Research by Transparency International shows that one third of Members of the European Parliament has a paid sidejob. ITCO co-chair Dennis de Jong: “MEPs earn so much with their salary and the allowances that they can be millionaires at the end of two terms of five years. That in itself is already a ridiculous situation, but for many colleagues this is apparently not enough. Their greedy behaviour translates in all sorts of well-paid sidejobs. Considering that their work as a Member of European Parliament is already a fulltime job, money is more important to these MEPs than representing their voters. In addition, it leads to large risks of conflicts of interests. That is why I have pleaded for years for a complete ban on paid sidejobs for Members of European Parliament.”

As co-chair of the ITCO Intergroup, De Jong wants the code of conduct for MEP’s improved as soon as possible. “The current code of conduct exists only since 2011, since the cash-for-laws scandal. As a member of the work group that wrote the original code of conduct I did plead to outlaw paid sidejobs. Or at least demand that MEPs that write a report or function as chair to a parliamentary committee can not continue their paid sidejobs. Unfortunately these proposals did not make it. That means that you can still write a report on privacyrules for social media, while you are for example a member of the Board of Directors of Facebook. The Brussels Bubble stinks and we need to end that as soon as possible.”

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