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

Publication date: 
mardi, March 31, 2015
Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

The guide is intended to help MEPs demonstrate their commitment to transparency and fulfil their obligations to be receptive to public opinion, open to public scrutiny, and fully independent in order to defend the public interest.

  1. Code of Conduct: Do make fullest possible declaration; Don’t leave fields blank
  2. Conflicts of interest: Do think carefully about possible conflicts of interest and act to avoid these; Don’t hold onto private interests which could create a future conflict with MEP work
  3. Second jobs and shareholdings: Do disclose all second jobs; Don’t hold side employments and shares that might create potential conflicting interests with your public mandate, such as positions or shares in companies or organisations involved in EU lobbying
  4. External funding: Do declare all external support; Don’t accept external funding for office
  5. Revolving doors: Do adopt a voluntary 2 year cooling off period on lobby jobs; Don’t accept the transitional allowance if you have found a new job
  6. Unregistered lobbyists: Do encourage unregistered groups to join register; Don’t meet with unregistered lobbyists
  7. Tobacco industry lobby: Do declare that you will not meet tobacco industry lobby; Don’t meet with tobacco lobbyists
  8. Meetings with lobbyists: Do prepare well; Don’t be misled
  9. Proactive transparency: Do promptly publish lists of meetings held; Don’t meet with lobbyists who refuse to be transparent
  10. Legislative footprint: Do publish a ‘live’ legislative footprint when acting as rapporteur or shadow; Don’t wait until the report is already finalised to publish the legislative footprint
  11. Right of access to documents: Do respond openly to requests for access to documents; Don’t refuse to respond to requests for legalistic reasons
  12. Cross-party groups: Do treat with caution; Don’t join secretive, industry-funded groups
  13. External amendments: Do treat with caution; Don’t table external amendments verbatim
  14. Hospitality: Do treat with caution; Don’t accept industry-funded trips
  15. Hosting events: Do treat with caution; Don’t host industry events
  16. Unethical lobbying: Do report it; Don’t give in to pressure
  17. Consult all sectors of society: Do gather varied opinions; Don’t exclude citizens from decision-making
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