COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission authorises Vice-President Katainen to become President of SITRA as of January 2020 subject to certain conditions

The European Commission has today decided that Vice-President Jyrki Katainen‘s new activity – as of January 2020 – as President of the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA is compatible with the ethical obligations of former Commissioners. SITRA is an independent public foundation operating under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. The Supervisory Board of SITRA selected Vice-President Katainen in September this year. The Commission decision – as all post term of office professional activities of Commissioners –, is subject to certain ethical rules put in place by the Juncker Commission. More concretely, Vice-President Katainen can take up his new job on the following conditions: 1) that he respects in all circumstances the obligations of integrity and discretion and protects the collegiality and confidentiality of the matters dealt with by the Commission during the remainder of his term of office; 2) that he does not lobby, for a period of two years after ceasing to be Member of the Commission, the Members of the Commission or their staff on behalf of SITRA on matters for which he was responsible within his portfolio; 3) that he does not lobby the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on investment decisions for a period of two years after ceasing to hold office; 4) that he does not use any internal information or insights acquired during his mandates as Member of the European Commission for specific investment decisions of SITRA, including divestments; 5) finally, that he does not disclose or use information of the kind covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. The interdiction to lobby does not affect the possibility to participate in public events with representatives from the above-mentioned bodies or to exchange and discuss publicly available information. Today’s decision – which has been made public – follows the opinion of the Independent Ethical Committee of 2 October 2019, which President Juncker consulted on this matter as required by the Code of Conduct for Commissioners. In addition, since 10 July, President Juncker had already put in place appropriate measures to ensure an independent performance of Vice-President Katainen‘s duties immediately after his application for the post of President of SITRA which were also based on an opinion of the Independent Ethical Committee of 17 June 2019 and will remain in place until the end of Vice-President Katainen‘s term of office in the Commission. Vice-President Katainen will remain a Member of the Commission until the end of the current Commission’s term.