MEPs drill down on Goulard ethics queries after hearing
MEPs want to know more about Sylvie Goulards legal and ethical issues, as well as how she will manage a vast European Commission portfolio, according to draft questions seen by POLITICO.
The internal market commissioner-designate faces additional written questions from MEPs after a tense hearing Wednesday, in which she spent a considerable amount of time fending off queries about an ongoing legal probe in France and a controversial consulting contract.
The draft list of questions begins with one of the main concerns about Goulards portfolio — that it cuts across too many areas and will leave her stretched thin: “How will you manage, coordinate and master the work of such a large portfolio under your responsibility — unprecedented before … with the conflicts of interest and the additional task of building one of the three DGs [directorates general] … and even with the responsibility of the Media and Audio-visual policy?”
The 10-page document later adds: “You are called to manage a broad portfolio and we ask you to be more concrete.”
One section labeled “integrity” focuses on a French probe into allegations that Goulards European Parliament assistants were used for domestic political work, as well as her work as a highly paid consultant for a U.S. think tank while she was an MEP. On the probe in France, it asks whether she would resign as commissioner if found guilty. “If so, are you not afraid that the current procedure in a Member State will weaken your action within the Commission?”
On the consultant job, the draft asks her to “exhaustively list” all activities “executed in the capacity of special advisor to the Berggruen Institute.”
During her hearing, Goulard promised to “respect the outcome” of the legal probe into her use of assistants, insisted she was “clean” and called on MEPs to respect her “presumption of innocence.”
On the consultant job, the draft asks her to “exhaustively list” all activities “executed in the capacity of special advisor to the Berggruen Institute.” It also notes that the Berggruen family contributed to financing Emmanuel Macrons presidential campaign, asking: “How did you help connecting these people with a view to financing the presidential election?”
Regarding Berggruen Institute founder Nicolas Berggruen, the draft states that he is “politically invested in a Member State of the European Union. Does this situation seem to you to be bearable, ethically and politically, in order to assume your functions at the European Commission?”
The policy questions MEPs pose are just as sweeping, touching on everything from digital to environmental goals.
MEPs question Sylvie Goulard during her first hearing this week | Eric Vidal/European Union
The MEPs note that “more details are needed to understand whetherRead More – Source