by Sven Triloqvist
Thu May 7th, 2009 at 07:57:47 AM EST
From the Corporate Europe Observatory bloggers: EP elections ahead, how fast will the revolving door spin?
With the European Parliament elections now just five weeks away, the first election posters have started appearing in cities across Europe. As it becomes clear who will run for (re-) election, it also emerges who is stepping down from being an MEP. Many will return to national politics, retire or look for a new job. What will be really interesting to watch in the coming weeks and months is which of the current MEPs will go through the revolving door into new jobs as industry lobbyists.
There follows a long list of MEPS who have been through the revolving door. One of them is two term Finnish MEP Piia-Noora Kauppi won an award for Worst Conflict of Interest in last year's Worst EU Lobby Awards, after becoming the head of the Finnish banking lobby. In 2005 she was noticed by the WSJ for supporting looser regulations against money-laundering.
She leaves the EP now with fond memories and "My work will continue in the new role, but hopefully still in good cooperation with all supporters and friends of my MEP time." Of course, it will, duckie, that is how it works.
Photos of her schmoozing in Brussels
What the EU needs are harsher rules than even the US Congress applies.
The European Parliament currently has no rules to prevent conflicts of interest around the revolving doors phenomena, unlike in the US where the members of the House of Representatives are banned from lobbying for two years after leaving the House. House and Senate staffers are banned for a year from lobbying their former employer.