This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Ethics guide for staff'.
News items related to Ethics on the intranet of DG HOME 
 
2010 
 

•  16/03/2010 10:59 Professional Ethics A new code on Professional Ethics for DG JLS 
•  06/10/2010 15:56 Internal ethics trainings On the horns of a dilemma: a practical 
approach to ethics - Half-day workshops on 28 October (EN) and 29 November (FR) 
•  20/10/2010 10:42 Ethics quiz Take the ethical dilemma quiz! What would you do? 
•  23/11/2010 09:05 Learning & Development News Take a look at the upcoming 
trainings offered in our DGs... Places are still available for a number of trainings next 
week! 
•  13/12/2010 11:52 Can I accept gifts?  As we buy and receive gifts from friends and 
family, a key question is raised: what about business or work-related gifts?  
 
2011 
 

•  14/02/2011 15:27 Learning & Development News Take a look at upcoming trainings! 
•  01/07/2011 10:18 IDOC 2010 Annual Report Tackling negligence, non-compliance 
and wrongdoing 
•  14/09/2011 11:25 Ethics – test your knowledge! Take the quick test and find out how 
much do you know about it 
•  04/11/2011 12:09 Interesting training courses on ethics  Enrol in the masterclass and 
managers session on 9 November 
 
 
2012 
 

•  12/01/2012 14:00 Internal ethics workshops On the horns of a dilemma: a practical 
approach to ethics - Half-day workshops on 27 January (EN), 16 February (FR), and 
15 March (EN) 
•  16/01/2012 11:17 On the horns of a dilemma: a practical approach to ethics Register 
for the Ethics workshops in our DG! Next half-day session on 27 January 
•  31/01/2012 09:27 Acceptance of gifts Do you know when you can accept business or 
work-related gifts and when to declare them? 
•  15/03/2012 13:20 Ethics workshop for managers Comment promouvoir le haut niveau 
de standards éthiques à la Commission? Next week Thursday, 22 March, in GUIM 
0/1, 14:00-16:00 
•  20/03/2012 12:25 New guidelines on gifts and hospitality for Commission staff Is the 
acceptance of a small desk calendar or a cup of coffee really likely to create an 
impression of partiality? What about working lunches?  
 
 
1


16/03/2010 10:59  
 
16/03/2010 10:59   
Professional Ethics   
A new code on 
Professional Ethics for DG 

JLS 
  
 
During your career in the Commission as an official, temporary agent, contract 
agent or seconded national expert (SNEs), you may be faced with ethical issues 
and will need to consult the appropriate and current legislation or practice in the 
field in question
 – says Jonathan Faull in his foreword to the new code for 
Professional Ethics for DG JLS. The code is there to help you find answers in 
doubtful situations regarding ethics and protect yourself against malicious 
allegations from third parties. 
The code is available on the ethics page of JLSnet. Have a look at it! 
Have you got doubts about a conflict of interest, a mission or an external 
activity? Do you want to talk about them with an expert? 
Feel free to contact DG JLS' Ethics Correspondent! 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
Unit A3   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics and Conduct   
R e l a t e d     MyIntracomm's Ethics page   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/HR_News/NewCodeEthics
160310_03012012.aspx 
 
2


06/10/2010 15:56  
 
06/10/2010 15:56   
Internal ethics trainings  
On the horns of a 
dilemma: a practical 
approach to ethics - Half-

day workshops on 28 
October (EN) and 29 

November (FR) 
  
 
Come to our workshop and learn from real cases:  
•  Invitation to participate in a work-related conference: all registration fees 
and travel expenses are paid by the organizer  
•  Invitations to dinner and events during a mission  
•  Giving a lecture as a paid guest speaker at a conference Etc. 
When? 
•  English on Thursday, 28 October from 14:00 – 17:00, LX46, Fortescue 
room  
•  French on Monday, 29 November from 14:00 – 17:00, LX46, Fortescue 
room 
  
Registration 
  
•  Registration via Syslog 
  
  
IMPORTANT! This half-day workshop fulfils the requirements of the obligatory 
one-day course at DG HR!
 
