|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Ombudsman reacts to opinion of Ethical Committee on Barroso
The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has noted the advisory opinion of the ad-hoc ethical committee in relation to the decision of former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to take up a senior position with Goldman Sachs bank. A number of issues in particular are noteworthy at this stage.
- The Committee acknowledges that reputational damage was done both to the Commission and to the wider EU yet states that, legally, Mr Barroso did not breach the Code of Conduct
- The Committee says that it is not its role to determine if the Code of Conduct is sufficiently strict.
- The Committee appears to have based its inquiry solely on its reading of three documents already in the public domain . There is no evidence, at least in the opinion, of any other relevant records being requested, received, or any interviews with relevant people undertaken.
The Commission is expected now to decide what, if any, action to take following the opinion but in light of recent communications between the Commission and the Ombudsman it would appear that the Commission does not intend to revise the current Code of Conduct.
Taking all of the above into account, and given the concern that continues to be expressed about Mr Barroso’s appointment and the existing Code of Conduct, the Ombudsman will now reflect on the next steps – including a possible inquiry - she will take in relation to this important issue.
 The letter from the Ombudsman to President Juncker calling for him to ask the Committee for an opinion; President Juncker’s reply to the Ombudsman, and a subsequent letter from Mr Barroso to President Juncker seeking to explain his role with Goldman Sachs and his views on President Juncker’s actions.
The Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU institutions, agencies and bodies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in the EU, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman's powers include the right to inspect EU documents, call officials to testify, and to open strategic inquiries on her own initiative. For more information: www.ombudsman.europa.eu
For press inquiries: Ms Gundi Gadesmann, Head of Communication, tel.: +32 2 284 26 09, Twitter: @EUombudsman
Latest News from
European Council meeting of 15 December 201619/01/2017 16:20:00
Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the European Council meeting of 15 December 2016.
Chronic wasting disease: addressing risks for the EU19/01/2017 14:05:00
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is most likely to enter the European Union through the movement of live cervids – such as reindeer and moose – that are transported or roam freely from Norway to Sweden and Finland.
OpenFoodTox: EFSA’s new one-click tool for information on chemical hazards19/01/2017 12:25:00
OpenFoodTox is the new EFSA database that provides instant access to a wealth of information from over 1,650 EFSA scientific outputs about the toxicity of chemicals found in the food and feed chain.
Antonio Tajani elected new President of the European Parliament18/01/2017 16:20:00
Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) won Parliament’s presidential election with 351 votes in a final face-off with Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT), who secured 282 votes.