EU: CLOSE THE REVOLVING DOORS

Dear friends,

Top European Commission staff are taking up lucrative corporate lobbyist jobs and helping big business to control Brussels! The Commission must now respond to an European Parliament demand for a tough new code of conduct — sign the petition for new rules to stop these abuses of power:

It’s outrageous — over half of top European Union politicians move straight from their posts into lucrative corporate lobbying jobs — turning the EU into a “lobbyocracy” run by big business, not the people.

The European Parliament is up in arms and has just threatened to withhold EU budget money until a new code of conduct is introduced to block officials rushing to become lobbyists. In a few days parliamentarians will meet to hear the Commission’s proposals, but they need support to force a decisive change.

This is a chance to clean up Brussels, but it will take a massive public outcry. The grip of big business on EU decisions subverts every democratic priority, from agriculture to climate to energy. Click to sign the petition, and forward this email to friends:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_lobby_rules/?vl

The “revolving door” between the European Commission and the lobbyists fuels corruption, as officials compete for the fattest pay cheque when they leave office and then put their relationships and influence to work for the highest bidder.

The recently resigned EU Industry Commissioner has already joined the boards of 4 large firms — and set up his own EU lobbying company!

Such new jobs are supposed to be vetted by the Commission. But the secret ‘ethics committee’ responsible for that is failing to stand up for the public interest. It had never blocked a single appointment until September, when — following outrage in the media — it prevented former financial services commissioner Charlie McCreevy going to work with a British bank.

If we join together now, public and parliamentary pressure can break through Brussels complacency, block the industry commissioner’s appointments and force Commission president Barroso to fulfil his long-promised — but never implemented — promise for a tough new code of conduct to prevent abuse. Sign the petition and circulate widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_lobby_rules/?vl

In the world we all want, public servants will serve only the public, not personal or corporate agendas. Our governments are among our most powerful tools to create change, but they must be ours. Let’s take back Brussels for the people of Europe.

With hope,

Alex, Benjamin, Ricken, Alice, Luis, Ben and all of the Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

EU Commission pressed on tougher rules for ex-Commissioners:
http://www.theparliament.com/latest-news/article/newsarticle/eu-commission-pressed-to-introduce-tougher-rules-on-ex-commissioners/

European Commission revolving door scandal:
http://www.corporateeurope.org/lobbycracy/news/2010/09/27/revolving-door-scandal-alter-eu-call

Ethics committee blocks former Commissioner’s bank appointment:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1007/breaking36.html

Should former Commissioners be allowed to cash in?
http://www.neurope.eu/articles/102969.php

MEPs hold Commission budget to ransom
http://euobserver.com/18/31101

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Avaaz.org is a 5.5-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages.

AVAAZ.org: O Mundo em Acção

Em muito pouco tempo, o movimento global AVAAZ.org cresceu exponencialmente em termos do número de subscritores das suas iniciativas e da visibilidade online: a energia do movimento é impressionante e a estratégia é muitíssimo eficaz. A compreensão profunda do modo de funcionamento das redes sociais e das formas virais de passar mensagens, promover conteúdos e envolver os internautas é uma lição a estudar atentamente por todas as organizações não-governamentais interessadas em “capitalizar” as energias online.

Num ano apenas, a organização envolveu até 2 milhões de pessoas em todo o mundo e as suas campanhas têm tido uma visibilidade crescente, tendo inclusivamente um vídeo escolhido como o melhor vídeo político de 2007 no YouTube:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWyJJQbFago[/youtube]

E o AVAAZ.org não se poupa a esforços para tornar a experiência de “activismo” online o mais simples possível: o site é eficaz e cumpre todos os requisitos para que seja claro o que se pode e deve fazer e podemos ligar-nos a eles no Facebook, no MySpace, no Flickr, no YouTube

A única coisa que me preocupa é que, se se torna assim tão fácil juntarmo-nos em grandes movimentos globais com mensagens políticas construídas à medida para serem facilmente partilháveis, corre-se o risco de não passar de “fast-food” ético para consciências pesadas de internautas preguiçosos e civicamente desligados. Ou não?