  
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
SRD.02 - Human Resources   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics & conduct   
R e l a t e d     Case studies related to Ethics and Integrity at work   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Training_News/Ethicstrai
ning20101006_07042011.aspx 
 
3


20/10/2010 10:42  
 
20/10/2010 10:42   
Ethics quiz   
Take the ethical dilemma 
quiz! What would you do?
  
 
General guidance: What should you do when faced with an ethical dilemma? 
Nearly every ethical situation is unique and although it is not possible to provide 
a ready-made response for every situation there are nevertheless certain steps 
which the member of staff should follow when faced with such an ethical 
question/dilemma: 
    Take the time to reflect on the problem  
    Define the situation  
    Evaluate the information received – is more detailed information required?  
    Discuss the issue with others including your immediate superior  
    Seek advice from experts and in particular the local ethics correspondents  
    Decide on a solution to the given situation  
  
Come to our half-day workshop on Ethics and learn from real cases  
28 October (EN) and 29 November (FR) 
Registration via Syslog 
IMPORTANT! This half-day workshop fulfils the requirements of the obligatory one-day 
course at DG HR! 
  
Test your ethical reflexes!  
Question 1 
I have recently completed a survey on sensitive working matters in our DG. The 
following night I went to dinner with an old friend and I told him stories on my 
findings on how incompetent some Units in my DG were, naming persons, units 
and details of findings. 
The next day I was called by the Directorate General in his office. Apparently his 
daughter was on the next table. After that, I have learned my lesson on handling 
confidential information. 
 
4

Which ethical principle I primarily breached? 
1.  Independence  
2.  Impartiality  
3.  Objectivity  
4.  Circumspection - reflect before you act 
Ethics tip 
    Circumspection – stopping and reflecting on the possible consequences and 
implications of potential actions, showing a degree of moderation and conducting 
yourself at all times with a due sense of proportion and propriety.  
    A sense of responsibility - As a member of staff, or former member of staff, you have 
an obligation not to disclose, without authorisation, information to which you have 
been exposed in the course of your work, unless that information has already been 
made public or is accessible to the public (Article 17 of the Staff Regulations).  
    You may have to deal with sensitive information in the course of your work. Such 
information must be treated with the utmost discretion. 
  
Question 2 
Your brother has a shop in Brussels, and you help him in the shop through the 
Sales period. You enjoy it and decide to help him every Sunday morning. You 
don't get paid for it.  
1.  Of course, I can do so without asking the permission of the Commission. 
2.  I should first obtain the permission of my hierarchy. 
3.  I only need to obtain the permission of my hierarchy and DG ADMIN if I 
get paid. 
4.  Don't know. 
  
Ethics Tip 
For all officials and other staff in active service, article 12b of the Staff Regulations 
establishes an obligation to obtain permission before engaging in any activity, whether 
paid or unpaid, outside the Communities. 
Reasons: 
    Interference with duties 
 
5

    Conflict of interest 
    Circumspection – Damage of the public image of the Commission 
  
Question 3 
You agree to take part in a conference in Paris as a panel member just days 
before the summer holidays. The conference organiser is so thankful for your 
assistance that he presents you with a lovely basket of goodies as you are 
leaving for the train station. The value of the basket is about €100. 
1.  Of course, I accept the basket because I don't want to be impolite. 
2.  I accept the gift, indicating to the donor that I must ask permission to 
keep it on my return to Brussels. 
3.  I refuse the gift. 
4.  Don't know. 
Ethics tip 
Gifts - be transparent and think of the consequences 
    Generally do not accept gifts 
    Rule - No acceptance of gifts of more than €50  
    If you are offered any gifts, favours or donations with a combined value of more than 
€50 in any given year and you propose to accept them, you must apply  to your 
appointing authority (your Director-General or, if you are a Director-General, the 
Commissioner to whom you report) for permission to do so, giving a justification.  
 
