Brussels, 11 December 2017
Note to Mr Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission
Subject: Your reply to our note of 12 October regarding the decision to strengthen the Code of Conduct for Commissioners and the rules and procedures for activity at the end of the term and management of conflicts of interest
Réf. : Note to the attention of Mr Juncker, President of the European Commission, your announcement of September 13 on strengthening the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, the rules and procedures regarding activities at the end of the mandate and the management of conflicts of interest ( read )
Note to the attention of Mr. Italianer, Secretary General: reply to our note of 2 May 2017 (read)
Note to your attention: Barroso case, decision of 24 February 2017 of the European Ombudsman to open an investigation … – 7 March 2017 (read)
Note to your attention: Kroes case, Commission decision of 21 December reprimanding former Vice President Kroes … – 10 January 2017 (read)
Barroso file (see November 2016 file)
Note to your attention: Bahamas Papers “and articles published in the European press … on 23 September 2016 (read)
Note to your attention: Barroso case, your reply of 9 September to the European Ombudsman -14 September 2016 (read)
Note to your attention: Barroso case – 9 September 2016 (read)
Note to your attention: Appointment of Mr. Barroso as Adviser and Non-Executive Chairman of International Business at Goldman Sachs International Investment Bank – 4 August 2016 (read)
Note to members of the College – 12 July 2016 (read)
Open letter to Mr Barroso – 12 July 2016 (read)
We particularly appreciated the fact that you recognize our commitment to defend the reputation of our institution and we wish to confirm that all our efforts on this issue have been driven by our desire to contribute to ensuring that ? as you mention in your answer ? our institution adopts rules that meet the highest ethical standards.
In this context, we would also like to thank you for accepting our request to associate the staff representation with the ongoing discussions on the reform of this Code of Conduct by inviting the Central Staff Committee to contact the Secretariat General services responsible for this file.
It is with satisfaction that we note the importance you give to social dialogue , while too often the approach of our administration does not seem to be driven by the same desire for dialogue and the same respect for the staff.
In-depth reform of the Code of Conduct was, since the beginning of the Barroso and Kroes cases, the only option to put an end to all the malicious speculations from the opponents of the European Union. This is also what your staff has been asking you through the petition “Pas en notre nom” and what European citizens deserve and are entitled to expect from our institution.
Indeed, beyond the politically irresponsible and morally unacceptable decision of our former President Barroso and the ludicrous, if not pathetic, amnesia of former Commissioner Kroes, the need for irreproachable management of the appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of former members of the College is of utmost urgency.
These requirements must cover both the period of fulfilment of their duties and that coming after the end of their term.
To be able to appreciate this imperative to reform the existing rules whose inadequacy and endogamous nature are no longer to be demonstrated, it is sufficient to note, as Transparency International indicates in its report entitled “When the EU politicians become lobbyists ” (link), that more than 50% of commissioners join structures mentioned in the EU Lobbyist Registry after the exercise of their mandate.
Needless to point out the disastrous consequences of this “careerist migration” for the reputation and credibility of our institution while it must be and must also be perceived as the guarantor of the general interest of European citizens without ever giving in to the interests and pressures of lobbies of all kinds.
Taking also the opportunity to thank you for your recognition of the dedication and professionalism of our staff, and also on behalf of countless colleagues who have supported all our efforts on this issue, we wish to confirm our commitment to continue to work tirelessly to defend the credibility and reputation of our institution that we have chosen to serve with enthusiasm and pride.
Copies: Members of the College
Mrs E. O’REILLY, European Ombudsman