|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
Robots and artificial intelligence: MEPs call for EU-wide liability rules17/02/2017 16:20:00
EU-wide rules are needed for the fast-evolving field of robotics, e.g. to enforce ethical standards or establish liability for accidents involving driverless cars, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday.
Parliament sets out its vision for the future of Europe17/02/2017 15:10:00
If the EU is to boost its capacity to act, restore citizens’ trust and make the euro zone economy more resilient to outside shocks, it needs to make full use of the Lisbon Treaty. But to go further, it needs to reform itself more fundamentally. This was the key message of three resolutions exploring the future development of the European Union approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Preventing terrorism: clampdown on foreign fighters and lone wolves17/02/2017 13:10:00
To counter the growing threats from “foreign fighters” travelling to conflict zones for terrorist purposes and “lone wolves” planning solo attacks, new EU-wide rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Stopping foreign fighters at EU external borders17/02/2017 12:10:00
All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be systematically checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a regulation voted on Thursday. The new rules were agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2016.
Human rights: Nicaragua, executions in Kuwait and Bahrain, and Guatemala17/02/2017 11:10:00
Parliament voices deep concern about the intimidation and harassment of Francesca Ramirez and other human rights defenders in Nicaragua, deplores the recent use of the death penalty in Kuwait and Bahrain, and strongly condemns the murders of human rights defenders and journalists in Guatemala, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.