Today, a new code of conduct for MEPs was endorsed by the European Parliament.
The code sets out rules and principles which MEPs will need to follow in their contacts with outside interests, so as to avoid conflict of interests.
The code’s guiding principle is transparency. MEPs will have to provide clear declarations of their paid activities outside Parliament and their remuneration, as well as of any other functions which might constitute a conflict of interest.
The code also contains an explicit ban on receiving payments or other rewards in exchange for influencing parliamentary decisions. There are clear rules on the acceptance of gifts and on the position of former MEPs working as lobbyists.
Parliament’s Bureau will lay down measures for implementing the code of conduct, and in particular for the introduction of a monitoring procedure.
The new rules enter into force on 1 January 2012.