Zero ethics in the lobby-occupied, corrupted EU empire
16 former EU Commissioners still receive sizeable annual allowances meant to prevent them from going into well-paid corporate jobs despite having left office two years ago, German media reports. All of them are now top executives in industry or at lobbying firms.
The 16 former members of the European Commission led by Jose Manuel Barroso until 2014 still get so-called “transition payments” of up to €99,996 ($110,000) per annum, according to Die Zeit newspaper which managed to obtain a list with the officials’ names from Brussels.
‘Transition payments’ are meant to prevent outgoing top-tier EU officials from changing into corporate jobs offering generous compensations as well as switching sides immediately after leaving office. The scheme allows them “to cool off,” as it is called in Brussels, the newspaper said.
The measure – or the amount of payments as such – did not seem to be working as most of the officials in question took high-profile executive jobs despite reimbursements from Brussels.
De Gucht is currently on the supervisory boards of steel giant ArcelorMittal and telecommunication company Proximus, while Hedegaard is a member of the supervisory board at energy company Danfoss, along with Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, who served as stand-in Commissioner for about four months in 2014, according to Politico which has also accessed the list.
The revelation comes just days after an ethics panel has cleared the former European Commission President Barroso of violating the EU integrity code for moving to a top position at Goldman Sachs.