You have probably never heard of AMISA2. But it turns out that AMISA2 and its predecessor AMISA have had staggeringly regular high-level access to senior EU decision-makers for decades. It is a quiet but persistent presence operating in the shadows of the Brussels bubble.
Karmenu Vella has been a member of the Maltese parliament since 1976, but that hasn't prevented him from also holding a variety of external business roles at the same time including within the gambling industry. These recent outside interests make him unsuitable to be a commissioner.
Two new revolving door cases published today by Corporate Europe Observatory illustrate how the revolving door continues to spin between the EU institutions and the corporate sector, and how the EU needs a far tougher approach to tackling potential conflicts of interest.
The push for reform continues from within the European Parliament, from the Ombudsman’s office and from civil society. This year, two Ombudsman inquiries, a Parliament discussion on the use of transitional allowances to prevent conflicts of interest, and finally, Parliament’s reaction to the Commission proposal for reforming Commissioners’ ethics rules all need to be wrapped up.
Here’s a roundup of the various factors that might push a reform of the revolving-door rules in 2018.
The decision of the European Ombudsman to ask the European Central Bank President to end his membership of an opaque and exclusive club dominated by financial corporations is a step towards ending a culture of secretive collusion between regulators and big banks.
91 per cent of meetings held by UK trade ministers (10/2016 - 06/2017) and 70 per cent of meetings held by UK Brexit ministers have been with business, too often big business, interests. This corporate bias in ministerial access is part of an ongoing trend.