Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

RevolvingDoorWatch

RevolvingDoorWatch cases

David Harley

Nationality: Britain

Former employer: European Parliament (since 1975), Deputy Secretary-General and Director-General of the Presidency

Date: April, 2010

New employer: Burson-Marsteller Brussels, Senior Adviser and now co-Chairman

Institutional reaction:

“Parliament's administration confirmed on 15 February 2010 that the position would not be prejudicial to the legimate interest of the institution ... [Harley] undertook, on his own initiative, that he would not have any contact with parliament staff or Members on behalf of BM or its clients for a period of six months following his retirement”

Comment from CEO:

"CEO considers that a two-year cooling off period or ban on accepting a post such as this should have been imposed upon Mr Harley to prevent the risk of potential conflicts of interest from arising. This is notwithstanding Mr Harley's self-imposed 6 month ban on contacting former colleagues which we consider would not have prevented BM or its corporate clients from benefitting from Mr Harley's advice on lobbying strategies. Additionally, six months is a very short period of time."

Other info:

Harley “started his career in the EP in 1975 as an Adviser in the office of the Secretary-General and then held a succession of increasingly senior roles...” (Source: European Agenda) 

Mr Harley's original application for authorisation said that he would work 'as a part time independent consultant in communications and public affairs, based in London. In this capacity, I intend to provide consultancy services for four days per month to Burson-Marsteller plc'. Less than one year later, Mr Harley was appointed co-chairman of Burson-Marsteller Brussels; Mr Harley has told the Parliamentary authorities that his new duties are "purely internal". The Parliamentary authorities have told CEO that they do not consider that this additional role requires a new authorisation. 

Mr Harley apparently decided not to have any contact with parliament staff or MEPs on behalf of BM or its clients for a period of six months following his retirement.

CEO submitted a complaint to the Parliamentary authorities about their handling of this case in January 2012. A reply was received in May 2012 but this provided no further information or insight.

 
Story

A telling mistake

Ms Barbara Gallani, who will become EFSA's Director for Communications from 1 May, was up until late March 2016 working for the largest lobby group for the food and drink industry in the UK, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Corporate Europe Observatory is looking for an experienced campaigner to join our team and strengthen our work on exposing and challenging corporate lobbying capture of EU decision-making. Please respond before Wednesday May 18th 2016. The position is based in Brussels, in our office in the Mundo-B building in Brussels. Starting date July 1st 2016 (a later start date can be discussed).

You would be part of the 'lobbyocracy' team within CEO, covering issues including the corporate capture of advisory groups, lobbying secrecy, etc.

Splits occur within European Commission, as European Parliament, Ombudsman and NGOs increase the pressure for implementing UN rules for contacts with tobacco industry lobbyists.

The European Commission has shelved a legal opinion confirming that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) produced through gene-editing and other new techniques fall under EU GMO law, following pressure from the US government. A series of internal Commission documents obtained under freedom of information rules reveal intense lobbying by US representatives for the EU to disregard its GMO rules, which require safety testing and labelling.

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate