Switching sides: the politicians who become lobbyists

Numerous former heads of state and retired politicians, some of whom were staunch opponents of "big business," accept questionable offers from large companies, becoming lobbyists for industries they used to regulate. 

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Switching sides: the politicians who become lobbyists - NewsMavens
Ewa Glawischnig, Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Earlier this month, the news broke that former Greens leader Eva Glawischnig was hired by Novomatic, an international gambling company. Glawischnig, who was once seen as an irreproachable campaigner for a cleaner Austria, was criticized by all, including her former party, for accepting to lobby for Novomatic, which most commentators perceive as morally bankrupt.

This is only the latest case in a long series of similar "retirements" for notable politicians. It is worth emphasizing that lobbying is not always negative; political scientist Hubert Sickinger told Der Standard that:

"[Lobbying] is not disreputable per se, but it has to be public knowledge who represents whose interests."

However, at the moment it is remarkably unclear which Austrian politician lobbies for which company. Until this changes, a healthy dose of caution and skepticism are in order. 

scandal, economy, work, politics

Politicians collaborating with controversial employers:

  • Ex-leader of the Greens Eva Glawischnig is now working for the gambling giant Novomatic.
  • Former Social Democrat Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer repeatedly made international headlines for being an advisor to Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev. He also worked as a consultant for Novomatic, and sits on the board of a Canadian mining company involved in litigation. He is said to have acted as the "non-executive" director of a Malta-based tax haven company.
  • Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, also a Social Democrat, is now an economic lobbyist for proponents of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream, and for the Russian oil company Rosneft.
  • Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair received a secret cash deal from a South Korean oil company, UI Energy Corporation.
  • José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, is now lobbying for the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
EDITOR'S PICK:
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy