The Left group in the European Parliament, GUE/NGL, has taken a step in promoting transparency and accountability within their ranks. They have adopted a new set of integrity and ethics standards to reinforce their commitment to serving the people and upholding ethical conduct in public office.
With a renewed focus on integrity, transparency, and accountability, the Left seeks to lead by example and set higher standards for European politics. In light of recent corruption scandals impacting European politics, they invite other political organizations at the EU level to join them in adhering to ethical standards, fostering a culture of integrity and accountability.
The standards, laid out in a legal study commissioned by BEUC and ANEC and written by Professor Hans Micklitz from EUI, reaffirm the Left’s dedication to prioritize workers’ and peoples’ rights, public interest, environmental protection, and cooperation among all peoples over profit-driven interests. The members commit to upholding these principles in all their actions and decisions while adhering to the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, the Rules of Procedure, and the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament.
Key highlights of the new standards include:
I. Conflict of Interest: Members of the Left in the EP will act solely in the interest of the people and not accept financial inducements or instructions from corporate or financial entities.
II. Financial Interest Declaration: Members will publish a declaration of their financial interests, ensuring clarity and completeness. The declaration will include information about professional activities outside the Parliament and financial assets like shares or property.
III. Transparency Register and Declaration of Meetings: Members will only meet with interest representatives registered in the Transparency Register when influencing EU policy and decision-making. Meetings will be published online, promoting transparency and accountability.
IV. Legislative Footprint: Rapporteurs or shadow rapporteurs will publish a legislative footprint, increasing transparency in the legislative process.
V. Side Jobs: Members cannot engage in paid lobbying activities or hold positions on profit-making company boards.
VI. Gifts in Any Form: Members will refuse gifts or benefits seeking to influence public policy and will handle and declare gifts according to the Rules of the European Parliament.
VII. Travels and Attendance in Events: Members should avoid having their travel and accommodation costs covered by third parties seeking to influence legislation and policy-making.
VIII. The Whistleblowers Protection: Members will protect whistleblowers by respecting their rights and ensuring confidentiality in handling alerts.
IX. Respect of Fundamental Rights, Dignity, and Equality: Members will respect fundamental rights, dignity, and equality of all, and undertake harassment training.
X. Enforcement: The Bureau will be responsible for ensuring full implementation and respect for these standards.
The Left MEPs aim to set an example of ethical conduct, transparency, and accountability for the greater good of European politics and the communities they serve.