  
Question 4 
You participate in an important committee meeting. A major decision is taken. 
At noon, just when you leave the meeting to join your Unit's lunch, you get a 
phone call from a journalist. He asks you what has been decided. 
1.  I invite him for lunch immediately and tell him about the decision. 
2.  I ask him to call the Commissioner's spokesperson. 
3.  I tell him I don't know. 
4.  Don't know. 
 
6

Ethics tip 
What should you do if contacted by a journalist? As a general rule, DG Communication and 
the Spokespersons' Service are responsible for contacts with the media. Especially, where a 
request is of a political nature, you should refer the journalist directly to the Spokespersons' 
Service, giving him or her, if necessary, the contact details. 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
SRD.02 - Human Resources   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics & conduct   
R e l a t e d     Register for the Ethics training in Syslog   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/TopNews_Library/EthicsQ
uiz20101020_07042011.aspx  
 
7




23/11/2010 09:05  
 
23/11/2010 09:05   
Learning & Development 
News   
Take a look at the upcoming 
trainings offered in our 

DGs... Places are still 
available for a number of 

  
trainings next week!  
 
FEATURED TRAINING: On Monday of next week (29/11) our colleagues from 
SRD.02 have organised an internal Ethics and Integrity workshop based on 
practical case studies. Places are still available!  
In this workshop you can learn from real cases and examples. It will take place in 
the afternoon and it fulfills the requirement of the mandatory DG HR one-
day ethics training. The session will be held in French.  
Registration via Syslog. 
      
        Learning & Development News 
29 November 
Ethics and Integrity in FR 
INTERNAL  
Where: LX46 00/72 (Fortescue) 
Registration via Syslog  
 
TRAINING 
Questions, suggestions, comments…? 
 Email us HOME-JUST LEARNING & TRAINING  
Find out more on the Learning & Development pages on our intranet or on MyIntracomm 
  
C o n t a c t     HOME-JUST LEARNING & TRAINING mailbox   
U n i t    
SRD.02   
P o l i c i e s     Learning & Development   
R e l a t e d     Learning & Development pages on MyIntraComm   
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Training_News/LDNews2
0101122_07042011.aspx 
 
8






13/12/2010 11:52   
 
13/12/2010 11:52   
Can I accept gifts?   
As we buy and receive 
gifts from friends and 

family, a key question is 
raised: what about 

business or work-related 
  
gifts?  
 
The holiday season is here again! As we buy and receive gifts from friends and 
family, a key question is raised: what about business or work-related gifts?  
According to the Staff Regulations, we should not accept gifts, favours, 
donations, or payments from governments or any other source outside the 
institution without obtaining prior permission from the Appointing Authority. As 
a general rule of thumb, we would recommend that you decline all offers that 
have more than merely symbolic value (such as diaries, calendars, small desk 
items, etc.). 
In any case, if you are offered any gifts, favours or donations with a combined 
value of more than €50 from a single source in any given year and you want to 
accept them, you must apply for permission, giving a justification and using this 
form. Keep in mind that when considering the €50 limit you have to count in any 
lunch, drinks, or dinner invitations offered earlier this year, in addition to any 
gifts which that person or organisation wishes to give you now.  
Questions?  
•  Check the ethics' rules about gifts on MyIntracomm  
•  Download the DG HOME & DG JUSTICE Code on Professional Ethics
 for 
more detailed explanations and other ethical questions  
•  Contact our Ethics Correspondents 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
SRD.02   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics & conduct   
R e l a t e d     DG HOME & DG JUSTICE Code on Professional Ethics   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/Other_News/Gifts20101213.aspx 
 
9




14/02/2011 15:27  
 
14/02/2011 15:27   
Learning & Development News 
   
Take a look at upcoming 

trainings! 
  
