November 19th 2014The power of lobbies
The position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission has been discontinued, and the Juncker Commission says it is now reflecting on how to organise independent scientific advice. This is a crucial issue and, together with many other NGOs, we sent a list of principles to the Commission on how to, in our opinion, try to best do this.
Now that the dust has settled on the hearings of the commissioners-designate in the European Parliament, it is time for some critical reflections on the messy, partisan and in several other ways fundamentally flawed process for appointing arguably the most powerful people in the whole EU infrastructure.
Is it appropriate to let a former board member of a Deutsche Bank investment fund go straight from there to a key position in the new European supervisory structure for banks? What's the problem with hiring people with strong links to financial corporations to monitor the big banks? Or to be part of decisions on whether measures to ensure financial stability should be imposed on them or not? And can they keep working in the financial sector at the same time? If you ask the European Central Bank, there is absolutely no problem with this scenario.