Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Revolving door provides privileged access

Revolving door provides priviledged access: Why the European Commission needs a stricter code of conduct

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem. The European Commission has for too long chosen to ignore public concern about these issues. It is now high time to act in the public interest and introduce a new Code of Conduct that secures the highest ethical standards and prevents conflicts of interest.

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem.

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem. The European Commission has for too long chosen to ignore public concern about these issues. It is now high time to act in the public interest and introduce a new Code of Conduct that secures the highest ethical standards and prevents conflicts of interest.

 

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Story

A telling mistake

Ms Barbara Gallani, who will become EFSA's Director for Communications from 1 May, was up until late March 2016 working for the largest lobby group for the food and drink industry in the UK, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour