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Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Commission on how the European Commission manages ‘revolving doors’ moves of its staff members

Ms Ursula von der Leyen

President

European Commission

Strategic inquiry OI/1/2021/KR

Subject: Additional inspection request

Dear President,

I refer to my letter of 28 April 2021 in which I requested, for the purposes of my inquiry, an inspection of a total of 100 files concerning Commission decisions on 2019 and 2020 revolving door cases involving (former) Commission staff.[1] I made this inspection request based on statistical information that the Commission made available on 3 March 2021.[2]

Your services have in the meantime assisted my inquiries team in finding suitable arrangements for this inspection to take place, and I thank you for the good cooperation.

Due to some unforeseen elements relating to the statistics provided, which I understand can reasonably occur when working with such a wide-ranging request, we were provided with only 94 files.

I would now like to make an additional inspection request to bring the total amount of files back to the intended number of 100 files. This request covers six Article 16 decisions concerning senior managers, taken in 2021, which should provide me with a relevant sample of recent revolving door cases that the Commission has dealt with.

I have therefore decided that, for the purpose of my inquiry, it is necessary to inspect the Commission’s Article 16 decisions concerning the two former Deputy Directors-General of DG Competition, whose decision to join law firms became known earlier this year.[3] In addition, I would be grateful if the Commission could select and make available for inspection four further Article 16 decisions it took in 2021 concerning intended jobs of senior staff. I would be grateful if the Commission could notify the individuals concerned by this request of their data protection rights, as it has done in the case of the 94 files it transferred already.

I would be grateful if your office could contact Ms Angela Marcos Figueruelo and/or Mr Koen Roovers, who are in charge of this inquiry, to agree the arrangements for the secure transmission of these six files, preferably before the end of August.

Information or documents that your institution considers to be confidential will not be disclosed to the complainant or any other person without the prior agreement of the Commission. [4]

Yours sincerely,

Emily O'Reilly
European Ombudsman

Strasbourg, 05/07/2021

 

[1] See: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/correspondence/en/141660.

[2] This information set out the number of Commission decisions taken in 2019 and 2020 under the under the following provisions of the Staff Regulations: (i) Article 12b with Article 40: concerning outside activity during leave on personal grounds, and (ii) Article 16, concerning occupational activity after leaving the Commission

[3] See for example: https://www.ft.com/content/9c975fda-d546-421b-bae9-db962d996f0f

[4] Please clearly mark such material ‘Confidential’. Encrypted emails can be sent to our dedicated mailbox.  Information and documents of this kind will be deleted from the European Ombudsman’s files shortly after the inquiry has ended.