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Code of conduct with regard to meetings of Commissioners

Question écrite de Mme Miriam LEXMANN - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Miriam LEXMANN,

Diffusée le 22 février 2024

Subject: Code of conduct with regard to meetings of Commissioners

On 22 February 2024, Commissioner Schmit met with Brahim Ben Ali, among others, at the Berlaymont. Mr Ben Ali and his organisation do not appear to be on the EU Transparency Register. The meeting is not listed in the Commissioner’s calendar.

According to Article 7 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Commission, Commissioners are only to meet organisations that are registered in the Transparency Register, and they must make the details of those meetings public.

1. Can the Commission confirm whether either Mr Ben Ali or his organisation is registered in the Transparency Register and, if they are not, does it accept that the Commissioner’s actions were contrary to the code of conduct?

2. Was any other Commission official present at the meeting and, if so, who?

3. Will the minutes of the discussion between Commissioner Schmit and Mr Ben Ali be published?

Submitted:23.2.2024

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 28 mai 2024

Answer given by Vice-President Jourová on behalf of the European Commission (29 May 2024)

1. The Commission confirms that Mr Brahim Ben Ali (or his organisation) are not registered in the Transparency Register. The Commission would like to clarify that no meeting between Commissioner Schmit and Mr Ben Ali took place on the specified date. The occurrence to which the Honourable Member refers to was an unscheduled spontaneous encounter on the street outside the Berlaymont building on 21 February 2024. Spontaneous encounters are excluded from the notion of a meeting with an interest representative according to Commission Decision 2014/839/EU, Euratom (1). In this same respect, the Interinstitutional Agreement on the Transparency Register (2) does not cover spontaneous meetings. Consequently, the relevant applicable rules have been respected.

2. A member of the Commissioner’s cabinet was present during this spontaneous encounter outside the Berlaymont building. The member took photos of the encounter, but as this was not a formal meeting, no notes were taken.

3. There are no minutes of this spontaneous encounter outside the Berlaymont building.

1 ∙ ⸱ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014D0839

2 ∙ ⸱ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2021:207:FULL



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