EU: Ombudsman to examine Commission evaluation of Special Advisers

"The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has opened a strategic inquiry into how the European Commission carries out conflict of interest assessments for its Special Advisers.

The Commission has approximately 40 Special Advisers, chosen because they can provide particular expertise, as it is needed, directly to a Commissioner. This high-level access, coupled with the fact that many of the advisers have outside interests, heightens the importance of anticipating any possible conflict.

The aim of the inquiry, opened following individual complaints related to Special Advisers, is to ensure that rules are sufficiently robust in order to avoid inappropriate influence on policy-making. An Adviser's mandate and their outside activities should be fully clarified before appointment, while conflict of interest assessments should be updated if the person takes up a new outside activity."

See the full text: Ombudsman to examine Commission evaluation of Special Advisers (European Ombudsman, link)

And see: Letter to the European Commission opening the European Ombudsman's strategic inquiry OI/6/2016/AB concerning rules and practices to prevent possible conflicts of interest of Special Advisers (link)


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