Bribery allegations in the European Parliament have brought promises of tighter rules to govern relations between the members and lobbyists. Some experts have called the corrective movement ambitious while others say the measures being considered lack teeth.
This comes after journalists from Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper posed as lobbyists and said several parliament members agreed to amend laws in return for offers of money. Four MEPs so far have either left their seats or are under pressure to do so, though all of them have denied doing anything wrong. The president of the EU’s only directly-elected institution said he would also look into who has a second job on the outside.
Olivier Hoedeman, with the group Alter EU, dedicated to improving lobbying transparency in Brussels, said: “The number of MEPs who have second jobs… some of those second jobs involve lobbying and a lot of them involve conflicts of interest. Those are things that now have to be seriously discussed because it is a gliding scale between conflicts of interest and corruption. And it is not acceptable for European citizens.”
Since a reform in 2009, all the parliament members have received the same salary. Not counting allowances, they take home around 6,000 euros per month.