 
       
       Learning & Development News 
  
  
  
  
22 February 
On the horns of a dilemma: a practical approach to ethics 
INTERNAL TRAINING 
Half-day Ethics & Integrity workshop in English 
Where: LX46, Fortescue (00/072) 
When: 22/02, 9:30 – 12:30 
 
Registration via SYSLOG 
  
 
 
Questions, suggestions, comments…? 
 Email us HOME-JUST LEARNING & TRAINING 
Find out more on our intranet or on MyIntracomm 
C o n t a c t     HOME-JUST LEARNING & TRAINING   
U n i t    
SRD.02   
P o l i c i e s     Learning & Development   
R e l a t e d     Syslog   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/Training_News/LDNews20110214.aspx 
 
10


01/07/2011 10:18  
 
01/07/2011 10:18   
IDOC 2010 Annual Report   
Tackling negligence, non-
compliance and wrongdoing 

  
 
The 2010 Activity Report of the Investigation and Disciplinary Office of the 
Commission (IDOC) has just been published, and summarises IDOC's activities, 
including inquiries, pre-disciplinary hearings and disciplinary procedures.  
IDOC was set up in 2002, with the aim of ensuring that officials or former 
officials of the European Commission comply with obligations and duties 
reported in the Staff Regulations. 
How does IDOC work?  
The Investigation and Disciplinary Office of the Commission (IDOC) has two main 
tasks: 
  conducting administrative inquiries instructions from the appointing 
authority to verify whether any obligation as laid down in the Staff 
Regulations has been breached  
  conducting disciplinary procedures once there is evidence that an 
obligation has been breached 
What can happen in case the breach is proven after inquiry by IDOC? 
Disciplinary actions range from a warning recorded in the personnel file for 18 
months for minor violations to warnings recorded for 6 years for more serious 
breaches, deferment of advancement, downgrading, removal from post and 
reduction of pension entitlements. 
Are there many cases of violations/disciplinary actions in the Commission? 
In total, 19 disciplinary sanction decisions were taken, including one dismissal. 
In addition, five (non-disciplinary) warnings were addressed to the individuals 
concerned. 
What kind of cases does IDOC examine?  
In 2010, the cases examined by IDOC dealt with, among others: 
  abusive behaviour intended to achieve undue financial benefits  
  alleged cases of harassment  
  acceptance of unauthorised gifts  
  abusive use of informatics and telephone equipment of the Commission  
  behaviour constituting a legal offence 
 
11

Why is it important for us to know this? 
Giving visibility to the report within the Commission is of utmost importance to 
inform staff of the consequences of negligence or lack of compliance, and the 
administrative procedures one might go through in case of non-compliance with 
staff obligations. Such information is a vital part of our ethics strategy geared 
towards the prevention of wrongdoing. 
  
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
Ethics and Conduct   
P o l i c i e s     Read the IDOC report for 2010   
R e l a t e d     Learn more about IDOC   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Other_News/IDOC_2010_Report_20110
107_30082011.aspx 
 
12


14/09/2011 11:25  
 

14/09/2011 11:25   
Ethics – test your knowledge!   
Take the quick test and find out 
 
  how much do you know about it 
 
 
How much do you know about Ethics? Here's a quick way to test some basic 
knowledge:   

Question 1.  
Your brother owns a small restaurant in Brussels and business is not going too 
well, so he has had to cut some staff to save money. Weekends, however, are 
busy so you offer to help him out by manning the bar every Saturday evening for 
free. Which statement below applies?  
(a)  It is a family issue and the work is not being paid, so no permission is 
required.  
(b) The work is unpaid, but before engaging in it, I have to ask for 
permission. 
(c) I only need to request authorisation from my hierarchy and report to 
DG HR if I get paid. 
(d) I am allowed to work for a few weeks without seeking permission, but 
if it goes on for over 6 months, I will need to report it.   
Question 2.  
You have been invited to teach students a course on European affairs at your 
former university. This will involve over 60 hours (but less than 100) of teaching 
per academic year. 
(a) Before the activity, I must seek permission from the Director-General 
of DG HR. 
(b) Before the activity, I must seek permission from my own Director-
General. 
(c) The person I need to seek permission from depends on my grade. 
(d) Verbal agreement or an email from my line manager is enough as long 
as I use flexitime or annual leave to cover my absences.   
Question 3.  
The same university offers a net amount of 5,600€ for the teaching activity 
mentioned in the previous question.  
(a) I must declare the amount of 5,600€ in order to be able to accept it. 
 
