Roundtable: Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of the Parliament of Moldova

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The draft Code of Conduct and Ethics for Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova was discussed during a round table organized by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova with the support of the UNDP Project “Improving the quality of Moldovan democracy through parliamentary and electoral support”, implemented with the financial support of the Government of Sweden. The event was conducted in cooperation with the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR).

Such document was drafted for the first time in Moldova and is part of the reforms initiated in the context of strengthening integrity and accountability measures in the Parliament with European standards and practices. The draft Code of Conduct and Ethics was presented at the end of 2015. This document is intended to create a political culture, which places considerable emphasis on the propriety correctness, transparency, and honesty of parliamentarians` behaviour. To achieve these goals the Code proposes a set of rules of conduct and sanctions, as well as establishing the office of Commissioner for Ethics.

“A parliament cannot fight corruption, unless its members demonstrate integrity and when we speak about integrity, we speak about rules of conduct and ethics. Speaking about the Code of Conduct, it is not just about behavior, it is about avoiding conflict of interest situations, knowing when and how to refuse a present or an invitation. And of course we speak about Ethics Commissionaire.”, said Andrian Candu, Speaker of the Parliament.

“In immediate future we are going to have debates in the plenary session of the Parliament and are going to pass this bill in the first reading. The draft bill is already on the agenda of the Parliament”, noted Andrian Candu.

Narine Sahakyan, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Republic of Moldova, mentioned: “Like in other countries people are unhappy about corruption and about behavior of politicians and there appears the need for rules of ethics and conduct. The Code of Conduct will create a political culture which will enhance integrity and correctness of MPs and will help build trust. The MPs Code of Conduct and Ethics will set a mechanism that will allow application of rules and sanctions”.

The experience of other states in the process of elaboration and implementation of parliamentary Code of Conduct and Ethics and the role of the Commissionaire for Parliamentary Ethics were discussed during this event. Vitālijs Orlovs, Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee of the Saeima, Parliament of Latvia spoke about the Latvian experience in this field.

Heather Wood, from the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, UK House of Commons, spoke about the role of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Select Committee on Standards in the UK Parliament.

The participants also discussed prospects of establishing the office of the Commissionaire for Ethics in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. In this context, the participants, together with experts from the European Parliament and from the Swedish Parliament, discussed about the importance of political consensus for the document to be adopted.

Contact Information
Sergiu Galitchi, Project Manager, tel.: (373 22) 268 278, sergiu.galitchi@undp.org.