Commission takes MSP code for Summer reading

10 August 2005
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is to read the MSPs code of conduct as he considers how to improve the integrity of European institutions.

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith forwarded the code to both Snr Barroso and Josep Borrell, the President of the European Parliament after Snr Barroso became embroiled in accusations of impropriety over a personal holiday.

In response to Mr Smith's letter President Barroso replied

"Your comments on the need for greater transparency and high standards of integrity in the European Institutions have received my full attention. I thank you for enclosing a copy of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament, which I will read carefully".

Commenting on the Commission's interest Mr Smith stated

"The Scottish Parliament must have one of the most recent codes of conduct of any Parliament. To be taken seriously MEPs must be seen to act without impropriety. In this current climate of distrust and disconnection from Europe the integrity of MEPs and Commissioner is a key factor that must be addressed.

"No code can be perfect but I sincerely hope we will see elements of the Scottish code in any regulation of MEPs activities. I have always found it slightly ridiculous that no one wants to check what I spend my allowances on, when it is tax payers money I am spending"