Juncker announces new code of conduct for EU executive members

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament during a debate on The State of the European Union in Strasbourg, France, September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Members of the European Commission will have to wait two years before taking up new employment after they quit the EU executive under a new ethical code of conduct proposed by the President of the Commission on Wednesday.

Seeking to bolster the public’s trust in the EU institutions, Jean-Claude Juncker called for more enforced ethical standards and greater transparency in the Commission. The code of conduct will be enforced from Feb. 1, 2018, and will apply to all current members.

This comes after Juncker’s predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso caused public uproar after joining U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise it on Brexit, and former Commissioner Neelie Kroes was reprimanded for not declaring income that would effectively have reduced her pension.

The “cooling off period” between a Commission term and the start of new employment was extended from 18 months to two years for members and three years for the president.

The code also requires members to declare investments above 10,000 euro ($11,900) and establishes an Independent Ethical Committee to advise on all ethical issues.

Reporting by Lily Cusack, editing by Julia Fioretti and Toby Chopra