Markus Ferber will not face disciplinary action from the European Parliament for promoting a commercial product that allows companies to navigate financial rules he helped usher into EU law, according to the Cabinet for the Parliament’s president, Antonio Tajani.
Tajani’s decision is contained in a letter — seen by POLITICO — to anti-corruption NGO Transparency International, which had written to the president in September following a report in POLITICO.
The report said the MEP was pitching the product to chief executives of Europe’s biggest asset management companies.
In letters to the CEOs, Ferber wrote that the product “helps [in] satisfying a range of key requirements in MiFID II” — the updated Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which changed how asset managers invest their money after it went into force on January 3.
Ferber was affiliated with the financial service product that he promoted, as it was offered through a foundation he co-founded with the CEO of the company that produces it, but hadn’t declared the affiliation to the Parliament. Ferber, a German Christian Democrat, is vice chair of the economic and monetary affairs committee.
TI asked whether Ferber’s actions had breached the Parliament’s own rules for MEPs to disclose any “outside activity.”
In a letter in response, Tajani’s cabinet chief, Diego Canga Fano, wrote that “the President has concluded that there is currently no violation of the Code of Conduct.” The letter is dated December 21.
Ferber’s office declined to comment.
Transparency International said it was concerned that the Parliament “is not taking conflicts of interest seriously.”
“We fear that under these circumstances there is little incentive for MEPs to play by the rules,” said Daniel Freund of TI.