A complaint to the Ombudsman re Pat Cox

Corporate Europe Observatory has filed a complaint to the European Ombudsman asking him to investigate how the former chair of the Parliament, Pat Cox’s conflicts of interests were assessed by the European Commission before his appointment and then re-appointment (2007 - 2009) as a Special Adviser to the out-going Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva.

Mr Cox was a paid lobbyist for Microsoft, Michelin, Pfizer and lobby consultancy APCO while advising Commissioner Kuneva. In 2009, Commissioner Kuneva signed a ‘statement of assurance that there is no conflict of interest’ five months before Cox signed a 'Declaration of Activities' (please find these documents in the bottom of the page). This is a clear breach of the Commission’s Rules on Special Advisers.

In the complaint CEO asks the Commission to reassure the public that it is serious about avoiding conflicts of interest and to strengthen the rules about them..

CEO is calling for DG SANCO’s guidelines on Conflicts of Interest to be applied to all Commission’s advisers. These state that: ‘Someone who […] work for an organisation with a ‘vested interest’ on a particular policy issue […] should simply not be appointed’.

You can find our official complaint here, as well as some documents we refer to above: