Code of Conduct of the Council of the European Union 2019
Code of Conduct of the Council of the European Union
Proposed by Cllr. Guillermo de Berlanga y Prieto (Derecta) and Cllr. Edward Firoux (Inquista) :: Passed (4-0), August 23rd, 2019 :: Unamended
Section I. Purpose of the Code
I. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to assist all Councillors in the discharge of their obligations to the European Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council, their Nations of origin and the public at large by:
establishing the standards and principles of conduct expected of all Councillors in undertaking their duties;
setting the rules of conduct which underpin these standards and principles and to which all Councillors must adhere;
in so doing
ensuring public confidence in the standards expected of all Councillors and in the commitment of the Council to uphold these rules.
Section II. Scope of the Code
I. The Code applies to Councillors in all aspects of their representative duties.
II. The obligations set out in this Code are complementary to those which apply to all Councillors by virtue of the procedural and other rules of the Council stated in the Constitution of the European Union.
Section III. Duties of Members
I. Councillors appointed or elected to office after the passage of this Bill will take either the following oath or affirmation:s:
a) Oath: “Assuming the office of Councillor for [nation of origin], I, [name of Councillor], do solemnly swear that I shall faithfully serve [nation of origin], and abide by the Constitution of the European Union.”
b) Affirmation: “Assuming the office of Councillor for [nation of origin], I, [name of Councillor], do solemnly affirm that I shall faithfully diligently serve [nation of origin], and abide by the Constitution of the European Union.”
II. Councillors have a duty to uphold the law and, in particular, the European Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
III. Councillors should act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them. They should always behave with probity and integrity, including in their use of Union resources.
Section IV. General Principles of Conduct
I. In carrying out their Council and public duties, Councillors will be expected to observe the following general principles of conduct. These principles will be taken into account when considering the investigation and determination of any allegations of breaches of the rules of conduct in Part V of the Code.
a) Selflessness: Holders of the office of Councillor should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, friends or acquaintances.
b) Integrity: Holders of the office of Councillor should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to third-party individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
c) Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of the office of Councillor should make choices based on merit.
d) Accountability: Holders of the office of Councillor are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
e) Openness: Holders of the office of Councillor should be as open as can reasonably be expected about all decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions.
f) Honesty: Holders of the office of Councillor have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties.
g) Leadership: Holders of the office of Councillor should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
Section V. Council Behaviour Code
I. The behaviour of Councillors shall be characterised by mutual respect, professionalism, understanding others’ perspectives, courtesy and acceptance of responsibility. It shall be based on the values and principles laid down in the basic texts on which the European Union is founded, respect the dignity of the Council and will not compromise the smooth conduct of council business or disturb the peace and quiet of any of the Council’s premises.
II. The application of this Code shall in no way detract from the liveliness of Council debates nor undermine Members’ freedom of speech.
Section VI. Rules of Conduct
I. Councillors are expected to observe the rules of the Council.
II. Councillors shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.
III. No Councillor shall act as a paid lobbyist in any proceeding of the Council.
IV. The acceptance by a Councillor of a bribe to influence their conduct as a Councillor, including any fee, compensation or reward in connection with the promotion of, or opposition to, any Act, Bill, Motion, or other matter submitted, or intended to be submitted to the Council is contrary to this Code.
V. Councillors shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the Council in respect of the registration of interests in the Register of Councillors’ Financial Interests, which will be placed under the authority of the Speaker of the Council. They shall always be open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the Council, and in any communications with Commissioners, Councillors, public officials or public office holders.
VI. Information which Councillors receive in confidence in the course of their Council duties should be used only in connection with those duties. Such information must never be used for the purpose of financial gain.
VII. Councillors are personally responsible and accountable for ensuring that their use of any expenses, allowances, facilities and services provided from the Union budget is in accordance with the rules laid down on these matters. Councillors shall ensure that their use of Union resources is always in support of their Council duties. It should not confer any undue personal or financial benefit on themselves or anyone else, or confer undue advantage on a political organisation.
VIII. Councillors shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the Council as a whole, or of its Councillors generally.
Section VII. Upholding the Code
I. The application of this Code shall be a matter for the Council, and particularly for the Speaker of the Council.
II. The Speaker of the Council may investigate a specific matter relating to a Councillor’s adherence to the rules of conduct under the Code. Councillors shall cooperate, at all stages, with any such investigation by or under the authority of the Council. No Councillor shall lobby the Speaker of the Council or their aides in a manner calculated or intended to influence its consideration of an alleged breach of this Code.
III. The Speaker of the Council will consider any report of a breach of this Code to them and report its conclusions and recommendations to the Council. The Council, through a supermajority vote, may impose a sanction on the Councillor where it considers it necessary, which will involve a temporary suspension from their duties as Councillor of a minimum duration of 7 days and not exceeding 14 days.
IV. Councillors must treat their staff, and all Council employees, with respect; and refrain from harassment or bullying in any form. The Speaker of the Council shall establish reporting and victim support services for instances of harassment or bullying in the Council or its offices. No aspect of this subsection, or this Bill, may be used to undermine the precept that all views can be voiced in the Council itself.
V. In the event that an investigation relating to the Code has, in the view of the Speaker, produced evidence that a crime has been committed by a Councillor, then the Speaker shall inform the police and any other relevant authorities in the Councillor’s nation of origin.