Today, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has just confirmed the absence of conflicts of interest for Commissioner candidates Thierry Breton (FR), Adina-Ioana Vălean (RO) and Olivér Várhelyi (HU). The Legal Affairs decision opens the way for the three candidates to appear before joint committee hearings this Thursday (14/11). The Greens/EFA group led the push for the Legal Affairs Committee to have the ability to scrutinise Commissioner candidates' potential conflicts of interest.
Sergey Lagodinsky MEP, Greens/EFA Vice-Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
"The fact that all three candidates took steps to ensure that they could be cleared of conflicts of interest ahead of today's decision is a success for the Legal Affairs committee and the scrutiny powers of the Parliament. The previous decisions to block individuals based on their conflicts of interest has put this issue at forefront of this process and ensured that candidates have taken steps to sell shares and clear their portfolios.
"We would have preferred more clarity on when and how the prospective commissioner Breton would recuse himself from policy decisions that could benefit Atos or other former employers, however now it will be up to the work of the joint committees later this week to delve into these details. The extra scrutiny applied to this process can only be a positive step for European democracy, both now and in the future."