Former commissioners venture into ‘problematic’ big-business roles via ‘revolving door’-former Commission President José Manuel Barroso has reportedly taken 22 new roles .

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31 October 2015

Tags:business, business news  financial news, business finance, small business websites

Nine former European commissioners who left office a year ago this week have gone through the “revolving door” into “problematic” roles in big business, or other organizations with links to big business , according to a damning new report.

It highlights cases which are said to raise fears about the close relationship between the Commission and corporate interests and calls for strict rules to prevent conflicts of interest.

The report, by Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl, examines cases such as ex-commissioner (and now MEP) Viviane Reding’s position on the boards of Agfa Gevaert, and the Bertelsmann Foundation, plus Neelie Kroes’s advisory position at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Former TTIP commissioner Karel De Gucht’s proposed board membership at Belgacom/Proximus also comes under the spotlight.

Meanwhile, former Commission President José Manuel Barroso has reportedly taken on new roles at the “corporate lobby-fests” of the European Business Summit and Bilderberg Conference and is said to be the busiest former commissioner with 22 notified new roles.

The study, Revolving doors spin again – Barroso II commissioners join the corporate sector, was released  on Wednesday (27 October).

CEO researcher Vicky Cann said: “Our research on the ex-members of the second Barroso Commission, shows that the revolving door rules remain inadequate and poorly implemented.

“The close relationship between the EU executive and the corporations it regulates leaves the door wide open to corporate capture and potential conflicts of interest.

“At least eight of the roles taken up by former commissioners should have been rejected outright by the Commission while others reveal a cavalier attitude to the risk that corporate interests could gain significant benefit from the recruitment of former commissioners to a variety of paid and unpaid roles,” added Cann.

Further comment comes from Nina Katzemich from LobbyControl who said: “The revolving doors between the Commission and the private sector keep spinning. The ban on lobbying for leaving commissioners needs to be extended to a full three years, explicitly covering both direct and indirect lobbying.”

She added: “The attitude to the risk of corporate capture through revolving door moves has to be changed and new rules properly implemented.”

The campaigners make a series of recommendations to tackle the revolving door including: an explicit ban on ex-commissioners accepting any new role which risks creating a conflict of interest and an absolute lobby ban, both for three years; an overhauled authorization process; and full transparency on all new roles taken by former commissioners.

Tags:business, business news  financial news, business finance, small business websites





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