Commission referral of Barroso scandal to ethics committee comes two months late

In reaction to the European Commission referring its former president Barroso's Goldman Sachs appointment to an ethics committee, Corporate Europe Observatory's transparency campaigner Vicky Cann said:

"The referral is a welcome first step but it is two months too late! The Commission has been forced onto the back foot by public opinion and notable interventions by the Ombudsman, MEPs and institution staff themselves.

“The Commission really needs to up its game on this and other revolving door cases. And a revamp of the rules for exiting commissioners must quickly follow.

“But the Barroso case is not a one-off. It is also essential that the cases of Karel De Gucht and Neelie Kroes are referred to the ethics committee, looking to see all three former commissioners’ EU pension entitlements removed at the Court of Justice.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The referral of Barroso’s Goldman Sachs appointment to an ethical committee was revealed yesterday, as the European Ombudsman’s office published EU President Juncker’s full reply to the Ombudsman's letter concerning this revolving doors move.

  • Ex-trade commissioner Karel De Gucht recently joined the board of mining giant ArcelorMittal; ex-digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes recently joined tech firms Uber and Salesforce.

  • An ongoing citizens’ petition continues to urge the overhaul of the European Commission’s revolving doors regulation and demands the withdrawal of Barroso’s EU pension.