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How the European Commission deals with the provision by third parties of travel expenses and hospitality in the context of business trips

Following revelations that the travel expenses of director-general at the European Commission were covered by a non-EU government and its national airline, in the context of business trips ('missions') to that country, the Ombudsman wrote to the Commission to clarify certain matters. In particular, the initiative is seeking to clarify the extent of the practice, how the Commission deals with such offers and how the Commission verifies and ensures there are no conflicts of interest in the context of offers to cover expenses in missions by Commission staff.

The Ombudsman also sought to clarify the nature of proposed changes to the applicable rules, which were subsequently announced by the Commission.