Heard in Europe

Karel de Gucht

Karel de Gucht, the occasionally grumpy Commissioner who launched the TTIP trade deal, is set to join the management board of Belgium’s largest telecommunications company.

De Gucht was granted permission to join Belgacom, which is about 50% state-owned, and to join the board of Merit Capital, an independent private bank and stockbroker based in Antwerp.

The Belgian, Commissioner from 2010-2014, has promised not to lobby the Commission on behalf of Belgacom for 18 months.

He has also vowed to keep his mouth shut when it comes to confidential information he may have picked up in his old job.

That may not come easy to Karel, who has a well-deserved reputation for speaking his mind. In fact, he is so outspoken that US and EU TTIP negotiators in New York this week are probably quite glad he’s not around anymore.

According to lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory, De Gucht will also become Professor of European Law and President of the Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

So it appears he won’t be spending all his post-Commission career at his holiday home in Tuscany. The less said about that the better.

But we should point out he did win the court case against the Belgian tax authorities.

Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum and Flickr. Published under creative commons licence.

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