The Parliamentary Assembly is the driving force of the Council of Europe and one of the principal guardians of democracy, human rights and rule of law. Such important mission requires absolute commitment and loyalty of all its members to those core values, for the sake of effective functioning of the Organisation, and for maintaining the Assembly’s good image and reputation.
The Assembly has adopted a number of documents referring to this issue, in particular resolutions 1554(2007), 1908 (2010) and 1903 (2012) regarding the Code of Conduct of members of the Assembly, the rules applicable to rapporteurs etc., for the purpose of improving its institutional framework, in order to promote principles of transparency, accountability and integrity.
It’s a matter of concern that despite these efforts, some members remain in spotlight of criticism by a number of international human rights organizations and media, which reveal scandalous cases of corruption activities regarding parliamentarians in their capacity of Assembly members.
Considering these alarming developments, it is necessary to further consolidate the rules of conduct applicable to members. These proposals may include, inter alia, review of the registration of gifts or similar benefits that members accept while performing their duties as Assembly members, as well as making their national declarations of income and assets available for the Committee of Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs. The competent committee should examine the circumstances of the alleged breaches and make recommendations for a possible decision to be taken by the Assembly.
These issues concern the Assembly as it is at the forefront of the fight against corruption, including in the field of politics.