'Independent Ethics Body' a frontal attack on European parliamentarism

25.04.2024 9:21

'Independent Ethics Body' a frontal attack on European parliamentarism

Courtroom detail

The so-called ‘Independent Ethics Body’ is fundamentally flawed and threatens European parliamentarism. In its current form, it lacks a legal basis, weakens the separation of powers and fails to guarantee its independence. The EPP Group therefore strongly opposes the outcome of the recent negotiations between the EU Institutions and calls for a revised approach. A 'Standards in EU Public Office Commission' would be a much better solution.

“The proposed body’s right to investigate and publish individual cases could lead to innocent Members of the European Parliament being publicly exposed and condemned by the court of public opinion even in cases where there has been no wrongdoing," says Sven Simon MEP, the EPP Group's Spokesman in the Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee.

“The Council is involved in setting the ethical rules but refuses to be bound by them, creating an unacceptable institutional imbalance. Furthermore, placing the secretariat under the authority of the Commission is highly problematic, as it does not respect the separation of powers. Finally, the so-called independent experts in the ‘Ethics Body’ are to be re-elected after three years. This compromises their independence," Simon continues.

“Instead of focusing on setting clear legal rules and standards, the body will rule on the slippery ground of ethics, which has the potential for political abuse," Simon explains. “This body must not simultaneously replace the police, prosecutors, and judges.  Nor may it become a superpower over both the legislative and the executive branches of the European Union. This could serve as a dangerous blueprint for autocratic governments to create similar institutions on a national level to stifle opposition.”

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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