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Schulz urged to investigate MEP Niebler over possible conflicts of interest

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Niebler MEP over a possible conflict of interest. According to the letter, Ms Niebler, who is a Christian Democrat MEP for Bavaria, has, since being elected to the European Parliament, continued her legal career with two law firms not registered in the EU Transparency Register.

Myriam Douo, transparency campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said “With the EU institutions under scrutiny like never before, it should be vital for the European Parliament that it avoids an integrity crisis. There is only one hard and fast way to prevent anti-democratic conflicts of interest in the Parliament, and that’s to make sure MEPs are banned from holding additional jobs with organisations that lobby EU institutions.”

In particular, the letter notes that Ms Niebler:

  • Worked for the law firm Bird & Bird from 2004 until the summer of 2015 in an advisory role, declaring her status as ‘of counsel’.
  • Moved to the Munich office of another law firm – Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher – in the September of 2015 to take up a similar role.
  • Submitted 25 amendments to the Reda copyright report during its discussion in the Parliament in 2015 [1], while advising Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher on privacy, cybersecurity and consumer protection

The letter goes on to call on President Schulz to:

  • investigate Ms Niebler’s compliance with the code of conduct of MEPs, by asking her to clarify the nature of her activities as a lawyer, the names and interests of her clients, and what overlap exists between their interests and her work as an MEP

  • investigate whether, by taking a paid job for an organisation which appears to engage in EU lobbying while not being listed on the EU transparency register Ms Niebler disrespected the principle of showing respect for Parliament’s reputation [2]

Notes to Editors

Contact details

Friends of the Earth Europe | Myriam Douo | myriam.douo@foeeurope.org | +32 2893 1023

Corporate Europe Observatory | Vicky Cann | vicky@corporateeurope.org | +44 1494 864649

Lobby Control | Nina Katzemich | nina.katzemich@lobbycontrol.de | +49 179 5093022

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