Stronger ethics regulation

ALTER-EU considers that many of the EU institutions require stronger ethics rules to prevent conflicts of interest and to ensure the highest standards of public office. We concentrate our efforts on the Commission and the Parliament.

For the European Commission, ALTER-EU demands major changes to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners including:

  • Strong definitions of 'lobbying' and conflicts of interest'

  • Far tougher revolving door rules

  • More detailed financial interest disclosure

  • Greater transparency about the enforcement of the code

  • The introduction of sanctions for when the rules are breached

  • A fully independent ethics committee to monitor and enforce the code

For the European Parliament, ALTER-EU demands a far tougher Code of Conduct for MEPs which includes the following:

  • Ban MEPs from advising or providing other lobby services to companies influencing the European Parliament
  • Ensure that the Code of Conduct includes measures to tackle and prevent possible conflicts of interests when they occur

  • Better define a conflict of interest

  • Tighten disclosure requirements for outside financial interests

  • Reform and extend the mandate of the advisory committee

  • Augment the existing remedies and/ or sanctions and ensure these are being applied when conflicts of interest occur

  • Prevent attempts of policy capture of individual members in their duties

  • Acknowledge that the risks of MEPs going through the revolving door when leaving office are real

  • Tighten guidelines in relation to gifts and hospitality funded by third parties

  • Address the lack of transparency rules for European Parliament cross-party groups

You can read the detail of our proposed MEP Code of Conduct reforms here.

You can read our guide to ethics for MEPs here.

Reformed ethics rules lack bite

Reformed ethics rules for European Parliamentarians lack bite, and will not do enough to build trust in European institutions, according to transparency campaigners. Reforms to the code of conduct for Members of European Parliament (MEP), voted in today, improve some voluntary transparency measures, but fail to include an explicit ban on controversial second jobs for MEPs in organisations that lobby the European Institutions.

Publication date: 
mardi, December 13, 2016

Le code de bonne conduite européen ridiculisé par l’affaire Barroso

Publication date: 
jeudi, November 3, 2016
Mathilde Régis
Media title: 
Le Lanceur

Le recrutement de José Manuel Barroso par une banque largement impliquée dans la crise grecque ne constitue pas une infraction pour le comité d’éthique de l’Union européenne. L’ex-président de la Commission peut, selon le code de “bonne conduite” des commissaires européens, faire pression et défendre la cause” de la banque d’investissement américaine Goldman Sachs auprès des membres de la Commission et de leur personnel”, dès lors que le délai de 18 mois inscrit dans ce code est respecté. Sur cette affaire, Jean-Claude Juncker, actuel président de la Commission, est attendu au tournant.

Whose representatives? MEPs on the industry payroll

Publication date: 
jeudi, June 18, 2015
Joint press release by ALTER-EU Steering Committee members Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and Lobbycontrol

Potential conflicts of interest persist in EU parliament – new research

Potential conflicts of interest continue to plague the European Parliament one year after elections, finds new research released today.

Download full document as pdf: 

Navigating the lobby labyrinth: A guide to transparency and ethics for MEPs

Publication date: 
mardi, March 31, 2015

This guide offers practical advice for MEPs on how to navigate the Brussels bubble while maintaining their independence and integrity, especially when it comes to contacts with lobbyists.


Document types: 

Ten policy recommendations for a strengthened MEP Code of Conduct

Publication date: 
mardi, March 31, 2015

A ten-point set of policy recommendations for a strengthened MEP Code of Conduct. A key demand is a ban on MEPs holding side jobs with companies or groups that are involved in EU lobbying.


Download full document as pdf: 
Document types: 

Transparency campaigners launch ethics reform proposals and guide for MEPs

Publication date: 
mercredi, April 1, 2015
Press release issued by: 
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)

Four years after the 'cash-for-amendments' scandal, the European Parliament needs a stronger Code of Conduct for MEPs to avoid new lobbying scandals.



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