On 3 February the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) with the support of Journalists at Your Service (J@ys), organised a public debate with the title:
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
opportunities and challenges for the European Commission
Ingeborg Graessle, MEP (EPP, Germany), Lothar Bisky, MEP (President of GUE/NGL, Germany), Nessa Childers, MEP (S&D, Ireland), Paul Flynn, MP (Labour, Newport West, United Kingdom) and Paul de Clerck, representative of ALTER-EU, discussed the Commission’s plans to tighten ethics rules for (ex-)Commissioners.
At the beginning of the debate, that was moderated by Hajo Friedrich, EU journalist, ALTER-EU released the in debth analysis "Revolving door provides priviledged access: Why the European Commission needs a stricter code of conduct".
The Commission must clarify and strengthen its ethics rules, including the following key areas:
- Prolonging the notification period for new jobs to three years in order to match the period for which transitional allowances are given;
- Providing clear definitions of lobbying and of conflicts of interests;
- Introducing a general ban on lobbying and lobby advice for at least three years;
- Installing a genuinely independent ethical committee that actively investigates potential conflicts of interest regarding ex-Commissioners’ new employers, with effective sanctions to enforce its decisions;
- Ensuring transparency around the decisions made by the Ethical Committee.