13

(b) I must declare the amount of 5,600€ but I can only keep the maximum 
amount of 4,500€ and must turn the rest over to the Commission. 
(c) I can accept a reimbursement of max. 4,500€ and consequently I 
declare and accept 4,500€. 
(d) I declare only a part of the amount received, which I calculate by 
subtracting my travel, food, accommodation and other expenses linked to 
the trip from the 5,600€.  
Questions adapted from DG REGIO Ethics quiz 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
Ethics & conduct in our DGs   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics on MyIntraComm   
R e l a t e d     Ethics & Integrity training session   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Activities_News/Ethics_test_20110915_
13112011.aspx 
 
 
14


04/11/2011 12:09  
 

04/11/2011 12:09   
Interesting training courses on 
ethics    
Enrol in the masterclass and 

managers session on 9 November
  
 
Ethical behaviour in turbulent times 
A masterclass for all staff given by Dr Alan Richter 
When:  9th November 
Where: 
Guimard 0/1, 9h30 - 12h30 
Enrol via Syslog 
Content:  
Why is it important to show a correct ethical behaviour at all times?  How can 
we ensure that we maintain the highest ethical standards? What factors come 
into play in making an ethically correct decision? What is the latest thinking on 
these issues? Dr Alan Richter addresses these and other questions in his master 
class on 9 November. Dr Richter has worked closely with many international 
organisations, including the UN and WHO and has worked extensively in the area 
of benchmarking.
 
The business case for ethical behaviour  
A session for managers given by Dr Alan Richter 
When:  9th November 
Where: 
Guimard 0/1, 14h00 - 16h00 
Enrol via Syslog 
Content:  
Managers make difficult decisions every day to ensure that their staff perform at 
the highest level. However, decisions always have an ethical component. Dr Alan 
Richter will discuss how to lead ethically and how to bring an ethical dimension 
to the many dilemmas that managers face every day. Come to this special 
session to see how you can improve your management effectiveness through an 
appreciation of the ethical imperatives.
 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
Ethics and Conduct in our DGs   
P o l i c i e s     Ethical behaviour for all staff - Enrol here   
R e l a t e d     Ethical behaviour for managers - Enrol here  
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Training_News/ethics_trainigns_2011_0
3012012.aspx  
 
 
15


12/01/2012 14:00  
 

12/01/2012 14:00   
Internal ethics workshops   
On the horns of a dilemma: a 
practical approach to ethics - 

Half-day workshops on 27 
January (EN), 16 February 

(FR), and 15 March (EN) 
  
 
Come to our workshop and learn from real cases:  
•  Is it ok if all registration fees and travel expenses are paid by the 
organizer of a work-related conference?  
•  Can one accept invitations to dinner and events during a mission?  
•  Giving a lecture as a paid guest speaker at a conference?  
•  And many other ethical questions 
When 
  Three sessions will be offered:  
•  Friday, 27 January, 9:00 – 12:30 (EN) 
•  Thursday, 16 February, 14:00 – 17:00 (FR) 
•  Thursday, 15 March, 9:00 – 12:30 (EN) 
  
Registration 
  
•  Registration via Syslog 
  
  
IMPORTANT! This half-day workshop fulfils the requirements of the obligatory 
one-day course at DG HR!
 
