The European People’s Party (EPP) took note of the report investigating corruption in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly which was drafted by the Independent External Investigation Body, comprising of three autonomous judges. Following the publication of the report, the EPP President Joseph Daul made the following statement:

“After carefully examining the report on the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), I would like to show my full respect towards the thorough work of the three judges who undertook the investigation.

After being thirty years in politics myself, I am sad and outraged to read the names of all the politicians mentioned in the report. Our citizens elect politicians to serve the people and represent their interests, not the other way around.

I urge all EPP member parties to immediately withdraw or suspend all the politicians named in the report as a result of their alleged involvement in non-transparent activities, who broke the code of ethics and breached EPP values. EPP parties must take responsibility to improve transparency and restore integrity amongst their representatives in line with EPP values. We must also do our utmost to rebuild the credibility of PACE as the guardian of human rights, democracy and a promoter of peace in Europe.

EPP has a zero-tolerance policy towards unethical behaviour involving corruption, bribery or conflict of interest. In this sense, at the upcoming EPP Congress in November in Helsinki, EPP will create in its Statutes an Ethics Committee with a Code of Conduct on ethical behaviour applicable to its members at all levels, acting upon a resolution adopted at the Political Assembly in December 2017. Public accountability, political credibility and absolute integrity are key requirements for any member of EPP and we will do everything to maintain these standards.”