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Ombudsman examines the Commission’s handling of “revolving doors” cases

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Press release no. 4/2013

14 February 2013

Three businessmen standing outdoors by building shaking hands and smiling
Author: Cathy Yeulet
Copyright: Stocklib © Cathy Yeulet

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.

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions and bodies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in a Member State, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a fast, flexible, and free means of solving problems with the EU administration. For more information: www.ombudsman.europa.eu

For press inquiries: Ms Gundi Gadesmann, Deputy Head of the Communication Unit, tel.: +32 2 284 26 09, Twitter: @EUombudsman