In a paper titled “There is life after the Commission: An empirical analysis of private interest representation by former EU-commissioners, 1981–2009” (The Review of International Organizations, Issue 1/2012) Roland Vaubel, Bernhard Klingen and David Müller have published data and analyses of the post-Commission life of 92 former EU Commissioners who did not die in office or short thereafter (3 cases).
The authors test whether certain characteristics of Commissioners – home country, party orientation, age, education, year of leaving the Commission, portfolio, time in office – were more likely to explain their choice to enter into jobs in private interest groups
Some of their findings:
- - 36 of the 92 entered into private interest jobs after their time in office
- - 22 of 36 work(ed) for organisations that are/were not registered in the EU interest group register
- - 50% of Conservative/Christian Democrat and independent, 45% of Liberal but only 21% of Socialist and Green Commissioners went into private interest jobs afterwards
- - All Commissioners for Competition (5/5), 8 of 9 Internal Market Commissioners 4 of 6 Economic & Monetary Affairs Commissioners and 4 of 7 Commissioners for Agriculture, for Energy and for Industry went into private interest jobs
- - 24 of the remaining 56 without private interest occupation re-entered European or national politics
- - 0 Scandinavian Commissioners took private interest jobs after their term(s)
Overall, the paper is very heavy in descriptive statistics, and although the authors try to test some hypotheses, the small number of cases makes that this test is more indicative than actually more revealing than the description. Very nice is the appendix with all the names and the private interest jobs they took after their time in office – although it would have been even nicer to also indicate for those who had gone back into politics where they had gone.