The dangerous relationship between Uber and European Commissioner Neelie Kroes

a novelAppointed by the group in May 2016, the Dutch leader is a “Pantoflag” prepared while she was still in office in Brussels, and executed at the expense of numerous irregularities.

When Uber unveiled the formation of its “Public Policy Advisory Committee” on May 3, 2016, one of the eight names on the list raised eyebrows in Europe: the name of Dutch woman Nellie Kroes. This former European Commissioner was responsible for competition issues and then new technologies up to 1Verse November 2014. And here comes to the aid, for a fee, a multinational in the sector which it continues to oversee recently to compensate public authorities after challenging them around the world.

Officially, Neelie Kroes does not violate any conflict of interest rules. She waited eighteen months of beatings imposed on the former commissioners before joining the private sector. During her tenure, she has not been in direct contact with Uber, according to the European Commission’s response to the NGO (NGO) Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) – which in 2016 requested, on behalf of Right to Transparency, the list of exchanges between Dutch and Uber representatives.

The Uber files are an international investigation

“Uber Files” is an investigation based on thousands of internal Uber documents sent to the British Daily by an anonymous source Watchmanand forwarded it to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 42 media partners, including the scientist.

Emails, presentations, meeting minutes… These 124,000 documents, dating from 2013 to 2017, offer a rare dive into the mysteries of a startup that was at the time seeking to establish itself in cities around the world. Despite the organizational context. They detail how Uber, in France as elsewhere, has used all its lobbying tricks to try to change the law in its favour.

The Uber Files also reveal how the Californian group, determined to assert itself de facto and, if necessary, by operating illegally, has carried out deliberate practices that manipulate the boundaries of the law, or that may amount to judicial obstruction of investigations was her subject.

Find all our articles from the “Uber Files” survey

At the time, this “revolving door” probably seemed above all doubt. But Uber Files has shed new light on this problem. These confidential documents show that the Dutch woman, in fact, maintained regular relations with the California group during the final months of her tenure, even doubling private initiatives in favor of the company prior to her appointment, at a time when she had standby obligations relating to his previous jobs. A biblical case of the passivity that the European Union can show in the face of special interests.

Multiple contacts passed in silence by Brussels

According to the answer given by the European Commission at the time to the CEO of an NGO, only one meeting took place between Neelie Kroes’ cabinet and Uber representatives, in March 2014. But the “Uber files” reveal that there are many others. Meetings and correspondence between the platform lobbyists and the commissioner’s office, from November 2013. There was even a “brief” meeting with Neely Cross herself, in July 2014.

How can these multiple contacts, which took place in an official setting, using the official email addresses of Neely Kroes’ advisers, be overwhelmed in silence by Brussels? “I was shocked to hear this, as the facts you describe appear to be completely within the scope of my request for information and therefore should have been made public at the time.react Vicki Kahn, who followed up the file with the CEO. This is most problematic because this case relates to the employment of someone who was very important within the European Commission by a large company, with the risk of a significant conflict of interest that we were investigating at the time. »

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