RevolvingDoorWatch cases

Mårten Westrup

Nationality: Sweden

Former employer: BusinessEurope, Adviser - Industrial Affairs Committee (climate change)

Date: June, 2011

New employer: DG Energy, Energy policy & monitoring of electricity, gas, coal and oil markets

Institutional reaction:

The revolving door rules and procedures which concern current and incoming staff who join the EU institutions are not robust. Article 11a of the Staff Regulations covers personal or private conflicts of interest for current staff although it seems to be a far from water-tight rule. The Commission has told CEO that Mr Westrup went through a standard selection process and that, under Article 11a and under his "own initiative", he emailed the human resources department of DG Energy to "discuss any potential conflicts of interest". They replied that "no such conflicts exist".  

Comment from CEO:

"This is Mr Westrup's second spin through the revolving door. In recent years he has worked for DG Enterprise, BusinessEurope and now DG Energy and this has been pretty much unregulated by the Commission. When he moved to BusinessEurope he was considered exempt from the rules because he was contract staff. When he returned to the Commission it appears that there was no specific and proactive procedure for the Commission to follow to assess his revolving door move. We consider that the Commission should be proactive in scrutinising all new staff for possible conflicts of interest and that that would be an appropriate way to implement the current rules. Yet the Commission is not proactive in scrutinising staff in this way; instead it had to wait until Mr Westrup himself raised the issue. This case shows the urgent need to revamp the revolving door rules so that any risk of potential conflicts of interest with contract staff and / or those who join the EU institutions are fully investigated and regulated as soon as possible".

Other info:

BusinessEurope represents major industry and business groups from across the EU and it has many interests in the work of the Commission including DG Enterprise, as well as in the specific work that Mårten Westrup was responsible for whilst he was at DG Enterprise. Fifty major companies “enjoy an important status within BusinessEurope” as they are (paying) members of BusinessEurope’s Corporate Advisory and Support Group. These include three car companies (Daimler, Hyundai, Toyota), plus a range of energy companies (Areva, BP Europe, Enel, ExxonMobil, GDF Suez and others). Source: BusinessEurope website: http://www.businesseurope.eu/content/default.asp?PageID=604 Viewed 4 July 2012.

During his time at BusinessEurope, Mr Westrup lobbied former colleagues at DG Enterprise on proposals for the emissions trading scheme.

In 2011 Mårten Westrup returned to the Commission (DG Energy) to work as a Policy Officer in the unit handling 'energy policy & monitoring of electricity, gas, coal and oil markets'. Since then, he has been quoted in the media regarding the Commission’s energy policy and specifically the important Energy 2050 Roadmap and that he has also been present at Commission meetings to discuss the Energy 2050 Roadmap. Source: Parliament.com. 24 November 2011. EU's energy roadmap criticised as 'overambitious'. http://www.theparliament.com/policy-focus/energy/energy-Article/newsArticle/eus-energy-roadmap-criticised-as-overambitious/ and information from Commission website, viewed 9 July 2012: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/energy2020/roadmap/doc/energy_roadmap2050_advisory_group_minutes_2011_12_12.pdf

More information is available in the ALTER-EU report: Block the revolving door - why we need to stop EU officials becoming lobbyists: http://www.alter-eu.org/revolving-doors

For more information on Mr Westrup's first move through the revolving door see: http://corporateeurope.org/revolvingdoorwatch/cases/m-rten-westrup

Update 18 August 2015: Westrup remains a DG Energy policy officer in the unit entitled energy policy coordination.

Update 18 November 2015: You can also read about 15 other energy/ climate/ environment-related revolving door stories in our November 2015 report: Brussels, big energy, and revolving doors: a hothouse for climate change.

Mårten Westrup

Nationality: Sweden

Former employer: DG Enterprise (for 27 months), Policy officer and Legal officer

Date: October, 2010

New employer: BusinessEurope, Adviser - Industrial Affairs Committee (climate change)

Institutional reaction:

The Commission did not examine Westrup’s job move under the revolving door rules. This is due to a decision by the Commission to exempt some contract staff from elements of the Staff Regulations. According to the Commission, Westrup did not have access to “sensitive information” during his time at the European Commission, which meant that he did not require the Commission’s permission to go through the revolving door. The Commission has also said that his work at the Commission was “highly technical” and that his duties at BusinessEurope were of a “different nature”. It also stated that his former Commission units were not involved in granting subsidies to BusinessEurope.

Comment from CEO:

"It is a major loophole in the revolving door rules that contract staff are not automatically included. Mr Westrup worked for DG Enterprise for 27 months in policy and legal roles. This move through the revolving door should have been fully scrutinised and we consider that it should have been subject to a cooling off period or ban, especially considering that he was moving to BusinessEurope which is Brussels' largest lobby organisation".

Other info:

The Commission has said that Mårten Westrup was “transparent about his intention to work for BusinessEurope after leaving the Commission. He informed his superiors … before accepting the job offer”. Source: Letter from Thinam Jakob, European Commission to ALTER-EU dated 14 December 2011.

Mårten Westrup was contracted by DG Enterprise as a Legal Officer from 1 February 2007 until 16 April 2008. His duties included assisting in drafting motor vehicle regulations and participating in DG Enterprise's work on competition policy and the automotive industry. He then worked as a Policy Officer from 1 January 2009 until 30 September 2010 in DG Enterprise. His duties included contributing to the development of 'horizontal issues' such as space policy, including the drafting of briefings, speeches and other policy documents.

BusinessEurope represents major industry and business groups from across the EU and it has many interests in the work of the Commission including DG Enterprise, as well as in the specific work that Mårten Westrup was responsible for whilst he was at DG Enterprise. Fifty major companies “enjoy an important status within BusinessEurope” as they are (paying) members of BusinessEurope’s Corporate Advisory and Support Group. These include three car companies (Daimler, Hyundai, Toyota), plus a range of energy companies (Areva, BP Europe, Enel, ExxonMobil, GDF Suez and others). Source: BusinessEurope website: http://www.businesseurope.eu/content/default.asp?PageID=604 Viewed 4 July 2012.

During his time at BusinessEurope, Mr Westrup lobbied former colleagues at DG Enterprise on proposals for the emissions trading scheme.

In 2011 Mårten Westrup returned to the Commission (DG Energy) to work as a Policy Officer in the unit handling 'energy policy & monitoring of electricity, gas, coal and oil markets'. For more information see: http://corporateeurope.org/revolvingdoorwatch/cases/m-rten-westrup-0

More information is available in the ALTER-EU report: Block the revolving door - why we need to stop EU officials becoming lobbyists: http://www.alter-eu.org/revolving-doors

Update 18 November 2015: You can also read about 15 other energy/ climate/ environment-related revolving door stories in our November 2015 report: Brussels, big energy, and revolving doors: a hothouse for climate change.

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