NGOs echo Ombudsman's call for more transparency on revolving doors

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.

In particular, the transparency groups (Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace EU Unit, LobbyControl and Spinwatch) make the following points:

  • The Commission should implement the Ombudsman's suggestion that it should publish, for each of the most senior revolving door cases, concrete details such as name, details of old roles and new roles, and the Commission's detailed assessment and conclusions of any potential conflict of interest. We are concerned that the Commission has remained non-committal on this point and are pleased that the Ombudsman has re-written to Commissioner Georgieva about this matter.
  • The Commission should accept the Ombudsman's suggestion that it will inform her office of all revolving door cases involving senior Commission officials which cannot be made public. The NGOs welcome the Ombudsman's commitment to inspect and assess such files, so as to act as a check on Commission decision-making.
  • The NGOs endorse the Ombudsman's finding that there was 'systemic maladministration' in the Commission's handling of revolving door cases.

The NGOs conclude that the Commission has so far failed to take on board some of the most important recommendations and suggestions that the Ombudsman has made. In too many areas, the Commission's responses are vague, non-committal or miss out a key element.

The groups urge the Ombudsman to use the opportunity of her final opinion on this complaint to confirm her original findings and to set set out her next steps on the topic of conflicts of interest and revolving doors.

The full response to the Commission's comments by the NGOs can be read here.

The Ombudsman's draft recommendation can be read here.

The NGOs' original complaint can be read here.