On 31 January 2017, the High Authority for transparency in public life participated in a discussion panel for the publication of Transparency International European Union report on revolving doors in the EU institutions, « Access all areas ». This event intervened a few months after the Bahamas Leaks scandal, in which Neelie Kroes, former member of the Commission, was involved, or after former president of the Commission, Manuel Barroso, took his functions at Goldman Sachs.
This report draws on the situation of members of the European Parliament, under limited rules in terms of post-public employment regulation, and of their parliamentary assistants, under the EU staff regulation. It also builds on the measures implemented for the college of commissioners, notably after the new functions of the former president of the Commission, and within the services of the Commission, also falling under the EU staff regulation.
To formulate a certain number of recommendations, it relies upon international examples, in Canada, which has one of the most constraining legislation in the world regarding the control of post-public employment private activities, and in France. The report recommends notably to establish new rules for members of the European Parliament, a longer cooling off period for members of the Commission and for instance to set up an independent agency to control revolving doors within the EU institutions.
As the institution is cited in the international comparisons of the report, Emilie Cazenave, international partnerships coordinator at the High Authority participated in the panel, alongside Aidan O’Sullivan, Head of cabinet of the European Ombudsman, Karen Shepherd, Commissioner on lobbying in Canada, Christophe Speckbracher, administrator of the GRECO at the Council of Europe.
Questions of the audience allowed to speak about the importance of controlling not only post-public employment activities but also secondary activities and functions occupied by elected or non-elected officials before entering into office, as the High Authority can control it thanks to the declarations of interests that have to be submitted.