Block the revolving door

Fifty per cent or more of our laws come from Brussels and it is vital that these decisions work in the interests of people and environment, and not just big business. Yet some of the most important people making decisions about how our lives are governed are too-cosy with big business. In recent years, a number of Commissioners, MEPs and top officials have walked through the 'revolving door' meaning that they have left their EU jobs and instead started working for big business. When this happens, big business gains inside-knowledge, vital contacts, and above all, powerful influence. This helps to make Brussels even more business-dominated and remote from citizens’ concerns and the public interest. With a new Commission and a new Parliament in place, the EU revolving door is spinning again. Join us to block the revolving door!

ALTER-EU demands the following:

  • A revised Code of Conduct for Commissioners to include a three year cooling-off period for Commissioners taking lobby jobs (or any other job which provokes the risk of a conflict of interest) and a revamped Commission ethics committee

  • A revised Code of Conduct for MEPs which acknowledges that the risks of MEPs going through the revolving door when leaving office are real

  • Further changes to the EU's Staff Regulations to better regulate the revolving door to include a two year cooling off period for officials

ALTER-EU has been campaigning for tougher rules to block the revolving door. See below for examples of the revolving door in practice.

José Manuel Barroso was the former President of the Commission (2004-2010) and is now chairman of, and adviser, to Goldman Sachs International. You can read more here.

Viviane Reding was the former European commissioner for justice who is now an MEP and has also accepted roles on the boards of Bertelsmann Foundation and Agfa-Gevaert, alongside other new roles. You can read more here.

Neelie Kroes was the European commissioner for the digital agenda and has taken new roles at Uber, Salesforce and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. You can read more here.

Sharon Bowles MEP was chair of the European Parliament's influential economic and monetary affairs committee and is now a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Group. You can read more here.

Hervé Jouanjean was the most senior official at DG budget in the Commission before he joined the biggest law firm in France, Fidal. You can read more here.

To read about other revolving door cases, check out Corporate Europe Observatory's RevolvingDoorWatch

Read more about the campaign here.

Read our revolving door Frequently Asked Questions here.

ALTER-EU demands effective reform of the Code of Conduct

Publication date: 
mardi, November 15, 2016

ALTER-EU urges European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to implement effective reforms to the Code of Conduct for commissioners to prevent further ethics scandals.

Download full document as pdf: 
Document types: 

EU Politicians Slammed for Second Jobs, 'Revolving Doors', Lack of Ethics

Publication date: 
vendredi, November 11, 2016
Media title: 
sputnik news

In spite of the recent "revolving doors" scandal involving former EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, MEPs are still able to have second jobs, claiming that restrictions on their outside employment would be a "violation" of their fundamental rights, EU politicians have said.

Barrosogate: Time for the Commission to abolish ethics ‘self-regulation’

Publication date: 
mercredi, November 2, 2016
Press release issued by: 
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)

Barrosogate: ALTER-EU responds to Ad Hoc Ethics Committee opinion which said Barroso’s new role at Goldman Sachs International was not a breach of the rules.


Le comité d'éthique ad hoc de la Commission européenne juge conforme la nomination de José Manuel Barroso au sein de la banque américaine Goldman Sachs International

Publication date: 
lundi, October 31, 2016
Media title: 

Le 31 octobre 2016, la Commission européenne a rendu public l'avis du comité d'éthique ad hoc sur la nomination de l'ancien président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso au poste de président non-exécutif au sein de la banque d'investissement  américaine Goldman Sachs International.

ALTER-EU and Transparency International joint letter to President Juncker: Revolving door cases

Publication date: 
jeudi, October 27, 2016

Letter to request a meeting with President Juncker to discuss recent revolving door cases of the Commission and reform proposals for the ad-hoc Ethical Committee and the Code of Conduct for Commissioners.

Download full document as pdf: 
Document types: 

Crecen críticas a Unión Europea por fichaje de Barroso en Goldman Sachs

Publication date: 
jeudi, October 13, 2016
Media title:

Bruselas.- La Comisión Europea (CE) enfrentó hoy a nuevas críticas por la manera como está tratando la polémica acerca de la contratación de su expresidente Manuel José Durao Barroso por la financiera británica Goldman Sachs.


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