C o n t a c t     HOME-JUST LEARNING & TRAINING   
U n i t    
SRD.02   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics & conduct   
R e l a t e d     Register in Syslog  
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Training_News/Ethicsworkshop2012011
2_12032012.aspx 
 
16


16/01/2012 11:17  
 
16/01/2012 11:17   
On the horns of a dilemma: a 
practical approach to ethics   
Register for the Ethics 

workshops in our DG! Next 
half-day session on 27 January

  
 
On the horns of a dilemma: a practical approach 
to ethics 
As a Commission staff member you may or may not have had ethical dilemmas so far. If 
you had, why not try and find the correct answer to them? If you did not have any yet: 
are you sure you haven't missed anything regarding professional ethics? To give you a 
flavour of what an ethical dilemma can be:  
       You are a Commission official and a huge Beatles fan. In the evenings after 
work and on weekends, you do research on the Beatles and also are a member 
of a local Beatles association. You have grown to become a respected expert in 
the field, and sometimes get invited to give presentations or speeches on the 
Beatles. You are also in talks to publish a book on the topic and thinking of 
starting a blog. Is this allowed? 
       Your brother owns a small restaurant in Brussels and business is not going too 
well, so he has had to cut some staff to save money. Weekends, however, are 
still busy so you offer to help him out by manning the bar every Saturday 
evening for free. Is this just a family issue, where no permission from the 
Commission is needed? 
Want to know the right answers?  
REGISTER FOR THE ETHICS & INTEGRITY WORKSHOP IN OUR DG! 
On the horns of a dilemma: a practical approach to ethics 
Three sessions: 
  
27 January, 9:00 – 12:30 (EN) 
16 February, 14:00 – 17:00 (FR) 
15 March, 9:00 – 12:30 (EN) 
  
Where: Fortescue room, LX46 
Register in Syslog 
  
The course has been customised for our DGs, incorporating the input from our 
managers as to which cases are most relevant and likely to come up at DG HOME and 
DG JUST.  
  
Please note that these half-day workshops fulfil the DG HR requirement (one-day session) for 
newcomers! 
 
17

C o n t a c t        
U n i t    
   
P o l i c i e s        
R e l a t e d     Register in Syslog   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/ArchivedDocs/Training_News/Ethicsworkshops201201
16_16032012.aspx 
 
18










31/01/2012 09:27   
 
31/01/2012 09:27   
Acceptance of gifts   
Do you know when you can 
accept business or work-

related gifts and when to 
  
declare them? 
 
Do you know when you can accept business or work-related gifts and when to 
declare them? 
According to the Staff Regulations, we should not accept gifts, favours, 
donations, or payments from governments or any other source outside the 
institution without obtaining prior permission from the Appointing Authority. As 
a general rule of thumb, we would recommend that you decline all offers that 
have more than merely symbolic value (such as diaries, calendars, small desk 
items, etc.). 
In any case, if you are offered any gifts, favours or donations with a combined 
value of more than €50 from a single source in any given year and you want to 
accept them, you must apply for permission, giving a justification and using this 
form. Keep in mind that when considering the €50 limit you have to count in any 
lunch, drinks, or dinner invitations offered earlier this year, in addition to any 
gifts which that person or organisation wishes to give you now.  
Questions?  
•  Check the ethics' rules about gifts on MyIntracomm  
•  Download the DG HOME & DG JUSTICE Code on Professional Ethics
 for 
more detailed explanations and other ethical questions  
•  Circulation sheet to be used Gifts/cadeaux     
•  Contact our Ethics Correspondents 
 
C o n t a c t     Ethics Correspondents 
U n i t    
SRD.02   
P o l i c i e s     Ethics & conduct   
R e l a t e d     DG HOME & DG JUSTICE Code on Professional Ethics   
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/Other_News/Gifts20120131.aspx 
 
