Parliament adopts code of conduct for lawmakers with no stipulation on integrity

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Parliament adopted on Wednesday, with 230 votes in favour, 54 against and 78 abstentions, the Code of Conduct for Lawmakers, a document that forces lawmakers to observe a decent dress code and not to swear, but which contains no stipulation on their integrity, a stipulation that the European Commission had requested.

The Opposition criticised the Code of Conduct adopted by Parliament, PNL abstaining from voting and USR voting against it.

Lower House member Adriana Saftoiu (PNL) stated at the Parliament’s rostrum that the document is akin to holy water, while USR Spokesman Dan Barna explained that the ruling majority has ticked off a formality, a European Union request whose materialisation lacks consistency.

In his turn, Lower House member Corneliu Bichinet (PMP) said that, even though his party voted in favour, the Code of Conduct is “a great disaster made to hem in Parliament.”

PNL and the representatives of ethnic minorities abstained from voting, while USR voted against.

“(1) The Senate and Lower House members’ code of conduct regulates the norms and principles of parliamentary conduct in the exercise of the mandate assigned. (2) In the exercise of the mandate, lawmakers are in the service of the people. (3) The lawmakers’ mandate is exercised in line with the principle of the separation of powers – legislative, executive, judicial – and of checks and balances, within constitutional democracy,” reads Article 1 of the document that Parliament adopted on Wednesday.

The Code also stipulates that lawmakers, when exercising their mandate, are independent from any physical or juridical entity, but also the fact that the imperative mandate is null.

The Code of Conduct also stipulates the fact that, when exercising their mandate, lawmakers should display impartiality, taking into consideration the interest of the citizens they represent.

“Lawmakers have the obligation to take part in parliamentary activities, to stay in contact with citizens and to exercise their mandate in a transparent manner,” reads Article 4 of the Code of Conduct.

The document also stipulates the lawmakers’ obligation to observe a decent dress code and not to use indecent words.

The European Commission had insistently demanded a code of conduct for lawmakers, including in the latest country report published early this year.

The European Commission’s recommendation sought to make sure that the Code of Conduct would include clear stipulations regarding mutual respect between institutions and would clearly point out that lawmakers and the parliamentary process must observe the independence of the judiciary.

A similar code of conduct should be adopted for ministers, the European Commission also said.