While leaving most issues unclear, the Commission’s response to Parliamentary questions about Dalligate has revealed some disturbing new facts. Behind closed doors meetings with tobacco lobbyists are facilitated by the revolving door – when former public officials become lobbyists, often in the same policy areas.
December 10th 2012The power of lobbies
Last week the Commission and OLAF responded to 154 questions on Dalligate tabled by MEPs. Instead of clarifying the basic facts about the Dalli lobby scandal, the Commission and OLAF left most key questions unanswered. The smoke is far from being cleared, and more pressure for real answers, and for stronger lobby rules, is urgently needed.
July 11th 2012
July 10th 2012The power of lobbies
It is now 16 months since the cash-for-influence scandal rocked the European Parliament and led to the resignation of two MEPs (Ernest Strasser and Zoran Thaler). A third MEP, Adrian Severin of Romania was sacked by the Socialist group but refused to resign from the Parliament. After the scandal, MEPs developed a new Code of Conduct aimed at preventing this from happening again, but it only came in on 1 January 2012 and cannot be applied retrospectively. So what happened next to Severin?
“The new code of conduct will be a strong shield against unethical behaviour.” That was the verdict of the then European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek who had just shepherded the new MEP code of conduct through both his own European People's Party (EPP) group and the rest of Parliament. The development of the code followed the cash-for-influence scandal which saw three MEPs disgraced for tabling amendments in return for payment or lucrative second jobs and greater transparency via the new code was supposed to stop MEPs from ending up in the pockets of wealthy lobbyists. The code came into force on 1 January 2012, so six months on – how well has it fared so far?
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