19


15/03/2012 13:20   
 
15/03/2012 13:20   
Ethics workshop for managers  
Comment promouvoir le haut 
niveau de standards éthiques à 

la Commission? Next week 
Thursday, 22 March, in GUIM 

  
0/1, 14:00-16:00 
 
Comme nous le savons tous, les standards éthiques élevés sont indispensables 
pour le fonctionnement efficace de la Commission. Mais comment les 
promouvoir? Un bon mangement est une des réponses à ce problème.  
Si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur l'éthique professionnelle vue de l'extérieur 
et clarifier certaines questions liées à ce domaine, Alain Gillette sera à votre 
disposition. Ce membre de la Commission pour la transparence financière dans 
la vie politique est un ancien Conseiller maître de la Cour des Comptes (Paris), 
un ancien Directeur de l'audit externe de l'ONU (Commissariat aux comptes) et 
un ancien Conseiller spécial de la Commission sur des questions d'audit, éthique 
et lutte contre la fraude (2006-2010).  
Inscriptions via Syslog: S'inscrire 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/Training_News/Ethicstraining20120314.aspx 
 
 
 
 
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20/03/2012 12:25   
 
20/03/2012 12:25   
New guidelines on gifts and 
hospitality for Commission staff 
Is the acceptance of a small 

desk calendar or a cup of coffee 
really likely to create an 

impression of partiality? What 
  
about working lunches?  
 
New guidelines on gifts and hospitality for 
Commission staff 
An official should not accept any favour, gift or payment from sources outside of the 
institution without the permission of the Appointing Authority (usually a Director-
General). But does this correspond to reality? Is the acceptance of a small desk calendar 
or a cup of coffee really likely to create an impression of partiality? What about working 
lunches? Are there situations in which a refusal would be impolite or socially awkward? 
To date, information on these matters has been available, but not consolidated. The new 
guidelines seek to provide – in one single document – pragmatic and down-to-earth 
advice to staff. [Read the full article in Commission en direct – 09/3 à 15/3/12] 
Read the Guidelines on gifts and hospitality 
Main elements of the guidelines 
Gifts 
Hospitality 
  
The general prohibition on accepting a gift without authorisation remains. 
Principles: 
     Gifts should only be accepted if in line with or if required by social, courtesy or 
diplomatic usage. If such a gift is worth less than €50, authorisation will be assumed 
to have been granted by the Appointing Authority and no additional approval is 
needed. 
     Gifts of this nature which are valued between €50 and €150 require the explicit 
prior permission of the Appointing Authority. 
     No gift worth more than €150 should be accepted as it will not be authorised. 
  
  
The general prohibition on accepting hospitality without authorisation remains. It can 
only be accepted if in line with or required by social, courtesy or diplomatic usage.  
 
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Principles:  
     Prior permission of the Appointing Authority is presumed to be granted in cases of 
hospitality in the form of lunches or dinners strictly linked to the function of the 
official and where approval has been sought. 
     Prior permission of the Appointing Authority is also presumed in respect of 
occasional offers of simple meals, refreshments, snacks, etc. 
     In any other situation where the staff member considers that he/she should accept an 
offer of hospitality, the explicit prior approval of the Appointing Authority should be 
sought. 
  
An  accumulation of even low value gifts or offers of hospitality can pose significant 
problems in regard to how the official or agent is perceived and should not therefore take 
place. 
  
 
  
A new module gifts/hospitality 
in Sysper2 
A new module has recently been 
created in Sysper2 for requests 
of prior permission concerning 
gifts and hospitality. All requests 
should from now on be 
introduced through it. 
If the Appointing Authority 
refuses authorisation or if you 
refuse a gift, the latter should be 
returned to the source with an 
accompanying letter if possible, or to OIB: OIB.OS.1 - DAV 1 1/255. 
These presents, as well as the refused presents which could not be returned to sender, 
will be allocated to a charitable work chosen by OIB. 
 More information regarding Ethics on the intranet  
See the Gifts/hospitality page on MyIntracomm 
Contact: Ethics Correspondents in DGs HOME & JUST  
 
http://myhomeaffairsnet.jls.cec.eu.int/HR_News/Hospitality20120320.aspx 
 
 
 
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