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Why we are boycotting the conflicts of interest hearing of Commissioner-designates

Left MEPs won’t take part in today’s conflicts of interests assessment for Mairead McGuinness, the Irish Commissioner-designate, and incumbent Valdis Dombrovskis, GUE/NGL Co-President Manon Aubry has announced:

“For a year now, we have been denouncing the hypocrisy of the procedure that examines potential conflicts of interest for Commissioner-designates. The Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) is today called upon to assess the potential conflicts of interest of two candidates for the posts of Commissioners, Mairead Mc Guinness and Valdis Dombrovskis. Since the deep flaws of this procedure have not been corrected, this time we refuse to participate in this parody of democratic exercise.

“The scope of analysis of potential conflicts of interest of candidates remains as limited as ever. Current or past legal cases are not taken into account, the information provided on the candidates is fragmented, and does not include, for example, information on their bank accounts.

“Parliamentarians are unable to carry out real control: they have no investigative capacity and cannot seek the assistance of financial, ethical or legal experts. The examination period of just a few days does not allow for in-depth analysis and the time for debate is reduced to a minimum.

“We know from experience the results of such a procedure: a lax and politicised oversight, from which the candidates belonging to the most influential political groups in the JURI committee emerge unscathed.

“European citizens no longer accept the influence of lobbies in European institutions, nor the interference of private interests in public policy. Like the Haute Autorité pour la Transparence de la Vie Publique (HATVP) in France, the European Union must set up an independent ethical authority, which would notably take charge of the rigorous and impartial examination of conflicts of interest of the European Commissioners. In the absence of such guarantees, and in protest, today we refuse to give credit to the European democratic illusion,” Aubry concluded.

Read our proposal for the establishment of an independent ethics committee to assess potential conflicts of interest in the EU institutions.

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