The Greens/EFA group today presented a draft mandate for a proposed special committee in the European Parliament to investigate the role of lobbying, notably tobacco lobbying, in the aftermath of the Dalligate scandal (1). The Greens/EFA group has already proposed the committee in the EP's conference of presidents and has begun discussions with other political groups on the mandate proposed today, with a view to having agreement to set up the committee in early April. Commenting in the context of a press conference on the proposed committee today, Bart Staes (MEP, Belgium) vice-chair of the EP's budgetary control committee, stated:
"Far too many questions remain unanswered in the aftermath of the 'Dalligate' controversy, notably as regards the access and conduct of the tobacco industry, as well as the conduct of high ranking members of the European Commission and the EU's anti-fraud body OLAF. The case has wider implications for the EU institutions and applicable rules on ethics, transparency and lobbying. For this reason, the Greens/EFA group believes it is essential for the European Parliament, as the democratically-elected EU institution, to examine concrete examples of good and bad practices as regards avoidance of conflicts of interests, undue influence and irregularities in decision-making processes within the EU's institutions and selected agencies. The committee should also analyse the implementation of relevant conventions, for example of the WHO, and compare the standards of good governance set by international organisations, like the OECD, with the ones used within the EU's institutions and bodies."
Green MEP and vice-chair of the EP's agriculture committee José Bové added:
"The credibility of the EU institutions. The Dalligate controversy raises questions both about the murky role of tobacco industry lobbying in the context of the Tobacco Directive, but also the conduct of the EU institutions. It is not only necessary and in the public interest to get to the bottom of the Dalligate controversy, ensuring any misconduct is sanctioned, it is also crucial that we draw lessons from the case and reform our institutions and the applicable ethics and transparency rules to prevent further abuses."
(1) A note on the proposal and the draft mandate can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/EPgoodgovcttee