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By LILI BAYER
Thanks to Sarah Wheaton and Louise Guillot
Advice, stories, trauma to the POLITICO Brussels team at @liliebayer or [email protected] | View in your browser
Good afternoon and welcome to EU Influence. This is my last newsletter, and from next week your guide to the world of EU lobbying and transparency will be my wonderful colleague Sarah Wheaton.
Sarah is POLITICO Europe’s Chief Policy Correspondent and has previously reported on health policy. Before moving to Brussels, she was a White House correspondent for POLITICO in Washington. You can reach her at [email protected] and [email protected]or through Twitter @swheaton.
NEW MANIFESTO: industriAll European Trade Union published its Manifesto for a just transition, calling for “an industrial policy adapted to ambitious climate objectives and quality jobs”. The union calls for “adequate resources to finance the transition”, as well as “strengthening collective bargaining and social dialogue” and “addressing new skills needs and the right to quality training”.
Luc Triangle, general secretary of industriAll Europe, said that “workers want to shape change in their workplaces and communities, but they need a supportive and comprehensive just transition framework to do so.” Workers, according to Triangle, “need more than rhetoric, they need legislation that guarantees decent jobs in the future and a perspective for all regions of Europe”.
LAST CAMPAIGN FOR ANIMALS: Eurogroup for Animals, together with a coalition of organisations, supported the launch of a European citizens’ initiative to collect one million signatures to end the wearing of fur in Europe.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to finally put an end to this cruel and unnecessary practice,” Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals, said in a statement: “European citizens have been asking for this for a long time and their wishes have started to change the fashion system, with many historic brands moving away from fur. Last year’s AGRIFISH Council proved that the political will now also exists.
LOBBYING DOGFIGHT: Two of Brussels’ most powerful lobbying machines – Big Telecom and Big Tech – are preparing to clash, writes my colleague Samuel Stolton. On one side are the behemoths of telecom trade associations: the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO) and the GSMA, which represent among them a range of providers including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.
They claim that platform services – especially high-speed ones such as Google’s YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime – have for too long benefited from the expansion of fixed and mobile telecommunications networks in Europe, without bearing the cost of their development.
On the other side are the platforms themselves, represented on the public policy circuit by the Washington-based Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a stalwart of net neutrality that counts among its members Google, Apple, the owner of Facebook Meta and Amazon.
Of course, every fight needs a referee. The European Commission arrives, which will determine what “fair contribution” the platforms will have to make to the financing of telecom networks. Learn more here.
**Olivier Guersent and Mauro Petriccione, general managers of DG COMP and DG CLIMA to European Commission, will be talk on signs at the POLITICO Live Competitive Europe Summit on June 15 and 16. It’s only a month away, you won’t want to miss this event. Register today.**
REVOLVING DOOR INVESTIGATION: The European Commission should take a tougher approach to departures of former staff to the private sector, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said this week.
“The Commission should apply a more robust approach to revolving door moves of its most senior officials to private sector jobs, soon after leaving or retiring, related to issues they have worked on while they were at the Commission,” O’Reilly wrote in a report after reviewing 100 Commission decisions made between 2019 and 2021.
The ombudsman found that of the 100 decisions reviewed – which included transfers to consultancies, law firms, universities and NGOs – the Commission had rejected only two applications.
TOO LIGHT: Speaking to EU Influence this week, O’Reilly said that while there have been some improvements, “the Commission is too lenient and very reluctant to veto jobs even for a period”. And although the investigation found no “maladministration”, the ombudsman pointed to a range of problems with the current system.
The ombudsman said there was a ‘disparity’ between ‘what the Commission thinks the person is not going to do and what companies expect – or at least their potential customers advertise the new person as’.
Suggestions: But although the inquiry did not result in formal recommendations, the ombudsman made several suggestions, advising that the Commission temporarily ban jobs if they pose a risk that cannot be mitigated by properly monitored and enforced restrictions.
These include a series of ‘hypothetical’ examples of scenarios in which the Commission should consider a temporary ban, including cases where a ‘senior official’ from the EU’s Directorate-General for Competition asks “moving to a private company specializing in challenging competition commissions” and cases where a senior official working on anti-dumping issues would like to “move to a private company whose main activity is anti-dumping”.
Commission’s response: A Commission spokesperson said the institution is playing by the rules. “The Commission notes that the Ombudsman has not identified any instances of maladministration,” a spokesperson said in an email. “The Ombudsman has closed this inquiry without recommendations,” the spokesperson added. “This means that the Commission’s approach is sound and in line with the rules.” Learn more here.
NEW LOGO: O’Reilly’s office also launched its new logo this week. Officially, it represents the three pillars of its mission: accountability, transparency and trust. But the patternreminiscent of a dove in flight, also reflects the ombudsman “getting a bird’s-eye view of the administration,” O’Reilly said at a press conference.
**Global Impact and Sustainability Club (CGIS) is DII’s new community of CSR, impact and sustainability professionals. Get exclusive club access through POLITICO Pro. Pro allows you to meaningfully engage with industry peers and expert journalists. Contact us for more information.**
Michele Calabro joined EUREGHA, the network of European regional and local health authorities, as director.
Philip Crampton is the new President of the European Construction Industry Federation.
The Investment Company Institute has named Victor Van Hoorn leading the European operations of ICI Global, which represents the global regulated investment fund industry and the interests of long-term investors.
The European Biogas Association has appointed Anders Mathiasson as president.
Instinctive Partners has appointed Paul Sweetman as director.
Crowdstrike joined BSA | The Software Alliance as a global member.
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