Letter to President Barroso on revolving doors and reform of the ethics committee

Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
ALTER-EU steering committee

A letter to President Barroso including proposals for reform to the code of conduct for commissioners on revolving doors and a reformed ethics committee.

Executive summary / policy recommendations: 

ALTER-EU believes that the code of conduct requires reform in order to meet the highest ethical standards. Such reforms need to be implemented urgently and we propose that they should include the following:

  • The notification period for former commissioners should be extended to three years to match the period of time for which ex-commissioners are entitled to receive a transitional allowance.

  • The ban on lobbying should also be extended to three years and should cover all issues for which the Barroso II Commission has taken collective decisions, as well as all issues dealt with by an individual commissioner. Any other role which could create a conflict of interest should also be included within this ban.

  • The ban on lobbying should be defined in more detail and should include both direct and indirect lobbying such as the provision of lobbying advice.

  • Commissioners should be required to provide all possible information about their new role when seeking authorisation and should complete a standard, detailed form.

  • Authorisation should not be provided in those cases where the commissioners have not followed the set procedures and time-frames.

  • Commissioners should be banned from negotiating new roles whilst in office.

Finally, ALTER-EU believes that the Commission should overhaul the current ad hoc ethical committee and replace it with a professional and fully independent ethics committee which would be responsible for, inter alia, the assessment of commissioners' proposed new roles.

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