Decision on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission

Author (Corporate)
Series Details C (2018) 700
Publication Date 31/01/2018
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Decision adopted by the European Commission in January 2018 establishing a new Code of Conduct for Members of the European Commission.

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The Code of Conduct goes beyond an earlier proposal to extend the 'cooling-off' period from 18 months to two years for former Commissioners and to three years for the President of the Commission. It sets clearer rules and higher ethical standards. It also introduces greater transparency in a number of areas and creates an Independent Ethical Committee with reinforced status to strengthen scrutiny and to provide advice on ethical standards. The Commission agreed to publish annual reports on the application of the Code.

The Code was adopted by the Commission on 31 January 2018, following consultation of the European Parliament. A new Code of Conduct was first announced during the 2017 State of the Union address, signalling an evolution from previous work on such guidelines in the aftermath of a controversy related to a former President of the European Commission. On 6 February 2019, a set of further guidelines were published on Ethical Standards for the Participation of the Members of the European Commission in the European Elections.

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Commentary and Analysis
Alter-EU: Press Release, 23.11.16: Tweaks to ethics rules for EU Commissioners only band-aid solution

EurActiv, 24.11.16: After Barroso row, Juncker proposes tighter EU ethics rules
Politico, 01.09.17: Juncker wants commissioners to wait longer for next jobs
Reuters, 13.09.17: Juncker announces new code of conduct for EU executive members
EUObserver, 31.01.18: 'Unethical' EU commissioners to face public shame

European Ombudsman: Press Release, 22.11.16: Ombudsman welcomes progress on Commissioner ethics rules
European Commission: Press Release, 23.11.16: President Juncker proposes to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners
European Commission: Press Release, 13.09.17: State of the Union 2017: President Juncker strengthens ethical rules for Members of the Commission in new Code of Conduct
European Ombudsman: Press Release, 13.09.17: Ombudsman welcomes proposals to strengthen Commissioner ethics and transparency rules
European Parliament: Press Release, 14.09.17: More democracy in the EU goes hand in hand with more transparency and integrity
European Commission: Press Release, 31.01.18: New Code of Conduct strengthening ethical rules for Members of the European Commission enters into force
European Commission: 06.02.19: European Commission publishes practical arrangements for Commissioners participating in European Parliament elections
European Commission: C (2019) 990: Guidelines on Ethical Standards for the Participation of the Members of the European Commission in the European Elections

ESO Records
European Ombudsman calls for strengthened ethics rules for ex-Commissioners, July 2016

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