Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has commented on a new Corporate Europe Observatory report which exposes the links between the European Commission and the finance industry.
The report singles out former Fianna Fáil minster and European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy for specific criticism.
Matt Carthy said that the fact that a Fianna Fáil politician has been singled out as one of the worst offenders when it comes to conflicts of interest and the financial industry’s influence on public policy is an indictment of the party’s approach to these issues.
He also said that it reflects a deeply embedded and deeply problematic culture in the EU institutions which ‘needs to end’.
The report on revolving doors at DG FISMA was published by the Corporate Europe Observatory yesterday.
The Midlands North West MEP said: “This report examines the Commission’s finance unit during the aftermath of the financial crisis, from 2008 until 2017, and shows an appalling level of influence by the finance lobby on European policy regarding financial stability.
“Four out of five of the former directors of DG FISMA during this period left the Commission only to go on to work directly in the finance industry or else for one of the industry’s lobby groups. Two out of the three of the Commissioners with responsibility for finance, and one of the three heads of unit for DG FISMA, did the same.
“Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McCreevy, who was Commissioner from 2004-2010 during a period of financial deregulation and the consequent financial crisis, is singled out for special mention in the report as the first former Commissioner to be ‘given the red light’ by the Commission when he tried to set up a bank shortly after leaving his post.
“The Commission insisted McCreevy observe the cooling-off period before taking his proposed role at NBNK investments as the links between his role in office and the new bank were so extremely stark that this brazen request was turned down – for the first time in history. But the Commission at the same time gave the green light to McGreevy to join the board of Ryanair, on which he still sits, immediately after leaving office and in spite of the fact that he had often dealt with Ryanair issues as Commissioner.
“Then just a week after the end of his 12-month cooling-off period, McCreevy joined the Bank of New York Mellon. As Commissioner, McGreevy had direct responsibility for deregulating the derivatives industry and he joined the derivatives trading unit of BNY Mellon. He also joined other financial firms Sentenial, World Spreads and Celsius Funds.”