Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Revolving door provides privileged access

Revolving door provides priviledged access: Why the European Commission needs a stricter code of conduct

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem. The European Commission has for too long chosen to ignore public concern about these issues. It is now high time to act in the public interest and introduce a new Code of Conduct that secures the highest ethical standards and prevents conflicts of interest.

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem.

This new report by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) report reviews the evolution of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and explains how we have arrived at such a lax system of oversight. This report then analyses, on the basis of internal Commission documents released under freedom of information rules, six cases to illustrate some of the deep-seated problems with the current procedure. It concludes with a detailed assessment of the Commission’s very weak draft proposal for a new Code of Conduct and ALTER-EU’s recommendations to effectively tackle the revolving door problem. The European Commission has for too long chosen to ignore public concern about these issues. It is now high time to act in the public interest and introduce a new Code of Conduct that secures the highest ethical standards and prevents conflicts of interest.

 

LEt’s kick Big Oil and Gas out of EU and UN climate policy. sign the petition now!

Reacting to the Commission’s Ad-hoc Ethical Committee recommendation not to sanction former Commission President Barroso for joining Goldman Sachs International, Corporate Europe Observatory’s transparency campaigner Vicky Cann criticised the weakness of the Code of Conduct for ex-Commissioners and the lack of independence of the advisory committee.

The latest revelations about ‘Steelie’ Neelie Kroes show that, when it comes to ethics and transparency, the Commission is complaisant about conflicts of interest and far too relaxed about the risk of corporate capture.
In an attempt to fix its public image, Dieselgate-shaken Volkswagen names former EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard as member of its new ‘Sustainability Council’. Although the role is unpaid, it is highly questionable whether Volkswagen is actually committed to making up for its previous foul play.

CEO's reaction to the the Bahamas leaks, which revealed ex-EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes' offshore links.

In the last years, controversies around the financialisation of nature and the concept of natural capital have fuelled divisions within civil society.

Over 450 public interest groups from across Europe and Canada today published an open letter urging legislators to vote against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). They joined forces to defend people and planet against the threats posed by the EU-Canada agreement.

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.

New analysis of lobby meetings shows that EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and his colleague Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for the Energy Union, have overwhelmingly met corporate lobbyists, rather than public interest groups.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour