Hopefully, the dark days of unethical lobbying in the Parliament are behind us.
However, an important loophole on the definition of gifts remains and, if approved in plenary, it is likely to weaken the rest of the progressive proposals. In the current text, MEPs are not allowed to receive gifts of more than €150, but the reimbursement of direct costs is excluded from this definition.
Thus, they can continue to accept travel and hospitality paid by corporate lobby groups. It is exactly these kind of costs, which can include invitations to conferences in exotic locations and exclusive trips paid by rich industrialists, that have raised strong questions about corruption in the past.