Strasbourg 17/09/2021 – The European Parliament has agreed on the need for a new independent ethics body. Pirate Party MEP Mikuláš Peksa was involved in drafting the proposal to form a uniform and independent European ethics commission. Based on the Parliament’s recommendation, the European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal by the end of the year.
The new body is primarily intended to oversee ethical rules in EU institutions and to put an end to the current system of self-regulation of institutions, which lacks transparent and effective tools. It will be an important body for strengthening the faith of the public in the EU as well as protecting European institutions from conflicts of interest.
Pirate Party MEP Mikuláš Peksa points out that the formation of a new independent ethics commission is overdue: “The European authorities and institutions have a long-standing and major problem in complying with their own ethics rules. There are a number of known cases where European politicians and officials have abused their positions and contacts to lobby for interest groups. The current ethics bodies are unable to realistically sanction such cases and moreover are decidedly biased – in most cases the institutions have arbitrated themselves.”
New ethics rules aim for more transparency
“The current form of the resolution contains most of our priorities and promotes a uniform and independent body with a broad personal and material scope of investigation and powers to investigate on its own initiative,” Peksa goes on to explain. “We aim to simplify the situation, to bring together the various ethics committees fragmented across different institutions and to create a single one to safeguard the rules across all European authorities. In the long term, we need to ensure that all European institutions use transparent accounts, prevent the accumulation of posts and publish politicians’ assets declarations and minutes of meetings with lobbyists.”
Furthermore, Peksa, Chairperson of the European Pirate Party, is pleased that his own proposal on transparency was included in the final version: “It ensures that the authority publishes all recommendations, annual reports and everything else in a machine-readable open data format that will be available to all citizens. It also recommends that any software developed should be available to any European institution that requests it.”
The conservative parties such as the EPP (European People’s Party), the Eurosceptic ECR (including the Czech ODS) or the nationalist ID (such as the Czech SPD) do not support the creation of a new independent body.
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