On 14 January 2020, the High Authority received three delegates from the European Commission: Christian Linder, Head of the Unit Ethics, Good Administration and Relations with the Ombudsman at the Secretariat-General, his Deputy Head, Martine Fouwels, and Sean Carroll, Acting Head of the Unit Ethics and Ombudsman at the Directorate General for Human Resources and Security.
This visit took place as the new Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, and her team of 26 commissioners, took office on 1 December 2019. In her mission statement, Ms. von der Leyen expressed the need to establish an independent body dedicated to ensuring that all European institutions comply with ethical rules. This meeting aimed at sharing the French High Authority’s model and nourish ideas on this potential independent European body.
Alice Bossière, the High Authority’s Deputy Secretary General, Sébastien Ellie, Legal and Ethics Director, Marie Lintzer, Head of International Partnerships, and Alexis Bernigaud, International Partnerships Officer, presented the missions and role of the High Authority.
Discussions focused on the mechanisms to prevent conflicts of interests in the French public sphere, on the control of revolving doors between public office and the private sector and on the important High Authority’s mission to provide ethical advice to public officials. The role and composition of the Commission’s ethical independent committee and the control of commissioners’ and European civil servants’ conflicts of interests were also discussed. Eliezer Garcia Rosado, Director of Control of Lobbyists at the High Authority, closed the day by presenting the lobbying register and discussing common challenges between the French and the European transparency register.
The High Authority is pleased to share its experience and enrich its knowledge of European institutions. This strategic collaboration should be pursued with the Commission and other European institutions.