Heard in Europe

US companies have complained that contacts with the Juncker Commission have become more difficult compared to the previous Barroso era.

One said it suspected that Juncker’s chief of cabinet Martin Selmayr keeps the contacts to the strict minimum as a tit-for-tat following revelations of US wiretapping on European politicians, including the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But reality may be different. If Commissioners are more hesitant to accept meetings from US corporations, it is probably not because of Selmayr’s micromanagement but rather because the Commission’s new in-house rules “on the publication of information on meetings held between members of the Commission and organisations or self-employed individuals”.

According to those rules, Commissioners are obliged to publish information about meetings held by them or by members of their cabinets “with organisations or self-employed individuals on issues relating to decision-making and policy implementation in the Union”. A similar decision applies to Director Generals, the highest officials below the EU Commissioners.

A simple glance at the parking area in front of the Commission’s flagship Berlaymont building shows that it is almost empty at all times. Under the Barroso Commission, shiny black limousines were struggling to find a parking space.Commission parking

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