02 / 12 / 2020

European Union

The European Banking Authority (EBA) nominated Ireland’s Gerry Cross as its new Executive Director, but the European Parliament rejected the candidate in committee due to his previous work for the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). This decision, which has yet to be confirmed at a plenary session in the coming weeks, has once again highlighted the issue of revolving doors. Indeed, the EBA recently allowed its former Executive Director, Adam Farkas, to join AFME. This decision sparked anger among MPs as well as criticism from NGOs such as Finance Watch and Corporate Europe Observatory. (Les Echos, 23 January 2020) (Bloomberg, 23 January 2020)

A New York Times investigation carried out in nine countries has shown that a portion of the €65 billion a year from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) intended for farmers was diverted for the benefit of Eastern European oligarchs. The investigation has also shown that a real agricultural mafia thrives in these countries thanks to a system of corruption, including at the highest levels of government. To tackle this issue, on 23 January the new European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, promised anti-corruption measures. (Slate, 17 January 2020) (New York Times, 23 January 2020)

Transparency International

On 23 January, Transparency International published its Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 (CPI), which reveals that a significant number of countries are showing little or no sign of improvement in tackling corruption. Denmark, New Zealand and Finland lead the way, while Somalia, South Sudan and Syria occupy the bottom three places in the ranking. Transparency International’s analysis also indicates that reducing the influence of money in politics and promoting inclusive decision-making processes are key to tackling corruption. (Transparency International, 23 January 2020) (Transparency International, 23 January 2020)