Since last December , I have been in correspondence with the European Commission in regard to my private professional activities since ceasing to be a temporary Commission official, which was my status during the five years up to 31 October 2009 while I was the European Commission’s Ambassador in Washington.
The initiative to appoint me to that position in 2004 came from the Commission, rather than from me, although I was delighted to accept the post.
Last December it was brought to my attention by the Commission that , under their rules, I ought to have sought their consent for any professional activities I undertook in the two years after I ceased to be in their employment. I was unaware of this requirement, as it had not been brought to my attention by the Commission either in the discussions that took place before I accepted the post in 2004, or at any time thereafter until December 2010. While I was aware that such requirements applied to former Commissioners, I was not aware that it applied to persons in my position.
On becoming aware of the requirement, I immediately made an application under the rules.
I am glad to say that in the past week I received a positive response from the Commission in respect of all the professional activities I have undertaken. These are President IFSC Ireland, Member Board of Directors of Ingersoll Rand PLC ,and of Montpelier re PLC, Senior Advisor American Oriental Bioengineering, Senior Advisor Cabinet DN, and Council member Gerson Lehrman Group . I also informed the Commission of some 2 to 3 days consultancy work I did for the law firm, McDermott Will and Emery on the internet numbers issue in 2010.
All these activities were approved subject to a restriction on contacts with former Commission colleagues or other activities in respect of specific files I dealt with while acting as an Ambassador. This an entirely reasonable restriction to avoid conflicts of interest, with which I will fully comply even after the expiry of the two years.