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Europe D66 European Parliament

Finns discover Dutch code of conduct

   Fri 16/02/2001

The Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet is holding up the code of conduct of the Dutch members of the European Parliament as an example. English summary of the Finnish artcile as provided by the European Commission┬┤s office in Helsinki.


Press review, Friday 16 February 2001

Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki 55 084) writes that the MEPs from the Netherlands have taken an initiative to improve the image of the European Parliament. Black headlines about the misuse of the Parliament's allowance system have brought all 31 Dutch MEPs to return the allowances that they have not used. One of the initiators is MEP Lousewies van der Laan (ELDR). The reason for this is that she wants to clean up the image of the Parliament. According to van der Laan they use non-traditional methods. Finnish MEP, Ulpu Iivari (PSE) says that she just heard about the system of the Netherlands the first time. She speaks for uniform regulations for all and says that she sees a changeover to a new system where allowances are paid against real costs. Neither MEP Piia-Noora Kauppi (PPE/DE) is familiar with the initiative and she even wants to wait for common rules. MEP Astrid Thors (ELDR) comments that she is aware of what the colleagues from the Netherlands do. She confirms that she can give an account of her costs. "Those allowances which I have not used, have been used in political operations", says Thors and mentions election campaign as an example. The MEPs from the Netherlands receive much less travel allowances than the Finns because the allowances are calculated by distance.