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Erika Mann

Former employer: 
European Parliament
Former function: 
Member of European Parliament (for 10 years)
New function: 
Executive Vice President
New employer: 
Computer and Communications Industry Association, and now Facebook
Nationality: 
Germany
Policy area: 
Date of Revolving Door: 
December, 2009
Institutional reaction: 

None. There is no regulation requiring former MEPs to seek authorisation for their subsequent activities.

The Code of Conduct for MEPs (approved in 2011) states that “Former Members of the European Parliament who engage in professional lobbying or representational activities directly linked to the European Union decision-making process may not, throughout the period in which they engage in those activities, benefit from the facilities granted to former Members under the rules laid down by the Bureau to that effect”. However, there is no process to monitor or enforce this part of the code and ensure that former MEPs do not use their lifelong access pass for lobbying purposes.

Accoording to Facebook's entry in the EU lobby register, Mann is registered as a parliamentary lobbyist (additional to her lifelong access pass).

Other info: 

While she was an MEP, Ms Mann was a member of several MEP-industry fora including the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN) and the Kangaroo group where she was a member of the board of the Working Group on Telecoms & Information Society. She was also a founding member and co-chair of the European Internet Foundation which brings MEPs and industry together to discuss matters related to the internet. She was a member of the board in the Information Society Forum of the European Commission.

Since November 2011, Ms Mann has been the lead spokesperson for EU institutions for Facebook. Erika Mann “will also be an important contributor to the Facebook public-policy programme across the member states of the EU” (Source: Public Affairs News).

Facebook has submitted detailed recommendations to MEPs about how to weaken the proposed General Data Protection Regulation “on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”.

As an MEP and now as Facebook Europe's chief lobbyist, Mann has been very keen to promote the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As recently reported by David Cronin, in April, she spoke at a conference in Dublin, where Facebook’s international headquarters are located. Mann argued that it would be “extremely important” for an eventual deal to make the standards faced by internet companies in the EU and US “more coherent”.

Update 8 February 2016: Politico reports that Mann has now left Facebook and will shortly join lobbying-law firm Covington & Burling. See also the RevolvingDoorWatch profile of Jean De Ruyt.

Comment from CEO: 

“There are currently no robust rules governing the revolving door for former MEPs and CEO regrets this. We consider that there should be an 18-month cooling-off period for ex-MEPs wishing to enter lobbying or consultancy roles, as a significant number of MEPs go onto this kind of work.”

 

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