Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Revolving doors

Read about people who've gone through the revolving door

The revolving door is one of the most important ways in which lobbyists can influence the political agenda in Brussels. When senior European decision-makers - Commissioners, MEPs, officials - leave office and go straight into lobby jobs, or when lobbyists join the EU institutions, the risk of significant conflicts of interest is great, undermining democratic, public-interest decision-making. CEO is working with the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) to challenge the revolving door and to demand that it is effectively regulated.

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The way in which the Commission has appointed the head of its “in-house think-tank” has demonstrated its woefully inadequate conflict of interest assessment for new appointments, says Corporate Europe Observatory. The conflict of interest assessment applied to the former chief of the Lisbon Council, Ann Mettler as head of the new European Political Strategy Center (EPSC) does not appear to have explored her close cooperation with some of the biggest corporate players in the digital and technology market. In CEO's view, this casts serious doubts on the independence of the advice that is to be given to President Juncker and his college of commissioners.
The Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has today launched two new publications aimed at improving ethics and transparency in the European Parliament.
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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