Transparency about the free trips and hospitality MEPs receive could be a step closer if new ethics proposals are properly enforced.
A group of MEPs looking at the European Parliament's code of conduct has proposed ways to improve its implementation. The document, which has been made available online  today by Transparency International-EU, includes provisions and guidelines for the monitoring of gifts and invitations to events organised and financed by third parties which MEPs receive. The proposal will come into force as of July 1, 2013.
A little bit more than one year after the introduction of a new ethics code for Members of the European Parliament, the parliament's first report about how it is functioning has been published.
A petition calling for better access to EU documents gained significant support in the European Parliament today.
The petition was instigated by Friends of the Earth Europe and ClientEarth and signed by 19 civil society organisations all concerned by systematic failure by the European Commission to uphold the fundamental right of access to documents – in particular when it comes to environmental information.
A majority of people across Europe are concerned about ethics and lobbying in European Union policy-making, and want better regulation of lobbyists, as well as increased transparency of the EU, according to a new opinion poll. 
Friends of the Earth Europe, together with partners from the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU), has called on European Commission President Barroso to reveal all the facts about the extent of lobbying by the tobacco industry in Brussels.
The issue has been under the spotlight since John Dalli, the former EU Commissioner for health and consumers, resigned in October 2012. He stepped down following allegations that he was aware of attempts by the tobacco industry to exert undue influence on legislation.
Lobbying transparency, political ethics and the possibility for citizen participation in the European Union were the themes of a conference today organised by Friends of the Earth Europe together with organisations from five European countries.
Pinocchio Prizes, dubious honours for unscrupulous corporations, were awarded today in Paris by Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth France) in conjunction with The Research and Information Centre for Development (CRID) and Peuples Solidaires. Over 17,000 people voted for nominees in three categories.
Civil society groups have today written to the European Commission President urging him to end the secrecy around the resignation of the former Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli. 
Campaign groups in the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) call on President Barroso to introduce stricter transparency and ethics rules to curb the privileged access of lobbyists to EU decision-making .
Friends of the Earth Europe has today written to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to express concerns about potential conflicts of interest of MEPs.
The letter, sent together with Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and Spinwatch, refers to the Belgian MEP and former Prime Minister, Jean-Luc Dehaene's revision of his declaration of financial interests in which he added stock options worth more than €5.3 million in beer company AB Inbev.
New ethics rules in the European Parliament are not strict enough to ensure complete transparency on MEPs' outside interests, and therefore prevent potential conflicts of interest, shows the first analysis of declarations made under the code of conduct. 
The research conducted by Friends of the Earth Europe, and released today, reveals weaknesses in the new declaration system introduced in January in response to last year's 'cash for law' scandal.