COLLEGE MEETING: Updated Code of Conduct for Commissioners delivers greater transparency, Commission report shows


The Juncker Commission has been committed to enhancing transparency from day one. In this spirit  – upon the proposal of President Juncker and after consultation of the European Parliament –, in January 2018 the Commission adopted a new Code of Conduct for Commissioners, which sets stricter rules and even higher ethical standards and introduces greater transparency in a number of areas. The Commission has today published the first annual report on the application of this Code of Conduct. It confirms that following the adoption of the updated Code, the Commission has achieved an even greater level of transparency when it comes to the conduct of its Members. More concretely, since February 2018 and every two months, the Commission publishes information on the Commissioners’ travel expenses. In February 2019, the European Commission published practical arrangements for Commissioners participating in the European Parliament elections. These came after the new Code of Conduct enabled Commissioners– all of them experienced and high-calibre politicians – to participate in the European elections campaigns without having to take a leave of absence as in the past. Finally, the Commission’s website related to ethics and integrity of the Members of the Commission was updated to provide better, clearer and more comprehensive information for interested stakeholders. Under the new Code of Conduct, a new reinforced Independent Ethical Committee was set up to give advice on all ethical issues and make recommendations related to the Code. Today’s report provides details about their work. Also today, the Commission decided to extend the mandates of the three members of the Independent Ethical Committee – Ms Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Mr Christiaan Timmermans and Mr Heinz Zourek – as of 13 July 2019. The annual report on the application of the Code of Conduct, the declarations of interest and the CVs of the Members of the Independent Ethical Committee are available online here.