How vulnerable are the EU institutions to undue corporate influence, and what gaps exist in EU lobbying and ethics rules?
The appointment of Martin Selmayr as new Secretary-General of the European Commission took almost everybody by surprise. This new role makes Selmayr the head of some 33,000 commission staff and, thusly, a crucial actor in processes that can support or hinder public interest policy-making.
The push for reform continues from within the European Parliament, from the Ombudsman’s office and from civil society. This year, two Ombudsman inquiries, a Parliament discussion on the use of transitional allowances to prevent conflicts of interest, and finally, Parliament’s reaction to the Commission proposal for reforming Commissioners’ ethics rules all need to be wrapped up.
Here’s a roundup of the various factors that might push a reform of the revolving-door rules in 2018.
As we head towards 2018, it's important to take stock of some of this year’s highlights in our fight against the corporate capture of democracy.
Corporate Europe Observatory has started a new workstream to publish investigations which expose corporate lobby influence over the decision-making of the Council of the EU (member states) and how this impacts on resulting laws and policies. This is one of murkiest and least-known aspects of EU decision-making.
Dodgy data and missing lobby organisations still characterise the EU’s voluntary lobby transparency register. Corporate Europe Observatory has now submitted a series of complaints on specific entries, and urges decision-makers to get tough on those who break the rules.
The European Ombudsman has completed her own initiative inquiry into European Commission Special Advisers by publishing a list of 10 “suggestions” for reform, especially regarding conflicts of interest assessment. Will the Commission heed her advice?
New study on the Commission's legislative advisory groups highlights a continuing Big Business bias - despite Commission's new rules.
CEO joined forces with nine other civil society organisations working for equality, non-discrimination, transparent decision-making and strong ethics rules: in an open letter to the European Parliament we urge MEPs to oppose Oettinger’s appointment as the Comission’s head of human resources.
8 November 2016 saw the annual lobby fest between the Commission and BusinessEurope. Lasting for over seven hours, attracting four commissioners and the secretary-general, as well as 26 major corporate interests (who between them spend over €31,789,000 a year on EU lobbying), this is exclusive, privileged access at its most extreme.
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