Ethics and Standards
To advance, enhance and support leaders in the field of public policy advocacy advisory services.
Integrity, Competence, Trust and Service.
To be the public policy advocacy organization that is the best to join by:
- Serving as a critical resource that enhances a member’s capacity to provide expert ethical public policy advocacy advisory services
- Providing a supportive environment for professional development and collegiality; and
- Selectively conferring a designation which further validates a member’s advice and recommendations.
An Advocate Counselor is an advisor who brings a broad range of public policy advocacy experience and technical competency to assignments for clients. While objective in analysis, the Advocate Counselor directs his/her efforts toward the clients’ best interests through evaluation of options, advocacy of the client’s interest and/or development of appropriate strategies.
The act of providing advice or guidance to clients which significantly impacts their decisions about public policies. Such advice must be rendered solely for the use of the party(ies) receiving the advice and without personal bias and/or conflict of interest.
Counselor in Public Policy Advocacy (CPPA)
Those designated a “Counselor in Public Policy Advocacy ” (CPPA) are recognized by their peers as having consistently demonstrated the highest levels of knowledge, experience, competency, integrity, and judgment.
Code of Conduct
The European Parliament and the European Commission affirm that:
- It is desirable that public office holders and the public be able to know who is attempting to influence policy-making and the legislative process
- Lobbying public office holders is a legitimate activity.
The Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives is an important initiative for promoting public trust in the integrity of European decision-making. To that end, public office holders, when they deal with the public and with lobbyists, are required to honour the standards set out for them in their own Codes of Conduct.
For their part, interest representatives communicating with public office holders are expected to apply the principles of openness, transparency, honesty and integrity and must abide by the standards of conduct, which are set out below:
In the context of their relations with the European Parliament and the European Commission, Interest Representatives shall:
- Always identify themselves by name and by the entity or entities they work for or represent; declare the interests and where applicable the clients or the members, which they represent;
- Not obtain or try to obtain information, or any decision, dishonestly;
- Not claim any formal relationship with the European Parliament or the Commission in their dealings with third parties, nor represent themselves as to the effect of registration to mislead third parties and/or EU staff;
- Ensure that, to the best of their knowledge, information which they provide is complete, up-to-date and not misleading;
- Not sell to third parties copies of documents obtained from the European Parliament or the European Commission;
- Not induce EU staff, or Members’ assistants or trainees, to contravene rules and standards of behaviour applicable to them;
- If employing former EU staff or Members’ assistants or trainees, respect their obligation to abide by the rules and confidentiality requirements which apply to them;
- Observe any rules laid down on the rights and responsibilities of former Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission;
- Inform their clients of their obligations as lobbyists towards the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Interest Representatives who have registered with the European Parliament for the purpose of being issued with a nominative badge for access to the European Parliament’s premise shall:
- Comply strictly with the provisions of Rule 9 and Annex 10, as well as the provisions of Annex I, Article 2, second paragraph of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure;
- Satisfy themselves that any assistance provided in accordance with the provisions of Annex I, Article 2 is declared in the appropriate register;
- In order to avoid possible conflicts of interest, obtain the prior consent of the Member or Members of the European Parliament concerned as regards any contractual relationship with or employment of a Member’s assistant and subsequently declare this in the common register of interest representatives.
The Quaestors shall be responsible for issuing nominative passes valid for a maximum of one year to persons who wish to enter Parliament's premises frequently in order to supply information to Members within the framework of their parliamentary mandate in their own interests or those of third parties.
In return, those persons shall be required to:
- Respect the code of conduct published as an annex to these Rules of Procedure
- Sign a register kept by the Quaestors.
That register shall be made available to the public on request in all of Parliament's places of work and, in the form laid down by the Quaestors, in its information offices in the Member States.
Annex X - Provisions governing the application of Rule 9 (4) Lobbying in the European Parliament:
Article 1: Passes
1. The pass shall consist of a plastic card bearing a photograph of the holder, indicating the holder's surname and forenames and the name of the firm, organisation or person for whom the holder works. Pass-holders shall at all times wear their pass visibly on all Parliament premises. Failure to do so may lead to its withdrawal. Passes shall be distinguished by their shape and colour from the passes issued to occasional visitors.
2. Passes shall only be renewed if the holders have fulfilled the obligations referred to in Rule 9(4). Any dispute by a Member as to the activity of a representative or lobby shall be referred to the Quaestors, who shall look into the matter and may decide whether to maintain or withdraw the pass concerned.
3. Passes shall not, under any circumstances, entitle holders to attend meetings of Parliament or its bodies other than those declared open to the public and shall not, in this case, entitle the holder to derogations from access rules applicable to all other Union citizens.
Article 2: Assistants
1. At the beginning of each parliamentary term the Quaestors shall determine the maximum number of assistants who may be registered by each Member. Upon taking up their duties, registered assistants shall make a written declaration of their professional activities and any other remunerated functions or activities.
2. They shall have access to Parliament under the same conditions as staff of the Secretariat or the political groups.
3. All other persons, including those working directly with Members, shall only have access to Parliament under the conditions laid down in Rule 9(4).
Article 3: Code of Conduct
1. In the context of their relations with Parliament, the persons whose names appear in the register provided for in Rule 9(4) shall:
(a) comply with the provisions of Rule 9 and this Annex;
(b) state the interest or interests they represent in contacts with Members of Parliament, their staff or officials of Parliament;
(c) refrain from any action designed to obtain information dishonestly;
(d) not claim any formal relationship with Parliament in any dealings with third parties;
(e) not circulate for a profit to third parties copies of documents obtained from Parliament;
(f) comply strictly with the provisions of Annex I, Article 2, second paragraph;
(g) satisfy themselves that any assistance provided in accordance with the provisions of Annex I, Article 2 is declared in the appropriate register;
(h) comply with the provisions of the Staff Regulations when recruiting former officials of the institutions;
(i) comply with any rules laid down by Parliament on the rights and responsibilities of former Members;
(j) in order to avoid possible conflicts of interest, obtain the prior consent of the Member or Members concerned as regards any contractual relationship with or employment of a Member's assistant, and subsequently satisfy themselves that this is declared in the register provided for in Rule 9(4).
2. Any breach of this Code of Conduct may lead to the withdrawal of the pass issued to the persons concerned and, if appropriate, their firms.
- Breaches of the Code: Registered entities are informed and agree that breaches of the above rules by their representatives may lead to suspension or exclusion from the Register and, if applicable, the withdrawal of the access badges to the European Parliament issued to the person concerned and, if appropriate, their firms, following an investigation paying due respect to proportionality and the right of defense
- Complaints: Registered entities are informed that anyone can lodge a complaint with the European Parliament or the European Commission, substantiated by material facts, about a suspected breach of the above rules
- Publication of contribution and other documents: Registered entities are informed that their contributions to public consultation will be published on the internet together with the identity of the contributor, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data on grounds that such publication would harm his or legitimate interests. The European Parliament or the European Commission may, upon request and subject to the provisions of Regulation (EC)N° 1049/2001 on access to documents, have to disclose correspondence and other documents concerning the interest representatives’ activities.
AALEP Standards of Professional Practice
As part of AALEP’s objectives to foster transparency in and the proper conduct of public policy advocacy activities within the EU institutions , the Code of Ethics and Practice here below provides standards to govern Accredited Public Policy Advocates to the European Union in the course of public policy activities , which activities may contribute to informed decision-making by appointed and elected EU officials.
This Code of Ethics and Practice for Accredited Public Policy Advocates who are AALEP’s members aims at contributing, in the best interest of democratic life to the preservation and enhancement of the confidence of EU citizens must place in the EU insitutions.
1. The object of this Code is to establish standards of conduct for Accredited Public Policy Advocates AALEP’s Members, in order to ensure that public policy advocacy activities are properly conducted and to foster transparency in the public policy advocacy of EU appointed and elected officials.
2. In representing the special interest of a client, business or an organisation, Public Policy Advocates shall take the public interest into account.
Duties and Obligations
Respect for the European Institutions’ Appointed and Elected Officials
3. In carrying out their activities, Public Policy Advocates shall be respectful of the European institutions’ appointed and elected officials. They shall also respect the right to equal access to the European institutions.
Honesty and Integrity
4. Public Policy Advocatess shall discharge the obligations pertaining to their public advoccay activities and conduct such activities with honesty and integrity.
5. Public Policy Advocates shall ensure that the information they provide to EU institutions’ appointed and elected officials is to their knowledge, accurate, complete and kept up to date.
6. Public Policy Advocates shall respect the right of the public to accurate information, where, in support of public policy advocacy activities, they use written or electronic means of communication to influence public opinion.
7. Public Policy Advocates shall refrain from making false or deceptive representation to appointed and elected EU officials and from intentionally misleading anyone.
8. Public Policy Advocates shall not induce appointed and elected EU officials to contravene the standards of conduct applicable to them.
9. Public Policy Advocates shall refrain from directly or indirectly exerting undue pressure on appointed and elected EU officials.
10. Unless they have obtained the informed consent of the persons whose interests are at stake and notified accordingly the appointed and elected EU officials they are lobbying, Public Policy Advocates shall not (1) represent competing or adverse interests or (2) place themselves in a situation where there is a real potential or apparent conflict between their direct or indirect personal interest and the interests they represent.
11. Public Policy Advocates shall not use, for purposes other than those of their mandate, confidential information obtained in the course of their public policy advocacy activities.
12. Public Policy Advocates shall foster among the public and through their professional dealings a good understanding of their activities and of the legitimacy of such activities. In addition, they shall refrain from acting in any manner that may discredit the occupation of a Public Policy Advocate.
13. Public Policy Advocates shall inform the client, business or organisation, whose interests they are representing of their duties and obligations under this Code of Ethics and Practice.
14. When they communicate with appointed and elected EU officials , Public Policy Advocates shall specify the identity of the client, business or organisation, whose interests they are representing as well as the purpose of the communication.
15. Public Policy Advocates shall not by any means whatsoever conceal or try to conceal the identity of the client, business or organisation, whose interests they are representing.
16. Public Policy Advocates shall be diligent and cooperative in their relations with the Quaestors. They shall, particularly, within reasonable time (1) answer any request for particulars relating to the information entered or to be entered in the Application Form for Long Term Pass or (2) answer any request addressed to them by the Quaestors in the course of an inquiry or inspection.
Accredited Public Policy Advocates who are AALEP Members shall comply at all times with this Code of Ethics and Practice. By accepting membership in AALEP, members agree to abide by all terms and conditions of membership and agree to accept sanctions in the event of a breach of the Code. Infringement of the Code renders members liable to disciplinary action with subsequent loss of privileges and benefits of the Association.
Dispute Resolution Process
The Association recognises that a Code of Ethics, standing alone rings hollow in the absence of a process by which those who may fail to meet ethical standards may be shown in the error of their ways. The Association meets that need through a resolution process in which any member may complain about the ethical conduct of another. In the case of dispute, the President of the Association will appoint a panel of three (3) disinterested members who will attempt to mediate the dispute and make every effort to arrive at a solution that is agreeable to the parties. However, the panel may determine that disciplinary actions are necessary and can recommend that the Board impose sanctions ranging from letters of guidance to expulsion of the Association. The very essence of the Association is the establishment and maintenance of the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct for those who take pride in being professional Public Policy Advocates accredited to the European Union.