Transparency campaigners welcomed the vote, but raised concerns over what they say is a loophole on the definition of gifts. Alter-EU spokesman Paul de Clerck said, "Following the cash for influence scandal, parliament president Jerzy Buzek presented a good plan to counter conflicts of interest of MEPs.
"Key proposals will stop MEPs from being paid to lobby their own colleagues and increase transparency on their outside interests. However, today's vote to exclude the reimbursement of direct costs from the definition of gifts is a dangerous loophole that could allow corporate hospitality to continue as now.
"The risk is that MEPs will continue to accept luxurious hotel stays and trips overseas. It raises doubts on how far MEPs are really ready to go to tackle the problem of corporate lobbying within the parliament."
Also speaking for Alter-EU, Olivier Hoedeman said the vote is "both a step in the right direction and a missed opportunity".
"We warmly welcome the fact that the committee did not give into the demands of a handful of MEPs who wanted to dilute the whole code, but do believe that a strict definition of gifts should be reintegrated and adopted with the rest of the proposals during the plenary vote."