At its plenary session on 20 February 2019, the EESC adopted a proposal to amend its Rules of Procedure to include a new version of the Code of Conduct for members as an appendix. The new Rules of Procedure and Code of Conduct, which entered into force on 15 March 2019, also take account of the European Parliament's own recently adopted Rules of Procedure, particularly in relation to preventing and combating all forms of harassment.
The EESC – at the initiative of its president, Luca Jahier, and with the full support of the groups and the administration – affirmed the principle of the right to dignity in the workplace and established an internal monitoring mechanism for any form of harassment involving members, which also lays down sanctions.
Members will be required to sign the Code of Conduct when they are appointed. The new rules apply to interactions between members and any other persons working in the Committee as well as between members themselves. Sanctions include, depending on the severity of the member's behaviour, "temporary suspension from rapporteurship, chairmanship and membership of study groups, missions and extraordinary meetings".
The Committee also insists on "compliance with the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination [...]", and stresses the need to ensure "better than a proportional representation of women in all bodies of the Committee" (Rule 1.4).
The full text of the Rules of Procedure and the Code of Conduct will soon be available on the EESC website. (dgf)