The new proposal on the EESC Code of Conduct is a modern ethical code with comprises the best practices of other EU institutions and sometimes even goes beyond the current EU ethical standards. This is because the Workers' Group has reiterated its commitment to meet highest standards especially also in terms of fighting harassment and to foresee strong sanctions.
The new Code of Conduct seeks to ensure that members behave towards everyone working in the EESC, including other members or staff, with dignity, courtesy and respect and without prejudice or discrimination.
A breach of this Code of Conduct by an EESC Member may result in penalties and sanctions, which would be proportionate according to the severity of the misconduct and to the member's hierarchical position. In the most severe cases, penalties may consist in the suspension of a member from permanent responsibilities within the EESC and in the removal from the Committee.
The new Code of conduct and the subsequent changes in the Rules of Procedure have closed the gaps of a number of elements that were missing in the previous rules and that are either necessary or useful for disciplinary proceedings such as investigation powers, the possibility of appeal, the reference to existing legal and inter-institutional obligations applicable or other elements like the obligation of members to cooperate with the enquiry and with the Ethical Committee.
This new set of revisions to EESC's rulebook continues the step-by-step process of making the EESC more effective, efficient and transparent and will make the Committee able to prevent any behaviour that is likely to undermine human dignity and to remedy any shortcomings that may have existed in the current system. For the Workers' Group, this new Code of Conduct reflects our commitment towards defending good working conditions, respect of human dignity at work and non-discriminatory attitude towards staff and members in the EESC.
The Workers' Group has worked tirelessly to strengthen this code of conduct as well as the ethical framework of the EESC. We are very proud of the result.
Oliver Röpke, President of the EESC Workers' Group
Christian Bäumler, member of the EESC Workers' group and President of the EESC Ethical Committee
Franca Salis-Madinier, EESC Workers' Group Vice-President and member of the EESC Ethical Committee