WHAT WE STAND FOR
We want a comprehensive transformation for Europe allowing everyone to live a good life based on economic, social and environmental sustainability
We change Europe! Inside and outside the EU institutions. Ecological transition, rights & democracy, social & green economy, trade and international relations are the four pillars of our activities. We take action in all spheres and run many campaigns in order to defend your interests and your rights across Europe.
More than ever, people in Europe and everywhere understand that with solidarity and cooperation we can overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The question to all of us is: what world do we want to return to? Our recovery plan puts people and the future of our planet at its core.
We are committed to lobbying transparency and to the equal access of stakeholders to the decision-making process. Over the years, the Greens/EFA Group always was the driving force for transparent reforms in the House and has put in place different tools to guarantee transparency of our activities and public money spent.
We were the first political group in the European Parliament, already in 2015 and as a promise made during the European election campaign, to set a system to make meetings with interest groups more transparent. Moreover, the Group is committed to only meet lobbyists that are registered in the EU Transparency register and we limit meetings with tobacco lobbyists when working on public health policies (in line with the UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).
Thanks to us, the European Parliament now has mandatory rules obliging MEPs that are rapporteurs (lead drafters), shadow rapporteurs, or chairs of committees to publish - for each report they are working on - their meetings with lobbyists. These meetings will be listed on the MEPs’ profile page on the European Parliament website.
We also pushed for and succeeded in extending the mandatory requirement to declare meetings to all MEPs and to all scheduled meetings with interest representatives and representatives of public authorities of third countries related to parliamentary business. While the EP rules do not envisage a clear deadline, Greens/EFA MEPs have to publish these meetings within 1 month on the EP website. In order to ensure protection for human rights and environmental defenders or whistleblowers, we managed to introduce a derogation which applies on the grounds of protection of the life, physical integrity or liberty of an individual.
In addition, when working as Rapporteurs or Shadow Rapporteurs, Greens/EFA MEPs should indicate in the justification section of amendments whether parts of a report or tabled amendments are traceable to the input received by stakeholders or lobbyists.
The General Expenditure Allowance (GEA) is a sum of money that Members of the European Parliament receive each month to cover their office costs. The GEA amounts to 4.778 EUR (in 2022) and is one of the few types of spending that does not have to be accounted for in any way. However, when MEPs spend the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA), they are spending public funds paid for by European tax-payers so this expenditure should be transparent and accountable. Therefore, the Greens/EFA group has adopted an internal policy to ensure transparency and accountability of the GEA.
- The GEA must be handled in a separate bank account
- At the end of each mandate, Greens/EFA MEPs must return any unspent GEA funds to the European Parliament accounts
- Spending of the GEA must be accountable and transparent:
- All receipts should be kept by Greens/EFA MEPs at least until the end of their mandate
- An overview of the expenditure by category should be published or at least available upon request (e.g. communications costs, office rental, office supplies, etc.), at least once a year
- Greens/EFA MEPs shall request their expenses covered by the General Expenditure Allowances to be audited by an official external auditor, and shall publish the audit report including categories of spending on the Parliament website every year.
The Greens/EFA succeeded in strengthening European Parliament's rules on conflicts of interest, by better defining when a conflict of interests exists and by clarifying the appropriate conduct in case of conflict of interests. The new rules adopted by the Parliament in November 2023 also introduced declaration on awareness of conflicts of interest for office holders, rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs and participants in official delegations or interinstitutional negotiations, with the aim of facilitating public scrutiny.
Members shall make any reasonable effort to detect and avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, especially where the third party constitutes an organisation that falls under the scope of the transparency register or is a third country government. A Member who becomes aware of having a conflict of interest shall immediately endeavour to resolve it. If unable to resolve it, the Member shall make sure that the private interest concerned is declared in the declaration of private interests (Annex I, Art 4). Where a potential financial conflict of interest arises for a member, they shall immediately dissolve the asset or remuneration in question or inform the Bureau of the Group and recuse themselves from the duty or role under which the financial conflict of interest arises.
Greens/EFA MEPs also commit to publish an audit or confirmation that their use of the GEA complies with the Parliament rules.
Further information on how money is spent by the European Parliament group can be found in our annual accounts (financial reports) and internal financial rules of the Group on the European Parliament website. You can also see the European Green Party annual account and finances on the EGP website.
All the MEPs are required to publish and update their private interests every year, including additional outside remunerated activity. Such declarations are published on the personal page of each MEP on the website of the European Parliament (see example here). We also succeeded in introducing a declaration of assets and liabilities which MEPs must submit at the beginning and end of every term of office. This is useful to understand which kind of personal income MEPs might have, besides their parliamentary salary. MEPs shall not engage in paid lobbying activities directly linked to the Union decision-making process. To avoid conflicts with this rule, Greens/EFA Group Members additionally should not accept any remuneration from organisations and individual clients that fall under the scope of the Transparency Register.
Information on the amount of the salary of MEPs and their pension is available on the website of the European Parliament. The salary comes from the Parliament’s budget. As a starting point, the monthly pre-tax salary of MEPs, under the single statute, is €9,808.67 (as of 1.7.2022).
To find out more about salaries, pensions and allowances for MEPs, visit: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/about
Ethics rules apply not only to politicians, but also to the staff of the European Parliament. Staff must act with independence, must refuse gifts and must not engage in remunerated outside activities. Spouses’ professional activities must also be declared in order to avoid any conflicts of interest. During the two years after leaving the European Parliament, staff must declare where they intend to work in order to avoid any incompatibilites.
All EU staff are obliged to blow the whistle if they experience wrongdoing. The Greens/EFA Group has a specific whistleblower protection policy to encourage our staff to speak up without fear of reprisals