On March 24th, 2021, the High Authority answered questions from members of the European Parliament during a webinar on the EU ethics body. Organized by the Greens, the exchange was moderated by the rapporteur on this initiative, MEP Daniel Freund (Les Verts/Germany). MEPs Leïla Chaïbi (GUE/France), Gilles Boyer (Renew/France) and Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz (S&D/Poland) asked questions to the High Authority as well as to Nancy Bélanger, Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, and Mario Dion, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
Lisa Gamgani, Secretary General of the High Authority, presented the missions of control and prevention of conflicts of interest in the public sphere and regulation of interest representation. Ms. Gamgani underlined the importance of providing ethical advice and supporting declarants in their reporting obligations. The Secretary General then answered a series of questions on the specificities of the control of conflicts of interest of parliamentarians, on the collegial aspect of the institution’s decision-making, on the initiative, the confidentiality and the outcomes of the controls made by the High Authority.
The exchange offered a comparison of Canadian and French models. Canadian institutions have insisted on the importance of not multiplying the exemptions in the categories of declarants and of relying on diversified sanctioning powers.
The respective institutions were thus able to advise MEPs on the project of an EU ethics body, currently discussed in the European Parliament. The High Authority intends to continue these interesting exchanges with the EU legislator.