In response to a series of problems regarding ethics and conflicts and interest in the European Commission, the Greens/EFA group is today calling for a postponement of the discharge of the European Commission's budget.
Greens/EFA MEP Bart Staes, who sits on the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control committee, comments:
“The case of Martin Selmayr is the latest in a series of inconsistencies in the allocation of posts, lobby meetings and financial contributions within the European Commission. In recent weeks, Barroso has been caught lobbying despite his written assurances to the Commission's ethical committee that he would not do so and Commissioner Cañete is yet again embroiled in controversy, this time for drawing money from the MEP voluntary pension fund at the same time as his Commissioner salary.
"With the Commission showing so little regard for transparency and conflicts of interests, we cannot in good faith discharge their budget until they introduce the necessary ethics reforms.”
The Greens/EFA group is demanding the following before it will agree the discharge:
1. An explanation from the EU Commission President Juncker regarding why the meeting between Commissioner Katainen and former President Barosso was not adequately documented in the Transparency Register.
2. For Commissioner Cañete to either stop drawing his monthly pension from the Parliament's Voluntary Pension Fund or ask the Commission to deduct the same amount from his salary.
3. President Juncker to satisfactory explain if the normal procedures have been followed with the appointment of Martin Selmayr to the position of Commission Secretary General.
The Greens/EFA group is also asking for the European Commission to take on board all of Parliament's recommendations regarding necessary improvements to the ethics system and Code of Conduct.