We recently presented a new study to the European Parliament on the transitional allowances for former office holders. The study covers practices in a series of institutions such as in the European Parliament, Commission and Council. The arrangements for these institutions are contrasted with approaches in several EU and non-EU countries.
While there is extensive research on what happens to public office holders after the end of their mandate, there is little knowledge on the allowance they receive between jobs. Office holders benefit of networking during their time in office which should put them in a position to secure a new job. As a result they are strongly exposed to conflicts of interest. Transitional allowance are meant to prevent this. However, the study shows that there is no empirical evidence out there on its effectiveness to prevent conflicts of interest. In addition, it is unclear what are the needs of officials following the end of their mandate and office.
On 27 April 2017, Blomeyer & Sanz and the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services presented a new study to the European Parliament committee on Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion titled: ‘The Impact of Schemes revealed by the Panama Papers on the Economy and Finances of a Sample of Member States’.
The study assesses the impacts of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers, a set of documents leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing tax evasion and avoidance practices, and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in April 2016. The study explores the concepts and roles of tax havens and offshore financial centres, their budgetary, and the economic and financial impacts in a sample of EU Member States. The research combined previous estimates of tax revenue loss with a microeconomic assessment based on data on companies that are thought to be linked to the Panama Papers schemes. The most significant impacts identified are the negative effects on Member States’ budgets, with wider knock-on effects on economic growth and financial markets. It is recommended that further steps are taken at the national, EU and international levels to increase transparency of corporate and individual taxation and to limit the scope for tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The full report can be found here. the presentation slides can be found here
On 12 June, the University of Trento (eCrime) and the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) presented in Brussels the final Integrated Anti-Corruption Enforcement Monitoring Toolkit developed in light of the MONAC project funded by the European Commission. Ms Anabela Gago, Head of the Organised Crime Unit at the European Commission, highlighted that ‘innovative research is needed to support the work of the European Commission in the development of evidence-based anticorruption policy’. She acknowledged that the tool’s strength is its adaptability to the situations in various countries and institutions. This was illustrated by Dr Alexander Stoyanov and Professor Andrea di Nicola whom presented the findings of the pilot implementation of the toolkit in respectively Bulgaria and Italy.
More information on the event can be found here.
The MONAC project aimed to develop a monitoring and evaluation system on anti-corruption measures in the EU Member States. The two-year project was coordinated by CSD and carried out in collaboration with eCrime. Mike Beke was a member of the external expert panel and provided support during the course of the project.
The final toolkit can be found here.
In July 2014, Mike Beke (Blomeyer & Sanz) participated in a workshop hosted by the University of Trento (eCrime) and the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). The workshop presented the draft Integrated Anti-Corruption Enforcement Monitoring Toolkit developed in light of the MONAC project funded by the European Commission. Researchers from eCrime and CSD presented the toolkit’s methodology and pilot cases in Bulgaria and Italy. A group of external experts appointed to support the project provided feedback on the work and discussed further steps in its development.
The MONAC project (Monitoring Anti-Corruption in Europe: Bridging Policy Evaluation and Corruption Measurement) aims to develop a monitoring and evaluation system on anti-corruption measures in the EU Member States. The two-year project is coordinated by CSD and carried out in collaboration with eCrime. Mike Beke is member of the external expert panel and will continue to provide support during the course of the project. One additional workshop is scheduled for the end of 2014 in Brussels and one for the beginning of 2015 in Sofia.
The agenda of the meeting can be found here
. More details on the project can be found here
Last month we presented a new report to the European Parliament on the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Commission. Roland Blomeyer and Michelle Cini (University of Bristol) presented the findings and recommendations to Members of the European Parliament. They recommended a comprehensive review of the Commissioners’ ethics system with a focus on coherent implementation systems with genuine checks and balances.
The study is an update to the European Parliament study by Blomeyer & Sanz on the Code of Conduct in 2009. It compares the 2004 Code of Conduct with the new Code adopted in 2011. Our findings show that the new Code has failed to address most of the recommendations made in 2009. It is characterised by poor checks and balances, absence of a coherent implementation system, and opacity surrounding its operation. Further it concludes that other ethics systems contribute to enhancing public trust in government, while the Commission’s system appears tilted towards Commissioner’s political and career interests.
Read the full report here.