Today, on 12 December, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted a resolution on “Institutions and bodies in the Economic and Monetary Union: Preventing post-public employment conflicts of interest”. This resolution is the European Parliament’s reaction to the appointment of Adam Farkas, currently Executive Director of the European Banking Authority (EBA), as Chief Lobbyist of AFME, the European association of large banks from 1 February 2020. The process had caused outrage because the EBA Board of Supervisors has approved his move and only imposed limited conditions aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest. Among other things, the compromises approved today stipulate that MEPs should avoid meetings with Farkas and that the European Parliament should not provide him with a lobby batch for the Parliament. In addition, the EBA Board of Supervisors is called upon to reconsider the decision regarding the move of Farkas. The Commission is called upon to revise and harmonise the rules for moves between public authorities and industry. The resolution is to be voted by the plenary of the European Parliament in January.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The European Parliament resolutely opposes the revolving door phenomenon that is rampant in European authorities. The EBA must take Parliament’s call seriously and must prohibit Farkas move to the banking lobby. If the EBA does not effectively prevent this conflict of interest, MEPs take action themselves and consistently avoid contact with the lobbyist Farkas. The Commission must revise and harmonise the rules for moves between authorities and the private sector as quickly as possible so that such serious conflicts of interest are soon belong to the past.
Moves between public institutions and lobby organisations without a cooling-off period, like that of Farkas, damage trust in democracy. The conditions imposed by the European Banking Authority on Farkas’ job change are nothing more than a bad joke and do not resolve the conflict of interest at all. What matters is not whether Farkas lobbies the European Banking Authority, but whether his insider knowledge goes directly to the banking lobby”.
Link to the compromise amendments:: https://sven-giegold.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/10-12-2019-DRAFT-COMP-MfR-Post-public-employment.pdf
Link to the draft resolution: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/plmrep/COMMITTEES/ECON/RE/2019/12-12/1193860EN.pdf