EP corruption scandal prompts call for EU-wide ethics body

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol (unseen) give a press conference on REPowerEU: outlook on EU gas supply in 2023, at the European Council Building in Brussels, on Dec 21, 2022. (JOHN THYS / AFP)

BRUSSELS – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday that her institution is pushing for the creation of a European Union-wide (EU) ethics body after allegations that a vice president of the European Parliament (EP) was involved in a bribery scandal.
"The confidence entrusted to our institutions needs higher standards of independence and integrity," she said at a press conference. "It would be important to have an ethics body."

In March, the European Commission president sent a letter to all EU institutions proposing the creation of such a body

In March, the Commission president sent a letter to all EU institutions proposing the creation of such a body.
"What's important to me is that we have clear rules and clear standards across all European institutions to ensure that we all have the same control mechanisms; and that we set these high standards of independence and integrity together," she explained.

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Vera Jourova, European Commission vice president for values and transparency, has already launched discussions with the European Parliament and the European Council on the creation of an EU-wide ethics body.
EP Vice President Eva Kaili was arrested on Friday in Brussels along with three other people, according to the local press, on allegations of corruption by a Gulf state.