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Ombudsman calls for transparency in Parliament's ethics reform process

The Ombudsman has welcomed draft proposals by the President of the European Parliament on reforming the Parliament’s ethics rules as a step in the right direction, calling for transparency in the process and the next steps.

In a letter to President Metsola, Ombudsman O’Reilly emphasized that a strong anti-corruption and ethics system must be an integral part of all EU institutions and bodies.

Referring to measures contained in the draft proposals, the Ombudsman praised the idea to implement a ‘cooling-off’ period for former MEPs and to create an integrity section on the Parliament’s website.

However, the Ombudsman also noted that some of the proposals could be strengthened further. This could done by publishing information about meetings of all MEPs and their staff with lobbyists, as well as with representatives from non-EU countries.

In addition, the committee monitoring the implementation of MEPs’ Code of Conduct should be allowed to investigate on its own initiative and be given sufficient resources to carry out its tasks.

In response to the Ombudsman's letter, President Metsola noted her determination to strengthen Parliament's integrity, independence and accountability.