Regulating Conflicts of Interest for Holders of Public Office in the European Union

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2008
ISBN 978-90-6779-209-7
Content Type

More and better rules on conflicts of interest for Holders of Public Office should - at least in theory - lead to more trust, greater accountability, more integrity and less unethical behaviour/corruption. New rules should also provide a tool for identifying and resolving potential conflicts of interest, as well as:

• increase public confidence in the government;
• demonstrate the high level of integrity of the vast majority of Government officials;
• prevent conflicts of interest from arising because official activities would be subject to public scrutiny;
• deter persons whose personal finances would not bear up to public scrutiny from entering public service; and
• better enable the public to judge the performance of public officials in the light of their outside financial interests.

This book discusses the (effectiveness of) existing rules and standards for Holders of Public Office as regards conflicts of interest in the Member States of the EU as well as in the EU institutions. It presents findings from a comparative study for the European Commission which analyses and compares the various rules and standards contained in the laws, regulations and codes of conduct for Members of Government, elected Members of Parliament (legislators), Judges of the Courts of Justice (Supreme Courts or Constitutional Courts), and Members or Directors of the Courts of Audit and Central or National Banks.
By conducting exhaustive empirical research on the ethics systems of the various national and European institutions, in-depth insight in an extremely complex and politically very sensitive subject could be gained. As can be demonstrated, current reform processes in the field of conflicts of interest are leading to new trends and innovations that can be of great interest for national and the EU institutions who are eager to reform their policies and instruments.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Communication from Vice-President Kallas to the Commission on enhancing the environment for professional ethics in the Commission

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