ethics

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After a decade of lobby scandals and debate on how to secure transparency and ethics, the European Commission needs to go beyond half measures.

The Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) has today launched two new publications aimed at improving ethics and transparency in the European Parliament.
In the run-up to the European parliament hearings with the commissioners-designate, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) shows how the candidates from Portugal, Latvia and the Czech Republic have serious questions to answer regarding possible conflicts of interest and their recent career or political backgrounds.
The longer term effects of the revolving door between public officials and private sector lobbyists have been graphically illustrated in the wake of the Dalligate lobby scandal, in the case of Michel Petite. Five years on, Petite represents the legal interests of corporate clients to the Commission. Aside from the nutty Commission decision to reappoint him as an ethical adviser on the revolving door, the Petite case illustrates that the upper echelons of political power at the European Commission still don't take the problem of the revolving-door seriously. The EU is seriously lagging behind our neighbours across the Atlantic, in the U.S. and Canada.

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.

CETA has now been provisionally applied. Our new mobile and desktop game Dodgy Deals lets players face some of the dangerous features of trade deals like CETA and shows what is at stake.

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.