This article brought a prompt response from Antti Timonen of the Finnish Press EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, as follows:
I’m writing you regarding the article concerning the Worst lobbying awards on your website. Please find below the comments of Mrs Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP to the false claims presented by Friends of the Earth and other NGO’s [sic]. Hopefully you can take them into account when discussing the issue.
No conflict of interest. Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP
Friends of the Earth and some other anti-business lobbies have presented false claims stating that Mrs Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP would have abused her role by promoting the interests of her future employer. These claims are totally unjustified and politically motivated.
Mrs Kauppi has announced on 25 June 2008, by public press releases in Brussels and in Finland, [that she will be] taking up the position of the Managing Director of the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, as of 1 January 2009. She will continue as Member of the European Parliament until the end of the year. Kauppi gave birth to her third child in the end of October and that is the reason why she could not take up the new position before.
“I have been fully open about my nomination to the Federation of Finnish Financial Services and I have mentioned it in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament after my nomination was made public. I have also resigned from my full membership in the ECON Committee in July, and another Finnish MEP has taken my seat in the Committee. I’m still substitute Member of the Committee”, Kauppi says.
She has also declined new rapporteurships on topics directly linked to the interests of her future employer. She has no financial links with her future employer yet.
“Naturally I have done my best in my position as the Member of the European Parliament, and I will continue to do so until the end of my term. I have participated in a normal manner to work in Committees, votes and discussion on economic policy”, Kauppi says. “However, I have mentioned my future position in every interview I have given to media after the publication of my nomination and I have underlined it that I’m speaking only as MEP, not the as the future Managing Director of the Federation”, she clarifies.
“I have worked in the European Parliament for over nine years on the financial market regulation trying to develop a real European internal market for financial services which would benefit both consumers and market participants. I’m sure one of the reasons The Federation of Finnish Financial Services approached me with their job proposal, for the first time in May 2008, was my expertise in the EU financial markets regulation”, says Kauppi.
“My views on European financial markets and their development needs have in no manner changed due to my nomination. The attack on my work by Friends of the Earth and other anti-business lobbies is clearly politically motivated. My conscience is clear. I have acted in every respect with total openness and fairness”, concludes Kauppi.
For further information:
Antti Timonen, EPP-ED Press Service, tel: +32474851831
Antti TIMONEN Adviser Press and Communication – Finnish Press EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament