New publication on transitional allowances for former public office holders, December 2017

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.

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New publication on the impacts of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers, April 2017

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

New publication on codes of conduct and conflicts of interest under the EU Structural and Investment Funds, March 2017

On 22 March 2017, Blomeyer & Sanz presented a new study to the European Parliament committee on Budgetary Control titled: ‘Codes of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest at any governance level of the management of EU Funds’. The study reviews the Member States’ experience with codes of conduct and conflicts of interest affecting the partnership arrangements under the European Structural and Investment Funds. The focus is on conflicts of interest affecting the Monitoring Committees under the European Regional Development and European Social Fund. The study reviews the rules and other approaches to deal with conflicts of interest, discusses best practices and ends with conclusions and recommendations advocating a complementary rule and value based approach supported by transparency and ethical leadership.

The study was authored by Dr. Christoph Demmke (assisted by David Hanel), Roland Blomeyer, Dr. Thomas Henökel, Mike Beke, and Timo Moilanen.

The full report can be found here. The presentation slides can be found here.

New publication on the impact of the fisheries penalty point system, February 2016

Picture1In February we presented a new study for the European Parliament committee on Fisheries titled: Social and Economic Impact of the Penalty Point System.

This research study focuses on the social and economic impact of the penalty point system for serious fisheries infringements. Overall this study has identified challenges in relation to the penalty point system and its implementation. Stakeholders highlight concerns relating lack of transparency, problems of accountability, and lack of participation. Further, this report flags concerns that different implementation of the system on the national level negatively impacts smaller vessels and those fishing species with tight quotas or higher risk of bycatch.

New report for the European Parliament on the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, September 2014

Screenshot 2014-10-13 17.23.23Last 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.

European Parliament final report on organised crime, corruption and money laundering, September 2013

Screenshot 2014-05-28 16.04.07The European Parliament CRIM Committee presented their final report with recommendations for action in the EU to fight organised crime, corruption and money laundering. The work of the parliamentarians is supported by the studies conducted by Blomeyer & Sanz for the European Parliament.

The MEPs recommend in the report that people convicted for corruption are to be excluded from bidding for public procurement contracts anywhere in the EU and barred from running or holding any public office. Further, the report calls for an effective strategy to recover proceeds from crime as well as an abolishing of banking secrecy and eliminating EU tax havens. Finally, the MEPs urge that a European Public Prosecutor’s Office is established with adequate human and financial resources in order to coordinate national investigations and combat crimes affecting the EU’s financial interests.

The vote in the Plenary is scheduled for the session of 21-24 October 2013.

The full report prepared by us for the European Parliament on corruption in public procurement can be found here and the report on the impact of tax havens here.

Media output on the findings can be found here and here.

European Initiatives on Eliminating Tax Havens and Offshore Financial Transactions, April 2013

Screenshot 2014-05-28 16.05.30Earlier this year Blomeyer & Sanz presented a study to the European Parliament on the impact of tax havens, secrecy jurisdiction, and similar structures on the EU.

The study concludes that the availability of these structures constrains the EU budget and undermines the fiscal recovery of EU Member States. They distort markets by conferring advantages on large companies that engage in transfer pricing. The study recommends the development of objectively verifiable criteria to identify high risk jurisdictions, combined with mandatory country by country reporting by multinational companies operating in the EU.

Find here the full report