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Bureau adopts further decision on strengthening transparency and accountability

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Bureau adopts further decision on strengthening transparency and accountability

Bureau decision will increase transparency on interest representatives’ participation in some 12 000 events held on Parliament’s premises.

The Bureau also stated its firm commitment to full and rapid implementation of the reform plan.

Implementing the reform plan endorsed by Parliament’s Group leaders and proposed by President Metsola to increase integrity and accountability, the Bureau adopted clear rules regulating the participation of interest representatives in any event held on Parliament’s premises.

The decision adopted today strengthens existing rules. It requires registration in the transparency register as a pre-condition for all interest representatives to participate in any events organised by Parliament bodies or services taking place on Parliament’s premises, when they take part as invited active guests and/or co-host events (including when co-hosting events with groups and Members). This completes the already existing rules requiring the registration of interest representatives in the transparency register to have access or be invited to speak at public hearings organised by committees. The decision will put some estimated 12 000 extra events per year under the stricter transparency rules.

State of play

Under the reform plan, the Bureau has already adopted a new revolving door policy, which entered into force on 1 May, 2023. It has also revised the rules on former Members on 17 April, 2023, and the rules on the access to the Parliaments on 8 May, 2023.

The Institution has reinforced its cooperation with national judicial and law enforcement authorities, and Group leaders have also clarified the rules regarding human rights urgency debates in plenary with direct implementation.

Group leaders in the Conference of Presidents also approved guidelines to support the Members of the EP and staff in their relations with third countries representatives (diplomats and state representatives). These guidelines clarify practices for access, missions and meetings with some countries that are either EU sanctioned, sanctioning MEPs, named in on-going judicial procedures linked to EP.

In parallel, the implementation of a number of measures that require changes to the Parliaments Rules of Procedure is ongoing. Debates in the committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) continue in order to enable a vote on all the changes in Plenary in July 2023. .

The measure to centralise information related to integrity of parliamentary work for clearer information to the public is under technical implementation by EP services, and expected to be on-line in July, 2023.

To accompany all the actions mentioned above, Parliament runs regular awareness-raising campaigns on obligations for MEPs and staff. Over 200 participants have already participated.

At its next meeting the Bureau will be dealing with the revision of the internal rules on whistleblowing.

Mid-term

This first set of reforms aims at strengthening the Parliament’s integrity, independence and accountability, while protecting the free mandate of Members. Other medium and long-term measures have been proposed by the special Committee responsible established in February plenary (ING2) and will be debated and voted in July 2023. In addition, general modernisation of EP’s ways of working are considered in a wider reform process, launched by the Conference of Presidents in January 2023 on legislative, budgetary, scrutiny, plenary and external dimensions of Parliament’s work.

An overview about the state of play of the reforms is available here.

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