Fifty per cent or more of our laws come from Brussels and it is vital that these policies work in the interests of people and environment - not big business. Yet, the EU has a close relationship with corporate interests and many EU officials go through the 'revolving door' meaning that they leave their EU job and soon start working for industry or lobby firms, often in the same policy area. Other times, lobbyists go through the revolving door and start to work for the EU institutions. When this happens, corporate groups gain inside-knowledge, vital contacts, and above all, powerful influence. As a result, Brussels becomes even more industry-dominated and more remote from citizens’ concerns and the public interest. This raises serious questions about the political culture in Brussels and shows how we need new rules to tackle these conflicts of interest.
ALTER-EU has been campaigning for tougher rules to block the revolving door.
See the revolving door in practice
New rules on the revolving door
The EU Staff Regulations - which govern EU staff and contain rules on the revolving door and conflicts of interest - have been under review for the past two years. In June 2013, the new regulations were adopted. These rules, which will enter into force at the start of 2014, make some improvements to the revolving door rules, including a new 12 month cooling-off period for senior officials on some lobby jobs, and a clearer procedure for screening new staff for conflicts of interest.
Whilst ALTER-EU welcomes the progress made, much more still needs to be done - not least in the implementation of the rules - to stop the privileged access and undue influence that the revolving door gives to big business and corporate lobby groups. Read more about the new rules here.
ALTER-EU continues to demand stricter measures to block the revolving door including:
- A ban of at least two years for all EU staff from becoming lobbyists
- Full transparency about all revolving door cases
Read more about the campaign here