Commission's new ethics code won't stop abuses, critics say

Publication date: 
Friday, January 14, 2011
Leigh Phillips
Media title: 

Scandals over ex-commissioners heading off to plum lobbying jobs will keep happening despite a revision of the EU executive's ethics code, say transparency campaigners.


After two years of 'revolving door' scandals, with 7 former commissioners moving into well-paid executive positions with lobbying outfits, banks and airlines, the European Commission promised a new code of conduct for the institution that would put a stop to this abuse. The code that is being discussed does however not expressly say that former commissioners may not take up lobbying jobs after the cooling off period of 18 months, but merely that such a move should precipitate an investigation by the commission's in-house three-man-strong ethical committee. ALTER-EU is of the opinion that the changes made in the code of conduct are merely cosmetic and will not stop cases of revolving doors.