Petition Closed

For strong exemplary measures to be taken against JM Barroso for joining Goldman Sachs

This petition had 152,971 supporters

Petition, open to all European citizens until end of September 2016, for strong exemplary measures to be taken against José Manuel Barroso, whose behaviour dishonours the European civil service and the European Union as a whole.


We are a group of employees of the European Institutions, bound by our duty of confidentiality and professional discretion, who have come together because we are more and more concerned by the European project's deteriorating image among our families, friends and neighbours as well as the many citizens we encounter all over Europe.

On Friday, 8 July 2016, we learned, only a matter of days after the UK vote to leave the EU, that the former President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, will soon take up a post at Goldman Sachs investment bank's London headquarters as non-executive chairman of international operations and adviser, to help it limit the negative effects of the Brexit.

This decision to go and work for one of the banks most implicated in the subprime crisis that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2008 – the worst since the Great Depression – as well as one of the banks most involved in the Greek debt crisis, having helped Greece dissimulate its deficit before speculating in 2009-2010 against it in full knowledge of the unsustainability of its debt, is a further example of the irresponsible revolving-door practices, which are highly damaging to the EU institutions and, even if not illegal, morally reprehensible.

It is irresponsible because it feeds into a political context which is not only Eurosceptic but now even openly Europhobic, where certain political representatives even from the majority in the European Parliament start to openly question the continuing existence of the European Commission and the Community method which – in times of past crises to important advancements – have served to build the European Union since the Treaty of Rome.

It is damaging to the European institutions in the current delicate context of having to manage multiple crises piling up one after another – the refugee and migrant crisis, the crisis unleashed by the Brexit referendum, the continuing economic crisis, and the crisis over the kind of Europe we want. It is, at the worst possible moment, a disastrous symbol for the Union and a gift horse for the Europhobes that a former Commission President is associated with the unbridled and unethical financial values that Goldman Sachs represents.

It is morally reprehensible, in that it runs counter to the honour and probity of a European civil service supposed to defend the general European interest. All former members are bound to respect their duties of integrity and discretion under Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union Article 245, even after the expiration of the period of 18 months after leaving office. Even more so in the case of José Manuel Barroso, who was appointed twice by the Heads of State and Government, as well as by the European Parliament.

For all of these reasons, we call upon all European citizens by means of this petition to request that the two highest European Community instances, namely the Council of the European Union and the College of the European Commission, empowered to do so under TFEU Article 245, bring this matter before the European Court of Justice, so as to:

  • Not merely ascertain that Mr Barroso left office more than 18 months ago;
  • Examine in detail and in all transparency whether Mr Barroso has respected his duties of integrity and discretion towards the European Union;
  • Take, in light of this, appropriately strong and exemplary measures against José Manuel Barroso, such as:
  1. The suspension of his pension allowance as former President of the European Commission for the period of his employment at Goldman Sachs and beyond;
  2. The suspension of all possible honorary titles linked to the European Institutions;
  • Reinforce the ethical rules to fight such revolving-door practices that apply to former Members of the Commission, in proportion to the damage that their future behaviour can bring to the European civil service and the European Union, in particular with stricter rules for former Presidents and Vice-Presidents than for ordinary former Commissioners.

This petition shared on will be presented to the Presidents of the three European Institutions: the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, as well as to the representatives of the staff of the European Institutions.

As we call upon all European citizens to sign and share this petition, we also call upon all the employees of the European Institutions who share our concerns, no matter what their status, to let us know that they support this petition (the employees' identity will remain strictly anonymous), and, if necessary, to join our group, the identity of whose members will also remain strictly anonymous, by contacting us at, in order to launch new actions aimed at facilitating reconciliation between the EU and its citizens.

Brussels, 11 July 2016

A spontaneous group of employees of the European Institutions


This petition will be delivered by the end of September begenning of October 2016 to:

European Commission

President Jean-Claude Juncker

European Council

President Donald Tusk

European Parliament

President Martin Schulz


Petition in French

Petition in German

Petition in Italian

Petition in Spanish

Petition in Slovakian

Petition in Portuguese

14.09.2016: Letter from EUemployees group to
Presidents Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Martin Schulz (FR) ; (DE) ; (BE) ; (EL)

12.09.2016: Letter of President Juncker answering the Ombudsman's concerns regarding the recent move by former Commission President, Mr Barroso :

06.09.2016: Letter to President Juncker outlining the Ombudsman's concerns regarding the recent move by former Commission President, Mr Barroso

Press release:

Today: EU is counting on you

EU employees needs your help with “For strong exemplary measures to be taken against JM Barroso for joining Goldman Sachs International”. Join EU and 152,970 supporters today.