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Empowering Transparency and Accountability in the European Parliament

.In a remarkable stride toward reinforcing transparency and accountability within the European Parliament, despite concerted efforts by conservative members to dilute the new regulations, today marked a significant victory for enhanced integrity. The European Parliament had previously voted twice in favor of stringent rules aimed at bolstering transparency, accountability, and integrity, and now, these rules are on the verge of becoming official in the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, fortified by robust provisions on transparency.

In defiance of European Parliament President Metsola, a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) Group, conservative members cast their votes against several of the more stringent rules designed to fortify transparency and integrity in members’ conduct.

The newly adopted rules encompass a range of critical aspects, including:

  • Declaration of Conflict of Interests: Stricter regulations will apply to chairs, European Parliament vice-presidents, rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs, and members of official delegations.
  • Online Publication of Meetings: All members are now obliged to publish details of their meetings online, ensuring a higher level of transparency.
  • Asset Declarations: A mandatory requirement for all members to declare their assets, a crucial step in enhancing transparency.
  • Side Jobs Transparency: Full transparency concerning members’ side jobs, with disclosure mandated for those earning an annual side income exceeding €5,000.
  • Gaby Bischoff, the S&D vice-president spearheading the amendments to the Rules of Procedure, shared her thoughts on this historic occasion:

    “Today marks a momentous day for the promotion of greater transparency within the European Parliament. These new rules hold the potential to bolster the trust that European citizens have in the only directly elected institution of the European Union, especially as we approach the European elections next year.

    “Change is not always met with ease, and in this case, the process was further complicated by the EPP Group, which not only hesitated but also propagated disinformation prior to the vote. Ultimately, citizens can discern who voted against the pursuit of a more open and transparent European Parliament.

    “Despite the attempts of a right-wing alliance to undermine these changes, we successfully steered this process to its conclusion, thanks to a progressive majority led by the Socialists and Democrats. Today, a vast majority made the right choice, and we have fulfilled our commitment to strengthening trust and integrity in this democratic institution.”

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