Today, transparency coalitions the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)  and Transparency International issued a joint call for the Buzek working group  to develop a robust code of conduct for MEPs.
On the eve of a critical meeting of the Buzek working group  to discuss the proposed code of conduct, the transparency groups held a joint press conference to express their hopes - and fears - about the process and outcome to develop a code of conduct.
Speaking on behalf of the ALTER-EU coalition, Olivier Hoedeman said: “If MEPs want to improve their image in the eyes of the European electorate, producing a strong response to the cash-for-amendments scandal is absolutely key. When the draft code of conduct is published, ALTER-EU expects to see robust action taken to tackle MEPs with conflicts of interest. This means a ban on MEPs from holding second jobs involving lobbying and regulation to tackle the 'revolving door' with industry, as well as an agreement that MEP self-regulation is not enough. Without these critical components, the code of conduct will have been a real missed opportunity.”
ALTER-EU has issued a set of detailed demands for the code of conduct . These include:
1. A ban on MEPs holding paid second jobs which require them to act on personal or others' interests, including where there is the lobbying of any European institution or agency. A recent report by ALTER-EU member Corporate Europe Observatory found that as many as one in seven MEPs may have a second job which provokes a conflict of interest with their role as an MEP 
2. A cooling-off period of 18 months for ex-MEPs during which they cannot take up lobbying work 
3. A well-staffed Ethics Committee, including independent external experts, to police the rules
4. Mandatory financial declarations for all MEPs which include income, property and share holdings
5. Strict new rules that prevent inappropriate hospitality, such as travel and leisure activities paid for by private parties, and a cap of 50 euro on the monetary value of gifts MEPs may receive.
Pictures of the joint ALTER-EU and Transparency International EU press conference that was held today are available for download at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alter-eu/sets/72157627003999540/
For more information, please contact:
Vicky Cann, Corporate Europe Observatory: firstname.lastname@example.org / + 32 2893 0930 or 0489 596 478
Natacha Cingotti, Friends of the Earth Europe : email@example.com / +32 2893 1023
 The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) is a coalition of over 175 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms concerned with the increasing influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe, the resulting loss of democracy in EU decision-making and the postponement, weakening, or blockage even, of urgently needed progress on social, environmental and consumer-protection reforms.
 The Buzek working group was set up after the Sunday Times' cash-for-amendments story.
 The next meeting of the Buzek working group will be held on Tuesday 21 June and is expected to consider a draft of the proposed code of conduct for MEPs.
 The ALTER-EU demands can be found at: http://www.alter-eu.org/documents/2011/04/11/alter-eu-demands-ethics-and...  See Corporate Europe Observatory report: http://www.corporateeurope.org/lobbycracy/news/2011/05/30/one-out-seven-...  See Corporate Europe Observatory report: http://www.corporateeurope.org/news/2011/06/06/call-curbs-meps-revolving...