EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. (EC Audiovisual Services).

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. (EC Audiovisual Services).

At last the European Ombudsman, Paraskevas-Nikiforos Diamandouros, announced an independent investigation on European Commission’s personnel, who take up highly paid positions in the private sector, after retiring from the service, or leaving the service earlier. This is called the “revolving doors syndrome”, meaning exactly that. The relevant announcement issued yesterday the Ombudsman’s spokeswoman, Ms Gundi Gadesmann, is quoted here below.

“The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has opened an inquiry into how the European Commission implements its rules concerning conflicts of interest in “revolving doors” cases.  This follows a complaint from Corporate Europe Observatory, Greenpeace, LobbyControl, and Spinwatch.

The term “revolving doors” is used to describe a move by public sector staff to closely linked jobs in the private sector, or vice versa. The Ombudsman will look into the complainants’ allegation about a systemic failure on the part of the Commission to deal properly with such cases.

As a first step, he has asked the Commission to provide him with a list of potentially relevant cases it has dealt with over the past three years. The Ombudsman will then decide which of the individual files to inspect.  If he finds indications of a systemic problem, he will open an own-initiative inquiry”.

As of its institutionalisation the European Commission was vested with powers that may tempt the weak souls. The initial idea of the Founding Fathers was that the Commission should be very powerful and independent from member states’ political influence. Towards this end the power to propose legislation was vested exclusively upon the Commission. Together with that the Commission was given almost limitless discretional powers, while applying this legislation. With the last Lisbon amendment of the European Treaties the Commission’s institutional prerogative didn’t change much. Simply the EU legislation approval procedure incorporates now all the three basic EU bodies, including the Parliament and the Council. Still however the Commission retains the exclusivity of proposing legislation and has kept intact the discretional authority while applying it.

The Commission retains the prerogative

For as long as the European Commission was the small “civil crevice” made up of French, German and western European civil servants, who were first distinguished in their country’s cervices and them undertaking Brussels mandate, the Commission functioned properly. With the successive enlargements however this initial “esprit de corps” was watered down and the Commission civil service was transformed into a huge administrative apparatus. In reality the Commission services retained their initial authorities, but lost the ideological and the corporate mentality, needed to effectively service it.

In this way a European Commission job became for many people just a means of professional promotion. Today the European Commission numbers tens of thousands of professional and administrative employees of divergent origins. The personal character is totally lost and the traditional trust has disappeared for ever. In such an environment the people who serve in the European Commission do not constitute one well defined total.

Unfortunately the internal control mechanisms have not developed, together with the size of the Commission services. As a result incidents of Commission employees servicing private interests multiply. The reason is that the administrative procedures to control that, have not evolved adequately. Consequently some Commission employees “use” their civil service mandate, sometimes quite openly to gain professional and individual distinction. Obviously they eye a much better paid job in the private sector. The question is what they have “sold” to gain this.

In view of all that the European Commission has set certain standards for its employees who undertake jobs in the private sector, after quitting the service. Servicing the same industry as a regulator and subsequently as private player is a provocation in itself.

In view of all that the European Ombudsman initiated this investigation. The European Sting will be monitoring very closely this issue.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

These 4 trends are shaping the future of your job

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Brexit: reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

How we overhauled healthcare amid Venezuela’s crisis

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Dramatic funding shortages a ‘severe catastrophe’ for people of Gaza: UN Coordinator

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

Making technology work for 1.3 billion Indians

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

UN chief urges peaceful, free and fair elections in Cameroon

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

Eurozone: How can 200 banks find €400 billion?

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

Ambassador Zhang wishes from Brussels great success and prosperity for the China-EU relations in the Year of the Dog

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

Earth already has a perfect recycling system. So why not use it?

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

How revealing the cost of coal makes us all better off

At last some rules on banks

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

To my Chinese friend

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

AIESEC Vlog

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s