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The Commission's ad hoc Ethical Committee

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This complaint was treated as confidential. This document has therefore been anonymised.

  • Case: 297/2013/FOR
    Opened on 12 Mar 2013 - Decision on 19 Dec 2013
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission
  • Field(s) of law: People's Europe
  • Types of maladministration alleged – (i) breach of, or (ii) breach of duties relating to: Duty of care
  • Subject matter(s): Institutional and policy matters

Allegation(s)

1) The Commission's decision to reappoint one of the members of its ad hoc Ethical Committee breaches Article 4 of the 2003 Commission decision establishing the Committee.

2) The activities of the ad hoc Ethical Committee are not sufficiently transparent.

Claim(s)

1)The Commission should revoke the said re-appointment and appoint a replacement who meets, and appears to meet, the requirement for independence.

2)The Commission should introduce a pro-active transparency policy of (a) publishing the CVs and Declarations of Interest of the members of the ad hoc Ethical Committee online, as is the case for Commission Special Advisers; (b) improving online transparency regarding both the members of the ad hoc Ethical Committee and its decisions.

3) In order to ensure that decisions about Commissioners' ethics are truly independent, the Commission should – in the longer term – set up an independent ethics committee, with a broader and better defined mandate than the existing Committee, which deals primarily with post-employment issues. This committee should be fully independent and composed of experts on public administration ethics.