Revolving door

Publication date: 
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Media title: 

There are not enough checks being made under the already lax rules set by the European Commission to keep its civil servants from moving into jobs in the lobbying industry and consulting firms, says a report, published on 24 November, by ALTER-EU, a platform of anti-corruption NGOs.


After denouncing the cases of former commissioners, Alter-EU strikes out against senior officials. They are sometimes recruited shortly after leaving the Commission, giving the lobbying industry a fast track to influencing EU policy decisions, states the report. Fifteen cases of senior officials moving into lobbying between 2007 and 2011 are outlined in the report.

In some cases, it is only once the NGOs have singled them out that conditions meant to prevent possible conflicts of interest are imposed. ALTER-EU calls for more transparency and stricter rules, such as a cooling-off period of at least two years.

Questioned by AFP, the Commission's spokesman said EU officials were already subject to "very strict" rules. At the same time, "we cannot prohibit someone from continuing to work in his field of expertise. What counts is to avoid conflicts of interest," he said.