Dear European Parliament,
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
- under which conditions are EP staff allowed to take on fellowships in private research institutes,
- procedures for handling potential conflicts of interest when EP staff accepts fellowships in private research institutes,
- the number of fellowships awarded to private research institutes,
- a list of the private research institutes involved fellowship program and the work areas it covered.
Margarida da Silva
Dear Ms da Silva,
The European Parliament hereby acknowledges receipt of your application for access for information on fellowships of European Parliament staff, which was registered on 5 April 2018 under reference A(2018)4148.
As your request concerns information rather than specific documents it was transferred to Parliament's Directorate General for Personnel, who will reply to you directly.
Your attention is drawn to the fact that you have lodged your application via the AsktheEU.org website, which is a private website not officially related to the European Parliament. Therefore, the European Parliament cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.
Directorate-General for the Presidency
Public Register Webpage: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb/
Dear Ms. da Silva,
Thank you for your application for access for information on fellowships
of European Parliament staff. I apologise for the delay in reply.
Please find below the answers to your questions.
1. "under which conditions are EP staff allowed to take on fellowships in
private research institutes,"
- The EP organises a small number of fellowships, generally on an
annual basis, with a number of top-tier universities , postgraduate
schools or independent research centres – whether on the basis of
bilateral agreements or as part of the "EU Fellowship" programme
coordinated by the European Commission (EC).
- A fellow is hosted by an academic institution in his/her
capacity as a Parliament official, and therefore has a key representation
role to play. In return, Parliament benefits from the expertise gained by
the individual during the fellowship period, and particularly after their
- Any official involved in EP fellowship programmes remains in
active status while away from their normal place of work, continues to
draw their normal salary and continues to be bound by the obligations set
out in the EU Staff Regulations.
2. "procedures for handling potential conflicts of interest when EP staff
accepts fellowships in private research institutes,"
- All EP officials are subject to the obligations set out in the
EU Staff Regulations ("SR"), whether they are on a fellowship programme or
- As such:
§ In accordance with Article 11 SR:
§ "An official shall carry out his duties and conduct himself solely with
the interests of the Union in mind. He shall neither seek nor take
instructions from any government, authority, organisation or person
outside his institution. He shall carry out the duties assigned to him
objectively, impartially and in keeping with his duty of loyalty to the
§ "An official shall not without the permission of the appointing
authority accept from any government or from any other source outside the
institution to which he belongs any honour, decoration, favour, gift or
payment of any kind whatever," [...]
§ In accordance with Article 11a SR:
§ "1. An official shall not, in the performance of his duties and save as
hereinafter provided, deal with a matter in which, directly or indirectly,
he has any personal interest such as to impair his independence, and, in
particular, family and financial interests."
§ In accordance with Article 12b SR:
§ "1. Subject to Article 15, an official wishing to engage in an outside
activity, whether paid or unpaid, or to carry out any assignment outside
the Union, shall first obtain the permission of the Appointing Authority.
Permission shall be refused only if the activity or assignment in question
is such as to interfere with the performance of the official's duties or
is incompatible with the interests of the institution.
§ In accordance with Article 17a SR:
§ "2. Without prejudice to Articles 12 and 17, an official who intends to
publish or cause to be published, whether alone or with others, any matter
dealing with the work of the Union shall inform the Appointing Authority
§ Where the Appointing Authority is able to demonstrate that the matter
is liable seriously to prejudice the legitimate interests of the Union,
the Appointing Authority shall inform the official of its decision in
writing within 30 working days of receipt of the information. If no such
decision is notified within the specified period, the Appointing Authority
shall be deemed to have had no objections."
- Were a potential conflict of interest in the context of a
fellowship to be brought to the attention of the Appointing Authority, it
would be examined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the precise nature
of the case, and dealt with in accordance with the standard established
procedures. Article 11a(2) provides the legal basis under which conflicts
of interests are dealt with by the Appointing Authority:
§ "2. Any official to whom it falls, in the performance of his duties, to
deal with a matter referred to above [Art. 11a, paragraph 1] shall
immediately inform the Appointing Authority. The Appointing Authority
shall take any appropriate measure, and may in particular relieve the
official from responsibility in this matter."
3. "the number of fellowships awarded to private research institutes,"
- Currently, the EP has bilateral fellowship agreements with
George Mason University and the German Marshal Fund of the USA, with the
European University Institute (Florence) and with the Ecole Nationale
- The 'EU Fellowship' programme coordinated by the EC gives
applicants the possibility to apply for a fellowship in one of around 20
leading universities around the world. The EP sends up to two officials on
the programme per year.
4. "a list of the private research institutes involved fellowship program
and the work areas it covered."
- See answer to the previous question.
- Areas of research are determined on a case-by-case basis; as
part of the application and selection procedure each (potential) fellow
proposes a research topic that is of interest to them and of benefit to
Sanne DE RYCK
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