Former EuropaBio Communications manager now works as Media and Communications adviser for DG Environment
16 February 2023 / A communications officer previously employed by EuropaBio now acts as Media and Communications Adviser in the Cabinet of Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment. Therefore, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Testbiotech, in a joint letter to the Commission, raise concerns about this new case of ‘revolving doors’ between biotech industry and EU institutions.
In previous years, several attempts by industry to infiltrate the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have been made public. Also, many cases of revolving doors from the EU Commission, Council and Parliament to the private sector, or vice versa, have been exposed. Against this background, the joint letter asks DG Environment how the respective standards to close down or avoid ‘revolving doors’ with industry have been applied. EU staff regulations request that before recruiting an official, “the appointing authority shall examine whether the candidate has any personal interest such as to impair his independence or any other conflict of interest.”
The move from the biotech industry lobby group to the Commission is delicate because of several ongoing decision making processes. The future regulation of plants derived from new genomic techniques (NGTs) as well as dossiers like the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, the ‘Green Deal’, bioeconomy and pesticide reduction are all of huge relevance for EuropaBio’s members.
CEO and Testbiotech demand that the Commission should therefore carefully avoid any close affiliation or undue influence by these particular interests. The organisations call to stop the practice of ‘revolving doors’ between the EU Commission and big industry. Otherwise, the Commission’s impartiality may be severely damaged.
Christoph Then, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel + 49 151 54638040