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Stop Revolving doors

Non è solo un problema delle istituzioni europee

The situation in Member States is undoubtedly worse than in Brussels. Often there is a lack not only of rules, but also of investigation tools. One thinks, for example, of all the political personnel who end up working for lobbying firms in the absence of transparency registers reporting who is engaged in lobbying activities. This is another reason why initiatives to fight revolving doors must be matched by a commitment to lobbying transparency.

Raise awareness

It is not just a matter of exposing the main cases, which are not infrequent in Italy (one of the countries where The Good Lobby works). Addressing and dealing with scandals is right and necessary, but it can fuel populist and anti-political reactions. Instead, it should be explained – also through realistic simulations – why revolving doors damage public integrity, why they benefit some players and why they pollute the market. To tackle the latter issue, sensitive companies could be involved and encouraged to introduce internal regulations and guidelines that prevent reputational risks arising from revolving doors cases.

Code of conducts

There is a need for more binding codes of conduct that no longer provide loopholes and gray areas. This applies both to revolving doors that occur at the end of the term of office (for parliamentarians and ministers) and to incompatibilities in public office. The Renzi case in Italy (the former Prime Minister working as a consultant for Italian companies operating abroad and for companies linked to foreign States) led to quite a scandal but has not affected whatsoever the related regulations. The European Institutions could take much stronger actions in pressuring the Member States to introduce solid regulations and setting common standards.

Highlight the most exposed sectors

First the pandemic and now the war have shown that there are sectors that are way more vulnerable and that crises strengthen the risks of revolving doors. The health (and pharmaceutical) and defense sectors are more prone to attract political personnel. Specific guidelines are needed on how to ‘manage’ these emergencies and how to expose the most obvious cases.

Companies partially owned by the State

Companies partly or entirely owned by the state or local authorities represent a further vulnerable area. In Italy, sectors such as energy and oil, defense and transport are widely exposed to this pathological relationship between politics and business. The existence of publicly owned companies throughout Europe could represent the basis for a joint campaign or initiative.


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