting foreign interference by applying rules for Motions for Resolutions tabled with urgency in line with existing Rule 144 (ROP).
- Reinforcement of cooperation with national authorities to boost the fight against corruption
To accompany all the actions mentioned above, Parliament will run regular awareness-raising campaigns on obligations for MEPs and staff.
Today’s decision is the first step in a process to enhance public trust in the Parliament and protect the right of MEPs in the free exercise of their mandate, including freedom of association.
Work on these reforms will start immediately in order to ensure entry into force as soon as possible. In addition, further steps will be considered, including medium to longer-term measures to be incorporated in a wider reform process, launched by the Conference of Presidents in January 2023.