Davignon ’Special Adviser’ on African Development: Conflict of Interests?
Friday 30 March 2007
The controversy around Etienne Davignon’s role as a Special Adviser to EU Commissioner Louis Michel has continued throughout the month of March. On March 1st, the European Commission for the first time ever published a list of the names and mandates of special advisers to EU Commissioners, 55 in total. The list revealed that Mr. Davignon advises Development Commissioner Michel on "Africa policy, in particular the role of the private sector in the economic development of sub-sahara Africa" and is also supposed to "mobilise the private sector for development policies". The risk of a conflict of interests is apparent: Davignon sits on the board of water and electricity giant Suez (which has clear commercial interests and expansion plans in sub-Saharan Africa); he moreover owns Suez shares worth more than 350,000 euro.
See online : Corporate Europe Observatory