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EU: corporate corruption controls

Dear friends,

Top European Commission politicians are taking lucrative corporate lobbyist jobs and helping big business to control Brussels! Let's persuade the Commission to respond to a European Parliament demand for a tough new code of conduct -- sign the petition for new rules to stop these abuses of power:

It's outrageous -- over half of top European Union politicians move straight from their posts into lucrative corporate lobbying jobs -- turning the EU into a "lobbyocracy" run by big business, not the people.

The European Parliament is up in arms and has just threatened to withhold EU budget money until a new code of conduct is introduced to block officials rushing to become lobbyists. In a few days parliamentarians will meet to hear the Commission's proposals, but they need support to force a decisive change.

This is a chance to clean up Brussels, but it will take a massive public outcry. The grip of big business on EU decisions subverts our democratic priorities, from agriculture to climate to energy. Click to sign the petition -- which will be delivered to top decision-makers at a meeting in the Parliament -- and forward this email to friends:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_lobby_rules/?vl

The "revolving door" between the European Commission and the lobbyists fuels corruption, as officials compete for the fattest pay cheque when they leave office and then put their relationships and influence to work for the highest bidder.

The recently resigned EU Industry Commissioner has already joined the boards of 4 large firms -- and set up his own EU lobbying company! And, months before she left office, another European Commissioner accepted a position with a giant insurance company which had a direct interest in decisions she was taking.

Such new jobs are supposed to be vetted by the Commission. But the secret ‘ethics committee’ responsible for that is failing to stand up for the public interest. It had never blocked a single appointment until September, when - following outrage in the media - it prevented former financial services commissioner Charlie McCreevy going to work with a British bank.

If we join together now, public and parliamentary pressure can break through Brussels complacency, block the industry commissioner’s appointments and force Commission president Barroso to fulfil his long-promised - but never implemented - promise for a tough new code of conduct to prevent abuse. Sign the petition and circulate widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_lobby_rules/?vl

In the world we all want, public servants will serve only the public, not personal or corporate agendas. Our governments are among our most powerful tools to create change, but they must be ours. Let's take back Brussels for the people of Europe.

With hope,

Alex, Benjamin, Ricken, Alice, Luis, Ben and all of the Avaaz team

P.S. Former European Commissioners continue to get paid 50% of their salary for three years, precisely to prevent them rushing to cash in with corporate jobs. Sticks are clearly needed alongside these carrots.

MORE INFORMATION:

EU Commission pressed on tougher rules for ex-Commissioners:
http://www.theparliament.com/latest-news/article/newsarticle/eu-commissi...

European Commission revolving door scandal:
http://www.corporateeurope.org/lobbycracy/news/2010/09/27/revolving-door...

Ethics committee blocks former Commissioner’s bank appointment:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1007/breaking36.html

Should former Commissioners be allowed to cash in?
http://www.neurope.eu/articles/102969.php

MEPs hold Commission budget to ransom
http://euobserver.com/18/31101