Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Ombudsman launches investigation into European Commission’s Dalligate secrecy

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The EU Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the European Commission's secrecy around 'Dalligate', the tobacco lobbying scandal that led to the forced resignation of health Commissioner John Dalli.

The investigation follows a complaint filed earlier this year by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), which accused the Commission of secrecy, selective release of documents and failure to fulfill its obligations under EU transparency legislation (Regulation 1049/2001). In its complaint to the Ombudsman CEO argued that "the Commission has unduly refused access to documents, failed to provide clarity about which documents falling under the scope of request actually exist and used delay tactics."

The Ombudsman has now asked European Commission President Barroso “to submit an opinion on the allegations”. The Ombudsman moreover wants to inspect the Commission's files relating to the resignation of Commissioner Dalli. CEO will receive a copy of the inspection report.

On 26 October 2012, CEO had requested access to “all documents related to Commissioner Dalli’s resignation over the issues covered in the OLAF investigation, including all minutes (and other notes) of meetings, all correspondence (including by email), both internal and external, and any other documents held by the Commission on these matters.” The Commission refused to disclose the most important of these documents.

Since Commissioner Dalli resigned under under controversial circumstances five months ago, the European Commission continues to refuse clarifying the basic facts about the scandal, leaving key questions from MEPs and civil society groups unanswered. The Ombudsman investigation might help to break the Commission's silence and clear the smoke around Commisisoner Dalli's resignation.

Attached files: 
The investigation follows a complaint filed earlier this year by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), which accused the Commission of secrecy, selective release of documents and failure to fulfill its obligations under EU transparency legislation (Regulation 1049/2001). In its complaint to the Ombudsman CEO argued that "the Commission has unduly refused access to documents, failed to provide clarity about which documents falling under the scope of request actually exist and used delay tactics."The Ombudsman has now asked European Commission President Barroso “to submit an opinion on the allegations”. The Ombudsman moreover wants to inspect the Commission's files relating to the resignation of Commissioner Dalli. CEO will receive a copy of the inspection report.On 26 October 2012, CEO had requested access to “all documents related to Commissioner Dalli’s resignation over the issues covered in the OLAF investigation, including all minutes (and other notes) of meetings, all correspondence (including by email), both internal and external, and any other documents held by the Commission on these matters.” The Commission refused to disclose the most important of these documents.Since Commissioner Dalli resigned under under controversial circumstances five months ago, the European Commission continues to refuse clarifying the basic facts about the scandal, leaving key questions from MEPs and civil society groups unanswered. The Ombudsman investigation might help to break the Commission's silence and clear the smoke around Commisisoner Dalli's resignation.
 
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Polluters in Peru blog

There are daily meetings between the financial lobby and the Commission, and they’re mainly about issues crucial to society at large. Despite this, the public is only able to access piecemeal information on what is discussed, and even then with unacceptable delays. Given the huge impact the financial sector has had on society, keeping this lobbying behind closed doors is deeply problematic. Transparency reform is needed.
Multi-sectoral civil society coalition calls for greater protections for consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers.
NGOs have today responded to the Commission's reply to the European Ombudsman's recommendations on how to better handle revolving door cases within the Commission. In particular, they echo the demand for more transparency.
The European Commission directorate-general at the heart of the 'cash for influence' claims by UK MP Jack Straw (TAXUD - taxation and customs union), has now released to Corporate Europe Observatory information showing its lobby contacts in 2013 with the now disgraced ex-minister. The documents illustrate how Straw tried to use his influential name and impressive CV to help open lobby doors. They also expose the loopholes in EU lobby rules.
There are daily meetings between the financial lobby and the Commission, and they’re mainly about issues crucial to society at large. Despite this, the public is only able to access piecemeal information on what is discussed, and even then with unacceptable delays. Given the huge impact the financial sector has had on society, keeping this lobbying behind closed doors is deeply problematic. Transparency reform is needed.
Multi-sectoral civil society coalition calls for greater protections for consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers.
NGOs have today responded to the Commission's reply to the European Ombudsman's recommendations on how to better handle revolving door cases within the Commission. In particular, they echo the demand for more transparency.
The European Commission directorate-general at the heart of the 'cash for influence' claims by UK MP Jack Straw (TAXUD - taxation and customs union), has now released to Corporate Europe Observatory information showing its lobby contacts in 2013 with the now disgraced ex-minister. The documents illustrate how Straw tried to use his influential name and impressive CV to help open lobby doors. They also expose the loopholes in EU lobby rules.

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